Is Chase Getting More Strict with Credit Card Applications?

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Over the past week there has been a bunch of scuttlebutt about Chase getting more strict on approving new applicants. From what I’ve read, this only applies to the Chase’s own cards, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom, Chase Slate, etc. This does not apply to Chase co-branded credit cards, such as Chase Marriott, Chase Hyatt, Chase IHG, United, Southwest, etc. And hopefully that is not the case one day!

My Experience

Before I posted anything about these “new rules” I wanted to do my own test so I could share my experience as well. As you are probably well aware, the Chase Freedom card is currently offering a double sign up offer (related post) and that is a card I actually do not have but want to add to my collection. I like that it has no annual fee and the 5x points rotating categories. Quite honestly, I am not sure why I didn’t apply for this card years ago, but oh well. So I went ahead and applied. Unfortunately I received the “We need to review your application further” screen.

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When applying for a Chase credit card it is very common for me to have to call the reconsideration line to shift some credit around. Instead of waiting for a decision in the mail within the next two weeks, I immediately called and after a few minutes on hold I was told I was denied. This is actually the first credit card application that I’ve been denied for!

I drilled the representative asking many questions although she wasn’t able to give me all the answers I was looking for. She said that the reason I was denied was because I have too many credit card inquiries over the past two years. During the conversation she stated that they do not look at just my Chase account, but all other inquiries (which includes American Express, Barclay’s, Citi, etc.). She also said they have access to personal and business account information. I was pushing to try to get a certain number from her on how many inquiries cause an applicant to be denied and she couldn’t give me that information (or really did not have that secret number).

After reading through the many FlyerTalk pages on this topic, it seems as though 4-5 is the “magic” number. For those involved in the credit card application game, you are probably as guilty as I am and have way more than 5 credit card applications over the past two years.

What Does This Mean Going Forward?

So what does this mean going forward? If you are a newbie and just getting into this game, I suggest applying for Chase cards first. This means, first apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom cards. Then go ahead and apply for others (as you see fit). If you’ve been at this awhile this means you’ll need to be more picky with the cards you apply for. I also suggest taking a look at your credit report and documenting your credit card inquiries over the past two years. One option is to go all out right now applying for the cards you’ve been eyeing and having your 2 year window re-set now. Then over the next two years be picky with the cards you apply for. Or, take it slow for the next year so you are less then that magic “4-5 year window.” Also, I read reports that being an authorized user for a Chase card will count against you, so be careful with those.

Unfortunately there is no secret sauce to this all, but being smart and documenting every application can be helpful.

I’d love to hear your experience as well. Hopefully it didn’t go as sour as mine!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Got the exact same reason for denial last week on an application for Chase freedom…thought it was going to be an easy pick up. Have applied for 8 cards in the last 2 years…chase guy said called back in 6 months…

  2. I’ve applied for 7 credit cards in the past year. Receiving all of them. I got the Freedom card last November, Hyatt card in April, then applied for the Sapphire Preferred in May. Really thought I had no chance of getting it since I just applied for the Hyatt card probably 3 weeks prior. I did get accepted. Couldn’t believe it. Ha. My credit score is around 680. And I do hold a checking and savings account with Chase.

  3. My wife was just denied the CSP. Same reason given as you. No leeway on reconsideration. She had it before but cancelled it >2yrs ago.
    I was approved for my first CSP mid-April, so this is definitely new.

    So I guess now the big question is, pay AF or park UR in MP or Hyatt and cancel? Probably unsafe to leave them with Chase and risk a shutdown.

  4. Can you remove authorized users from your accounts? Would that do anything to help if Chase is also considering these authorized users in the number of accounts, or is the damage already done if it has been created?

  5. It is interesting that you were denied. I just got an instant approval for the Sapphire prefered on the 10th of June with a cl limit of 9k. They pulled Experian since I live in CA. I have about 10 hard pulls. I did not think they would approve me instantly.. Most of the hard pulls are from shopping around for an auto loan last year. My credit history is about a year and a half, but i pay off all my balances every month.
    My credit is score is about 750.I do bank with chase and this is my frist card with them. From what I have read on the CSP, they care a lot about salary. I make 72K a year. and I have the propel 360 (6k)
    Rei Master card (3500) and the Barclay rewards (5500)


    • Michael A,
      Can you elaborate on how may credit cards you have taken out in the last 24 months. My understanding is that the rule is credit cards taken out as opposed to credit pulls (for mortgage and such). If you were 5 or under in terms of the cards – then per others experience, you should have been approved and your experience would not be contrary to the new rules.

  6. Same experience here but as I am newish to the game, when I called recon I asked how many new cards he showed I had which was five. He said four was the magic number (in my case at least) and I was one over it and there was nothing he could do to help me.

  7. On June 9, I received an invite email from Chase for the Double Bonus Freedom card. I applied & today June 20, I got my letter of declination, due to having too many cards in past 2 years. I called the reconsideration line & was told they count all cards, not just Chase cards. She could not, or would not say how many is too many. I suggested that Chase includes this new policy of too many cards on the invite email, or on the App.

  8. I finally apped for the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Card a few hours ago. I received the 7-10 day response, then the 30 day email. I called in and they said they needed address verification. I asked if they needed pay stubs or anything else and she stated thats all they need “for the process to continue.” I tried pressing with a few additional questions, like, does that mean, or is approval contingent upon etc, but she would only say, “All we need is address verification to continue the process.” So I faxed over my DL and she said 5-7 days on the verification. So last Friday, I went into my local branch to ask them to scan my ID into the application. The banker called the UW, but also was told that they have not received or seen or whatever, the fax of my address verification. I’ve called several backdoor numbers, to no avail, same response.
    I also applied for CSP, hoping to use the same HP. I received the same messaging, 7-10 response, 30 day email. I called on CSP app to see if they can use same address verification as the earlier Marriott app and he said they have everything they need for both and I should know something in 1-2 days. So after the holiday, he said by Wed. Does that mean approval for both? When I call automated status check, it says I have two recent applications. The first says it’s under review and they will notify me in writing within two weeks. The second app says it is under review and they will notify me within 7-10 days. Your thoughts? No more calls to Chase, patience lol..With that being said, is there anything I’m missing? Sound like an approval? Thanks for all your help in advance.

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