Video SRQ: How to Handle Getting Denied for Having Too Many Credit Inquiries

by on May 5, 2013 · 24 comments

in Chase, Credit Cards, Credit FAQ, Sunday Reader Questions, Video Blog Post

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TPG reader Evan would like to know what he should do when his credit card application is affected by too many inquiries:

“When churning and playing the credit card points game, how do you respond to banks that decline for massive inquiries?”

This has happened to me many times before and usually can be cleared up with a call to the reconsideration line of the issuer. In order to justify myself and try to convince the representative to approve my application I will usually say something along the lines of:

“Yes I have several inquiries because I maximize my rewards. I am a savvy consumer and I pay off my bills every month. I’ve got great credit and I like to spend money on rewards cards that give me the most value. You may see a lot of inquiries but I’m very responsible with my credit and I can assure you I am not applying for this new credit card to just simply get a whole new credit line that I can max out.”

The reconsideration line rep can be your best friend if you know what to say.

The reconsideration line rep can be your best friend if you know what to say.

When you talk to these representatives they are usually US-based credit analysts with college degrees who actually do want to give you the card. As long as you come across as authentic and knowledgeable and give them good reasons for why you should have the card, they can overlook the fact that you have several recent inquiries.

Many banks have automated systems that will cut you off automatically once the pick up on the number of inquiries, but if you put in a call to the reconsideration line to give a quick, rational explanation the decision should be overturned.

That being said, some banks are very strict and protective of the credit lines that they give out. Capital One, for example, will give three different hits on each credit reporting agency to get the full picture of your personal credit. A bank like that is a lot less likely to approve multiple cards.

Speaking from personal experience I find Chase to be the easiest to convince to overturn their decision. When I haven’t gotten approved right away I have called the reconsideration line to plead my case and it has worked every single time.

American Express is also very good with that since they know there is a lot of competition in the market place. If they realize you’re a good customer and you frame your position as “I’m going to bring spend from another issuer to you if you approve this card today,” your chances will increase drastically.

Don’t get angry – the reconsideration line is there to help you!

Don’t get angry – the reconsideration line is there to help you!

The best advice I can give you in this type of situation is:
1) Don’t be afraid to get on the phone.
2) Be genuine, convincing and mostly importantly be polite.

There’s no special formula to use when getting approved for credit cards, but it’s important to stay ahead, know your credit score, keep your score strong and pay off your balances as often as you can. By doing those things you should be in good standing and can get approved so you will be able to rake in all those credit card rewards points! For a complete list of reconsideration lines for the main issuers, read this post.

Please comment below and share your experiences or strategies for dealing with reconsideration lines.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Dave L

    Barclays was very clear on the reconsideration line with me that they were rejecting me because I had too many inquiries and little history with them. They showed no mercy with me.

  • Geoff

    Agree with Dave L. Barclays dropped the hammer on despite 4 separate calls to their Recon line. I told them ‘fine, you’ll get none of my business while Amex and Chase will gladly take it’.

  • Maury

    Yes, I have been churning continously since 2010 every three months and have never been denied till now with Barclays. They also denied me for having too many inquiries. I called the recon line twice and no dice.

  • Mike

    Same thing with me. I have a Barclays US Air and a Frontier which I put a lot of spend on, and they would not approve me for a 3rd Barclays card despite there being no reason not to do so. All it means is the banks that work with me will get to reap the rewards of my high monthly spend.

  • Grant Thomas

    You are not alone. That’s a very disappointing call. I kind of wanna say “but but Chase and Amex both gave me 4 cards each and I still can’t get one Barclays card? What’s wrong with you guys?”

  • Trajan81

    Barclays and BoA tend to be the most annoying. Have never even tried to get a CapOne card due to the 3 pulls and none of their products really speak to me. Chase and American Express are a cakewalk as long as its not a business card you are applying for, but by far have the best representatives for wanting to give you a line of credit.

  • Robert

    From my experience, US Bank’s & Barclay’s “no, du to too many inquiries” is just a simple NO and there’s no way to convince them how good credit card user I am. But again YSMV – your situation may vary :)

  • MrWho

    If you are going to complain, please have how many inqs on your 3-CRA credit reports. Straight complains don’t provide any more information than ‘forums’.

  • Jetstream007

    When I tried to get a second Barclays card, they did not even pull my credit. They just told me ‘we think you have enough credit with us’ (and we’re talking a $2500 credit line…..). They did not want to pull my CS, because they were not planning to extend any more creidt to me in the first place. I liked the fact that they were upfront and didn’t pull credit, but with my score and tatal credit I was (very) surprised…

  • Graydon

    Another Barclays pile on. What are they thinking? Yes, I have quite a few recent INQ but I carry zero balance and have for years. Upper mid 700′s scores. Not a chance for reconsideration to get the minimum 5K limit to get full bonus. I at least got the card but a paltry $2,000 limit and a crippled bonus at 15K miles not 40K miles.

  • Pingback: Barclay’s Lufthansa Mastercard 50,000 Mile Bonus | The Points Guy()

  • jason

    Why do they need to approve you for another one? Why cant you use the current ones? These are valid questions and you have to make the case why that third card is needed.

  • Zila

    I had the same experience with Barclay, never with Amex or chase.

  • Rob P

    Finally after my third call to Barclays I was able to get approved for a third card with them.

  • Rob P

    What gets me is that supposedly their cards are quite churnable. How? They don’t seem to want our business.

  • Pingback: Denied Because Too Many Credit Inquiries? Here's What To Do()

  • Mark

    Just got shot down with Chase last week as part of my AoR for the Hyatt Visa because of too many inquiries. I’ve gotten three cards from them within the last six months. Recon guy said they want to see a longer history before giving me another card – even though I pay off my balance every month on the Ink Bold, Sapphire, and now an AirTran card. What do you think, call again?

  • DoseOfReality

    You should be unhappy when you get denied for a card (as well as on a reconsideration line). But by denying you the additional card, the bank has saved itself money – you’re clearly applying to take advantage of a sign-up promotion that will net you more in value than you would from everyday spend right?

    You (as a miles/points enthusiast) are most likely not going to provide enough revenue to the bank to offset its costs in terms of points from sign-up bonus, points from spend, etc.

    This is a game that you’re playing (and playing well) to get thousands of dollars of value from credit card signups and spend. You win often because you’re able to exploit banks’ marketing promotions (created with the average Joe, not you, in mind). Its a great feeling every time you get a successful sign-up, but take the denials as a dose of reality. I always laugh when I see someone write indignantly that “the banks don’t want my business and even with my credit score…” as if everyone is entitled to get every card they apply for. Yes, in fact they do not want your business because you cost more than you’re worth – its usually that they can’t figure it out but this time it seems they did.

  • Eric Lin

    Hello TPG, I applied for the Discover It card and I got automatically declined because too many inquires and short history. And I called the reconsideration line and it wouldn’t help. What do you think about the Discover one?

  • Rob P


  • leonew6s

    There is a reason why card issuers use introductory rewards points to attract new sign ups – IT WORKS. If they were worried about new applicants closing the card after 3 months they would put in more safeguards to protect themselves. The risk profile of the internet blogger applying and dumping the card is ludicrous. The marketing department of the card issuing bank has a Key Performance Indicator – the number of new applicants, not the number of closures. Don’t jump to the conclusion that the bank will not make back the revenue. Almost ALL applicants will be profitable to the issuing bank. Most issuing banks receive around 1-2% per ‘card present’ transaction, around 2.2-5% for card not present transactions. That’s right, internet savvy card holders will probably earn them more in merchant processing fees. This excludes annual fees, overdraft fees, balance transfer fees….and interest payments? Barclay might have gone overboard checking for too many inquiries, I will be interested to see if they keep this up. I suspect not..

  • Elenor

    BofA did me a dirty turn: I applied for an Alaska Air VISA (to get my inactivated FF acct reinstated and the 12.5K points returned without paying the $75 to do so), and not only did they turn me down for that card — they also closed my OTHER VISA Sig card — which I’ve had since 2005 and had a limit of $14.5k — and a balance of zero. Despite nice chats with two different “senior acct execs”: “BofA no longer offers a card with those terms and conditions” (I’m guessing they meant the 5.29% interest rate?) and so they cancelled it. I’m waiting for this to hit (and really damage?) my credit reports… {wince} Be careful not to make ‘spur-of-the-moment’ decisions to apply… I DO want the AK-Air card in a few years… but not now. So, to (thoughtlessly) save $75, I may have done myself a big injury…

  • ChicACE

    I just called the reconsideration line for AACiti business after my application was declined due to too many inquiries. They told me that the only way to have my application accepted was is submit an copy of my experian credit report showing the disputed items. I started a business a month ago and [legitimately] need a way to keep my personal and business expenses separate. If anyone has any advice from past dealings with AACiti I would greatly appreciate the guidance.

  • Bruce Farley

    Thank you TPG. Calling doesn’t hurt :) Been after the US Airways card for the 40K bonus, and was initially denied because of too many credit applications and after a 5 minute conversation was approved. Never thought about calling the reconsideration line, so again thanks for this article!

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