Denied for US Bank Olympics Flexperks Promo: My Stupid Mistake That Cost Me Big!

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US Bank Denial ARS SageStream
No FlexPerks for me. 🙁

US Bank Denial ARS SageStream

In celebration of the U.S. Olympic team’s medal performance at the 2016 games in Rio, US Bank recently upped the bonus on their FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa for applications through September 3. The increased bonus was based on the overall medal count and ended up being 34,800 points or 74% more than the normal 20K amount. This was more than enough to get me to apply.

A Few Other Apps

Due to Citi’s new rules coming into effect and the release of the Sapphire Reserve, I also applied for other cards around the same time. US Bank generally runs your credit report from a traditional bureau such as Experian, Equifax or Transunion (they ran mine from Experian) and a secondary bureau such as SageStream or ARS.

What SageStream and ARS do is monitor how many applications have been made under your social security number. Too many recent applications and US Bank will generally issue a denial. Well, as you may have guessed by the title, I applied and received the following piece of information in a letter:

We regret we are unable to approve your application at this time due to numerous recent applications using this social security number. Our decision is based in whole or in part on information obtained from the following consumer credit reporting agency/agencies:

Advances Resolution Services, Inc. (ARS)…

Stupid or Lazy?!?

Anyone who has been around this game for awhile is SCREAMING at their computer screen saying how stupid I am. You bloggers and all of that. 🙂 To be serious for a second, they might have a point. This sort of denial from US Bank has been well known going back years. More importantly, it isn’t too hard to freeze your reports with the secondary bureaus to block US Bank from getting this information.

So why didn’t I freeze my ARS report?

  • Unlike others, I have always been approved by US Bank even with other recent applications. In other words, these secondary bureaus never hurt me until now.
  • I don’t apply for a lot of cards from US Bank.
  • Most importantly I was just being lazy. Not a good excuse.

US Bank Denial ARS SageStream

Should You Freeze?

I think it is probably a good idea for everyone to freeze these two bureaus to give your future US Bank applications the best possible chance of approval. Yes, you could possibly get through like I had in the past, but eventually not freezing them will probably come back to bite you in the behind.

Both bureaus can be frozen either via certified mail or fax. Here are two great resources with sample letters and the full details on how to do it.


We all let things slip through the cracks and make mistakes that cost us, but this one stings because it really was just me being lazy. I had meant to do this forever and even meant to do it at the beginning of the Olympics promo so the freeze would be in place before my application, but life got in the way. Oh well. Live, learn and do better next time. Now I’m off to go send those letters. US Bank I’m coming for ya.

Shawn Coomer
Since 2007 Shawn Coomer has been circling the globe with his family for pennies on the dollar. He uses that first-hand knowledge and experience to teach others how to achieve their travel dreams for the least amount of money possible.

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Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. I also had a biz card “rejection” which I just got a letter about asking for further information. US Bank is strange.

    34K plus 2K spend is almost $800 in travel. I plan to buy Southwest tickets and cancel and have 1 year to use the funds. Any other options than WN for this?

  2. Also important to freeze for Chase and others. After my CL’s reached a certain level with Chase they pulled ARS on me and shut down all my accounts because of an “unfavorable neighbor comment” on it.

    ARS and Sagestream are nothing but potential trouble. Shut them down a.s.a.p. No upside to them. They’re mostly used by storefront cellphone companies. .

  3. I had the same issue with the flex perks biz card this past week mother was approved for the personal Olympic visa .Hadn’t happened before

  4. Is this freezing only an issue for us bank? I have my 2 club Carlson cards and don’t plan any more applications with them. The flex perks program is not for me, too complicated, had a card years ago and finally redeemed for a Hyatt gift card just to be finished with the program and close the account,

  5. Why not ask for reconsideration? My business app was denied for same reason, but reconsideration approved it a day later. They did do another pull from TU though, first was EX.

  6. Great to know. Never heard of this (them). Made a note of it, but I did not freeze yet because I don’t have any immediate anticipation of applying for US Bank CC. If utilizing fax how far in advance would you guess it would take to freeze? Thanks again.

  7. I didn’t freeze them either on a recent app out of pure laziness as well. Luckily I slipped through and was approved but they only gave me a $1k credit line (most other banks would give me between $10-20k). And this is my only card with US Bank. Find that really annoying but i guess it is better than being denied. I am at ~16/24.


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