Steps You Must Take if Your Card Application Gets Rejected

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Expediting the processing of a rewards credit card if it’s not rejected out-rightly, but hasn’t been instantly approved either

You just applied for 3 different rewards credit cards and are already day-dreaming about the things you’ll do with the miles/points you’ll earn. Destinations have been decided; now it’s just a matter of the approvals coming through! 2 out of 3 approvals came instantly.

And then the dreaded moment came.

You see “Further processing needed” on the screen for the 3rd one. Your application for the 3rd card hasn’t been rejected, but it hasn’t been instantly approved either. You start panicking, and the fear of wasting a credit report hit surfaces.


credit card rejected


Don’t pick up the wine bottle just yet! Instead, head straight to the phone and follow the game plan provided below.

Your card application may not have been instantly approved for various reasons. Some banks, as a procedural requirement, ask many customers for verification of the information provided by them. Others just ask for some credit transfer or want to know why you need the card.

It’s best to call the concerned bank either the same or the next day.

Wallet Wisdom: Calling within 24 hours gets you the best shot at a reconsideration!

Please note, when you’re calling a credit analyst on the reconsideration line, the whole idea is to ask him/her to manually go through your application and expedite its approval. However, sometimes the application needs to run through various computers and none of these analysts have the needed authority to entertain such reconsideration requests until then. It normally takes anywhere from 10 to 14 days for processing of a credit card request.

Getting a rejected card reconsidered

This is for the people whose card processing could be expedited and they probably received a letter or email later, stating that they didn’t qualify for the credit card.

Even though your application may have been denied the first time, it doesn’t mean that the bank won’t consider it again.

Wallet Wisdom: You may need to call multiple times for one rejected card. The trick is getting a rep who’s willing to work with you on the issue. If you don’t get one, feel free to hang up and try again later. In fact, when it comes to the Chase credit cards, even the reps have the authority to take such reconsideration decisions.

The game plan 

Once you get a rep who’s ready to listen, engage him in a little chit chat before getting to the point. It may/may not help, but it never hurts. These reps have to deal with all sorts of sh*tty customers each day, and someone talking nice to them may come as a welcome change.

Be prepared to answer questions like:

  • Why did you apply for so many credit cards recently?
  • Why are you so interested in a specific credit card?

Give honest and reasonable answers. Tell him/her that you’re trying to separate your expenses, you just began traveling for work, the airlines hub is good for you etc. Stress on the special benefits offered by the card such as zero foreign transaction fee, 2 points per dollar on dining etc. Don’t even go near the initial sign up bonus! Doing so may give an impression that you’re only after the sign up miles and may not use the card for long.

Shift gears

We’ll need to shift gears if the above explanations don’t work. If you already have a credit card account with the bank you’ve applied to, talk about your loyalty and that you’ve been paying all your bills on time. Then ask the rep to reconsider your application. They may put you on a hold for 1 to 2 minutes and may most likely think about moving over your credit from the other card with the bank to the new account. This is merely shifting of the credit limit you already have with the bank. (Inquire about this option if they don’t offer it to you right away)

In case they seem adamant that you can’t get that rewards credit card, tell them to close one of your existing accounts with them, and then open a new one. Please note, you should have given such closure a good thought beforehand. People often close their accounts prematurely, offering them as bargains during such reconsideration calls. You must never do that.

There have been cases where the reps just won’t budge. All you need to do is wish them well and call back a couple of days later. The chances are high that you may get approved during the next phone call. The reps, and the kind of day they’re having has a major impact on the final decision.

Here’s how your reconsideration call may go:

Customer Service Rep (CSR): Good Evening! This is bank blah blah blah….how may I help you today?!

You: Hi, I’m Andrew…How are you doing today evening?

CSR: Great. How may I help you?

You: I’m calling about my recent credit card application

CSR: Ok, may I please have the reference no.

You: Umm, will my SSN do?

CSR: Yes, certainly.


CSR: Thanks, I can see that you applied for the Sapphire Preferred. However, I can also see that you had applied for the Explorer not too long ago.

You: Yes, I did. I had gotten myself the XXXXXX and simply love it. However, I need to travel more now because of my work commitments and XXXXXX airline is by far the most convenient one at the nearest airport to my office/place. I’m applying for the Sapphire Preferred as it has 0% foreign transaction fee. This’ll be very helpful for me during my international tours. Plus I love the 2 points per dollar spent on dining offer! I eat out quite frequently.

CSR: Yes, it’s definitely a great card to have! Well, let me have a look at your application. Can I please put you on hold for couple of minutes?

You: Ya, sure!

(After about 2 minutes)


CSR: Sir, I’ve gone ahead and approved you for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

You: Excellent!


CSR: Sir, I see that you have another card with us. Would it be ok for you to move over some credit from that account? If yes, I may be able to approve you for the Sapphire.

You: Alright, ok.


CSR: Sir, I’ve had a word with my senior. We’ll approve you for the Sapphire if you’re ok with closing your XXXXX account.

You: I was hoping we’d not have to do that. But if it’s not possible to just move over some of my pre-existing credit, I guess I’ll go with it.


CSR: Sir. We don’t like you one bit and can’t approve your application!

You: Ok (just hang up and call again after a couple of days)



Before we go any further, please note that banks never really approve any business cards right away. Most of the times you’ll need to make a phone call to get the final decision. Here’s how you should go about the process.

Apply for the business credit card

We presume that you already did that but then saw those haunting words on the screen, “Your credit card application needs further review”.

Be ready with detailed answers to some difficult questions

Banks are well within their rights to ask some difficult questions to ascertain whether you’d be a worthy customer for them or not. We’ve seen time and again that being well-prepared for such questions helps a great deal in easing things out with them. All they want to know is why you applied for the card and if you’re really going to use it or not. Following are some questions they may ask:

  • How long have you been in this business?
  • What kind of income do you generate with it?
  • What are your projected earnings for this year?

Always be honest in answering these questions. Be as detailed as you can about the way you’d put the card to use. If you’re a seller on portals like Craigslist, eBay etc., get into the details of your plans of increasing your sales, and how you’d use your card to make that happen.

An important point to remember here is that when you talk to the rep you must separate your personal spending from business/professional spending. Doing so will show responsible financial behavior on your part, something that the banks look out for.

Talk confidently

Try your best to sound confident during the phone call. It’s important to not sound unsure about any of the questions. It’s best to be upbeat and engage the rep in some small talk. Even if it doesn’t help, it surely isn’t going to hurt.


Don’t feel discouraged if you aren’t approved the first time. The rep you get and the kind of day he/she is having matters a lot. You just have to suck it up and call once again. We know people who call number of times and always get an approval in the end.

The main point is presenting yourself as an excellent candidate for the business credit card you’ve applied for, and proving that you’ll be using it on a regular basis. And please remember, you don’t need to be incorporated, have an EIN or Tax ID to apply for these cards.