Denied For a Credit Card? 5 Steps to Get Your Bank to Change Its Mind

Photo (cc) by Joelk75

Sometimes, banks can get it wrong. Like when you have a high credit score and a strong payment history, but your application for a new credit card is still declined. Perhaps the card has a great sign-up bonus, or maybe it has an outstanding balance transfer offer. So being rejected really hurts.

That’s what happened to me recently when my application for the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card was declined. The most important thing I did was not to lose hope. I kept at it because I know that you can actually call your bank, plead your case, and ask them to take another look.

This process is called reconsideration, and if you have a good credit score, it can actually work. Here’s what to do…

1. Speak to the right department

Before you can make your case, you have to speak to someone with the power to approve your application. So you want to call the bank’s number for new applications and ask to speak with someone about reconsideration.

Here are reconsideration numbers for four of the largest credit card issuers:

  • American Express: 800-962-7227
  • Bank of America: 800-718-6072
  • Chase: 888-245-0625
  • Citi: 800-763-9795

2. Politely ask why you were denied

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), banks are required to offer an explanation when they deny your application based on information from your credit report. In fact, you probably found out about your denial through a letter called an adverse action notice.

Nevertheless, casually ask the representative to explain the reasons for your denial. Don’t challenge him or her, just express your surprise at being denied and inquire out of curiosity.

3. Present your case

After you understand the reason the bank (actually, its computers) denied your application, you have the opportunity to present some information they may not have considered. Start by informing them of your high credit score and excellent payment record, then remind them of any other accounts you hold and how long they’ve been in good standing.

4. Explain why you want the card

I wanted the Chase Sapphire Preferred because it offers one of the 5 Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses, but I wasn’t going to mention that fact – because banks don’t want customers who use a card just for its initial bonus.

Instead, I said how excited I was to try some of the unique features of the card. You can mention a card’s extended warranty coverage, its lack of foreign transaction fees, or its excellent rewards program.

5. Offer suggestions to satisfy their concerns

If you were rejected because you had too many open credit card accounts – which is what happened to me, since I’m always scoping out the best deals – you can suggest that the bank close one that you don’t use and transfer the credit line to the new account. If you were denied for having too much available credit, you can offer to have the bank reduce your credit line on another account. If you currently have a high balance on an existing account, offer to pay it down immediately.

In my case, I let the representative at Chase know that I was willing to close the account of my little-used Southwest Airlines credit card – and I was immediately approved for their excellent Sapphire Preferred card. If it worked for me, it can work for you.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Places Where Social Security Offers the Best Standard of Living
10 Places Where Social Security Offers the Best Standard of Living

These U.S. counties offer retirees a chance to stretch their benefit checks while enjoying their golden years.

8 Ways to Slash the Cost of Homeowners Insurance
8 Ways to Slash the Cost of Homeowners Insurance

Reviewing this critical insurance policy takes a little effort, but it pays off big.

30 Purchases That Will Start Saving You Money Immediately
30 Purchases That Will Start Saving You Money Immediately

Sometimes, you’ve got to spend to save. These canny deals are a good bet for savings.

12 Easy Ways To Make Make Money Online Without Leaving Home
12 Easy Ways To Make Make Money Online Without Leaving Home

If you’re hanging around the house a lot these days — and who isn’t? — use your time to make some extra cash.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

Longer Trips to These Stores May Raise COVID-19 Risk
Longer Trips to These Stores May Raise COVID-19 Risk

An airborne-disease expert recommends leaving this type of store within a half-hour.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021
Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021

More than 700 prescription medications have seen price hikes so far this year. Here’s a look at the worst.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.