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We discuss travel rewards credit cards quite frequently here at TPG. These cards allow you to earn top sign-up bonuses and then give you numerous bonus categories for everyday spending, opening up fantastic redemptions like premium-class flights and luxurious hotel rooms. However, there are a number of misconceptions out there when it comes to credit cards, so today I’ll continue our new series that debunks these myths and allows you to begin planning for your next vacation.

Previous entries includes having too many cards, closing a card you don’t use, how permanent of an impact an application has on your score, not paying your balance in full, paying an annual fee, keeping your points when canceling a card and whether annual fees count toward a sign-up bonus. Today I’ll shift gears and look at a myth that can prevent you from significantly boosting your account balances.

Myth #8: There’s nothing you can do if your credit card application isn’t immediately approved.

Those of you who have been involved in the hobby for a while know there’s a certain high that accompanies getting approved for a new credit card (or maybe it’s just me). When you submit an application, those 20-30 seconds of processing can seem like an eternity, but when that immediate approval comes through, your mind immediately starts thinking about how you’re going to redeem those bonus points or miles.

Unfortunately, there’s a different page that can come up which will bring the exact opposite reaction, the ying to an immediate approval’s yang (if you will). That page looks something like this:


Now, in some cases this isn’t an actual denial. The above screenshot actually came from my application for the Citi Prestige Card last August, but this wound up being a glitch in the system, and I was approved just a few days later.

In other cases, you can fall into the limbo known as a “pending” decision. In this case, the issuer can’t immediately approve you based on the information on your application and the inquiry it ran on your credit report. However, all is not lost in these situations. In some cases, I’ve received an email a few days after getting the “pending” notice letting me know that I have been approved. At least one other time, the new card simply showed up in my online account (and then arrived in the mail a few days later).

That being said, there’s an important step you can take if you’ve been denied for a card or if you want to help ensure that a “pending” application turns into an approved application: call the issuer’s reconsideration line.

Every bank that issues credit cards has automatic systems for processing online credit card applications, and these systems have a variety of factors that they consider. A large chunk of this is your credit score (which includes details like your payment history and credit utilization rate), but banks will also look at the income you reported on your application and the relationship you have with them. If your details fall below the preset thresholds, you won’t be automatically approved (and may even get denied). This is where reconsideration comes in, as it allows you to speak to an actual person who may be able to override those systems.

If you’re immediately declined for a credit card, I’d generally wait until you receive the formal rejection letter in the mail before calling, as this will outline the reason(s) your application was denied. This will give you a chance to plan your talking points before calling.

On the other hand, if your card goes into “pending” status, there are two schools of thought about calling the reconsideration line. Some feel like you should let the process unfold and then call if your application is eventually denied. They believe that calling preempts the regular review process and could actually hurt your chances. Personally, I belong to the other camp. I have always tried calling a few days after applying, and oftentimes it’s as simple as verifying the information I submitted or shifting credit lines from an older card to the new card.

Now, keep in mind that there are cases where this will almost certainly fail. The most prominent example is Chase’s 5/24 rule. If you’ve opened 5 or more new card accounts in the last 24 months, you will almost certainly be declined when you apply for many Chase cards (including the new Chase Sapphire Reserve). In these instances, calling reconsideration generally will get you nowhere.

Nevertheless, in most other situations, it can’t hurt to try!

Bottom Line

wallet credit cards featured
Don’t be afraid of adding a business credit card (or two) to your wallet!

When you apply for a new card, there are generally three results: approval, denial or “pending” status. While one of those is (obviously) preferred, all hope is not lost if you get either of the other two notices. Calling a reconsideration line and speaking to a customer service agent can go a long way toward turning a non-approval to an approval. Be sure to keep this in mind the next time you aren’t immediately approved for a new credit card!

What are your experiences with calling reconsideration?

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

This is one of the top premium cards out there since you earn 3x on all travel (excluding $300 travel credit) and dining and have access to great perks like a $300 travel credit each cardmember year, 50% more value when you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and you get elite travel benefits like Global Entry application fee rebate, Priority Pass Select and special rental car privileges.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.