Calling recon to request a denial


a close up of a credit card

On our Best Credit Card Offers page, we list recon (reconsideration) numbers in the App Tips section for each card issuer.  Often, when your application is denied, it is possible to reverse the decision by talking with an analyst.

The news that the IHG card’s annual free night is being devalued (see: BUMMER: IHG Free night capped for everyone) has led to an interesting situation.  If you applied for the IHG card recently under the assumption that you’d be grandfathered into the uncapped free night, and if your application decision is pending, you might want to call recon to withdraw your application.

As I write this, it is still possible that new and recent IHG card applicants will get their first annual free night uncapped.  I’ve had the card for a while and I received the dreaded letter today stating that my next free night would be limited to crappy hotels charging 40,000 points or less.  But my wife, who signed up for her IHG card in January of this year, has not yet received a similar letter.  Maybe the free night she gets next January will be uncapped.  At this point, I don’t know.

Even with the capped free night, the IHG card is useful for some.  After all, it offers Platinum elite status and a 10% rebate on point awards.  But for those regretting having applied, it’s worth considering withdrawing your application.  That way, the new card won’t take up a 5/24 spot.

My son applied last week and his application has since been pending.  Due to today’s news, we called to withdraw his application.  It turns out that it wasn’t necessary.  His application had been denied anyway.  Denied! Yay!

To be clear: the current IHG card offer isn’t bad.  If you want the signup bonus points and the card perks, then go for it.  But I suspect that many readers will not want to add to their 5/24 count with this card given what we know now about its future.

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.

To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.
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Ron R.

Club Carlson has the right idea. They went through a major deval when they removed the second night free, but if you have their card, you get 40k miles on the anniversary. If IHG did this, you could stay at much nicer properties for cash + points, or simply buying points to make up the difference.

[…] Bailing Out of the IHG Application […]


Wanted to share a datapoint with you. My son is 18 and almost done with his first year of college. My wife and I added him as AU on 3 accounts each several years ago and his FICO score is around 770. He applied for his first credit card last week, while at home on break. Chase Southwest Plus. Went pending. Called recon the next day, after coaching from me, and he did a very good job speaking with the friendly recon rep. End result was denial. I could tell that the rep was not going to budge. (My son put the phone on speaker so I could hear as well.) Credit history was too short. The rep did not seem too concerned about income or college attendance or grades. The rep kept circling back to credit history too short. I think we’ll have my son apply for the Discover or Citi Thank You College student products during the summer. I’ve explained that the credit card game is a marathon, not a sprint, and my son is fine with a pace that builds his credit over time.


Try like $1K credit line too..I keep a low $5K line on my 14 cards if they will let me..SW is a perfect card for him I had a MDW>Cancun RT for 9K+$85 for 3/18/18 .


Hi, when is your renewal date for the IHG card? Does the 1st of May coincide with it?

El Jefe

My wife and I also applied a week or so ago and received our cards today. The letter that came with the card states an anniversary free night at any IHG hotel worldwide.


Same here. Got new card today including letter saying free night is good at any IHG worldwide. My wife’s application has also been approved but we have not received card yet. Here’s hoping first year anniversary fee nights remain uncapped!


I applied about a week ago and was unfortunately approved. The card came today along with a letter stating that I can stay at ANY hotel with the anniversary certificate. Whether they will honor it or not is certainly a question, but at least I have it in writing that it can be used at any hotel.


I have to assume if you have a letter stating ANY property, then they would be forced to honor that.


I also just rec’d my card and the letter stating my “free Anniversary Night at any IHG Hotel worldwide.” I sent a SM to Chase a few days ago asking if they’d match the 80,000 point offer (I applied for the 60K) and they replied that they would as long as I did a $2000 minimum spend first. Now I’m wondering if they’ll be as agreeable about honoring the anniversary night that this letter says I am supposed to get. I assume I’d have to go through Chase and not IHG for this?


Unless you have a free night certificate posted to your account by May – and you won’t – you won’t get an uncapped night. The letter everyone received makes this very clear.

Greg The Frequent Miler

I’m not aware of anyone who has had the card less than a year getting the letter. There might be a different letter for new cardmembers. Hoping anyway!


You are now. I got mine in the fall of 2017 and got the letter today.


I also got the letter and opened my card 7 months back.

New guy

I just got the card today, planning to call tomorrow to ask about this. A friend also got the card today and called today, and was told the free night certificate would be capped at 40,000 points.

Question: If I never activate the card will it still show up on my credit report? I used a 5/24 spot on this card and was happy to do so with the uncapped night. But this has now changed drastically, and I never would’ve signed up for the card had I known this was coming. And I assume most others feel the same way.


What about changing the app to something different?