My April 2013 App-o-Rama Recap: The Best Laid Plans…(Part 2)
[This is the continuation of my April App-o-Rama recap. You can read Part 1 here.]
Now that you’ve heard all about the good things that happened during this App-o-Rama, let’s dive in to the bad things that happened, and the lessons I learned from them.
For those keeping score at home, we are at three full approvals and one at a lower level. This is where it starts to get ugly.
Barclays Arrival World Mastercard
In the past, I have only ever been denied 1 credit card, and it was with Barclays. During my last App-o-Rama, I was denied the Barclays Frontier credit card, with the reason being “that I already had enough credit with Barclays” (I only have 2 cards with them).
This time, I figured I’d apply for the Arrival card and then if I got denied, I’d call up and offer to cancel one of my other cards and move that credit limit to this new card.
Well, maybe for Chase, but not for Barclays.
I called in 4, yes FOUR, different times and attempted to get them to change their mind and was shot down each time.
They were hung up on how many cards I had applied for in the last year, and each time they asked me for an explanation for it. I tried every answer I could think of, but they still would not budge.
The last time, after he told me I was still denied, I even asked what answer I could have given him to the “too many recent applications” question that would have made him approve me and he laughed and said “none.”
So, while Chase will allow me to have 10+ credit card at a time, it looks like Barclays is really tightening up.
They are focusing on how many total apps you’ve had in the last year, not just apps Barclays and not just the last few months, so be aware.
Status: Denied, even after 4 phone calls.
Lesson learned: Barclays is going to be really tough for me going forward, and I might just be out of luck with them (although, knowing me, I’ll still keep applying…so, did I really learn my lesson?)
Total haul: 0 points and tons of headaches.
American Express Business Gold Rewards card
And just as I thought the Barclays Arrival was a ton of headaches, this card may have it beat. This card wasn’t on my initial list of possibilities, but when the bonus jumped to 50k, I decided to add it.
After not getting initially approved, I called up Amex to ask about my status and was told that was denied due to a collection on my credit report which made my credit score was too low.
Wait, what? I’ve got a collection on my credit report?
As someone who is religious about their credit, I knew this couldn’t be right, so I hopped on to Credit Karma to check my report, and sure enough, there it was, a collection from Verizon Wireless.
And while I don’t want to bore you with the details, this rogue collection has popped up two times before on my credit report even though I’ve never had Verizon Wireless and had it removed the other two times.
Sidenote: The collection showed up on my report for all the other cards as well and knocked my score down to around 680, but I was still able to approved for all them. Interesting, and not exactly sure what it means but thought I’d pass it along.
I was told that once I had it removed, I could call in and ask to re-submit my application. I had it removed (not a painless process, I might add), and called in to have my application re-evaluated.
Fast forward two weeks to yesterday, and still I hadn’t heard anything from them. After calling in, I told once again that I was denied because of a low FICO score and a collection on my account.
Turns out they never pulled my credit a 2nd time, but just denied me by looking at the original credit report again!
After explaining this, the rep said that he understood, but that they wouldn’t be able to approve me and I should try again in 3 months. 30 wasted minutes later, I finally acquiesced, but not after I told him how much I liked Chase’s reconsideration line!
Status: Not approved due to a mistake on my credit report.
Lesson learned: Always check your credit report before applying. While the collection on there wasn’t my fault, it was my fault for not checking beforehand and seeing it on there.
If I had done this, I could have taken care of it before applying and probably would have gotten approved.
Total haul: 0 Amex points and a sour attitude. Silver lining: I won’t have to worry about the $5,000 minimum spend requirement.
Basically, this AoR didn’t turn out in any way like I expected it. I was approved for cards that I didn’t think I’d get, and not approved for the ones I thought would be pretty painless.
But, that’s how this whole hobby works, and while I’m disappointed not to get approved for every card, this day will come at some point for everyone.
In the end, I can’t be too upset about pulling in another 50k AA miles, 2 roundtrip tickets on AirTran, 100k Hilton points, and 60k Club Carlson points.
Oh, and I learned that no matter how safe you think your credit score is, ALWAYS check it right before applying. A mistake could easily have crept on.
Have you done an AoR recently? If so, what cards gave you the most trouble and which ones were painless? Has anyone else have problems with Barclays recently?
(photo courtesy of JasonCross)