In yesterday’s post about signing up for rewards credit cards, I mentioned making a reconsideration call to the bank if you were not instantly approved. Here’s some more information on what exactly a reconsideration call is, why and how you should do it, and the phone numbers you can use to get right through.
Most big banks have special analysts who determine whether or not applicants are approved. If you get a pending result, you can wait for the letter to come in the mail within 30 days, but it’s best to pick up the phone and call one of these agents and explain why you should be approved for the card. You are essentially asking them to expedite the decision by manually looking at your application. If you get a denial initially, it’s also possible to use the reconsideration line to ask for the decision to be reversed.
Reconsideration calls are not as scary as they seem! The analyst will ask you several questions, put you on hold for awhile, and often (hopefully!) they’ll approve you over the phone. We’ve had to make several calls and the majority of the time we have been approved for the card during the call. If The Villain can make his own reconsideration calls, you can do it too. Always answer honestly, and always be polite and friendly to the person on the end of the line.
They will ask you why want the card. Cite specific benefits that you will use that are unique to that card. Do not refer to the sign up bonus, but the ongoing bonuses, such as no foreign transaction fees, category spend, free checked bags, lounge access, etc. I frequently say that it will help me to organize my expenses–i.e. putting different types of expenses on different cards. When we moved we applied for a few new airline cards, so one reason could be that we need to switch airport hubs.
If they tell you they will not be able to approve you, figure out why. If it’s because they’ve already extended you as much credit as they can, offer to lower the credit line on another one of your cards, or potentially even cancel another card if you’re prepared to do that. This is why I often do a churn before my annual fees are due, because I can use cards that I plan to cancel anyway as bargaining chips to open another card with that bank. Another reason banks often give if you’ve been churning awhile is that you have too many recent inquiries. In this case I suggest emphasizing how much you want the card and will use it, as well as bringing up your long relationship with the bank (if you have one). Let them know that you are a loyal customer who has always paid your bills on time. You can also talk about how your spending habits have changed lately, which is why you’ve needed additional cards.
You can always ask for a supervisor if the rep on the phone will not approve you, and then repeat the process with them. I’ve never had to do this, but have read about others having success. You can also usually hang up and call back again. Hopefully you’ll get a different rep who will be willing to approve you!
Bank Reconsideration Line Direct Numbers
Personal: 888-245-0625 (7am-10pm Eastern)
Business: 800-453-9719 (8am-10pm Eastern)
Personal and Business: 877-399-3083 (8am-midnight Eastern)
Personal and Business: 800-947-1444
Personal and Business: 866-408-4064 (8am-midnight)
Bank of America:
Personal: 866-865-7839 (8am-9pm Eastern)
Bottom line: calling the reconsideration line won’t work every time, but you have nothing to lose by trying! You already have the credit inquiry on your credit report, so you may as well try to get it turned in to an approval. Banks want your business and are usually willing to work with you.