What Is A Credit Card Reconsideration Line?

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Credit card applications can be denied for a variety of reasons, from having too many open accounts to not having enough credit history. If your credit card application is rejected, don’t panic: It may not be the final decision. 

Many major credit card issuers have a reconsideration line that you can call to shed some light on your eligibility and ask questions regarding your application. Understanding why your application was denied puts you in a strong position to vie for decision reversal. With proper preparation, a quick phone call to a reconsideration line could change the final decision and allow you to be approved after all.

What Is a Credit Card Reconsideration Line?

To be approved for a credit card, you must meet the credit issuer’s requirements for income and creditworthiness. Most credit card application decisions are made automatically through a computer system using the financial and personal data you provide. If you feel the rejection may have been made in error and you actually do qualify for the credit card, you can call the credit card's reconsideration line and speak to someone about your application. This gives you the chance to make a personal appeal to an actual human who will then manually review your application. 

Common Reasons Why Credit Card Applications Are Denied

There are lots of reasons a credit card application may be denied, even when you have excellent credit. Here are a few common ones to consider before asking for an appeal on your application:

  • You don't have enough credit history. Some credit card issuers may not be willing to negotiate on this, even when it comes to secured credit cards.
  • Your loan balances are too high. This is a common cause for an application to be rejected. However, your application may be reconsidered if your credit report hasn't been updated to reflect a recent loan payment.
  • You've applied for too many credit cards recently. You may not have much luck getting this reconsidered, especially if the card issuer has a hard rule about the number of recently opened credit cards that it accepts.
  • Your last delinquency was too recent. You may be able to have this reconsidered if your credit report hasn't been updated to reflect a recent loan payment. 
  • You didn't complete the application. You may be able to qualify after providing the missing information.

In provision with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit card issuers must let you know the reasons why you were denied. They must also tell you that you can receive a free copy of any credit report used in the decision.

When Should I Call the Reconsideration Line?

If you'd like the credit card issuer to reconsider their decision, you may be able to talk to a customer service representative about your application. Talking to someone on the phone doesn't guarantee you'll get approved, but it's worth trying.

It's worth calling for reconsideration if there's a possibility that authorized users—people who are typically tied to your account with a separate credit card in their name—are keeping you from getting approved. For example, card issuers may deny your application if an authorized user account makes it look like you've opened too many accounts recently or if it appears that you already have that specific credit card. Pointing out that you're not personally responsible for those cards can help the creditor card issuer decide in your favor.

You can call the reconsideration line anytime after you've gotten a firm decision, but it may be better to wait until you've received the adverse action letter. The letter will list the major reasons your application was denied, which is helpful for drafting your appeal. It typically arrives in the mail within seven to 10 business days following the denial.

It wouldn't be the best use of time to ask to be reconsidered if you individually were denied for having too many credit cards, opening too many accounts recently, or having a previous default with that card issuer.

How Does a Credit Card Reconsideration Work?

Some credit card issuers have a dedicated phone number for contacting the credit card reconsideration number. This allows you to be directly connected to someone who can speak to you regarding your credit card application. For those that don't, you can call customer service and request to be transferred to the reconsideration department. Find some of the most common credit card issuer customer-service lines below:

American Express 1-800-567-1083
Bank of America 1-800-732-9194
Capital One 1-800-227-4825
Chase 1-800-432-3117
Citibank 1-888-201-4523
Discover 1-800-347-2683
U.S. Bank 1-800-947-1444

What To Say When You Call a Credit Card Reconsideration Line

Asking for credit card reconsideration can be a little stressful, especially if you've never done it before. Start the call by stating the reason for your call: that you recently applied for a credit card and you were unexpectedly rejected. State that you're hoping you can talk to someone about your application and have the decision reconsidered.

Once you have the right person on the line, address the reasons you were denied, why they don’t apply, and why you would be a good cardholder. Using the adverse action letter is key here, as it will give you tangible reasons to discuss. Be sure to be as patient and personable as possible while on the line, too, as the person you are speaking with is often the individual to make the final decision.

Review your credit report before calling the reconsideration line to make sure all the information is accurate and up to date.

Alternatives to Credit Card Reconsideration Lines

Calling the credit card reconsideration doesn't guarantee you'll get a different answer. If the credit card decision doesn't change or you want to skip calling the reconsideration line, there are some other options for getting a credit card.

Wait and Apply Again Later

Understanding the specific reason you were denied can help put you in a better position to apply next time. For example, you may need to wait for some credit inquiries to age off your credit report or pay down some balances before you can be approved in the future. 

Apply for a Different Credit Card

With dozens of credit cards on the market, there's bound to be another credit card that has similar rewards and perks that fit your needs. Or, if you need to establish or rebuild your credit before applying again, consider getting a secured credit card, which may be better suited for your credit profile.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long after denial should I wait before calling the reconsideration line? 

You can call the reconsideration line right after receiving a denial letter. Not being approved right away doesn't mean your application will be rejected.

How many times can I call a reconsideration line? 

Once per credit card application should be sufficient. If you received a firm rejection after your first call, it may be better to apply for a different credit card or wait to apply again.

What hours of the day can I call a reconsideration line? 

While some credit card companies offer 24/7 help lines, business hours are generally the best time to call the reconsideration line. Aim to call Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST. You can also check the credit card issuer's website for its business hours.