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Credit Card Reconsideration Lines for Credit Card Denials

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Applying for a new credit card is exciting, whether it’s a rewards card with a stellar sign-up bonus or a balance transfer card that can help consolidate your existing debt. You’ve weighed your credit card options carefully before you apply, but within minutes of clicking the “submit application” button, you’re hit with the unexpected — a message that says “your application requires further processing.” Or even worse, “application declined.”

Fortunately, you’re not necessarily at a complete dead end. Calling the credit card reconsideration line is an option that may be worth your time, and could result in an approved application.

Simply put: Credit card reconsideration occurs when you ask a credit card issuer to reconsider your credit card application after receiving a denial.

When you apply for a credit card online, you can often receive an answer within minutes of submitting the application. But whether you’re approved or denied for the card will depend on various requirements set by the issuer, including income, credit score, housing payments and more.

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Tip


If you’re waiting for a decision after applying for a credit card from a major issuer, see how to check your application status online or over the phone.

If your application is rejected, it’s important to find out why so you can address any outstanding issues. In fact, credit card companies are legally obligated to inform you why your application was denied with an adverse action notice. This is typically in the form of a letter, which you can expect to receive in the mail within seven to 10 days of your denial.

If you believe your application was denied due to an error, you can contact the credit card company’s reconsideration line via phone. This allows you to speak directly with a live person about your application.

There are many reasons why some applications need additional processing or are flat-out denied. Some common reasons for credit card denial include:

  • Low credit score: Banks are more likely to decline you if your credit score isn’t in line with their requirements. If you have bad credit, starting with a secured credit card may be your best option.
  • Limited credit history: If you’re new to credit or have a limited credit profile, it’s difficult for a creditor to determine your creditworthiness and the likelihood that you’ll repay your debt. To help increase your approval chances, consider a card designed for limited or no credit history.
  • Too much debt: If your debt-to-income ratio is on the higher end of the spectrum, it may signal to creditors that you won’t be able to meet your monthly credit card payments. To help get your debt under control, consider using a strategy for becoming debt-free, like the debt snowball method.
  • Too many recent new accounts: If a lender sees multiple recent inquiries on your credit reports, it might signal that you’re desperate for credit and unlikely to pay back what you borrow.
  • Insufficient income: Credit card issuers require proof of income to help ensure you’ll be able to afford to pay your monthly credit card bill.
  • History of late payments: Payment history is the most important factor affecting your credit score. So if you have multiple late payments on your credit report, this could be seen as a sign that you may not be good at managing your finances well.
  • Human error in completing the application: Did you make a typo as you entered the information? Perhaps you added an extra letter to your name, reversed the numbers in your Social Security number, or entered the wrong year for your birthdate.
  • Chase’s 5/24 Rule: When you apply for a Chase credit card you may be flagged because of this unwritten policy that they enforce. Chase doesn’t approve new accounts if you’ve opened five or more accounts (at any bank) within the previous 24 months. You may need to do a little math to decide the best time to open a Chase card, especially if you’re taking advantage of a sign-up bonus or a 0% APR credit card.

If your application is denied, you can either accept the decision or get in touch with the issuer via the contact information provided in the adverse action letter. Asking the bank to reconsider your application comes with little risk. The upside is that you get a card that offers a nice sign-up bonus or travel rewards — while the downside, simply, is that the issuer may say there’s nothing they can do.

Your adverse action letter will include the reason for your application denial as well as the issuer’s contact information. But if you think there was a mistake on your application or you have other financial information that could help prove your case for approval, you should reach out to the issuer’s credit card reconsideration line right away.

Here’s a current list of reconsideration phone numbers for the top credit card issuers (keep in mind that these can change frequently):

Credit Card IssuerReconsideration Phone Number
Chase reconsideration line 888-609-7805
Capital One reconsideration line 800-625-7866
American Express reconsideration line 800-567-1083
Citi reconsideration line 800-695-5171
Bank of America reconsideration line 866-866-2059
Barclays reconsideration line 877-523-0478
Discover reconsideration line 800-347-2683
U.S. Bank reconsideration line 800-947-1444
Wells Fargo reconsideration line 800-967-9521
HSBC reconsideration line 888-385-8916
USAA reconsideration line 800-538-722
PNC reconsideration line 800-762-5684
First National Bank reconsideration line 888-530-3626
Alliant reconsideration line 800-328-1935

Can’t find the issuer’s reconsideration phone number?


Call the customer service number on their website. Ask a representative to transfer you to the credit card reconsideration department.

It’s important to be prepared when you ask to be reconsidered for a credit card. You should have information ready to make the case for why they should give you a second chance and approve your application.

1. State your name and why you’re calling
      • “Hello, my name is John Smith and I’m calling about my recent credit card application.”
2. Tell them why you’re an ideal cardholder
      • “I have a perfect payment history and good credit, so I was surprised that I was denied.”
      • “I always pay my balance in full.”
      • “I keep my credit card balances low.”
      • “I have a credit history of eight years.”
3. Mention the denial reason and how you can overcome the issue
      • “I see that my application was denied because of too many recent accounts. This may be because I took out a car loan two months ago. My credit report shows that I always pay my car loan on time and I will do the same with this one.”
      • “The letter I received said that my credit history is limited. This is true since I’ve just finished college and this is the second credit card I’ve ever applied for. While I don’t have other financial obligations, my credit report reflects a perfect payment history.”
4. Ask that they reconsider your application
      • “Could you take a look at my application and see if it can be approved?”
      • “Is it possible for you to take another look at my application to see if it can be approved?”
5. Thank them for their help
    • “I appreciate your time and help today.”
    • “Thank you for helping get my credit card application approved.”

Here’s an example of a short script which you can use when you call.

“Hello, my name is (say your name) and I’m calling about my application for (credit card name). I have a great payment history, but was recently denied. I applied on (date of application) and received a denial (online/by mail/by phone). From the letter I see that I was denied because (state reason here). I believe this is because (explanation of the issue that caused the denial). Could you take another look at my application and see if there’s any way you can approve it?

Use this as a guide, more than a strictly followed script. Let the conversation flow naturally, while using it as a reminder to touch on the main points during the call.

Be polite. Put on a smile and be friendly to the customer service agent. The truth is, they don’t need you as a customer as much as you want to be their customer.

Explain why they should reconsider you. Take some time to understand what the denial letter says. For example, if it states that you have a limited credit history, you can remind them that your credit history shows that you’ve never missed a payment in the 18 months that you’ve used credit.

If you’re opening a second card with an issuer, ask them to take a look at your spending and payment history of your other card.

Of course, you should only use information that makes your case stronger. If you don’t have a strong record of payments, don’t bring attention to your payment history.

Be open to negotiations. If the credit card issuer is still on the fence and leaning towards denial, consider negotiating with them. Let’s say you want to open the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and already have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with a $5,000 credit limit. Ask if they’re willing to let you open the new card, but without a credit limit increase. This could be done by splitting the credit limit between the two cards.

Call sooner rather than later, but after getting the letter. Since the letter will give a reason for the application denial, it’s helpful to know the issuer’s reason before calling. However, it’s better to call the reconsideration line within a day or two to complete the process.

If a phone call isn’t convenient, here are some alternative ways to communicate about your credit card application.

Online chat

Contacting the issuer through an online chat is easy and time efficient. Live customer service reps may be able to escalate issues even if they can’t help you immediately. They also tend to be available outside normal business hours.

Online contact form

It may take longer to get a response from an online contact form, but it’s available 24/7. You also have the space to explain your request in full without having to answer questions.

Contact methods listed in your denial explanation letter

This is your best bet if you can wait seven to 10 days for the letter. It explains why the issuer didn’t approve your credit card application and offers additional contact methods.

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Alternatives to credit card reconsideration

Every reconsideration situation is unique. It can take seven to 10 days to receive a denial letter in the mail. Once you call the reconsideration line, you could get a decision as early as the same day.

Some credit card issuers perform another hard credit pull when you ask for reconsideration. The customer service rep should state that they will do this, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and ask them.

It’s best to start the reconsideration process as soon as possible. But if you know the reason for the denial, you can be better prepared when you call the reconsideration line. Therefore, you may want to wait to call until you receive the adverse action letter from the issuer.