What to Do if You Get a Credit Card Denial


You’ve researched several credit cards and spent more time than you should be deciding on which card to apply for next. You fill out the application, hit submit, and wait with bated breath. (It’s kind of a thrill, right?) And suddenly, something that has never happened before happens. You get denied. It’s almost a personal affront, you have good credit, you pay on time and someone has the audacity to deny you. Don’t worry! It happens to all of us – don’t let it derail you on your points and miles journey. Here’s what you should do if you get a credit card denial.


Call the Reconsideration Line

Sometimes, if you call the credit card company and ask why you weren’t approved, it will end up a simple fix. Maybe that bank has loaned you their maximum amount. If you suggest that they lower the credit amount on one of your cards, that may open it up for you to have another card with them. This has been the reason for many people’s denials and then approvals.

Sometimes they just need more information. Verification of your address or name. Maybe you accidentally put your social security number incorrectly.

If you are applying for a business card, they may want you to send them something with your address on it. This has happened a couple of times to me and I just send in my EIN application and we’ve been good.

The take-home message is this – don’t roll over and accept a credit card denial. A lot of the time they just need more information and it is a simple fix. If not, you’ll know what the problem is and can work on fixing it. I have had a credit denial reversed once I called.


Woman on phone

Always call the reconsideration line if you get a credit card denial to see if they will change their mind.


Know the 5/24 Rule

If you applied for a Chase card and got denied, it might be because you are over their 5/24 rule. If you use Travel Freely and have your credit cards put in there, you will always know where you are in regards to this rule.


Apply For Another Card

Just because one card issuer denied you doesn’t mean another one will deny you. If your credit score is good, chances are another company will approve you. Pick another credit card and apply for it.


Take a Break

Occasionally, you may need to take a break from credit card applications. This happened to a friend of mine. She applied for 5 in a row and then got denied twice from different issuers. She took a 6-month break from applying for cards and got approved with her next application.

I took a break for 9 months from applying for cards just to get under 5/24. During that time, I made sure to use my credit for all my purchases and tried to maximize the earning on my purchases. I also looked into other ways that I could earn points.

We’ve been turned down for having too many cards and too many recent inquires. In those situations, we either move on from that card/issuer for the time being or take a break from new applications for a bit and try again later.


Apply For the Denied Card Again Later On

I was denied the Capital One Venture Card twice before I was approved. My credit score was over 800. I even had a decent amount of money in a Capital One account. I even thought, “How can they?” and was tempted to take my money out. (See we all take a denial personally!) I was pretty frustrated but I waited 6 months (applying for other cards in the meantime) and was approved on my third attempt.

The same thing happened with the Citi Premier Card for my husband. He had a credit score of 800+ and they denied him twice before they approved him. Both these banks are a little quirky so don’t take a denial from them personally. Just move on.


Bottom Line

At some point in your points and miles journey, you will probably get a credit card denial. Don’t be discouraged. Just follow our steps on what you should do when it happens to youl. It is a bump in the road, not the end of the road.

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