Is it Getting Harder to Get Approved for a Chase Ink Card?

Ink Plus

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?

 

Comments

  1. Woah. I have not heard Chase looks back 2 years. I always thought it was one.

  2. My experience this week was *very* similar to yours. The only difference was that I was denied a Southwest business card as opposed to another Ink card. On the same day, I applied for a Chase United personal card. That went pending but was approved with a balance transfer (like I hoped the biz card would be). I called reconsideration on the personal card after the business card so I don’t think order matters.

    It seems to me they’re (getting?) picky about business cards in general, not just the Ink cards.

  3. I applied for my 2nd Ink Plus card during small business week and had to move 5k from my CSP to it in order to be approved. but it was fairly easy and the advisor was the one who suggested doing that. So I have 2 ink plus, one for my LLC and one for my sole prop.

  4. I do think it is hard to apply for the 1st Ink as well. I applied back in June(during 60K offer) and was approved United with very high credit line instantly but was denied for the Ink just like you guys for similar reasons: business new and too many recent accounts. I was surprised all of those recon guys from Chase were so determined and they were able to see the conversation I had with another agent just 30 sec after my last call… Anyways they also said it is impossible to transfer credit or close my other accounts because I need to get approved first to do that. I dont think this was the experience I read from many blogs and a ridiculous excuse: how many ppl will actually use the credit transfer trick as an excuse if they already got approved?

    • Travel Summary says:

      Perhaps this just means they’re getting stricter on allowing 2 cards in one day. It seems like many of us that got rejected for the card also had another application earlier in the day.

  5. Some thoughts, first, it seems like sometimes Chase will bend over backwards to help you, and other times, they wont/cant/dont do anything. I couldn’t even get them to close my CSP and move the credit line to a Freedom card that I applied for. I had to settle with a downgrade to the sapphire basic.

    Secondly, we haven’t talked about it in a while, but what are your thoughts on an OC meetup sometime this month?

  6. Cry me a freaking river…. less affiliate money for those greedy bloggers…

  7. This curtailing of allowing multiple credit card approvals every few months was inevitable. With the exponential growth of miles bloggers out there saturating the internet with exact instructions on how to game the credit card system, what do we expect? What used to be a fairly under-the-radar practice is getting to be almost common knowledge. Just way too many in on the ‘secret’ for banks not to start tightening things up. All the bloggers have helped a lot of us do some cheap traveling but the ultimate price will be the low-hanging fruit becoming more and more scarce. Inevitable.

  8. I was denied my 2nd ink earlier in the year. I was told the exact same things about too many accounts opened with them in the past year (7) and also 2 business cards for the same business in 6 months. I called again but no luck. They suggested I wait 6 months to try for the card again. When the 60,000 point offer came around it had been about 6 months and I was approved without calling. That brought my total to 3 biz cards for the same business.

    • Travel Summary says:

      You’ve done better than I did, but it’s just too bad they’re cracking down now. Hopefully restrictions will ease at some point, though I can’t say I’m confident that will happen anytime soon.

    • Well, duh!

  9. I was approved yesterday for the chase Ink cash rewards card and I have over 20 recent inquiries and a few recently opened accounts , wow, but I also have excellent credit with 760 credit scores across the board and 0 balances on all accounts except my recent auto loan.

    • Travel Summary says:

      Wow, 20 recent inquiries! I would assume it’s easier to get approved for the Ink Cash card than an Ink Bold/Plus, but that’s still impressive. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I applied for the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold at the same time last night (first time with Chase), the Sapphire Preferred was approved instantly for 10k CL, Ink Bold was pending review. I called recon this morning and was denied for not having long enough credit history (currently only 2 years and 8 months with BoA). I’m so disappointed. How much longer of a credit history do you think I should have under my belt to get a better shot at the Ink card?

    • Travel Summary says:

      It sounds like they want to see a longer credit history with Chase themselves, so perhaps a BoA history isn’t enough. I’ve heard TONS of stories recently of people that have very well-established credit histories getting denied for Chase Business Cards.

  11. Thanks for this writing about your experiences! I had a very similar situation in October in trying to get the Southwest Biz card for the companion pass. I was approved for my Ink Bold in May 2013 and said similar reasons for not needing a second biz card and having too many overall accounts with Chase. I called reconsideration 3x! Very depressing. My recent Chase approvals in 2013 are United explorer in May, Ink Bold in July, and Southwest Premier in October.
    I’ve decided to give up on the southwest biz and go for the other personal southwest (Plus) card, how long after my biz denial should I wait to apply? I’m anxious to get the pass but don’t want to ruin my chances!

    • Travel Summary says:

      I recommend you always wait 3 months before a new set of applications. If you want to be extra safe, wait 6 months.

  12. I encountered similar situation as you when I got my first credit card rejection – The Chase Ink Bold

    After I submitted the application, I got an email saying decision is pending. I called the reconsideration line 2 days later and the rep said that he can’t grant me the card because: 1) Too many Chase credit card accounts (I have 5 personal ones and I only got 2k for my newest card – others are all 10k+, prob reached my personal limit). 2) Too many recent inquiries, Chase wants to see how I establish my credit card spending habit. 3) Asked to transfer personal credit line and was told this has nothing to do with business credit cards

    So I HUACA a couple days later, a different rep told me the exactly same thing. Unwillingly to accept it (since it is my first business credit card, makes no sense to reject me), so I called for the third time and this rep seemed very wanting to help me – paused for a couple times to “review” my application, and I was eventually approved for a 7.5k Credit line! I was very thorough with the third rep – explained that i want 1) 5x Bonus Cat. 2) Want to separate personal and business spending. 3) Have an eBay business of selling shoes/accessories – ~7.5k revenue a month (hence the 7.5k credit line).

    Background info: ~770 Credit Score, 5 personal cards with Chase (~50k Credit line), ~18 inquiries on Experian (seems like every credit card bank pulls from it), and an annual earning of ~80k.

    Hope this information helps someone! Never hurts to call reconsideration again!

  13. Well gee whiz let’s see: App-o-ramas. Manufactured spending. Hmmmm…Wonder why it’s so difficult for those of us that want cards like this for LEGITIMATE reasons to get approved for them. Don’t worry. The answer will come to me sooner or later. Thanks for ruining things for us because you can’t make and spend REAL money on travel. Can’t afford to save up for a family vacation? STAY HOME!! WORK MORE!! If you simply must go on vacation, budget properly. Ever heard of Super 8? Motel 6? C’mon…they’ll even leave the light on for you.

    • Travel Summary says:

      If you think working harder and making more money are the only ways to be able to travel more frequently, then you’ve missed the point of manufactured spending and points/miles altogether. The points game is played by very budget-conscious people. Why work harder when you can work smarter?

  14. Oh Dear GOD!!! CHASE DENIED ME MY 19TH INK CARD! WHATEVER CAN I DO? WHAT DID I DO WRONG? SSOOMMEEOONNEE PPLLEEAASSEE HHEELLLLPPPP MMMEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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