Introduction to US Credit Cards (4): Miscellaneous

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The contents in the previous post are actually easy to find on the Internet, actually you can go to the banks’ official websites and look for the bonuses and terms. However what I am going to talk about in this post is not easy to find on the banks’ official websites, yet very important when applying for credit cards or manage them.

1. Reconsideration line

A very effective way to apply for credit card in USA is the backdoor line. The applicant can fill in some files online or get a banker in the bank branch. There are times when applicants will not be notified right after filling the form. They are given reasons such as “further review is required”. Some applications are approved in a few days, some are to rejected, and some may require verifying materials. The worst thing is instant rejection. Backdoor line is also called reconsideration line, namely a requirement for reconsideration after been rejected. You can call it in 30 days after been rejected and this is an absolute powerful instrument to apply US credit card. In fact, in many banks, especially the Chase, you can call the reconsideration line for instant result of review unless you’ve been instant rejected.

The reconsideration line has high authority. Thus even you’ve been rejected, the result can be overwritten. So it is necessary to know how to call the reconsideration line before applying for a new credit card. Now let’s see how this works out in each bank.

1.1. Chase: 888-245-0625

The well-known 888-245-0625. The officials are nice and available in most hours of a day.

Sometimes the recons or instant reviews there are floppy. It’s like listening to two to three minutes of music and then that’s all of it. It is high likely to get the card by calling recon line unless you have too many problems about your credit, like low credit score, short credit history, applying for premium card without high credit level. The bank also pays attention to whether you have checking in Chase. If you got one, you will have a fat chance to pass. My Freedom was applied in August 2014. There was a “pending” appearing on the screen when I completed application. After 5 minutes I called 0625 and was told I was rejected. So I called for reconsideration and told them my first credit card in US was applied from Chase. Then after two minutes’ music, a card with $500 upper credit limit was approved. Though it’s a little low, I’ve finally got started.

The bank has a floppy reconsideration line. So if you were rejected too many times, you are not eligible for applying for Chase card. By the way, Chase can help you application at the sacrifice of your Chase credit limit. For example, if you have a card from CSP with $15,000 credit limit, you can transfer $5000 to UA. (as the credit limit of UA card starts from $5000). Though you may fail, it is worth a try. The Chase system has a total credit limit. If you reach the level, you will have to transfer CL from other cards. However, I recommend you do not apply for too many cards from Chase in one time. Get it slow and make it happen.

Finally, Chase values account management more than anything else. A perfect report means a lot, and you may pass the check even with a high number of hard pulls. I heard someone with more than 20 HP to apply and he made it! While you are listening to music, the officers are checking your files. So don’t be afraid about failure, try recon line in Chase.

1.2. AmEx: 877-399-3083

In general, Amex can be approved in seconds. If you follow its credit limitation to apply the four cards continuously, you will need reconsideration line no more.

1.3. Barclaycard: 866-408-4064

In some extent, recon line from Barclaycard is something real. The officer will talk to you about your report and evaluate your account management, and then he/she will decide. So make sure you know the details in you report then make the call. Or you will feel sorry for that. Be careful that the recon line may make a hard pull.

1.4. BOA: 866-865-7841

Perhaps those who have activated too many cards in a short period will be asked to explain the behavior, but don’t worry. Generally speaking, the process is very simple. Sometimes, the customer service request will prohibit students from activating more than one card. If this happens, you can say something to praise him or her or try to change your credit limit. If you’re lucky, you can get your second card.

1.5. Citibank: 605-331-1698

Previously, the reconsideration service in Citi is almost non-existing. However, since Citi made much efforts on its credit card department last year, the reconsideration service is becoming better and better. Now, you can call customer service staff to review your application. The manual review of Citi is much less strict than automatic review.

Here are some more reconsideration line lists for you.

2. How to prevent a bank from holding your account?

Nearly all those who have credit cards have heard about two deadly weapons; one is the closure of Chase accounts, the other is AmEx’s financial review. These two have stopped so many people from using credit cards again.

The closure of Chase accounts is that it will close all your Chase accounts directly without informing you and prohibit you from using them again in months or even years. And you can no longer apply for their cards again. So to avoid the situation, you need to pay attention not to cross all red lines of Chase.

Some important bottom lines are:

  1. It is too risky to open checking accounts in a different state and deposit large quantity of cash. Even depositing several thousand cash monthly is dangerous. The fact that Chase had been heavily fined due to money laundering has made it very sensitive to money laundering. Many people have been subject to closing accounts. In short, if you are suspected of money laundering, you will end up very bad.
  2. If you open two many Chase cards in a short period or open too many other credit cards from banks with poor management, all your cards will be ceased overnight. This happened to a buddy who applied 9 credit cards from Chase recently. If Chase thought that you are high risk, it will cease your cards immediately. In the first post, I had said that banks can soft pull your account condition, so do not assume that Chase and AmEx cannot find out your bad behavior in other places. Someone owed a lot in other banks, and Chase lowered his or her credit limit, which is good, at least better than closing the account.
  3. If you use a lot of cash in counter to pay the credit card debt, you will also be suspected of money laundering.
  4. Chase pays high attention to transacting UR points. If you are a UR point seller or involved in the transaction once before, you will be punished severely. You can not even transfer too many points to friends. If you have to, transfer points to your relatives. Besides Chase, all the major airline companies are tough with point sellers, so I recommend you not to do so.

Here are two articles about avoidance of Chase red lines written by two famous American bloggers for you to read: Frequent Miler, Million Mile Secrets.

The rest is a famous express’s financial review. During the period of Freeze, your card will be hold, and then you will be asked to upload the tax returns to verify your annual income. If you do not pass it, your credit limit will be lowered or even blocked. To avoid FR, generally you need to pay attention to the following:

  1. Do not cross the credit limit of 25,000 per card and 345,000 four cards. Charge card do not count.
  2. Do not spend a large sum of money suddenly in a short period of time. For instance, you spend 1,000 a month regularly, and then suddenly you spend 6,000 a month, then you need to be cautious. And the other thing you need to be cautious about is that do not approach the credit limit quite often. But it is another story about 1,000 credit limit. You can use 1,000 at ease. But pay attention to charge card. It has credit limits, so do not use it limitless.

The above is about the deadly weapons from Chase and AmEx. But this doesn’t mean that other banks can resist high risk behaviors. All banks have their own risk avoidance measures. My last advice is that open cards according to your own capabilities and do not let banks feel that you are a high risk customer.


P.S.: Here is the list of posts in this series:

  1. Basic Credit Cards Knowledge
  2. How to Choose a Beginner’s Card
  3. Introduction of Common Cards and Combination, including Grocery Credit Cards, Airlines Credit Cards and Hotel Credit Cards
  4. Some Suggestions, such as How to Avoid Card Closed due to Exceeding Bank’s Bottom Line

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