If you’re a credit newbie or have an exceptional credit score, you might have received one of the 4 billion “preapproved credit card” offers mailed out each year, according to The Boston Globe. The allure of a bigger spending capacity — not to mention getting rewarded for racking up charges in cash-back perks and travel miles — can be enough to have you sending credit card applications through priority express.
But as more experienced credit card applicants quickly realize, a preapproved credit card offer isn’t as clean cut as it might appear. However, a bit of persistence, calculated persuasion and a little-known phone number might help you triumph in a credit card reconsideration appeal.
Silver Lining for Denied Credit Card Applicants
Despite sneaky claims on preapproved credit card offers, credit card companies, as a matter of practice, always run through another screening process to determine if you’re truly worthy of a new line of credit. Sometimes, the decision doesn’t fall in your favor.
Most major credit card issuers offer denied applicants a chance to talk to a live representative about why their credit card applications should be approved.
Here’s a directory of credit card reconsideration lines for the biggest card issuers, courtesy of The Points Guy:
American Express (877) 399-3083 – New application status
Bank Of America (866) 458-8805 – General account and reconsideration line
Barclay’s Credit Card (888) 232-0780 – General card services and application line; dial option 3 for application status
Capital One (800) 625-7866 – Application services line
Chase (888) 871-4649 or (888) 245-0625 or (888) 609-7805 – Reconsideration (personal cards)
Citibank Credit Card (800) 695-5171 – Personal application status and reconsideration line with live representative
US Bank (800) 947-1444 – Credit card underwriting services
3 Tips When Calling a Credit Card Reconsideration Hotline
Before dialing in all the reasons why you deserve — nay, have the right to get approved for — a credit card, take a step back and make sure you’re heading into battle with a solid plan. This is no place for abrasive tactics or “gimme-gimme” pleas. It’s a place to ensure they’ve got the facts on your application right and your personal intentions straight to make a fair judgment on your creditworthiness.
1. Remind Them of Why They Need Your Business
Loyalty goes a long way when it comes to convincing a credit card company that your business is worth its time. If you’re still relying on the credit card you first opened in college or if this would be your first account, Chris Mettler, founder and president of CompareCards.com, shared some sample dialogue to exchange over the phone:
“For someone who has no open credit cards on their credit report, [you] can say something like, ‘I was really hoping to get my application reconsidered, because I want to keep this credit card account open for as long as possible so it will eventually play the part of my longest running open account,’ (which will help with your credit history),” Mettler said.
This strategy is also influential if you’re seeking a credit card from a company with which you have other accounts, like a checking product or auto loan. Emphasize that you’ve enjoyed the company’s products in the past and that you’re interested in deepening the relationship.
2. Reinforce Why You Prefer Their Product
Speaking of enjoying the products, explain why you’re particularly interested in getting a credit card approval from the issuer. Is it a travel rewards credit card? Note your bicoastal lifestyle and specific points about the card that you find unique.
Mettler offered an example of personal, but specific reasons you can use (if applicable) in a credit card reconsideration call.
“Express to the representative why or how a new line of credit will greatly help you in your efforts to improve your credit score,” Mettler said. “For example, you may say something like, ‘a new line of credit will greatly improve my credit utilization ratio so I can focus my attention on paying down my debts.’”
It’s a forthcoming approach that shows how much you would value this mutual relationship.
3. Don’t Get Belligerent
Bear in mind that the person on the other line is deciding the final fate of your credit card application. Don’t initiate the conversation with guns ablaze in a defiant, rude tone. Stay polite, yet confident in your dialogue and refrain from cutting the representative off.
Patiently listen to what he has to say, and have talking points prepared to defend your reputation as a current or future customer.
In Favor of Credit Card Reconsiderations
A common assumption about denied credit card applicants is that you don’t deserve a new line of credit due to a past financial transgression or poor money management. However, credit score algorithms are not infallible, and have been known to penalize those who have managed their money perfectly without debt, just because they have yet to establish credit.
Whatever your personal circumstances, phoning a credit card’s reconsideration line might be your ticket to raising your credit score and reaping many benefits that high-yield, high-reward credit cards offer.