Spring Credit Card Reconsideration Phone Calls

Corded Rotary Phone

Earlier today I wrote about my Spring CCC applications.  As I mentioned all three went into pending, which I was somewhat expecting.  This meant I would need to make some Credit Card Reconsideration Phone Calls. I went ahead and called on all three, and this post will serve as a blow by blow of my experience with each bank.

For those of you not familiar with Reconsideration calls they usually connect you with a specific person who is able to make a decision on the card. This might sound nerve-wracking, but most credit specialists are actually pretty nice people to talk to.

Rather than rehash excellent information found elsewhere I’ll direct you instead to the post on Reconsideration lines found on travelsort. I keep referring to this blog for reconsideration and bank phone numbers and Hilary does a great job keeping it up to date.

Call #1: Wells Fargo (800-967-9521)

The first time I called and spoke to someone they said to give the application a few days.  I then tried the above number, which seems to be fully automated. I was asked to verify some of my information (SSN, DOB, etc). and placed on a brief hold. The wonderful computer then spit back just what I wanted to hear: Approved, $9k CL.

Call #2: Chase (Business cards 800-453-9719)

Catching me a bit off guard, the number I called was answered directly by a credit specialist after 2 rings.  After speaking with Marsha and letting her know I wanted to check on the status of my application she asked me to verify my address, and spoke to me about my old address. This confirmed some of my suspicions about my address change causing trouble with these new applications.

Absent was a discussion of the nature of my business (“Professional Services”) and any talk of my income.  I was put on a “brief 3-5 Minute hold” and then Marsha came back with some good news. She was “pretty sure she could get this all wrapped up and approved right now,” She said another brief 3 minute hold would be needed, and I agreed.

True to her word 3 minutes later she came back with the good news, Approved @$15k.  This one surprised even me.  I know that often times Chase treats business lines separate from their Consumer lines, but I didn’t expect a healthy limit like this (especially given the very low 4 digit income I reported for my business).

Call #3 Barclay’s (866-408-4064)

I was connected with a helpful sounding credit specialist named Johnathan. I explained I was checking on my application, and he put me on a brief hold while he looked into my file.  When he came back, he was singing my praises:

“I see here that you’ve been with us as a client for under 2 years, and have never been late or missed a payment, I certainly thank you for that.”  Buttering me up…

“I also see that all of your cards are current, and you have an excellent credit score, and never have been late on paying any of them.”  Music to my ears

“I see that you have opened quite a few cards in the last year (6 or 7 it looks like), and are an Authorized user on many cards as well. Why do you feel you need more credit?” An easy Softball, which I think I smacked out the park with, “I love your bank and your cards, and really want to focus keeping my travel expenditures separated out on the Arrival card.”

I might have thought I hit a home run, but Johnathan yanked me back to reality with, “You seem to have quite a few lines of credit with other banks, don’t you think you have enough cards to keep travel expenses separate?” Hey, Hey, that’s a Low Blow. 

“I think you could argue that, but I don’t think any of those are as good as the Arrival card.” I felt like a sell out telling him that…but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Of all the big banks I feel like Barclay’s phone agents are the most high pressure, and this interaction quickly turned that way.  I’m used to it–and was ready for some grilling, but Johnathan went on and on:

“I do see here that your purchases on your US Airways card seem to be quite large. Can you tell me why your average expenditures on the card have been over $1,000?” OOF… wasn’t expecting this, the balance is $0 and the card is almost never used. “Sure, I like to use the card for large purchases so I remember to pay them off.”

The Dance began, “Large Purchases, I’m looking at further detail on the purchases and I see they’re at Grocery stores. What kind of large purchases are these?” Johnathan asked. This was the point that my fate was sealed. 

“Oh, mostly groceries,” I replied.

“That does seem like a lot of money to be spending on Groceries.” Johnathan acknowledged. I believe as he said this he must have winked, although since we were on the phone I have no proof of said wink.

“I guess it is,” I pushed back, offering little in return.

Johnathan Next Changed directions, and started asking why I was on so many authorized user cards, noting “whoever you’re an authorized user of seems to have just as many cards as you do. Do you really need a new card?”

Playing back I replied, “Is that really a lot of cards? I hadn’t thought it was–but you must see many more credit reports than I do. How many is too many, seeing as how I have no balance on any cards?”

Johnathan beat around the bush letting me know this wasn’t an issue he was bringing up that would directly impact his view of my application, just that he was trying to understand what the need for the new card was.

Around and around we danced. He obviously knew what my deal was–heck he might even read Milenomics and be a believer in the CCC himself.  He placed me on a brief hold and came back with the news I expected, “Obviously you’re not a credit risk at all Mr. Simon, but the decision today is based on the fact that you’ve applied for 6 or 7 cards in the last year, and are a new client of ours as well. Unfortunately we can’t extend you this card based on that factor.”

“What about carving out some of my $19,000 line of credit on the US Airways card?” I shot back with.

“Unfortunately today’s decision is not based on credit worthiness, but rather the number of accounts opened in the past year. For that reason there’s nothing more I can do. We do appreciate your Business Mr. Simon, and would love for you to apply again in the future.

*Sad Trombone*

Marx Brothers

Barclay’s Does a Great Job Keeping a Guy Like Me Out

There’s a Groucho Marx quote I love which ran through my head after my phone call with Johnathan. Marx allegedly sent a telegram to the Friar’s Club resigning his club membership with the line:

“I don’t want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.” 

Let’s be honest, sometimes we win, and sometimes we lose.  Barclay’s analyst saw me for what I am–unprofitable.  I’m already a cardholder, I never use the card I have, and I’ve taken them for 2 sign up bonuses and a 10K anniversary bonus. My wife has done the same– and I’m an AU on her accounts.  There’s nothing to say–except good job Johnathan. 

Seriously, I’m impressed by his ability to look at the situation and see it for what it is. Going out on a decline is a good way to go–a decline is when we should cool off our applications anyway.

All of the above with Barclay’s echos what Nick from PFDigest wrote in the comments of today’s earlier post about his recent experience as well.

Spring CCC Wrap-Up

At the end of the day I’ve got my Wells Fargo card and my Ink Plus, which were the two cards I really needed to get.  For those of you interested in Barclay’s reconsideration calls today’s data point should be a good one to keep in mind for your own apps.


About the author

- Written by Sam Simon. All ideas are my own, but I encourage you to see my point of view and I promise I'll try to do the same. Connect with me on Twitter @Milenomics.


    1. Thanks Kenny. I have it in my calendar to try again next week… Will update if it makes a difference.

    1. Good luck yuneeq. I’ll be calling back a little later, thanks for reminding me about HUCA. What 4 cards did you get? and what’s the 5th?

      1. 1. Citi AA 100k
        2. Chase Ink Bold (already have plus)
        3. United Mileage Plus Explorer
        4. Barclays US Airways. Actually a mistake, wanted an Arrivals card and filled out wrong app. So applied for Arrivals right after with knowledge that Barclays won’t approve two, but hope to switch tomorrow.

        5. Sapphire preferred, not approved, was going for 3bm and this app didn’t go through for some reason. So it was auto-rejected when I reapplied. Will recon tomorrow.

  1. Barclays is really an odd one similar to US Bank. Last year with US Bank, both my wife and myself applied for the Club Carlson. At the time she had an 810 credit score and mine was around 750. I also had many more credit inquires due to new credit cards than her. I get approved for the card and she gets declined. Took care of that by freeze our ARS and IDA.

    One year later, same situation, but not we both have nearly identical credit scores but I still have a lot more credit inquires. This time Barclays won’t approve her for the Arrival card, but mine is instantly approved. Go figure.

  2. Kudos to Johnathan but I hope he’s the exception not the norm. What would you say when calling back next week? The interaction w/ Johnathan would be noted in your file and the next analyst will review it, no?

    1. You’re probably right MWL. I’ve cooled off a bit since yesterday, and I’m going back and forth regarding attempting a second call. I’m expecting a letter saying exactly what Johnathan mentioned, and nothing will have changed in the next two weeks. My only hope would be that I can be persuasive enough on the phone with a different agent.

      Another incredibly annoying thing that Barclay’s does is they will sometimes pull all three CR when you call the reconsideration line. I’ll be checking if they did this when I spoke with Johnathan, and if so I won’t call again. If they did a 3x pull I’ll focus on asking for those 3 hard pulls to be removed instead.

      1. I was declined for an Arrival card after already having 2 US Airways cards. While it’s true I have opened a lot of new cards, I was putting some spend on the 2 US Airways cards and had just paid the annual fee on the first one. I tried the line of telling the analyst “I paid the annual fee on my US Airways card a few months ago I plan on keeping your cards” but he wasn’t having any of it and declined me. The irony is I would have been putting tons of spend on the Arrival had I gotten it.

          1. Just tried for the rehash with Barclay’s- 760+ credit and 2 cards with them- like you, all was doing well on the call until the “you’ve opened 7 accounts in 12 months”…. (sad trombone).

            I asked what would be acceptable, and Greg from Barclay’s told me to take it easy on the opening new accounts for bonuses. If I had 2-3 new accounts over a year, that would be pushing it. Until that happens, guess I have to cross Barclay’s off the list of App O’Ramas.

  3. I did a round of applications on March 20th, and following the advice elsewhere, I applied for US Bank Cash Plus 5% card first (in person, in a branch), then Barclay’s Arrival, and was approved for both. I then tried another Barclay’s card (US Air) and was pending. I called reconsideration right away, but they said I wasn’t denied, just pending, so to be patient.

    Discover IT – approved. Chase Freedom – approved. Chase Ink – no.

    Amex Blue Sky (their entry level card), was a DENIED. I asked on the reconsideration line if there was anything I could provide. “No, nope, no way. You are not getting this card”, were the exact words. Ouch. When i asked why I was denied, he told me twice (the second time slowly like I was stupid), “you’ll get a letter in the mail.”

    1. Mark: I do not. I have never had any accounts with them. I opened the checking account last week (for the $100) and to allow me to apply online for the Cash Back card.

  4. i was denied for the USb carlson biz account. how long do you recommend waiting before reapplying please?

  5. I found the comments on change of address interesting.

    I just changed addresses and USPS is automatically forwarding my mail to the new address. I was planning on not letting my credit card companies know until after the next App-o-rama to avoid any security issues raised by change of address and having to send in proof of address etc. However my wife just applied for the CSP and got me as additional user – cards being forwarded from old address but it seems that Experian were notified and now the new address is on my credit report so I´m guessing I should let the CC companies know about the change. Any tips on this? I don´t want to jeopardize the outcome of the applications I will be doing in a few weeks.

    1. Mario: The CC Companies and almost every business who mails uses a database of address changes provided by the USPS called the National Change of Address (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Change_Of_Address). The USPS mandates that mailers update your address using this list–so they’ll auto-update as soon as you hit that list (about 20-30 days). No way to avoid the new address being updated automatically once that list updates with your new info. Sadly, technology ruins everything!

      An Idea: You could apply with the old address on your next round of applications–but doing so might mean the cards don’t get forwarded (USPS has been known to return CC’s to sender for security reasons). Other than that I’m out of ideas besides getting ready for reconsideration phone calls.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. Hmmm, so am I better off just letting them know now in advance of the applications, should I put the new address in when I apply or just ignore it all and put in my old address and if I have to call the reconsideration lines let them know that my mail is being forwarded!?

        1. I’ve had things get messy with cards being shipped to old addresses, so I wouldn’t rely on the forwarding services of the USPS and would be ready for calls/issues related to that. As I see it you’re looking at phone calls either way–to change your address and request new cards be mailed, or reconsideration calls due to not being instantly approved because of an address mismatch.

          Some applications are nice enough to ask for your previous address, Citi is one of these. Doing that should get you auto-approved. I’d say if you think you’re more likely to be auto-approved vs. reconsideration approved (Barclay’s) you may want to stick with the old address and deal with the issues of cards not being forwarded. If, on the other hand, you’re pretty sure you’ll get approved on reconsideration, or pretty sure you’ll need to call reconsideration anyway, to move around credit lines, etc. then just stick with the new address and save yourself the added hassle of the forwarding issue.

  6. Thanks a lot for your tips – that´s very helpful! I´m pretty confident of getting approved based on usage and credit. My only issue could be that I applied for my last 2 cards (Barclays and US Bank) just over 3 months ago.

  7. Do you know if I can call the Wells Fargo automated line (number you listed) in case i’m denied a credit card? They just need student verification before making a decision (which I will fax that over tomorrow). I want to prepare myself in case I need to do some recon.

    1. Juan: You should be able to, although I’d hope for the approval first and then call only if you’re denied. Asking for more info is usually a good sign since they didn’t flat out say “No.” Best of luck, please update with your final outcome.

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