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What is credit card reconsideration?

If a credit card issuer rejects your application, you can apply for credit card reconsideration


Credit card reconsideration can give you a second chance at approval after a credit card issuer rejects your application for a new credit card. Here’s how the process works.

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Imagine you apply for a credit card only to hear your request is “pending” – or worse, denied. Now what?

It may be time to call the reconsideration line (a number each issuing bank offers specifically for customers who want to challenge their credit card application decision) to request credit card reconsideration.

It is possible to turn a “no” into a “yes,” but it’s also possible to flub the conversation and get nothing for your time and effort. Read on for insight into what credit card reconsideration is and how to make the most of reconsideration line calls.

How does credit card reconsideration work?

Credit card reconsideration occurs when a consumer requests that their rejected credit card application be given a second chance. Generally, the first rejection comes from a computer – not an employee at the credit card issuer. There are algorithms in place to determine how creditworthy an applicant is.

If you’re rejected but still want the card, you have a shot. Thanks to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, upon request, the credit card issuer has to review your application again.

Reconsideration is more likely to be successful if you were rejected because an error occurred when processing your application or if your financial situation has improved since you first submitted your application.

Tips to get your credit card application reconsidered

After receiving a rejection, if you want your application to be reconsidered, you can call the reconsideration line to request they review your application again.

Here are a few steps you can take to ensure the call is successful:

  • Check your credit score. The higher your credit score is, the more likely you are to be approved. Confirm what your credit score is before you call. If it’s strong, you can use that to bolster your argument.
  • Be aware of your relationship with the issuing bank. For example, if you’re applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and already have another Chase credit card in your wallet, take note of how long you’ve had your existing Chase card. By pointing out that you have a long-standing relationship with the issuer and have kept another card in good standing, you can help reassure the issuer that you’ll make payments on time.
  • Consider why you were rejected. When you’re rejected, the credit card issuer will explain why in the rejection letter. Look at the reason the issuer gives for rejection and be ready to make your case. Let’s say you have a negative mark on your credit report from making one late payment many years ago. On the phone, you can explain the circumstances and how it won’t happen again due to your current situation. Perhaps you missed a zero in the income field and accidentally recorded your income as $400 per month rather than $4,000, or you’ve had a few recent hard inquiries. If you’re prepared to explain them, these are the kinds of issues that can be overlooked or forgiven.

Alternatives to credit card reconsideration

If you decide that credit card reconsideration isn’t something you want to pursue (or you try it and it doesn’t work), you do have other options for securing a new credit card.

To start, apply for a card with a new credit card issuer. All issuers have unique underwriting criteria, and while one may reject you, another may accept you. If you’re in good standing with another credit card issuer because you’ve used one of its credit cards responsibly, this can be a great place to start.

You don’t necessarily have to try a new credit card issuer as long as you’re willing to lower your credit card standards. If an issuer rejects you for a specific card, you can try applying for a card that’s a tier or two down. While you may not qualify for its top rewards card right now, you may still qualify for another great card with that issuer.

If you find your credit history and credit score aren’t strong enough to be approved for a traditional credit card, you can always apply for a secured credit card. A secured credit card is a really helpful financial tool that can actually help you improve your credit score so you can qualify for better lending products down the road.

With a secured card, you don’t actually borrow any money, which makes them much easier to qualify for. You will provide a deposit that acts as your borrowing limit – so, if you make a deposit of $500, you can then spend up to $500 using your secured card. Once you pay off your balance, it resets to $500. When you make your payments on time, the credit card issuer will report those payments to the three main credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), which will help build your credit history.

Bottom line

A rejection from a credit card issuer is not the end of the line. Credit card reconsideration is always worth a try and may lead to you being approved. If reconsideration fails, you can always apply for a lower-tier card, apply for a card with a different issuer or use a secured credit card to build your credit and enhance your odds of being approved in the future.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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