6 Rules To Crush Your Reconsideration Phone Call

If you decide to play the frequent flyer game with any regularity, especially if you adhere to an app-o-rama strategy, there will inevitably come a time that you will be denied a credit card.

A perfect credit score, low utilization rate, years of history with the card issuer and great standing…it all goes out the window at some point and you’ll be left with a denial letter or email, usually stating something along the lines of “too many recent inquiries”.

You may be tempted to hang your head and rue a missed opportunity at even more miles…

DON’T! 

As any seasoned veteran will tell you, you haven’t earned your stripes until you’ve made the reconsideration phone call!

You may be nervous or timid about making the reconsideration phone call, and that is understandable.  But don’t worry, it gets easier each time, and I can happily say that after many of these calls, I’m still batting 100%.

Just like everything else in life, its all about confidence; you feeling confident in your answers and reasoning, which in turn makes the credit card companies feel confident in you as a customer.

So follow the rules below, crush the reconsideration phone call, and watch your miles balance go up, up, up!

1.  Chat up the reps. 

Seems simple, but these folks put up with a ton of crap each and every day.  Just being nice and pleasant already puts you ahead of the curve and if you treat them like a real human with an actual personality, you’re in the top 10%.

When I call in, it always somehow comes up that I’m living in Japan.  Usually, the reps find this interesting and enjoys asking me further questions about it (how long have you been doing that, do you enjoy it, where do you live in Japan, etc.).

If you’ve read any of this blog, you know I love to talk and so I happily oblige them with some friendly chatter.  Not only does it make the phone call more enjoyable for me, but I’m willing to bet it that they enjoy it even more than me.

No, not because I’m some super interesting, awesome person but as soon as they hang up with me, they’ll be fielding another call from a potential pain in the ass, so the longer they can converse pleasantly, the better.

Is this the reason that I’ve also gotten approved?  Probably not, but the reps are empowered to make decisions so coming off as friendly and good-natured certainly can’t hurt!

2.  Always go in with a plan.

If you have a few cards with a company, oftentimes they won’t mind approving you for a new card but they might not want to give you more total credit.

To remedy this, they might ask you to move some of your credit from one card to the new card that you are applying for or to close out an old card and use that credit line for the new card.

Know ahead of time which card(s) you would prefer to move some credit from or which card you’d be willing to close.  Don’t offer to do this right away, but also don’t go in blind.

Know how you plan to answer these basic questions should they arise and it will make the rep that much more inclined to approve your request.  Bumbling idiots don’t inspire confidence with creditors.

3.  Know a few benefits about each card. 

If you’re like me and don’t wish to close out any accounts, know the key benefits about each card.

That way, instead of simply saying “I like having all those pretty cards in my wallet” you can say “I really enjoy using all my Chase cards because X card gives me _________, Y card is great for __________, and Z I use for ___________.”

Real life example:

I love my Chase Sapphire Preferred because it has no foreign transaction fees so I always use it when I travel abroad.  I always use my Chase Ink Bold for all my office supplies, since I get a 5x bonus for shopping at places like Staples, and the Chase United Explorer is my go-to card when I’m buying tickets on United since I get 2x for every $1 spent.  And since I live in New York, a United hub, I’m always flying with them!

4.  Never mention the signup bonus. 

Sure, the real reason you might want the new card is because of the signup bonus, but never tell the rep that.  Credit card companies don’t want people who are in for the quick “wham, bam, thank you credit card man”, they want loyal customers who will spend on their cards.

This is what makes rule #3 so important.  Give the representative a reason or two that you need the new card (other than the signup bonus) and you’ll impress the rep and move a lot closer to a successful reconsideration call.

5.  Don’t give up a credit line unless they explicitly tell you have to.

In rule #2, I told you to be prepared to move credit or close a different card, but this doesn’t mean you have offer it outright.  Oftentimes, a rep will politely steer you towards closing an account (“Are there any accounts that you have with us that you may not use as much or may not need?”).

Instead of getting flustered or panicky and giving up an account right away, hit them with the reasons you outlined in rule #3 and tell the rep why you like each card.

Sometimes just this little bit of knowledge and confidence will be enough for the rep to grant you the new card without shifting any credit or closing an account.  If that happens, great!  You’ve really scored on your reconsideration call.

Other times, they may say that you they just can’t give you any more total credit.  If that is the case, always try to first move some credit from one of your other cards to the new card but keep them both open.

If that doesn’t work, only then agree to close one of your accounts to get the new card.

6.  If you get a rep that is unhelpful, incompetent, or just plain mean, hang up and call back. 

One of the biggest mistakes people make is panicking and thinking that they have to make a decision at that instant.  You don’t!

If the reconsideration call isn’t going the way you want it to, either because the representative is refusing to listen to you, seems unwilling to give you the card, or simply doesn’t understand what is going on, then just tell them thank you, hang up, and try again.

There are thousands of customer service representatives out there, so it’s not worth your time or aggravation to deal with one that isn’t working for you.  Don’t feel compelled to agree to anything at that moment.

Hang up, collect yourself, and call back.  I’ve done this multiple times, and every time, I’ve been glad I have.

Ok, so what are you waiting for?  You’ve read the rules…you can’t be stopped!  Make your plan and get to crushing your reconsideration phone call.

Do you have any rules or methods you follow when making a reconsideration call?  Have you had success in the past?  By all means, please share it below in the comments for the rest of the EPoP community so that we can all see our mile balances soar!

Reconsideration Numbers:

Important note:

Citi has recently become much better at reconsideration phone calls.  Feel free to call the number instead of writing.

Chase Credit Card Reconsideration

  • 1-888-245-0625 (reconsideration line for personal cards, open 7 days)
  • 1-800-453-9719 (reconsideration line for business cards, only open M-F)

Citibank Credit Card Reconsideration

  • 1-800-763-9795

American Express Credit Card Reconsideration

  • 1-866-314-0237 (application reconsideration department)
  • 1-877-399-3083 (new accounts)

Bank of America Credit Card Reconsideration

  •  1-866-458-8805 (credit analyst and reconsideration)
  • 1-877-721-9405 (application status)

Barclays Credit Card Reconsideration

  • 1-866-369-1283 (credit card reconsideration)

image courtesy of Emily E. Cline


Comments

  1. Great article with lots of good tips. I am hoping you can help me out with a call I know I’ll have to make to Chase shortly. I currently have the Chase One Pass Mastercard, the Sapphire Preferred and the Marriott Premier. All are recent, within the last year. Marriott was opened in Nov.

    I want to apply for the new Explorer Visa. I have a chance for 50K United miles. I am perfectly willing to give up the OnePass for it. Since the OnePass and the Explorer have the same benefits…what can I use as a reason for switching? The only difference is that one is a MasterCard and the other is a Visa.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Tom

    • @Tom- Glad you liked the article. Let me know if you have any other tips to add!

      As far as advice, I’d try to get the United Explorer without giving up anything. It might work. Sometimes a rep who isn’t as with it might not even know the United Explorer and the OnePass are virtually the same card. If you do have to explain why you want both, I’d definitely state that the United Explorer is a Visa and the OnePass is a Mastercard. You can mention that there have been a few merchants that you’ve been to that won’t accept Mastercard, and so you’d like a Visa. If you need a specific example, I know for a fact that Dollar Tree doesn’t accept Mastercard but does accept Visa. I know its just one place, and just a dollar store, but I’d be fairly confident if you first told them that the cards were two different companies, and then backed it up with a specific example, that they’d see that as a very compelling argument.

      Let me know if I can help in any other way, and definitely check back in and let us know how it goes! Good luck!

  2. i’d say #1 cheer up rep is SUPER important as I manage a team in a call center for 2 years. treat them well, you will be paid back i promise you. each rep has their own authorization and flexibility of approve your re-consideration request or decline it.

    • @Ben- Thanks for the “insider info”. I always wondered exactly how much that mattered. Looks like my hunch that it mattered alot is true after all! Makes sense…shouldn’t we be nice to other people anyway, after all?

    • Jerry Mandel says:

      1. Need Capital One reconsideration phone number. 2. Reps don’t seem to have any authorization. They always contact a supervisor for a decision.

  3. Thanks for your great tips – I just called the reconsideration line and this really helped. One question – can you call a reconsideration line for your spouse or do they need to call themselves? Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks!

    • @Joe- I don’t have personal experience trying it, but my feeling is that the person whose name is on the application will probably have to be the one calling in. Of course, it can’t hurt to try, and if they say no, then just hand the phone to your wife and coach her through it! Let me know if you find out for sure either way. That’d be a great little tidbit of info.

      • @Trav- I called, they said my wife needed to be there when I called (she was out at the time). I assume they verify identity and then will let someone else do the talking.

  4. Great info on your blog… Kudos!

    A few quick question about the cards:

    1) Do you cancel the different cards right before the anniversary date? Curious what you meant by not wanting to close down another account in order to be reconsidered for a new app.

    2) Is there any reason not to cancel them after you reach the spend (Aside from the obvious that you don’t want to raise a red flag)? Seems you’d need to close a chase xxx card before you could apply for a new one.

    3) As for business cards, my wife and I have an LLC as well as each our own side businesses that we DBA under our socials. Any reason we can’t each apply for personal cards, business cards for the DBAs, and ALSO the LLC?

    Thanks in advance. Keep up the great work!

    • @Scott- Great questions! Here are my thoughts:

      1. I only cancel cards that I don’t think are worth the annual fee. For example, the Barclays USAir card gives you 10,000 USAir miles each year on your anniversary, so I feel that this evens out the $89 annual fee, and so I’ll keep it open. I also won’t cancel a card if it is one I use for everyday spending and has good category bonuses, such as the Chase Sapphire. I WILL cancel cards if I neither of these two things apply. An example of this would be my Chase Ink Bold. It doesn’t give any anniversary perks and I don’t specifically use it for certain spend enough to justify keeping it open.

      2. I always keep them open until at least the 1 year anniversary even if I am planning on canceling just so I don’t raise red flags. With Chase, you can only ever get the bonus for a certain card once, so whether you close it or leave it open doesn’t matter because you won’t be able to get that specific card signup bonus again anyway (except under extreme circumstances).

      3. This is the age old question. I personally don’t have experience with this because I only have one side business and I use my social. I have been able to get both a personal card and a business card of the same card (i.e. Chase Southwest personal and Chase Southwest business) with this. I’ve read that people who try to “triple dip” (using their social for personal and one side business) and the EIN for their LLC have been unsuccessful. However, I can’t say that this is for sure. I would say with a high degree of confidence that yes, you can get at least 1 personal and 1 business for yourself and 1 personal and 1 business for your wife. Getting that card for the LLC may prove to be tricky, though. If you decide to do it, please let me know how it turns out, as I’ll be starting my own LLC shortly and would love to know!

  5. Great post! I generally agree with your points, except for the part in #5 about generally not closing an account unless absolutely necessary. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to volunteer to close an account and move the LOC to the new card (especially if you were planning to close the old account anyway). That complies with your rule #2–go in with a plan!

    • @bf- Thanks, and I agree with you; if you want to close the account anyway (usually if the annual fee is coming up) than doing it while you are trying to get reconsidered is a good way to go about it. If you don’t want to close it just yet than I’d keep it open until you wanted to close it so that you keep that extra bargaining chip!

  6. A friend of mine applied for the Hilton American Express Hilton HHonors card, and has a short credit history of 2 years. He has a credit score of 715, and has 6 recent inquries in the last 6 months. He called up and was denied by the first representative. The 2nd representative sent it for review, and he got a letter in the mail recently saying he is rejected. Is this something we should continue to follow up with somehow? It seems weird to me to be rejected with a 715 credit score for those reasons. He has no previous relationship with amex and told them he wants to try to build one.

    • @Rob- When he got the letter in the mail, what was the reason that was stated for his denial? After finding this out (I’m assuming it was “too many recent inquiries”, but it could be something else) I would call back Amex again and try one more time to explain the situation. Definitely be persistent in saying that he wants to build a relationship with Amex and maybe even list the reasoning behind getting all the other cards recently. The more you show them you know, the better.

      As always, it may not work, and he may still get denied, but it can’t hurt to try. If he does get denied again, he can probably still get the card, but he’ll have to wait 3 months until all his other recent inquiries are older.

  7. To make it clear, he received a denial letter in the mail first. Then he called up reconsideration, then got a 2nd denial letter in the mail.

    Both denial letters listed # of recent inquiries, length of account history, lack of installment accounts.

    When he called reconsideration and explained the recent inquiries, he said he didn’t understand why lack of installment accounts hurt him, and said that he knows his credit is only 2 years old but he has a good credit score and wants to try to establish a relationship with amex. Then the representative sent it for reconsideration, and he got the 2nd letter in the mail stating the same reasons.

    Do you think we can still call up after the 2nd denial letter?

    • @Rob- I’d say give it one more shot, if he is up for it. That’s the one major strike against Amex and Citi; their reconsideration line isn’t nearly as easy as Chase. If he really wants the card though, it can’t hurt to call up again and ask. If not, he could try again at a later date.

  8. Hi I applied for a citi business card and got declined and you write that it’s not worth calling them but rather write a letter can you give me an example of what to write and do you know if it helps
    Thanks
    Jack

    • @Jack- Sure, below is exactly what I wrote. Not sure how well it will be formatted, so if you’d like me to send you a copy via email, shoot me a message at trav@extrapackofpeanuts.com. As far as whether it will help or not, I can’t say. I didn’t get approved after the letter, but maybe you will. It can’t hurt.

      CitiBank Executive Review Department
      P.O. Box 6000
      Sioux Falls, SD 57117

      To Whom It May Concern:

      I am writing in regards to account number ***************, which is an application for a Citi/AAdvantage Business Card made on November 8, 2011. I received an email on November 11, 2011 which stated that I was denied due to “too many credit inquiries.” I would greatly appreciate it if you could reconsider my application, based on the following reasons.

      I opened up a Citi/AAdvantage personal card in July, 2011 and have thoroughly enjoyed the benefits of the card and the service Citi has provided. I enjoyed the card so much that I have actually gotten both of my parents, my sister, and two of my friends to apply for the card, all of which were approved immediately. As am I, all have been completely satisfied with the service of Citi and look forward to continuing the relationship for many years.

      Personally, I have never once missed a payment and highly value my relation with your company. That is why, when looking to separate my business expenses from my personal expenses, and to get my first business credit card, the Citi/AAdvantage card was my first choice. While the company at this point is small, I would like to attempt to grow and expand, and getting a business credit card is the first step towards that goal. I would love for this to happen with the financial backing of Citi.
      I am also willing to redistribute some of my personal credit line towards the business credit line if this would be necessary. I have found Citi to be very generous in their credit limit for the personal card and am not in need of such a high credit line on that card.

      I would greatly appreciate if someone could contact me directly regarding this inquiry. As I am currently traveling quite a bit, email would be preferable. However, it is completely understandable that, if for confidentiality reasons, a phone call is necessary. I can be contacted at ************* or by phone at ***************. I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

  9. Jerry Mandel says:

    A good reason is to switch from a card that doesn’t give first bag checked free (good for family with you, too.) to one that does give free check, The savings will more than pay for the annual fees.

    • @Jerry Mandel- That’s a good point. I usually use the reasoning that “I like the 2x on this airline because I’ll be flying it more now since ___________ (insert reason)” as why I want a different card but the free checked bag works well also. And if you travel more than once, that will easily pay for the annual fee!

  10. Jerry Mandel says:

    I got at turndown from Citi. Another reason to switch is that we shop at Sam’s Club which will take Master Card but not Visa.

    • @Jerry Mandel- Very true. That’s a great line to use when trying to grab a Mastercard. Good luck with your reconsideration.

  11. Actually, I had a good experience with the CIti reconsideration line – I applied for my first Citi card, and was initially turned down because my credit report showed that I didn’t have any balances, and thus didn’t use my cards! This is because I pay everything off so quickly that it looked as if I didn’t use any of my cards…I asked to speak to a supervisor, who agreed with me that it was silly to decline me for paying off my balances so quickly, and who was able to approve me for the card.

    So it is possible to get approved for a Citi card over the phone – but ask for a supervisor!

    • @Ben- Wow, that’s amazing! I’ve never heard of anything getting done over their phone line. Thanks for letting us know this little work-around. Let’s hope that this means the turning over of a new leaf for Citi and isn’t just a flukey one-time thing.

      Thanks again for telling us how you did it so that others can hopefully enjoy the same experience from Citi!

  12. Your advice is so valuable and useful for Chase cards.. Their reconsideration lines can work if you go with a right strategy. Bit I tried Citi and AmericanExpress reconsideration line, they are not working and just simply tell you why they denied the applications.

    • @Carol- I completely agree that Chase is definitely at the top when it comes to reconsideration phone calls and customer service in general. I’ve had some luck with Amex (although strangely, they are the ones that usually instantly approve me). I’ve never had any success with Citi at all. A reader told me the other day that they were able to get reconsidered and approved over the phone with Citi, so I was hoping that it was a sign of things to come, but I’m not holding my breath.

      That’s one of the main reasons I focus most of my earning with Chase cards. The others just make it too difficult.

    • Jerry Mandel says:

      I just got turned down for a Citi AAdvantage business MC. The lady told me that I had a number of business cards on my credit report. I told her they were old ones from years ago and to look at the dates of those cards. She did and I was right and got the new MC cards. Actually, I was switching from a VISA business card to a MC business card.

      • @Jerry Mandel- Did you get the sign up bonus if you were switching from the VISA business card to the MC business card?

        • Jerry Mandel says:

          I got a postal mail invitation for 40,000 bonus miles after $3,000 spending in 3 months on a Citi AAdvantage business MC. So, I’ll have to wait until then. If I don’t get the miles, I’ll call Citi about it. I already got the 50,000 bonus miles from the VISA business card.

          • @Jerry Mandel- I’d love to hear how it goes. I only got the Visa a year ago and haven’t been able to get the Amex yet. If you get the bonus, that’ll be huge!

  13. Jerry Mandel says:

    I not only had the bonus from the Citi AA business VISA but, after I switched from that one to the MC, they gave me the bonus for the MC. I guess I won’t complain about that.

  14. Am I the first one to get approved for a Citi card using the consideration line? Doubt it. Anyway I was declined a Citi card ( Hilton) due to maximum available credit ( utilization is low) and received the letter like a week later. My plan, I decided to call the consideration line and if not then write a letter. But I called 1.866.606.2787 ( in SD ) and was transferred to a very nice rep. She looked at my account and decided that I could move some CL around. Took less than 5 min and was approved!

    • @JLL- Interesting you should bring that up, because two days ago, I actually called the Citi Reconsideration Line as well and it was as painless as can be. They simply asked me to shift a credit line over and I got the card, just like that.

      I was speechless!

      I actually wasn’t denied the card, I just called right after I applied to expedite the process, and like I said, it went super smooth. It’s good to know it worked for an actual denial as well.

      Looks like all those bad things I said about Citi might have to be revised. Times, they are a changing!

  15. Trav,

    I just tried the SW plus personal and business card app and sure enough in a couple of days got a letter saying too many inquires on the business, was really bummed out. I just received the personal card today, however they said they had to close one of my other chase cards Chase Slate to get this one. It didnt matter since I never used it anyway, and dont know why I even got it, it was before I started reading you blog and found out about the whole world of rewards. What made me do it was when BOA said they were going to charge $5 for using the online bill pay, so the rest is history, the main thing I wanted to share was that I revisited your email about the reconsideration line. I got all my ducks in a row had my plan laid out and called the number to Chase reconsideration line. All he did was review my application and ask what kind of business I had and how much revenue I had and how much money I made by working. Slam Bam Thank You ma’m I was approved and the cards in the mail.
    One final thing, I tried to open and Amazon Pay account for my wife and all went well until they asked for a web page and since I did not know what they wanted I left it blank and it would not accept the application because of it. Any ideas of what they want or did I do it wrong

    thanks
    ron

  16. Just a note to say thanks again Travis. Used your 6 tips to get reconsideration for the SW business premier card. Looking forward to grabbing the companion pass in January!

    • @Leigh- Excellent! Well done…and have fun with that Companion Pass. Hardest part is figuring out where to go…so many options!

  17. I applied for Chase Sapphire Preferred card this past Saturday night, but got a “Thank you for applying, please be patient while we review your application further.”
    WHAT?!?!?!?!?!!!!

    I was not going to sit around for 30 days & wait, so I called the reconsideration line. The girl told me that the reconsideration department is closed, and call back on Monday. So today is Monday…
    I called first thing in the morning, and after answering few questions, they approved my card! WooHoo! It will be at my house in 7 business days, she said.

    Now I wish I would’ve signed up for the card sooner because I have a lot of holiday spending coming up very shortly…

    Thanks, Trav!

    • @Eric Oh- That a boy! Well done my friend. The card should be coming sooner than that though, just be on the lookout.

  18. I just applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and called their recon line right after. I was told I was not approved because of short credit history (1 year), so I just hanged up. I felt like a horrible person for doing that :’( I will try calling again a few hours later (paranoid parrot not wanting to get same rep again). Hopefully the rep didn’t just decline my application right there and there.

    • @Jose- All you can do is try, try again. I don’t think you’ll get the same rep, and if you did, you could say you got disconnected. Good luck!

  19. Jerry Mandel says:

    1. Do you have a number for Capital One reconsideration?
    2. You showed 1-866-369-1283 for Barclays. Another source shows 1-866-408-4064. Why the difference?
    3. Cap One seems to turn everyone down for too many inquiries

    • @Jerry Mandel- I think the Barclays one I have is out of date, and no, I don’t have a Cap1 reconsideration number unfortunately. If you find one and post it here, I’ll make sure to update it.

  20. Richard says:

    Was just denied a credit line increase for my chase freedom card most likely because of to many inquiries. Do i need to wait for the denial letter before I call the reconsideration hot line?

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