My First EVER Credit Card Denial

Over the last 15 years, I’ve been playing the travel credit card game with differing amounts of commitment.

However, in an effort to be completely open and transparent, I want to let you know that I was denied for a credit card for the first time ever.

Now, there have been occasions where I’ve received a denial letter from a credit card company (Chase), and after a short phone call and a willingness to shuffle some credit, I was approved.  Actually, I think it’s pretty amazing that it’s taken me this long to get my first denial.

Which card was it?

Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Club Carlson card is issued by US Bank, and I’ve never had a US Bank credit card before.  I knew from this Flyer Talk thread that US Bank can be especially picky about people who have had multiple credit inquiries recently.  Since I was applying for the limited time American Express Premier Rewards with a 50,000 sign up bonus (which I was automatically approved for), I decided to go ahead and apply for the Club Carlson card at the same time.

After receiving the denial letter in the mail, I called the reconsideration department.  Actually, the US Bank reconsideration department isn’t like the same department at Chase. At Chase, the agent on the phone can actually give you approval.  At US Bank, they simply report why you were denied. The best the gentlemen said I could do is to wait 30 days and apply again.

I do wonder if I would have had a better result if I applied for a business card instead of a personal card.

It’s unfortunate because I really, really wanted the card.  I may try and apply for it again in a few months to see if I can have the card to help maximize some of our summer travel plans.

Last year in the summer, I was easily able to maximize on a Club Carlson promotion that gave you between 44,000 – 50,000 Club Carlson points after a single stay during the promotional period.  During the promotion, I was able (along with the help of my wife and others) to earn about 350,000 Club Carlson points for hotel stays I was already planning.

With the Club Carlson Credit Card, you get a free night when you book award nights.  If you stay one night, you get one free.  If you stay two nights, you get one free.  If you stay four nights, you get one free.  Obviously, the way to maximize this is to take advantage of the promotion specifically when you only plan to stay somewhere two nights.  That’s probably one of the best non-mileage benefits.  The only other benefit that might be better is the Gold Status that comes with the Hilton Reserve card.

Fortunately, my wife already has the card so that is nice.

The Lesson:

If you are denied for a credit card, it ALWAYS makes sense to call and see if you can get approved.  You are most likely to be approved by Chase and American Express on a reconsideration call.  From what I’ve read, Barclays, Citi, and US Bank have the smallest success ratio when it comes to getting approved after a denial.

The phone call is only going to take a few moments, and you have nothing to lose.  You’ve already had the hard pull on your credit report, so if you can end up with a credit card out of the deal, you should take the time to follow up.

If you’ve never made a reconsideration phone call before, you can follow some of these tips.


  1. says

    Craig so ironic you should write this as I too just got rejected for the first time ever for the Citi Hilton Signature Visa Reserve. I called three times trying to get a different rep and each time they sang the same song. “Nothing to do with your credit, you have had simply to many inquiries in the past twelves months.” I only have one Citi card by the way. I guess we are entering a new world.

  2. Mike Jones says

    Hi I was wondering if you had any knowledge on points trades between cards and what the best points trades are available and ongoing into the future if you could ever post them?
    Example I noticed I could trade my American express gold points for British airways avios at one to one or sometimes with a 50% bonus or 40% bonus as mentioned in past posts or other related sites. Another example is the Virgin Atlantic American Express card that you can transfer points to Hilton honors at a two-for-one offer. Any other knowledge or posts would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
    Knowledge like this is very useful for a dynamic family like mine. We have a timeshare but sometimes need hotels. Sometimes we don’t need hotels and just need lots of flight miles.
    Thanks for any future info….

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