At the beginning of the month, I wrote about our newest app-o-rama of credit card applications. I also mentioned that several of my applications were in “up-in-the-air” (pun intended, as this is a travel website!) or pending status. The confirmation emails that I received immediately, post-application, stated a 7-10 day turnaround time for them to notify me of their decision. Chase usually does a good job of sending those denial/approval letters out, and I received a denial letter for the Sapphire Preferred Visa and an acceptance letter for the IHG within that timeline, but for some reason, never received any such letters for the British Airways or the Marriott Rewards Visas.
This past weekend I called Chase to find out what was going on with the other two cards, and spoke with a very helpful customer service representative named, Sabrina. She wasn’t the warmest CSR to begin with, but at least she was helpful. I informed her that I had received my denial letter for the Sapphire Preferred, but did not know the status of my British Airways Visa and Marriott Rewards Visa applications. She informed me that I had indeed been denied for both cards. I then asked if we could begin the reconsideration process, starting with the Sapphire Preferred.
Sapphire Preferred Visa
She stated, hard and fast, that she could do nothing for me in regards to this card, due to the fact that I had opened up 5 new credit card accounts within the past 24 months. I then went into a spiel on why they wouldn't want someone like me, who has good credit, wants to use their card and services, and pays their bills on time, etc. etc. Sabrina stated that it wasn’t something she could go into detail about, and I left it at that, especially considering my prior knowledge of the “5/24 Rule” and having already accepted the high likelihood of denial.
Marriott Rewards Visa
I then inquired about the Marriott card, which she stated was denied due to the fact that I was “picking” or "wanting" (I forget the term, but it was something obvious). All I was thinking while she said this was, “No kidding! You got some great bonus offers, of course I’m [insert whatever the term she was using here]!” She asked if I wanted to go through the reconsideration process and I conveyed that, yes, I wanted to. Sabrina put me on hold for a few minutes, stating that she needed to check my credit report. When she came back on the line, she inquired about several large charges on different cards and what they were for, which I simply explained were purchases we had made for our home, which we recently moved into. Lastly, she stated that I would have to move some credit from my existing line(s) to open the card, and even then, the application still had to be sent off to a verification department. That was fine by me. A representative from that verification department called me today and I was approved, no problemo!
British Airways Visa
By the end of the reconsideration on the last card, Sabrina thought she was done with me. HA, psych! I politely thanked her for her patience and the time she had already spent with me, but then asked if I could start the reconsideration process on this card as well. Right off the bat she was hesitant, and asked me why I needed yet another card from Chase. I honestly mentioned that the offers were really lucrative and that I have lots of traveling planned in the near future. She placed me on another short hold, stating that she needed to check the number of cards that one can open in a 30-day period. Sabrina came back on the line, we moved some credit from my existing credit lines, and voila, approved!
By the end of the call, Sabrina's tone had softened considerably, and she even signed off the phone call with a sweet, "Enjoy your new home!"
I suppose it's one of my personal mottos, as I touched on it a bit on my last post, it truly never hurts to ask. The worse that can happen is that you're not approved for the card. The best case scenario is what I've outlined above. Reconsideration representatives are often intimidating at the onset of a call (part of the job description, maybe?), but if you treat them like any normal human being -- polite, respectful, answering all questions truthfully -- they can soften immeasurably, and that "human-ness" factor can play a part into whether they approve you for the cards you want.
I think there is a life lesson to be learned here as well. Yes, we can approach people by being "nice" to get what we want, or we can simply be kind and respectful, regardless of whether we get what what we want. Too often we are inwardly focused and looking out for ourselves, but I've come to learn that when we humble ourselves and seek the good of others above our own, we may not get what we "want", but sometimes get something much more in return!
*Have you ever had a credit card reconsideration experience? Did it go as smoothly as mine? Or did it crash and burn?