If At 7th You Don’t Succeed…..

You know the saying.  If at first you don’t succeed…..

That truly is the motto for approvals with Chase for credit cards.  A few months ago Chase rolled out increased sign-up bonuses for the Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus cards.  I decided at that point I should take my own advice and apply for one of the cards that I didn’t have because the sign-up bonuses are so good.

I applied online for an Ink Plus card and got the message that my application was under consideration.  No biggie.  I’ve had that before and Chase is pretty famous for being able to negotiate your way to an approval.  I waited a couple days and called the reconsideration phone line that Chase maintains.  I spoke with an agent who walked through most of the standard questions.  She noted my other Chase products and said that they would be able to approve me but because of the total amount of credit Chase had extended to me a supervisor needed to give me the final approval and that would take a couple days.  Again, no biggie.

Call #2.  I waited a few days and called Chase again.  This time an agent told me there was a problem with information regarding my company.  This had nothing to do with my credit, rather these were Patriot Act concerns.  Unfortunately, I’ve generally found that the people in charge of such things for the credit card companies don’t really understand the Patriot Act and what’s required.  The agent and I went a few rounds before we settled on two documents they said would complete the Patriot Act verification.  They gave me a fax number to send the documents to.  Fax?  Gulp.  As a data point, I had received a letter at this point stating that Chase needed to hear from me, asking me to call for further information.

Call #3.  I waited a few days and call again.  This time I was told that it can take up to 7-10 business days for the fax to post to my file.  Really?  Wow.  I also learned at this time that the information the last agent asked me for would not be enough.  I agreed to send another document via fax.  Shortly after this call I got a rejection letter (not a letter asking for more info).  I also received another rejection letter while I was waiting the 7-10 business days.

Call #4.  During this call the agent suggested changing an address to make things match up to the documents I’d already set up.  I won’t bore you with the technical details, but the documents they were asking for didn’t have matching addresses, so I assumed this would continue to be an issue.  In between call 4 and 5 I received another letter, this time asking me to call to supply more information.

Call #5.  Another 7 days or so since I had to wait for another fax to post with a new document.  This time was pretty much just a straight rejection for Patriot Act reasons.  I asked to speak to a supervisor and explained the situation to her.    She didn’t really have a much clearer picture of the documents required but we appeared to make a bit of progress.  She asked me to send in the first document I had sent.  I pointed out to her that I had already faxed it.  She went back through my notes and then told me that she couldn’t approve me.  A bit of a painful conversation, but after a bunch more conversation and we agreed to one more document I suggested.  Also, another 7 day wait.  And, oddly enough, another rejection letter.

Call #6.  Everything squared away and finally to a supervisor for consideration.  This one made me a little bit nervous because it didn’t seem that the very first agent had made notes about why she was approving the card along with the other cards I had.  The agent on call #6 actually said she wasn’t sure I would be approved.  I suggested a lower limit since I didn’t need a huge line.  I was applying more for the sign-up bonus and the ability to have a separate card for one of our businesses.  Crossed my fingers to wait 3 days to call again.  I forgot that I had to call again and shortly thereafter got another rejection letter.  Unclear whether the letter originated after call #6.

Call #7.  No decision, Patriot Act issue.  Asked for supervisor who saw the issue, quickly approved and transferred me to customer service to request a second card for an employee.

Voila!  It’s that simple!

Seriously, Chase can sometimes be easy, sometimes difficult.  But, rarely is no ever no with them.  You just need to be polite and keep calling, and sooner or later, you’ll likely be approved.

Why was it worth it?  If I spend $5,000 on the card in the first 3 months I’ll earn 55,000 points (a 50,000 point bonus plus a point for each dollar spent).  That’s two free airline tickets anywhere in the continental US or 5,000 points shy of a free ticket to Europe.  Definitely worth it!



  1. Congrats. It was worth it. AMEX is not so lenient. I tried applying for the SPG card and got declined while Chase approved me for another new card so I’d rather make 10 phone calls to Chase than trying to get anything from AMEX. In the end Chase really does their best to approve people.

    1. travelin2s,

      I value the AMEX cards I have. I value the benefits they provide me and have for quite some time. I think they do a solid job with customer service when I call to work on an issue/request. However, I agree they can be a bear in the application process from time to time. And, the one experience I had with a financial review was quite painful, not because the requirements were onerous but because the 2 or 3 folks I spoke with just really didn’t have a solid grasp of what they were doing. When I finally got a supervisor on the phone the issue was solved quickly but it was definitely a decent amount of wasted time, yes.

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