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Before applying I highly suggest reading the following posts: Slow & Steady Doesn't Make You A Loser and A Mandatory Waiting Period to Apply for Credit Cards?. You can find all of our credit card reviews here.
Barclays Application Strategies
One of the most common things you will hear when speaking to members of this hobby is, “I was denied by Barclay’s.” It used to be that Barclay’s was quite generous with their credit card products. Back in the good old days of 2012 you could have quite a few of their cards and even get multiples in one day. Unfortunately since then Barclay’s has tightened significantly.
Today Loyalty Lobby is reporting about language on Dividend Miles statements which suggests the program will merge with AAdvantage in April. This also means the end of the Barclay’s US Airways Mastercard. (View from the Wing speculates
the end date may be it should be available until April 12, 2015.) With that in mind, I thought I would share everything I have learned about getting approved for Barclay’s cards to help people formulate their strategies.
Before I begin, I want to say that what I am sharing are strategies that have worked for many people including myself. These aren’t rules that are set in stone, however I have talked to enough people and read enough data points to be willing to share them publicly. For every person who has three or more Barclay’s cards, there are dozens who have denials.
Everyone’s situation is different and your success depends on a variety of factors. This is general information only and reflects my own personal opinion and experiences.
With that said, here are some useful strategies:
Never go for a third card – Success with Barclay’s is all about instant approvals. The Barclaycard reconsideration reps are known to be tough. I haven’t heard of very many people getting instant approval on a third card.
If you have two cards, close one down before applying – Since you never want to apply for a third card, it is best to close your second card before applying. This frees up credit which increases your chance of an instant approval.
Make sure to use existing Barclay’s card(s) regularly – Barclay’s looks to make sure you have actually been using their cards before deciding to issue you more credit. If your existing Barclay’s card is sitting in a drawer, it may be a good idea to pull it out and use it for awhile before applying.
Wait 6 months between applications – People who apply more often generally do not get instant approvals. Additionally, Barclay’s has been known to tell people that they want to see spending patterns on new cards before approving additional ones. Six months has been a very successful waiting period for myself and others.
Getting a second of the same product can be dicey – Barclay’s doesn’t officially allow cardholders to have two of the same product. With that said, their systems don’t block it if you get an instant approval. If you aren’t instantly approved, it is highly unlikely a human will approve your application for a duplicate product.
Do not call reconsideration unless denied – If your application goes into pending status, do not call reconsideration right away. People seem to get approved much more often by letting the application work its way through the system. Barclay’s reconsideration reps are very very tough.
If you get denied, call reconsideration, but don’t expect much help – Very few people have had success with Barclay’s reconsideration lately, especially if they have opened new accounts with other banks. It doesn’t hurt to call, but do know that each rep notes their conversation with you, so hanging up and calling back generally doesn’t work.
Sample Credit Card Application Time Table
- Day 1 – Apply for 1st Barclay’s card
- Day 182ish – Apply for 2nd Barclay’s card
- Day 365ish – Close 1st card when annual fee comes do.
- Day 366-380 Apply for 3rd Barclay’s card
- Day 545ish Close 2nd Barclay’s card when annual fee comes do.
- Day 550-560 Apply for 4th Barclay’s card.
Of course instant approvals are not guaranteed and depend on a variety of factors, however many people I know have had success following a very similar time table. Also, if you like one of Barclay’s cards, you may want to consider keeping it long term!
Barclay’s used to be an easier bank to get approved with when they were new to the market, however they really have tightened up over the past few years. With that said, it is possible to take advantage of some of their better card offers, but unfortunately going overboard will generally cause you trouble getting approved.
Do you have any strategies that have worked with Barclay’s that I didn’t mention? Please let me know in the comments!
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