Recent Credit Card Application Results. Strange Things For My Wife & Me
Here’s a look at recent credit card application results for my wife and I. There are some strange things here, so I want to share our experiences with you. Some of these honestly shocked me–some good, some bad. I’ll show you our recent applications, the results, and lessons learned. Plus the outcomes, obviously.
My wife and I did an app-o-rama for the first time. We had not applied for any cards in a while, because I wanted to get my number of recent accounts and credit inquiries down. Instead, we used that time to focus on spending bonuses for other cards. When I started my applications, I was 3/12 with only 2 inquiries in the past year. Here are the cards, in the order of application.
Bank of America – Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card
I’ve admittedly had the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card in the past. It’s been more than 2 years since I had the card or received a welcome offer, so I wanted to apply for it again. I followed a public link.
- Welcome offer: 40,000 miles + $200 statement credit
- Spend requirement: $2,000 in 90 days
- Annual fee: $75
I was instantly denied. That was quite surprising. I meet their application rules, and I have a Bank of America checking account with over $3,000 in it.
I made several attempts at a recon call, and I learned that their recon team turned off the phones. After getting a letter in the mail, Bank of America said that I lacked a business relationship with them. I called the number on the letter, and the agent thought that was odd (since I had the card before). The letter said the only way I could have this card is to open it as a secure card.
I originally didn’t want to, but I saw the silver lining as getting an auto-approval for my wife later on. I figured I could make a case for getting the card, but I opted for the CD because I see a 1-year CD of $1,000 as a path to getting 2 cards. The nuts & bolts: open a CD for at least $1,000, and your card balance is limited to that number. You CAN’T use the CD funds to pay the bill. After a year, I’ll probably close the cards and the CD, so I’m willing to do this.
Bank of America – Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card
This application started as “eh, why not?” I received a targeted mailer with a code to use for an elevated welcome offer on the Alaska Airlines Visa Credit Card. However, I previously wrote about being on Bank of America’s black list. I figured “why not?” since I could probably avoid an extra credit inquiry by submitting this at the same time as the business application. Maybe I’d get lucky, maybe not, but I saw it as worth a try.
- Welcome offer: 40,000 + 25,000 miles tiered offer
- Spend requirement: $2,000 in 90 days, then $8,000 total in 6 months
- Annual fee: $75
My wife received this same targeted offer previously and was instantly rejected. I expected the same. However, I was pleasantly surprised. My “why not?” attitude paid off.
Result: approved instantly
American Express – Green Card
My next application was the American Express Green Card. My wife had a referral offer for 25,000 Membership Rewards, so I used that. Her referral also gave me an offer well above the current public offer.
- Welcome offer: 50,000 Membership Rewards
- Spend requirement: $2,000 in 6 months
- Annual fee: $150
Surprisingly, I was denied after about 2 minutes of ‘processing’ on the website. That shocked me! Though Amex is sometimes unpredictable, approvals have been consistently automatic for me. I immediately called them to ask what was going on.
The biggest shocker: the phone rep admitted that they pulled my Experian credit report. They’ve never hard pulled me in the past, so that was a surprise. Additionally, she mentioned that I had a high balance on one of my Chase cards last month (true, though now paid off, but they can’t see that). She also mentioned that I had a large bill on one of my Amex cards last month. When I pointed out that all of my Amex cards currently have a $0 balance and are paid in full, she was surprised. It sounded like they were using data from last week, despite the application being 5 minutes ago.
She agreed to submit my application for reconsideration. The recon team denied me after a 2nd look, citing the fact I had a payment returned when I accidentally double paid a bill 8 months ago. The payment went through on a 2nd attempt the next day, I carried a negative balance for a while due to paying the bill twice, and now that fat finger came back to bite me.
FirstBank – Best Western Premium Rewards Mastercard
Because of my denial for a Radisson card from US Bank, I needed a 3rd hotel program credit card. Benjy recommended the Best Western Premium Rewards Mastercard from FirstBank, even though he had a weird experience with the application.
- Welcome offer: 50,000 points
- Spend requirement: $1,000 in first 3 billing cycles
- Annual fee: $59
The result went to pending, which I can check from their status website. Data points from Doctor of Credit suggest that you shouldn’t call FNBO (First National Bank of Omaha) but just let the process work itself out. After nearly 2 weeks, they sent me a letter in the mail. Not as strange as Benjy’s letter, but they requested I send them form SSA-89 Social Security Number Verification. No fax or email–send it by snail mail. About 10 days after mailing the form to FNBO, I received an email saying the card was approved.
My Wife’s Applications
My recent credit card application results affected the plan for my wife’s applications. We changed what cards she applied for and also pushed back her application for the Alaska Airlines Visa Business Credit Card, so we can be sure she’s prepped for an instant approval on that. When she started these applications, she was 0/12 with 1 inquiry in the past year. Here are the results.
US Bank – Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Card
Since I was immediately denied and learned about this possible new “2/12 rule” with US Bank, we shifted my wife’s application strategy. Due to upcoming travel where Radisson is the only game in town, we really want this card. My wife meets the new 2/12 rule, if this is a real thing. She’s been on a steady diet of business cards this year. Here’s the info on the Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Card application:
- Welcome offer: 50,000 + 35,000 points tiered offer
- Spend requirement: first purchase, then $2,500 total in the first 90 days
- Annual fee: $75
The result went to pending, so I gave it 3 days. I called their status line and heard the card was denied. Odd. When the letter came in the mail, they asked for a phone call to do some identity verification. We faxed in her ID and a utility bill. After this, they still denied my wife’s application. No letter explaining why ever came, and this is the final straw for me. I give up on U.S. Bank. We have accounts with them simply to try to get cards and have gotten 0. No longer worth it.
Barclays – JetBlue Business Card
My wife’s next application was the JetBlue Business Card from Barclays. We admittedly don’t do much domestic flying in the US, since we live in Brazil. However, having some points with a domestic carrier for the future isn’t a bad idea, so that’s why we went for this card. It was the best of the domestic business card options for us.
- Welcome offer: 50,000 + 10,000 miles tiered bonus
- Spend requirement: $1,000 in the first 90 days, plus add an employee card and make any purchase on it
- Annual fee: $99
I’ll admit that I hate the phone people for Barclays business cards. I was denied for this card previously, and when I tried to do a recon call it was a disaster. The phone rep went out of her way to be rude and talk down to me. Because of this, we avoided calling them. When the letter came asking for identification and business documents, I found the fax number online and sent those in. A week later, they approved the application. Since then, the bonus went up. I have 0 hopes of getting it matched, to be honest.
Recent credit card application results for me and my wife produced some oddities. The fact Amex pulled my Experian report is abnormal. My Bank of America instant business denial and instant personal approval were both shockers. U.S. Bank has shown us time and again they simply won’t approve us for any cards, so it’s time to just let go and pursue greener pastures. I hope sharing these experiences helps you better understand the current climate of credit card applications, guidelines, and best practices for approvals.
What’s your next card to apply for? Has this changed anything for you?