Good morning and happy Monday. After a whirlwind trip to the U.S., I’m back in cold Canada for another week before taking off on my marathon around-the-world trip.
I’ve been taking advantage of some pretty incredible deals lately, and I have a really useful tool to share with you all today, so let’s jump in:
✈️ Update: get your Southwest Companion Pass ASAP
💳 How to turn credit card rejections into approvals
😂 A funny ol’ travel meme
✈️ Update on the Southwest Companion Pass situation
This past weekend I made a quick trip down to the U.S. for some business. And by business, I mean going very far out of my way to do some travel hacking and visiting some fellow members of the FareDrop/Daily Drop team.
I also flew Southwest for the first time in years.
Sadly, I didn’t get my Companion Pass, so I was all alone…
Me with no companion 😭
As you can see from the photo, I was very sad. If you zoom in real close, you’ll notice the furtive tear trickling down my lonely cheek.
Don’t be like me, folks. Get your companion pass while it’s easy.
If you need a refresher, here is our article that explains how by simply signing up for a credit card, you can get a full year of Southwest’s Companion Pass, which lets you bring a guest with you on every flight for no additional charge.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This is the best deal in travel hacking/credit cards that we’ve seen in a long time, and it’s ending soon.
In our article, I’ve also crunched the numbers and made some updates that explain how much value you can expect to get from them after the first year.
Hopefully, this helps show you that even after this amazing welcome offer, you’ll get great value out of the cards for years to come.
So check it out, even if you’ve seen it already. 👇
💳 How to turn credit card rejections into approvals
There are important milestones in every person’s life. Some are things to celebrate, and some are more sour.
Taking your first steps as a little baby, having your first kiss, mourning the death of a loved one, and of course, the moment you get rejected for a credit card.
Being turned down when applying for a credit card is tough. Nobody likes rejection.
Sadly, I experienced this very phenomenon last week when applying for a new credit card.
I can’t tell you which one, but I’ll tell you that it’s a hotel credit card, on this list, and the bank rhymes with the word “face.”
Speaking of faces, mine had a look of despair on it when I saw that I had been turned down by a bank that I thought loved me. It was devastating.
But actually, it wasn’t at all.
When I saw this, I was actually kind of excited. And no, I’m not crazy. Okay, maybe a little. I was excited because I would get to try out using this bank’s reconsideration line.
If you haven’t heard of this before, it’s one of the best tools in the credit card world, essentially giving you a second shot at securing the credit card you want to get.
Getting rejected from a credit card application can come down to all sorts of reasons. But the common thread is that the decision is made by a computer algorithm.
The reconsideration line gives you the opportunity to have a real human look into your application and, more importantly, the chance for you to plead your case to them.
After just 5 minutes on the phone, I received this email:
And here’s how I did it:
In my case, there were a few reasons listed for the rejection, including:
High utilization on one or more credit accounts
Too many open credit accounts or too much credit
The second point is something that comes up often. As a credit card and travel maximizer, I have a lot of open credit. To some banks, this can look sketchy, even if I keep low utilization and pay every card in full every month… which I do.
But if I keep a low utilization, then why was that first reason listed?
As it turns out, this was referring to a charge card I have open in my name. Charge cards, unlike credit cards, have no fixed limits. Therefore, there is no “utilization” that gets reported to credit bureaus.
But this bank’s computer didn’t recognize that and saw it as nothing more than a high balance on a credit account.
Situations like this come up all the time where you might be a great applicant that the bank wants to do business with, but get rejected for one reason or another.
It only took a few seconds to be connected to a reconsideration specialist, who asked me a few questions.
The first question was,
I explained that I travel full-time and frequently stay at this hotel chain. I listed out some of the card’s perks, which showed that I’d done my research and have a solid idea of the ins and outs of the card.
She then looked at my credit profile and saw very quickly that although I have many accounts with different banks, I have never missed a payment, have no delinquent accounts (like collections or past-due bills), and keep low balances on all of any cards.
It only took a couple of minutes for the decision to be reversed.
My new card was shipped out immediately and I rejoiced with my nerdy “I just got a new credit card” dance, which looks something like this:
This is the magic of the reconsideration line.
Before I give you some tips for using this yourself, I have a question:
Did you know about bank reconsideration lines before today?
Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.
Here are some tips for using this service if you find yourself in my situation:
Don’t talk about the welcome bonus too much when speaking to an agent. The last thing they want to hear is that the reason you’re applying is to rack up points quickly. They want to know that you’ll be a long-term, responsible cardholder. So focus on why it’s a good fit for you and how the benefits and spending categories will work with your spending/travel habits.
Most banks will explain why they’ve rejected you. Before calling in, consider these reasons and come up with a couple of ways to address/justify them when speaking to the agent.
Be cool, calm, and collected. When I called the line, I acted like I was surprised and confused at being rejected, which I was. I said, “I was denied, but the reasons didn’t make total sense to me, so I’m hoping I can provide some additional information to clear things up and get the card approved.” These are normal humans, so just be nice, plead your case calmly, and be patient.
If the decision isn’t reversed, see if you can get additional information from them. For example, If the agent I spoke to stuck with the rejection, I would’ve asked specific questions like “If I have too many accounts, what number of accounts would be more reasonable?” That way, I can adjust my habits, make some changes, and give myself better odds of approval next time around.
So next time you get rejected for a credit card, try calling the reconsideration line for your bank. Finding the number is simple; just Google “(bank name) credit card reconsideration line.”
Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
😂 Funny travel meme
Anyone else run into this problem when flying with the same airline over and over?
That’s gonna finish off this cold, cold Monday. I know that was a credit card-heavy newsletter, but don’t worry - I’ve got some sweet travel hacks to tell you about this week, so it’ll all be worth it.
Have you ever been rejected for a credit card? Were you able to turn it around? Let me know by replying to this email or reaching out on social media.