First credit card applications in 6 yrs... problems abound

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by bluefire, Nov 22, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. bluefire

    bluefire Active Member

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    Here is a story about my first foray into the world of harnessing credit cards for points. I wasn't going to post this because I'm embarrassed about how I messed the whole thing up. But I decided that someone might learn from my mistakes. Plus, my friends can't relate to this predicament at all. ;)

    Fair warning, this is not a short story. In fact, it's pretty much the opposite of short. Pull up a chair, grab a drink. You might need two. Maybe I'll put a tl;dr at the end. (I did. You can skip there if you want. I give you permission.) (Wait! There was a very polite suggestion for me to move it to the top, so actually you don't have to go anywhere.)

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    tl;dr: I applied for a Barclay's arrival card, a Southwest personal card, and a Southwest business card at the same time. Chase threw a fit because I "tried to open two lines of credit in the same day." Barclay loved me instantly. In the story, I'm still on the phone with the Chase personal card recon rep. I'll continue with the rest of the phone convo and results in my next post.
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    So, I've spent the past couple months or so researching the world of card churning for travel points, reading everything I could find and taking massive amounts of notes. For a couple weeks I'd get caught up in information and end up reading through the whole night with hardly any sleep. It's fair to say that I became obsessed. It was completely engrossing to learn about this whole new world!

    Then I decided to take the plunge. Exciting! I put together a lovely spreadsheet of data of the many cards I'm considering and had picked out 4 that I wanted to apply for as my first AOR.

    I checked my credit scores one more time (I've done this obsessively for years, actually) and they were all still good; FICO over 800; Credit Karma & Credit Sesame more or less concurred. I'm not buying a house anytime soon and have mastered the art of paying off my cards in full. I have no recently opened lines of credit, an excellent 19 year credit history showing 12 credit cards and many more loans w/ perfect history. Piece of cake!

    My 4 cards of choice:
    1. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card (50k points). I want a Southwest companion pass! The timing is perfect! I could do it if I got both this and the...
    2. Southwest Airline Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card (50k points). This gets me to 100k points at the beginning of the year if I do the spending right.
    3. Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard (40k points). Seems like a good all-around card to get started. I'd be buying holiday travel (air, hotel, car) very soon with it, so could get in some minimum spend and potentially reimburse myself with points - nice!
    4. Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage World MasterCard (50k AAMiles). I have a strange affinity for CitiAA cards. I had one many years ago that I loved for whatever reason. It got closed and I've wanted to replace it since, but never had a very compelling reason to do so.

    Ok, cards picked. Yet for some reason, I kept putting off the applications. I was nervous. I always had an excuse to do it later. Later, later, later. Weeks went by.

    Then sometime over the past weekend, I got multiple reports that the Southwest 50k offer was ending on Monday, 11/17. Oh no! I still hadn't done my applications! I couldn't absolutely verify the info myself (the links I could find weren't working for me), but I didn't want to risk losing out on 100k points.

    I ended up having a busy weekend, and Sunday night I crashed on my couch before I could do the applications. Eventually I woke up and wandered off to my bedroom. As I was getting in bed, through the fog of my sleepy mind, I thought, I have to apply for those cards today! I should do it NOW so I don't get caught up in work and forget later! I do NOT want to miss these Southwest points!

    It appears that I think in exclamations. It was about 3am.

    So, brilliantly, in the middle of the night, I pulled out my laptop and rushed to apply for 3 cards at once:
    • Barclay's Arrival
    • Southwest Premier
    • Southwest Premier business
    I put the Citi application aside while I dealt with the first three.

    I filled out all the applications before submitting any one of them, and then, after reviewing them over and over again (I was in a haze; it was 3am; I was making mistakes) I hit submit. First Barclays, then SWA personal and SWA biz.

    I held my breath and closed my eyes.... I had done it! Finally! I opened my eyes and behold, both Southwest screens said I'd be getting a letter in awhile with their decision. CRAP!

    I hesitantly checked on the Barclay's application, and saw that I'd been instantly approved for it with a decent credit limit, so that was nice. However, this minor victory didn't appease the nervousness and stress that was suddenly roiling inside me regarding the Chase cards. I kept myself awake for 45 minutes until the personal reconsideration line opened and contacted them about 10 minutes after that. It was around 4:15am by this point. I was still half-asleep.

    Before I called, I had gone over what I wanted to say to them so when I got on the line I had some talking points written out. The rep answered; we went through the preliminaries, and she told me I got denied because I applied for two lines of credit in the same day. One personal, one business.

    But... I needed both for my Companion Pass strategy, and people were saying left and right that the 50k promo would end on that very day. I had no more time and had to do both! (No, of course I didn't say that to her.)

    Anyway, I didn't know applying for a personal and a business card at the same time was a problem for Chase. Maybe I read it at some point (I know I read it about Citi), but apparently I forgot. Now I was up against a deadline. Burned.

    The rep offered to give me the business recon number and immediately tried to get me off the phone, but I was legitimately confused. I said, "Wait, what's the problem with that?" She said, "Well, you applied for two cards from us in the same day." And I said, "Okay, but what's the actual problem? Yes, I applied for another card, a business card. But where is the problem?"

    She didn't deviate from her robotic "You applied for two lines of credit in the same day" line. After a couple more of these recitations I asked her what I needed to do to allow the two lines of credit to be opened. She had no answer. I decided the actual reason it was a problem was that they thought it was fishy for me to be applying for two cards in the same day.

    So I pulled out the "I've been an excellent Chase customer since 1997" indignation card. (I have two old Slate cards with them, an IRA, and a checking account.) No response. At some point I got frustrated, and I forget what triggered this, but I said something like, "I wouldn't have applied for the Southwest CARD if I didn't want the Southwest BENEFITS!" Neither one of us had brought up Southwest until then, except at the very beginning when I gave her my information, which included the card for which I'd applied.

    She jumped on that and said "Oh, so you only want the card for the points?" I clarified and said I want it for the Southwest benefits, and gave some of the reasons I wanted it. I clung to the talking points I'd prepared, hoping I was making sense.

    At that point she actually turned off her robot mode and I calmed down. She had found my Chase history and after reviewing it she informed that me (1) It seems that I'd been a customer with them since 1997 (wait, didn't I just tell her that? :rolleyes: ) and (2) she was going to reopen my application and take another look at it. I got put on hold, closed my eyes, and tried not to fall asleep while awaiting her return.

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    I think I need to allow everyone, including myself, a break here. I'll follow up with the next part of the story as soon as I have a chance.

    The error count so far
    • Mistake 1: Trying to do anything at all with my credit when it's 3 in the morning and I'm half-asleep.
    • Mistake 2: Procrastinating and then rushing. Which in some ways led to #3...
    • Mistake 3: Applying for two Chase cards at the same time. Though I probably would have done this even had I not procrastinated.
    • Mistakes 4+: ... oh yes, there are more...
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  2. adrianors

    adrianors Silver Member

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    Have fun, I read the entire post.. 4:28 AM.. I'll try to get some sleep.. Good luck with Chase, I still building my credit since I moved from Brazil in 2011 but just started building credit this year.. Tell you my fun and really embarrassing saga later.. Night!
     
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  3. bluefire

    bluefire Active Member

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    Thanks, adrianors! Looks like we both have that pesky insomnia problem. By the way, I lived in Brazil for a short while :).
     
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Suggestion: put the executive summary at the top :)
     
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  5. bluefire

    bluefire Active Member

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    tl;dr Today, after 6 days, I called in to speak with the personal recon reps for the third time regarding my address. I got approved, for a massively high credit limit (in my experience, anyway -- it's double any of my current limits). Yay! I expect my credit score to jump, too.
    Now for securing the business card...
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    Welcome back.

    After I was on hold for awhile, the rep came back and asked if I wanted to close one of the Chase cards since I hadn't used it in awhile. That was the card from 1997, so to keep the long history I asked her to just give it a low credit limit and use the rest for the Southwest card. She did that and added another $5k onto the limit for me. Deep breaths. Okay.

    But...wait!

    There's still a problem. She put all that info in with my application, but they still needed verification of my address before they could finish everything, because it was a new one on my credit report.

    EM.
    EF.

    That never even OCCURRED to me. The reason it was new on my report but not to me is that I have all my mail go to my PO box. All of it. But I joined an out of state credit union (3% APY on checking!) in September that asked for my street address and I gave it to them to get the account. Well, they ended up doing a hard pull on my credit (to my dismay).

    So now that street address shows up on my credit report as a brand new address. And when I filled out the applications, anything that asked for a street address I used that one because I knew it was latest on my credit report, not thinking that I should maybe use my much older one, which is still available to me.

    Eventually the Chase recon rep returned to the phone. I had been too agitated to fully fall asleep, thank goodness. She said, "Yes, so we just need verification of your new address and then you should be set." She gave me a few options of how to send in the info (going into a Chase branch was the quickest) and told me "I hope it all works out for you."

    Well, that was encouraging, or at least meant to be. As soon as she started down this track, though, I got more and more bummed out. Because I don't HAVE anything that proves my street address, because everything gets sent to my PO Box! I rent and don't pay utilities. Even my driver's license shows my PO Box as my address.

    Ok, I have to cut a long story short (I hear those sighs of relief) because I'm about to go on a road trip.

    I called back this morning and spoke to a nice rep who was trying to work with me to get this going. It took a long time of him going back and forth with their "verification systems" and working with all my information (like the 2 *other* Chase credit cards I have, the checking account that's been open for at least 9 years, the fact that I have an excellent history with them...) but after 23 minutes, he finally came back for the last time.

    His tone betrayed nothing. I held my breath, prepared for rejection (and thus the loss of my Southwest Companion Pass). He started with all the reviews they'd done and yadda yadda yadda, and finally told me I'd been approved! Hooray! WooHOOOOOOOO.

    He told me the credit limit, and I almost complained because I thought he was saying a factor of 10 smaller than it actually was. Then I realized what he actually said. I was kind of shocked at how high the credit limit is. Double my current high limit on any of my cards right now, which I already thought was relatively high.

    You know what that means? A boost to my credit score!

    Well, here's why I say that. Despite the spectacle with Chase, Barclay's had approved me instantly (with the same address). I checked my credit scores the next day and voila! 10 points higher on almost all sources!!

    Whew. Well, I'm holding people up so I've got to go. I didn't know this would have a happy ending when I started writing this second installation. I just called them back on a whim, so that if I was truly denied I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore.

    I almost forgot!
    Mistake #5, using an address that is difficult to verify.

    There were, in fact, others, but I kind of doubt they would be helpful to anyone as they're kind of specific to my situation and make for an extra-extra-long story. If you're curious, send me a message. Most of them have to do with the address problem.

    Oh, and...there's still the business card to get approved. Fingers crossed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  6. bluefire

    bluefire Active Member

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    Excellent point :). I wrote it at the end right before I was about to fall asleep and didn't think about it. Moving it now. Thanks!
     
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  7. Reddishbead

    Reddishbead Silver Member

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    I'm sort of in a similar situation these days as I applied for 3 new cards, all with Amex. The first one got approved instantly, but the other two needed some proof that I am who I say I am... I told the rep I talked to that it was kind of weird to me that I had to prove who I was when I already had two platinum cards with them, but the rule's the rule. Actually, after I finished talking about the first card that required further information, I told him I had another card that would probably need more information, and he asked me again my name, address, birth date and so on. I just laughed and told him it hadn't changed within the few minutes we had been talking, but I obliged anyway (did I have any choice?) albeit still laughing at the stupidity of the rep following the rules to the letter rather than using his own judgment. Well, to be fair, he was just doing his job. In the end, I need to send a certified copy of a government ID to prove I'm me... anyway, that's how I understand it. Hopefully, everything will be settled this week or the following one at the latest.
     
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  8. jamesb2147

    jamesb2147 Silver Member

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    I don't want you to make another post at 3AM, but I'd love to hear how your business application goes! :)
     
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  9. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Here is the thing with Chase, tell them the truth, you want the perks, it's a great deal.
    They will check your account balance, but who cares,
    They will ask you your future spend..I tell them it will be the same...
    I just want the perks..
    They want a customer who will pay the bill and not over spend...
    They put the offers out there..
    You are doing them the favor,,you are buying their service..
    Thank you...
    Never feel guilty about asking for credit, you earned it...and will pay it back..ask for the best deal...
     
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  10. bluefire

    bluefire Active Member

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    Semi-update...
    I've received the personal card, and confirmed that I got the 50k southwest bonus points offer (according to the rep). I won't be spending until after the new year so i can put everything toward the 2014-2015 companion pass. assuming, of course that i get the business card w/ the same offer.

    Regarding the business card.. after the holiday, I called the business recon line to confirm the documents I needed to send in. I had already received their snail mail letter saying I needed to provide further info. I got the info confirmed, and yesterday went into a chase branch to have them scan in the documents (it's supposed to be faster than faxing them in). Giving it a day or two before I check back in. One rep said the scans usually show after 4 hours, but another rep said it can take a couple days to look at them. I think if the scan shows and I call to prompt them to look at it, that would be enough.

    Anyway, here's hoping the biz card goes through as well.
     
  11. bluefire

    bluefire Active Member

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    This is nearly the final installment. I called in this morning and made sure the business dept had gotten the doc they told me to send in. They had, but of course I got a rep who told me all the previous info I had gotten (on multiple calls) was incorrect and she told me what document they *actually* needed. I was frustrated but what are you gonna do? At least I called in to get that info right away, instead of waiting for a letter to come.

    I went into a Chase branch this afternoon with the documentation I needed. The banker scanned in my document, then immediately called the recon line for me to check in with them and see if they'd received the scan. Normally they tell you it takes at least 4 hours and can take up to 2-3 days to review it.

    Well, we called and the rep checked and my documentation was there. He said it looked fine but now my card was in "Judgement" status and he had to ask me a bunch of questions about my business. So, I answered all his questions (what is it, what does it do, how old is it, how much did you make the last few years, how much did you go into debt, what would be your monthly spend on a card). I have a business I started about 9 years ago, but I put it on hold for awhile. That's the info I used for my business discussion with the guy -- working on starting it up again.

    At any rate, I was still sitting in the banker's office for this entire call. Eventually the biz rep said he was going to approve me for the business card. Hooray! The limit was quite low, though that doesn't matter for me at all. It was just interesting compared to my personal limits. OTOH my estimates were pretty low for both income and spending for the business.

    My last question to him was whether the bonus that was in effect at the time I applied would still be given, even though I was getting approved just over three weeks later. He said that it should apply, but I really needed to talk to customer service to find out. I didn't have time to do that right then but he gave me the phone number. I'll wait till I get the card & related documentation before I call.

    So, the good news is I've gotten both the Southwest cards! I still need to confirm I will get the terms of the bonus on the business card at the time I applied, but at least the application stress is over. Next I'll have to work on the spend... it'll end up being $4k in 2 months since I won't spend on the southwest cards till after the new year. That should be fine.
     
  12. PhoenixDown

    PhoenixDown Silver Member

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    Dont feel bad about that -- I've been reading up on credit extensively the past several months and that is really not common knowledge (saw it happen to someone)
     
  13. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    They will back date your app, I have also seen them give the later better offer, had good luck with Chase.

    Open up a business checking account, never had a problem, but I have made a few calls and moved some limits, but told them I am only going to spend so much, and I am applying for the cards for the points,

    I tell them like it is, and I am sure they know I just want the points..

    They also are there to move the cards, they count numbers also
     
  14. Sammich

    Sammich Gold Member

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    I've been denied for a credit card from Cap One (yes...Cap one!!) because HSBC decided to do 5 credit hits on me this year when I just went to the bank to open a Sterling account....

    It's such a pain sometimes when applying for a credit card it kinda makes it not worth going through all the trouble. :(
     

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