How to get approved for a credit card/increase my chances?

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How to get approved for a credit card/increase my chances?

Postby lighthouse » Tue May 24, 2011 7:40 pm

I'm a bit of a miles and points nut, and I figure if I'm going to spend money anyway, I might as well get points for spending. This is my main reason for wanting to build credit history - to get good credit card offers.

I moved from Canada last year to start my career, and unfortunately that also meant started building credit from scratch. I couldn't get credit anywhere, and finally how to get approved for something - I got an American Express card issued in Canada. After about a month, I called American Express USA and used the "Global Transfer Desk" option and got them to approve an Amex card last September. Around the same time, I decided to open a secured loan with Citibank simply so that I could build credit. This was actually a pain - initially, they denied my $500 loan secured with a $500 CD! After much back and forth and paperwork, they opened the loan but I'd have to secure the $500 loan with a $550 CD.

Things have gotten better since then. In January, Capital One sent me an offer for a "Platinum" card, which I accepted. The credit line was $500, but I only wanted it to build credit.

In April and May, I applied for and was instantly approved for three credit cards: two Amex cards, and one Chase card. Another Chase card was declined, reason being that I had limited history so they would not give me another credit line.

I also applied for about three other cards in the last two months for which I've been declined - BoA, Citi, and Barclays.

So now my question is, I really want to have premium credit cards with BoA, Citibank and Barclays in the future (for their sometimes nice signup bonuses). I understand that if I get a low limit or secured Citi card, it will help me with getting approved for a better credit card with them, but it will also lower my average age of accounts (currently 8 months, but should increase once the two Amex cards appear on my report since Amex reports only the opening date of your first account).

In order to get a "premium" card with these three banks, should I apply for a low limit card from them first, or should I just wait for my credit history to mature? Generally, if they've denied me for insufficient history in the past, how much history (I assume they mean average age of accounts) do they usually look for to get approved?


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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Sat May 28, 2011 5:01 pm

Glad to hear you had success with Global Transfer Desk because others on here have complained about, some even calling it a scam.

Really I think you are doing quite well if you already have that many cards and the reason you are now being denied for those 3 others since is because you have too many inquiries and new accounts opened in such a short period of time. Remember inquiries can hurt your score for 12 months following the date of inquiry (and stay on record for a total of 24 months). Right now I think you should hold off on trying to get more cards and instead, focus on the ones you have and building up a good history with them. Try and stay below 25% of the limit on any given card and that applies even if you pay in full every month (which you should do).

After doing that for several months you should start qualifying for credit line increases and that will help increase your chances to get approved for a credit card that you really want. Because I would say you have a fair number of accounts for starting out, but it's the lack of history and low limits that will prevent you from getting the best credit card deals right now.
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Postby jsawdust » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:21 pm

Does length of job or length of time you live at the same place affect your chances of getting approved for a credit card? Both of those questions are asked on applications and I would be curious to know if someone at a new job would be considered less favorable than someone with the same employer of many years.

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