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Good morning everyone. A few weeks ago, I did an 8 card App-O-Rama. One of my top credit cards to apply for was the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card. I previously opened a Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card back in August 2012 which I then downgraded to the Chase Sapphire (Basic) Credit Card in August 2013 which I then converted to the Chase Freedom Credit Card in November 2013. Since I received the sign up bonus back in August 2012, I waited the necessary 24 months to reapply.
When I first received the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card, the sign up bonus was 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after spending $3,000 in 3 months. The current sign up bonus is 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. Long story short, I was low on Chase Ultimate Rewards Points (aren’t we all?) and I had waited long enough to reapply, so I was ready to apply for my second Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card.
Side note: Doctor of Credit and a few other blogs and forums are reporting that Chase has really cracked down on approving applications for people that have more than 5 credit inquiries total during the last 2 years. I (foolishly) ignored those warnings and insisted that my previous 3 years with Chase, 16 total approved Chase credit cards (8 currently open), and reconsideration call skills would be enough to get approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card.
Spoiler alert: it wasn’t enough.
I like to learn from other people’s successes and failures, but I also like to try things myself and see how they go. I sort of live by the philosophy that nothing is impossible unless I try and fail on my own. I know that sounds foolish, but my overconfidence has worked occasionally in the past. Anyway, when I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card online, my application immediately went to pending status.
I googled Chase’s reconsideration number (found on Doctor of Credit) and called them up. I insisted that I did not want/need any more available credit and that I was more than happy to move available credit from 1 or more existing Chase personal credit cards. I told the rep I wanted to consolidate a few airline credit cards into 1 travel rewards credit card (being the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card). The rep took that information, placed me on hold for a few minutes, and came back with bad news that I had too many recent inquiries. I offered to transfer available credit or close my Southwest Plus, British Airways, and United MileagePlus credit cards if that would help, but she said that would not make a difference in my application status. I politely thanked her for her time and hung up. It is important to stay positive even if things don’t go according to plan. I decided to wait for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card denial letter to come in the mail and try my luck again.
During the time since applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card and receiving the denial letter, I opened a Chase Total Checking Account ($300 opening bonus, found on Doctor of Credit). I brought the denial letter to the Chase branch where I opened my Chase Total Checking Account along with my Chase Debit Card, Freedom, British Airways, and United MileagePlus credit cards. I spoke to a personal banker and asked if she would help me overturn my credit card denial. We went to her office and she called Chase. After a 5-6 minute wait, she asked the rep to have the application reopened and reviewed. I mentioned that I was willing to move credit lines around or close some existing Chase personal credit cards, if necessary. A few minutes later, the personal banker handed the phone to me. The rep gave me the same answer as before: too many recent credit inquiries. The rep didn’t ask why I had so many recent credit inquiries or why I wanted the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card. I naively asked when the next best time to reapply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card was, but she did not give me a good answer. Instead, she insisted that I should keep all my current Chase credit cards in good standing and reapply sometime in the future. Her suggestion was extremely vague and not helpful at all. Dejected by another Chase rejection, I tweeted my disappoint to Chase:
@ChaseSupport sad day for me. I couldn’t get approved for the Sapphire Preferred. I have too many other Chase credit cards #chaseaddict
The twitter team was very fast at responding and tweeted me back, saying:
@travelwithgrant Thank you for being a loyal Chase customer! For us to review your application, please DM your name and zip. [name]
I immediately sent Chase a DM (direct message). Here is our Twitter conversation:
Grant: Hi [name], my name is Grant Thomas and my zip code is [zipcode]. I was told I have too many credit inquiries on my credit report.
Chase: Thank you for responding! I am going to take a moment to review your application. I will follow up with you soon. [name]
Grant: Thank you for taking a second look. I’d love to get the CSP and move credit lines from British Airways and United credit cards.
Chase: 1/2 You’re welcome! I have tried speaking with a Credit Analyst directly and explained how you’re willing to close out your British Airways / 2/2 and United card to be approved, but they are still unable to override the decision. I am sorry; I wish I had better news. [name]
Grant: Thanks for trying [name], it just wasn’t meant to be, but I really appreciate your help. I will try again in a few months and see if my luck improves.
Chase: You are very welcome! Again, we thank you for being a customer and hope you will be approved for the card next time around. [name]
So there you have it, when Chase says you have too many recent credit inquiries, they really mean it and no amount of calling or tweeting can be done to overturn their decision.
I plan on calling the Chase reconsideration department soon and telling them that I have too many open Chase credit cards and that I need to close a few to improve my odds of being approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card. I wonder if any of the reps will offer me anything to keep the credit cards open. I’m not sure if I will apply for any more Chase credit cards in 2015, I may sit out the rest of the year and see what happens over the next few months. I will keep you posted on any further developments.
In the meantime, I was able to overturn my Bank of America Spirit Airlines Credit Card denial letter and am currently waiting for the results on my US Bank Cash Plus Credit Card reconsideration call. Stay tuned.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Have a great day everyone!