Often times in my credit card posts I’ll talk about calling the bank for a reconsideration or a “recon” if you’re not instantly approved for a credit card. I decided to make a permanent post that I can refer back to.

A lot of people don’t know that if you’re declined for a credit card by the computer system, you can actually call the bank’s “backdoor” phone number to get a live human to review your application manually. It only takes a few minutes of your time and I highly recommend it any time your denied!

You’ve already taken a hard-pull on your credit history for the application, so you might as well try your hardest to get that credit card and its signup bonus!

There could be a number of reasons why a bank wouldn’t approve you for a credit card, but the biggest reasons are:

  1. Delinquent on payments on other accounts
  2. You’re new to credit
  3. Too many inquiries on your credit history
  4. Bankruptcy
  5. Too much credit open in your name
Job Interview

Don’t be nervous! This is not a job interview. The bank just wants to make sure you’re trustworthy to pay your bill each month.

State your case

Be prepared to explain any discrepancies on your credit report. You don’t have to be nervous by any means, this isn’t a job interview. The representative will just want to know why you had negative marks on your credit history in the past.

For example, I had 3 credit card accounts that were charged off in late 2010. These will be on my credit history for the next 7 – 7 1/2 YEARS! When I first started applying for credit cards again, I had to call in and explain what happened. I was honest and to the point. I explained that I was in school full time and making very little.

I end my explanation with a positive note that I’m graduated now with a Bachelor’s degree in IT and working full time in my field making x amount more money. This usually gets me approved!

Now that I have a strong history of credit cards, I am getting instantly approved at least 70% of the time.

Get approved by moving credit around

Sometimes the customer service representatives will do everything in their power to get you approved! That includes offering you to move credit around among your different credit cards.

For instance, some customers we’re applying for the Citi AAdvantage Executive card 5, 6, even 7 times earlier this year to collect 100,000 miles over and over again! Eventually customers had to start calling in to Citi to get approved. If one account had a $15,000 credit limit, Citi would offer to take that down to $10,000 and then approve the customer for their new card with a $5,000 limit. This way Citi isn’t approving you for additional credit, and you still only have $15,000 maximum with the bank.

As always, your mileage may vary, but if the customer service representative doesn’t offer to move credit around by the end of the call, you could always recommend this option and see what happens. Not all banks offer the option to move credit around.

Citi Executive AAdvantage Packaging

I applied for the Citi AAdvantage Executive card 3 times earlier this year and was approved each time! I had to call in, but it was time well spent! I collected 330,000 American Airline miles!


Now onto the good stuff. What are the recon phone numbers!

This is what I have for the banks I’ve applied for. It’s not a complete list by any means, but hopefully it’s helpful.

  1. American Express – While it’s difficult to recon Amex, you can call in to push your application through if they just need to verify you. This link will explain which number to call.
  2. Bank of America – 1-866-865-7843 – This is the Spanish recon line. Just ask nicely if they speak English and the representatives have been VERY helpful in approving Teddy and me for our first Bank of America credit cards.
  3. Barclaycard – 1-866-408-4064 – Teddy wasn’t approved for the Arrival Plus earlier this year. After calling in and explaining his charge off from 6 years ago, I was able to get him approved.
  4. Chase – 1-888-245-0625 – I did not have success with Chase earlier this year. Chase was one of my charge off accounts from 2010 and they would not let me come back as a customer until I had more substantial credit history.
  5. Citi – 1-800-695-5171 – I’ve been approved for every Citi card that I’ve applied for this year. Citi has been great to us!