So when it comes to taking advantage of credit cards, if you wanna get the most out of them, whether that’s to earn points for travel or to build your credit score, the first thing that any of us have to figure out is how to actually get approved for the cards that we want. No one wants to get denied for a credit card, but the problem is that if you are denied, it can be confusing to figure out why that is or if there’s any way to reverse that decision.
So in this blog post, I’m gonna go over exactly how to get approved for any credit card. The three steps that we all can take to make this happen are. And at the end of this blog post, I also have some helpful tips that I’ve used that can greatly increase your chances of approval if you aren’t instantly approved.
Now the first thing that we need to keep in mind before we go over anything is we need to be patient with everything related to credit cards, credit scores, and all that stuff. Even if you have no cards right now or a low credit score that you need to build up, it’s not about trying to do a million things at once or finding secret tricks.
It’s really as simple as building smart habits and doing a few of the right things in the short term that can allow you to see progress over time, which will make getting approved for different credit cards easier and easier.
Let’s get into step number one for getting approved for any credit card and that step is going to be to identify. So anytime that I’ve wanted to apply for a job in the past, I would never just randomly submit dozens and dozens of applications for any company or any position without doing a little bit of research first and identifying exactly what I’m looking for.
It just doesn’t make sense to do that, right? I wouldn’t apply for a senior director job posting that requires 20 years of experience in an industry that I’m not familiar with. I would rather search for jobs based on what matches my experience and has benefits and other things that would be a good fit for me and a good fit for the company that’s hiring.
And I’d also go to school to get a degree or at least have some sort of a work history before applying for certain jobs instead of just applying for something straight out of high school. So when people tell me they just applied for some premium travel credit card and got denied because they only have six months of credit history or when they tell me they got approved for some card but then after a day or two after their approval, they decided isn’t a good fit and they just wanna cancel the card before it even arrives in the mail.
Those kinds of things just tell me that there wasn’t much planning or thought that went into the credit card application process. And honestly, that can be a very dangerous thing considering how bad credit cards can be if you don’t pay attention to the details. So that’s why step one is simply to identify a bunch of things related to not only what you’re looking for in a credit card but also identify some things about yourself that’s gonna be important later on in the process, especially if you are denied at first.
So I want you to identify and write down things like your current credit score and your current income, how many credit cards you’ve opened in the past six to 12 months, and how many credit cards you have in total with each issuer. Are there a lot of hard inquiries under credit reports from applying for new credit cards or any other type of credit recently what are your credit limits on existing cards and how much of that credit are you using? Or in other words, what is your credit utilization like?
if you don’t know the answers to those things off the top of your head, you can find this information from somewhere like credit karma but you can also pull your own official credit report from annualcreditreport.com once every 12 months thanks to federal law which will give you an accurate picture of what you look like to lenders.
Doing all this can basically help you to identify any red flags that lenders might see in an application so that you can then either try to address and fix those things first or you’ll be prepared to explain yourself to the credit card company if you are denied by making a call to their reconsideration line which I’m gonna talk about more after steps two and three here.
Then after you’ve identified some of that info about yourself, next you can start to figure out what you’re looking for from some of the credit cards that you might want to apply for. So are you looking to build credit and get started with a very basic credit card or a secured card or are you looking to maximize your credit card earnings from different spending categories and travel benefits with maybe your fifth card?
Basically, you wanna try to identify what credit cards out there are not only going to match what you’re looking for but also are going to be within a reasonable reach of you getting approved. So if you’re just getting started with credit cards and maybe you’re in your first year or looking for your first card, one thing that I did when I was building my credit early on was I stuck with no annual fee cards that fit my spending habits.
But I also would look at my credit score and compare it to the recommended scores when I was looking at credit card offers from sites like creditcards.com if you wanna learn more about some of the current credit card offers out there right now.
Also in this step number one of identifying all these things, you’re gonna want to look into certain fixed rules that each credit card issuer might have. Sometimes if you’re denied a credit card depending on the reason for denial, there might be ways to get that reversed which again we’re gonna get into in just a minute. But certain rules for each credit card issuer are going to be really tough or sometimes impossible to get around.
So identifying these rules and being aware of them in the application process is the easiest way to avoid an instant denial right from the start. So what I’m talking about are things like the Chase 5/24 rule, which says that if you’ve opened five or more personal credit card accounts across all issuers within the past 24 months, then you are automatically going to be denied a new Chase credit card. Now that we’re done with step number one, we’ve identified as much as possible about our own credit history and other things that are going to be important to know throughout the credit card application process.
Next, we can move on to step two, which is going to be to optimize. Now, this step is going to look a bit different for each person, but this is where we can start to set targets for what we’re looking to do with credit cards so that we can work toward those things. So again, if you’re a beginner that’s building credit and you hear some cool things about a certain premium travel credit card that you want, you probably have pretty low approval odds right now depending on the card.
But maybe instead of just hoping for the best by applying but then getting denied, you could just apply for another beginner card or two and then use those responsibly over the course of the next year or so to build up a solid foundation. Then after that time, you can go back to step one and identify all that information again, and chances are you’re going to have a much better chance at getting approved because again, remember what I said about being patient.
There have been plenty of times that I wanted to apply for a few credit cards at once, but I knew that I had to take a step back and be more patient and strategic about it, which has worked out very well for me and for anyone else that I know that takes this approach.
But if you’re more advanced and experienced with credit cards, then step two of optimizing is going to look a lot different because maybe you can get approved more easily for different cards after building your foundation over several years. But now your challenge is identifying opportunity cost and what cards make the most sense to get over others while also keeping in mind those other credit card issuer rules like 5/24.
Or maybe you’ve identified that you’ve applied for too many cards recently or that you’ve been extended too much credit by one issuer. There are going to be ways around these things that I’m going to talk about later as well. But outside of factors that might be more related to your credit score or credit history, another very important thing to optimize for overtime that plays a big role in credit card applications is your income.
A lower income can make it more difficult to get approved for certain credit cards or to get higher credit limits because the banks don’t want to extend you too much credit if your income isn’t enough. Some premium cards actually have minimum credit limits that you need to qualify for in order to get approved. like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which is a Visa Infinite card with a minimum credit limit requirement of $10,000. So if you can’t get a $10,000 credit limit through Chase right now, then you’re much more likely to get denied for that card.
Now that we’ve identified all that information in step one and optimized our own financial situations in step two so that we could set ourselves up with the best approval odds from the start, step three is going to be to apply.
Here, we’re just putting everything together and then submitting our credit card application to see if we’re instantly approved or instantly denied, or maybe we get a message saying that our application just needs some further review that’s going to take a few days. Now, instant approval is great. Just make sure that you’re aware of your credit limits.
You can keep your credit utilization low and then make your payments on time and in full each month. Make sure you keep track of any minimum spend requirements to get a signup bonus for your new card as well because usually, you have to meet those requirements within the first three to six months or so.
Now, if your application says that it needs to be further reviewed and they’re going to let you know of their decision in a few days, then usually what’s recommended is that you just sit back and wait to see if their computer will automatically approve you after taking a closer look at your application. You could call the reconsideration line while you’re waiting to hear, but I would hold off for a while before doing that and only call the follow-up about your application if it feels like it’s been an extended period of time and that’s going to end up in a denial.
So, for example, when I got my first business credit card with Chase, I followed up with them and proactively called the reconsideration line before I was formally denied, but it had been a few weeks since I had heard anything, and I felt like a denial was coming. After calling them to explain my business and the history of my good personal credit usage with Chase, they were able to approve me that day.
But what I think you should probably be doing in most cases, as I said, is just waiting to see if you’re approved after that further review. And if it does turn out that your application was denied and that’s where we go into the next part of this blog post, which again calls for that reconsideration line.
Now, for anyone not familiar, when you’re not approved for a credit card, many times you’re going to get some sort of letter telling you why you were denied, and sometimes there’s a number listed that you can call to have them reconsider your application. You can also just do a quick Google search to find different articles and blog posts that list these reconsideration numbers, or just call the general customer service line for the credit card company and tell them that you want to be reconsidered for a credit card application.
One tip here is that you do want to call this reconsideration line sooner rather than later because usually, you have about 30 days from when you initially submitted an application for a decision to be made or reversed. And after that time, you have to submit another application and get hit with another hard inquiry.
So really, if you’ve been denied for a credit card that you want and you think you should have been approved for, based on the information that you identified and then optimized for in steps one and two, then I think it makes sense to give the reconsideration line a try because you’ve got nothing to lose and the worst thing they can say is no, but at least you can talk to someone
who might give you a better reason why you were denied. And then you can go back to step two, re-optimize and then reapply in the future, maybe after a few months or a year. Now, as I said before, if you were denied due to one of those fixed rules that the credit card issuers have in place, then it’s going to be harder to get a denial reversed.
But if you were denied something that you can easily explain on your credit report, then you might be able to change your mind. So, for example, one reason for denial that a lot of people talk about is that the credit card issuer has already extended you too much credit on other credit cards that you have with them.
But what you probably can do is actually just request that they transfer some credit from another card to this new one. And many times they are going to be able to do that. So maybe you have two Chase credit cards with a $5,000 limit, and they don’t want to extend you any more credit. You could ask them to transfer over maybe half the credit from one of those cards to give you a $2,500 credit limit on a new card. So technically, they wouldn’t really be giving you any new credit. Now, when you’re calling the reconsideration line, there are a few tips that I think anyone should keep in mind to give themselves the best odds of getting their denials reversed into approvals.
First of all, you have to be nice because there is another person you’re talking to on the other end of the phone, and they have the power to get you the credit card that you want. There’s no reason to be mad at a denial because mistakes happen, and they ideally want to approve you so you can use their card and hopefully make them some money.
You might also want to point out good things about your credit history, like your consistent on-time payments and your responsible credit utilization, if you have those things. And you can even mention why you want that specific credit card with its features that really fit your spending habits.
But I would suggest that you don’t talk about the signup bonus because, really, that’s all the value that’s given to you as the customer, and the credit card company doesn’t care if you really want this card just to earn an extra 200 bucks. I also think it’s a really good idea to bring up how this card works much better for you than some similar cards from other credit card companies competitors.
Talking about competition and why you prefer using this company’s products over another company’s can be a good thing, especially if you’re already an existing customer who has a good reputation from previous credit card usage. Now, in the end, some reasons for the denial are going to make it easier to get that decision reversed than others.
But again, I think that spending a few minutes on the phone is worth the effort to try to at least get approved, and most people never try this way. Some people just allow that denial to happen, and then they forget about it. But I’d rather try to get approved because I only apply for cards that I think I deserve to have anyway based on those three steps that we went through in this blog post. But I’m curious to have any of you ever called the reconsideration line, and what has your experience been? Have you ever had a credit card denial reversed? Let me know in the comment section below.