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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.”
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.
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.