“Decision pending” on my card application, what next?

I can’t say I’ve applied to very many cards in my day, but I can say how refreshing it was to get that automatic “Congratulations, you’ve been approved.” Unfortunately, for someone like me, with very little credit history, there always seems to be something that pushes my application to “Pending.” And as much as I sound perplexed as to why this is happening, I really know that it is not the most insane thing to happen–I am understandably way more of a risk than most. Nevertheless, a pending decision is not a denial, so what’s next.

I have hinted at getting a new credit card in a few past posts, and I finally pulled the trigger. Quick credit card inventory:


  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: all my spend currently goes on this card
  • Delta Gold AMEX: I was targeted for an increased sign-up bonus and took advantage, but put no spend on the card
  • Wells Fargo Signature Card: this card got me started with my credit, but I have no use for anymore; keep solely for the credit history

In order to start really earning rewards, I knew I would need to upgrade my credit card inventory. For the longest time I considered a hotel branded card, a different premiere rewards cards, or even a cash back card. But the real white buffalo was sitting right in front of me–the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Because I already the Chase Sapphire Reserve, basically the upgraded version of the Preferred, I never really considered it. I knew I wanted to continue boosting my Ultimate Rewards, but for some reason I thought it wasn’t possible to have both cards. Boy was I wrong!

Once I had this “aha” moment I went ahead and applied. I knew I had some big spend on the horizon, so the sign-up bonus wasn’t a problem, and I was under the 5/24 rule–so there really was nothing holding me back. While I don’t have the longest credit history, I do have an excellent credit score, so I thought an “automatic acceptance” was right on my horizon. Nope. Decision was pending and they would “let me know of my status” in 7-10 business days. Which then pushes the actual card-in-hand to 3 weeks (ish).

So my next move was to call the credit card reconsideration line at 888-270-2127 — which is the line to call if your card is either pending or declined. I was first connected to a credit card specialist, he took my info and opened up my application. The first thing he told me was that the reason for the pending decision was “fraud” (good ole fashioned Catch Me If You Can moment, you got me). I didn’t say anything, he immediately transferred me to a “fraud specialist.” Once I got on the phone with the new agent, all I had to do was verify my phone number with a simple text. I really didn’t say or do anything besides receive a text and read a number, and just like that my application was approved.

After all this I receive a letter in the mail…

Notice there if I just sat and waited for a decision, after 30 days the application would have been denied!

The letter basically says that my application has been accepted and they just need to verify my identity. After all that worry, I receive a simple letter and all my questions are answered. And all the worry had nothing to do with my credit history…

The key piece here was that I applied for the card outside of my registered Chase account. Because of this, I believe Chase flagged me in the system — thinking that if I was applying for any card I’d be doing it while logged in to the system. This is only a caveat, as the letter only reassured that I wasn’t denied, only awaiting approval. But it just goes to show that there are so many different reasons an application can be deferred. Stay on the lookout for more on the new credit card strategy.

The final leg…

There is no reason to be discouraged after your credit card application is not approved. Plenty of people with excellent credit scores get a pending approval, or even declined. So if at first you don’t succeed, call the bank and work some magic.


Tucker is an avid points and miles enthusiast. Being fully involved in the world of credit cards and frequent flying for only a few years now, he brings a very fresh and unique perspective to the world of travel.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: