Sometimes when you complete a credit card application you get an instant decision: either an instant approval or instant denial. However, in many cases the credit card issuer may require more time to review your application, check your credit reports and credit scores, and determine your credit limit.
The major card issuers allow you to easily check the status of your credit card application, either online or by phone. If you didn’t get an instant decision, you can usually contact the issuer to get the ball moving faster.
Why You Might Not Get Immediate Approval
Even consumers with excellent credit scores don’t always get approved right away. There are many factors that weigh into the credit card approval and credit limit. Some common items that may delay an immediate decision include:
- Several recent credit inquiries: If you’ve applied for several lines of credit (loans or credit cards) recently, the credit card issuer may want to look into those further to make sure you’ll be able to pay back any additional credit card spending.
- The need for income verification: A representative may contact you to request additional information while reviewing your application, like proof of income. While income doesn’t impact your credit scores, it’s usually a factor for credit card approval as most issuers consider your debt-to-income ratio (the amount of debt you carry compared to your income).
- A mistake on your application: Something as simple as a transposed 5 and 3 in your Social Security number when entered into your application could cause a delay.
- No apparent reason: Sometimes a credit card application won’t be decided instantly, but for no apparent reason. If you call the reconsideration line you may be approved or denied without any further delay.
If you don’t get an immediate decision, the credit card issuer will usually notify you of the results by mail within 7–10 days (some creditors may take 2–4 weeks). In some cases you may get an email in addition to snail mail.
Why Wasn’t I Immediately Approved When I Was Pre-Approved?
You may receive pre-approved credit card offers via direct mail or email, or when checking issuer websites. These offers mean you fit certain criteria (such as certain credit scores or number of accounts open). However, although a pre-approval or pre-qualification generally means you’re more likely to be approved, it’s not a guarantee you’ll qualify for a credit card.
You may only qualify for adjusted terms (like a higher interest rate than listed in the original offer) or could even get declined if your financial details — like credit utilization, income, or debt-to-income ratio — have changed substantially since the issuer processed or sent your pre-approval letter.
Using a Credit Card Reconsideration Line
Some credit card issuers have specific reconsideration phone numbers for calling about pending or denied applications.
A reconsideration line offers the opportunity to speak with a customer support representative who specializes in lending applications, with the aim of being approved. If your application wasn’t instantly approved, it’s often worth calling and asking why.
This works for many people, although it’s not a sure bet. Some report having luck after calling back multiple times and trying different reps, or speaking with a supervisor if they felt the rep was not handling the case properly.
Your best bet is to politely and clearly request additional information about why your application is pending or declined, and to provide the rep with any information that may help make your case for approval.
For lenders without dedicated reconsideration (or “recon”) lines, you can usually call the regular credit card application line or the general customer support line and make your case in the same way (you may get transferred once or twice along the way).
Major Credit Card Issuers
American Express Credit Card Application Status
Amex lets you check your status via phone or its website.
You can check your American Express credit card application status by calling the new accounts number: 800-567-1083.
You can check your Amex credit card application status here. You’ll need to enter your full Social Security number and home zip code.
You’ll likely see one of these status updates when you log in: “approved,” “denied,” or “in progress.” An “in progress” status may also indicate your expected wait time for a decision.
You can contact American Express at the same number above (800-567-1083) if your application is denied, and a Customer Care Professional will provide assistance. Amex also notes on its website that it welcomes people to reapply anytime 30 days after receiving the letter denying credit.
However, you probably want to make sure to address whatever items were indicated as the reason(s) you weren’t approved for credit before applying again, since each credit inquiry can impact your credit scores slightly.
Bank of America Credit Card Application Status
Bank of America offers a handful of credit cards, both personal and business, along with co-branded travel cards.
Check the status of your Bank of America credit card application by calling 866-422-8089.
You can check your BofA application status online here. You’ll be asked to enter your last name, date of birth, last four digits of your Social Security number, and zip code. You can also use this page to access and complete a saved application you previously started.
Barclays Credit Card Application Status
Barclays offers several different Visa and Mastercard options, mostly focused on travel cards.
You can call Barclays’ Credit Services line 24/7 at 866-408-4064.
You can check your Barclays card application status here by entering your last name, last four digits of your Social Security number, zip code, and email address.
Capital One Credit Card Application Status
Capital One states on its website that if you apply for a credit card online or by phone, you’ll often get a response in a minute. However, it sometimes needs to collect additional details before approving your credit card application (like most card issuers).
You can check the status of your Capital One credit card application anytime by calling 800-903-9177. Just use the voice prompt to say, “Check the status of an application.”
There’s also an automated application status line: 800-548-4593.
Capital One doesn’t offer an online option for checking credit card application status, so you’ll need to call for an update.
Chase Credit Card Application Status
If your credit card approval is pending with Chase and you want to learn more immediately, you can contact customer support to inquire about the details surrounding the decision.
To check an application on a Chase personal credit card, call the cardmember services application status line at 800-338-2586.
To check on a Chase business card application, dial 888-269-8690.
Current Chase customers who already have a bank account, loan, or another credit card with the company can check their application status by logging in to their online banking account. For those who aren’t already Chase customers, there’s no option for checking your application status online so you’ll need to call them if you want to follow up.
If you’re a Chase customer, select the Main Menu (the three horizontal bars located at the top left of the page).
Then scroll down a ways to select the “Application status” button.
If you have any pending credit card applications, you’ll see them on the Application Status page. If not, you’ll see a list of phone numbers you can call for other loan application departments.
There are specific reconsideration lines for both personal and business cards if you have an application that is pending or has been denied:
Citi Credit Card Application Status
Citi offers various cards for personal and business use, as well as some credit cards made for students.
You can check your Citi credit card application status here by entering your Application ID and zip code. Alternatively, you can choose to enter your primary phone number, zip code, and date of birth.
There’s no official Citi card reconsideration line, but you can contact the main number mentioned above (888-201-4523). Some customers in online forums also note that they’ve had luck writing to:
CitiBank Executive Review Department
P.O. Box 6000
Sioux Falls, SD, 57117
Discover Credit Card Application Status
Discover has various cards for all credit scores, from bad to excellent.
You can call Discover to check your card application status at 800-347-3085.
Find out the status of your Discover credit card application here by entering your Social Security number and zip code.
USAA Credit Card Application Status
If you’ve applied for a USAA credit card, you can check the status of your application via phone.
You can check your card application status with USAA at 800-531-8722. You can also call via cell phone if you have AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon by dialing #USAA.
Unfortunately, USAA doesn’t offer an online option to learn more about your credit card application status.
U.S. Bank Credit Card Application Status
If you’ve applied for a U.S. Bank credit card, you can check the status via its website or by phone.
Check your card application status with U.S. Bank at 877-625-5249.
U.S. Bank credit card applicants can visit the website and log in with a personal ID (if you’re already a U.S. Bank customer) or a Passcode.
If you need to request a Passcode, you can do so on the site as well.
If your U.S. Bank credit card application is declined, you can reach out to its underwriting department at 800-947-1444.
Wells Fargo Credit Card Application Status
You can contact Wells Fargo by phone or check your application status online. Wells Fargo also offers answers to frequently asked application status questions on its website.
Check the status of your Wells Fargo credit card application anytime by calling 800-967-9521. To find out more about the status of any Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card (Review) applications call 877-514-3717.
You can check your application status online with Wells Fargo by following the link. If you’re an existing Wells Fargo customer, you’ll be asked to enter your username and password. If you’re not a Wells Fargo customer, you’ll need to enter an access code, which you may have received via email after submitting your application, along with your last name, date of birth, and last four digits of your Social Security number.
You can reach Wells Fargo Credit Services at 800-869-3557.
Understanding Your Store Credit Card Application Status
Like regular cards, store or retail credit cards don’t always have an immediate credit approval or denial. They can be especially tempting as you’re closing out that sale at the register (or online shopping cart), especially if you’re offered a discount on the spot.
However, before applying you’ll want to do a little research. While some store cards may offer valuable perks, you might want to check out other cash back credit cards that offer better overall rewards.
Also, interest rates are often notoriously high on retail credit cards, so while it’s always best to pay off your statement balance every month, if you carry any balance you’ll end up paying a lot more for it. If your credit isn’t stellar there are general-use cards tailored for fair or average credit, bad credit, or no credit to check out.
Keep reading to learn how to check your application status with some popular retail credit cards.
Amazon Credit Card Application Status
There are several Amazon credit cards available, so here’s the scoop on each. There are a few different issuers:
|Amazon Credit Card||Credit Card Issuer||Contact Phone Number|
Note that the Amazon website indicates for the Chase cards that due to the time it takes to process applications, you should wait at least two weeks after applying before contacting Chase about the status of your application. It also states that neither Amazon nor Chase will be able to speed up the processing of an Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card application.
JCPenney Credit Card Application Status
There is no online application check available, but you can review the JCPenney card FAQs here.
Lowe’s Credit Card Application Status
Lowe’s offers several credit cards through Synchrony and a Lowe's Business Rewards Card (Review) through Amex. Contact its Credit Center for information on consumer or business credit cards at 800-444-1408.
There’s no application check available online, but after you have an account you can access the Lowes Credit Center here.
Macy’s Credit Card Application Status
There are two Macy’s cards available. One is offered by Citi, and only usable at Macy’s: the Macy's Credit Card (Review). The other is by Amex, and you can use it anywhere Amex is accepted: the Macy's American Express® Card (Review).
You can contact Macy’s Credit Customer Service at 888-257-6757.
Sears Credit Card Application Status
Target Credit Card Application Status
Walmart Credit Card Application Status
You can check your application status for either card by dialing 877-969-3668.
What to Do if You Get Denied for a Credit Card
If your application is denied, you can try reaching out to the reconsideration lines mentioned above. You can also call the card issuer’s credit services department. After you’ve confirmed the application was denied, take these steps:
- Review the adverse action notice letter: If you’re denied credit, the issuer is legally required to send you an adverse action notice which lays out the reasons for its decision.
- Check your credit reports: Review your credit reports for any negative items you might be able to address. And look for red flags indicating identity theft (e.g. accounts or inquiries that aren’t yours) as well as any items you may need to dispute if something is being reported incorrectly.
- Work on building your credit and apply again later: If your credit needs a little help, learn how you can build it up and improve your scores. It may take time, but with some attention you should be able to get approved for a card in the future.
Doing a little research before you apply for a credit card can increase your chance of approval. Check out your pre-approval status with a few different issuers to see the types of cards you’re likely to qualify for.
The bottom line is that you’re not out of luck if your application isn’t immediately approved — you may just have to wait a bit, or make your case with a reconsideration call. If all that fails, you can still try again later or set your sights on a different credit card.
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