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TPG reader Nate sent me a message on Facebook to ask about credit card applications:

“My credit score is excellent, though I do have a number of hard credit inquires on my report from previous card applications. I got denied for the first time recently (by Capital One). Should I be worried about my ability to open new accounts moving forward?”

Rewards credit cards are a great way to boost your loyalty account balances. To make sure you can get in on the top sign-up bonus offers, it’s important to manage your credit score and have a good application strategy. However, no matter how careful you are, your applications may still be denied from time to time, and it’s usually nothing to worry about.

While card issuers process applications differently, there’s generally a limit to how many accounts you can have and how much total credit they’re willing to extend you. Capital One may have decided Nate was too much of a risk due to his other recent credit inquiries. While getting denied for any reason is disappointing, having too many inquiries now shouldn’t affect your ability to get other cards down the line. You might just need to wait a while before opening any new accounts. Once the older inquiries drop from your credit report, your future applications should go through.

If your credit card application is denied (or even if it’s just not approved instantly), it’s worth calling for reconsideration. Many applications are fielded by automated systems that are likely to turn you down for having a high number of recent inquiries. However, a live agent will have more latitude to approve you by shifting credit lines or closing unused accounts to make room for the new one.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Customer service may be able to approve your card application even when it’s denied initially. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

It’s hard to say why Nate was denied without knowing the full details of his finances, but it’s probably no cause for concern in the long run. Card issuers should send a letter explaining the factors that led to your application being denied, so keep an eye out for that. If your denial is truly out of left field, it’s worth checking your credit report thoroughly to make sure everything is in order, as an accidental missed payment or high balance could throw up a red flag.

For more info on managing your credit score and getting approved for card applications, check out these posts:

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.