The Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus cards are probably the most powerful credit cards one can own in order to “manufacture” spending. I’ve already written about how ridiculously cheap it can be to travel the world in luxury using the Bluebird/Ink method, but these cards are valuable even without that. They each come with a 50K Ultimate Reward point bonus, earn 5x at office stores and 2x at gas stations and hotels, and have no foreign transaction fees. All that for no annual fee the first year.
All these benefits are why so many points blogs have written about this card over and over (well, that plus affiliate commissions). In recent months, however, I’ve been hearing more and more stories about how difficult it’s been to get approved for these Ink cards. Many people decided to start their App-O-Ramas (or churns or set of applications…whatever you want to call it) this month since there’s an increased offer on the SPG Amex card. I was one of them, and I was rejected for my first credit card ever when applying for another Ink card a few days ago.
Earlier in the week, two readers contacted me about being denied a Chase Ink card. During their reconsideration calls, one of them indicated that Chase said it needed to see more of a track record and more spend on the existing Ink account that the person had. The other reader told me that Chase said there were too many accounts opened in the last few years.
In regards to my experience, let me first explain some possibly relevant details. I applied for and was instantly approved for a Chase personal card earlier in the day, so this was my second Chase application within an hour. I also already carry an Ink Bold card in my wallet. This new Ink application was for a different business.
My reconsideration call was similar to what my readers mentioned. I was told that I’ve opened too many credit cards over the last 2 years (she said 13, but the actual number is much higher than that). On top of that, she said that 6 of those accounts were with Chase, and that they needed to see a longer history from me on those accounts.
I wasn’t ready to just accept that, so I asked if I could move some of my credit over from a different account instead. I was told that it didn’t matter since the history is what they’re more concerned with. I said okay, how about if I close one of my old accounts in exchange for this new one? That was a no-go also – there were simply too many accounts opened over the last couple of years. After some back-and-forth I asked if there was anything I could do to get this approved, and they essentially said no. I asked when they think I might have a better chance of getting approved for this card, and was told that 6 months is probably a good bet.
And just to clarify, this was totally a HUACA (hang up and call again) situation. I got absolutely no traction on my first call. I called again after a couple of days and got a more sympathetic-sounding person, and it seemed like she wanted to help me (she put me on hold several times to “check” and review), but in the end she couldn’t get it approved either.
I think there are some lessons here or at least some noteworthy items to take away from this (all are my opinion based on what I’ve heard and experienced):
- If you already have an Ink card, it might be hard to get a second one approved if you haven’t had it for 1+ years.
- If you don’t spend much on your existing Ink card, they might not want to extend you additional business credit.
- If your history with Chase is 3 years or less and you opened multiple accounts with them, you may have too much “exposure” for Chase to feel comfortable offering you more credit.
- HUACA is absolutely acceptable for reconsideration calls. The worst they can say is “no” so just make the call.
- Getting approved for your first Ink card shouldn’t be any more difficult than it’s been in the past.
So if you don’t have an Ink card yet, don’t worry…you can still probably get one. Don’t let this post scare you away from trying – it’s a really good card to carry around. But if you already have an Ink card and have a relatively short history with it or have multiple accounts opened recently, you might have a tough time getting approved for another.
If you don’t have an Ink card and are interested in getting one and supporting me, check out my Credit Cards tab.
What are your recent experiences with the Chase Ink cards?