I knew this moment would come, but I didn’t think it would come so fast. I have been hitting the banks HARD. Very hard. As in, I’ve been approved for 27 credit cards in 22 months. I’m sure many of you have a more impressive portfolio, but this is a large quantity compared to the average American. Whatever. I’m having a blast, but I do believe I am getting shut out by the banks. Let me explain.
For anyone following bank activity, the banks are getting very tight with extending credit to people like me (read: churners & point pigs!). Chase has their 5/24 restriction, Bank of America has their 2/3/4 restriction, Citi has there 8/65 restriction, Barclays doesn’t like you holding onto more than 3 cards, and American Express only lets you get a signup bonus once per lifetime (aka 7 years) and is now getting more stringent with special IT technology identifying people with aggressive credit seeking behavior and denying bonuses.
That’s a lot of proper work done by the banks to limit unprofitable customers. After you get 27 credit cards, you start to wonder what cards you can still acquire with all of these restrictions. In fact, I’m starting to wonder what cards I can still acquire!
This brings me to my recent spur of applications. In light of the bonus returning on the Citi ThankYou Premier, and the Barclays AAdvantage Business cards coming out, I figured now is the best time to strike while the iron is hot! After applying, getting denied, and going through the reconsideration process with both banks, it’s safe to say I am being shut out.
I was denied for the Citi ThankYou Premier with a 755 credit score for “too many recent inquiries” although my record only shows 3 inquiries on my Equifax report in the last 12 months. I would hardly say this is too many inquiries, but Citi believes it is. I find it comical this is the reason for denial. If the reason stated “too many recent accounts opened”, I would have an easier time believing them. Take this for what it’s worth, but I find the denial reason odd. I even contacted the Citi Executive Office to see if they could help out, and I was still denied for the same reason. Interesting. Citi is the only bank I have been denied twice for the same card, and both times trying reconsideration through the Executive Office. I do want to accrue Citi ThankYou points, but they are making it hard.
Fast forward three more months, and I STILL was not able to snatch the Citi ThankYou Premier card. Unbelievable. I added zero new inquiries to my Equifax account, didn’t open any new lines of credit, and increased my FICO score into the mid 760’s. All of these actions would lead me to think I would be in prime contention to finally get approved for the card, yet I was denied again.
Citi is becoming my achilles heal in this game. Time and time again, I have found them to be super stringent, and they clearly don’t like my credit profile. My gut tells me my lack of a student loan, car loan or mortgage makes me less than desirable due to the absence of any form of an installment loan. I am being penalized for not having these “adult-like” debts in my name. They should be thankful I don’t have any of these so I can pay off their credit cards! At least that’s how I’m thinking of it…
All of these observations with Citi are leading me back to one question: is Citi tightening up their approval criteria for their own proprietary ThankYou Point earning cards? I haven’t applied for a new Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select in a few months, but I imagine I would be approved for another one of those, go figure. Full disclosure, I’ve had 6 of those already!
Again, there aren’t too many banks where I’ve been denied repeatedly for the same card. In fact, there are none. Of my four outright application denials, 3 have come from Citi, and 1 from Barclays. In the case of Barclays, I waited 3 months after the denial and applied again for the same card, and was approved. No cigar with Citi, they have clearly told me they don’t want me as a customer.