Capital One shut me down… Again

114

In 2021, I was excited when Capital One finally approved a new card application for me.  After years of trying, I was approved for the Venture card which had a 100K offer at the time.  Two months later, though, Capital One suddenly shut down my account.  I hadn’t done anything suspicious with the card, I had simply used it for everyday spend, but they shut me down anyway.  As a further kick in the teeth, they cashed out the rewards I had earned to-date for only a half cent each.  Ouch.

Now, they’ve done it again.  My wife has the Venture X card and she had added me as an authorized user.  A month later, Capital One said “not so fast!” and shut down my new card.  For some unknown reason, they really, really don’t like me.

My 2021 Venture card closure

Two months after signing up for the Venture card, the card suddenly and without warning stopped working. When I logged into Capital One, I saw that my account was labelled as “Restricted”.  The notice came by mail a week later.  It said that they didn’t like activity observed on a past or present Capital One account:

We’re writing to let you know that this Capital One credit card account has been closed for the following reason:

Capital One has observed activity on a past or present Capital One account that is not consistent with the bank’s expectations for account activity.

Unfortunately, it can’t be reopened, and we are not able to offer additional information about this decision.

You can read all about my first shut down experience here: Capital One shut down my account and gave me only a half cent per mile.

Following the shutdown, I tried many avenues to get Capital One to clarify why they shut me down and to try to change the cash out from half a cent per Mile to 1 cent.  All of those efforts went nowhere.

My 2023 Venture X (authorized user) closure

In October, my wife added me as a free authorized user to her Venture X card.  The purpose was simply so that I would have access to Capital One Lounges when not travelling with her.  I tucked the card into my travel wallet which resides in my go-everywhere backpack and figured that I would take it out only when visiting an airport with a Capital One Lounge.  Then, a month after opening the card, my wife received a curious email from Capital One:

Subject: A recap of your request for a new card

We’re working on your new card request.

Thanks for calling us to request a new card for your account ending in XXXX.

Because of This
We immediately shut down your card and issued you a new one.

Don’t Worry
Your card number has been deactivated so fraudsters can’t use it. You’ll receive an email when your new card is on its way.

Weird!  She certainly hadn’t requested a new card.  The account number referenced was the one associated with my authorized user card, so I started to worry that they may have shut me down and that it resulted in this strange email.

Later the same day, Capital One sent another email:

Subject: You’ve removed an Authorized User

You’ve removed an Authorized User.

Hi XXXXX,

You (or an Account Manager) have successfully removed an Authorized User from your credit card account ending in XXXX.

As a follow‑up, you should confirm that the Authorized User’s card is destroyed.

If you have questions, please call 1‑800-CAPITAL (1-800-227-4825).

At this point I was pretty sure that my authorized user card had been shut down.  We logged into my wife’s account to see if there was any info there, but there was not.  I didn’t see any point in calling.

About two weeks later, a snail-mail letter finally arrived:

Dear XXXX,

We’re writing about a recent change to your Capital One credit card account. GREGORY DAVIS-KEAN has been removed as an Authorized User of this account for the following reason:

Capital One has observed activity on a past or present Capital One account that is not consistent with anticipated account activity based on Capital One’s account opening and ongoing due diligence.

Please inform them to stop using the account immediately and to destroy any cards associated with it.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The decision is final, and you should not attempt to add GREGORY DAVIS-KEAN back to the account.
  • As the Primary account holder, you can continue using your account as described in your Capital One Account Terms.

If you have questions, feel free to call us at 844-710-0373. Thanks for being our customer.

Sincerely,

Capital One
Customer Care Team

There you go.  Whatever “observed activity” got my Venture card shut down apparently was egregious enough to cause this authorized user card to get shut down too.  Something about my name being in all caps seems extra-ominous.  And the letter came with a veiled threat towards my wife “you should not attempt to add GREGORY DAVIS-KEAN back to the account.”  I imagine “OR ELSE!” at the end of the statement.

Why do they keep shutting me down?

I don’t know why Capital One hates me so.  I didn’t use the Venture X at all, and I didn’t use the Venture account in 2021 in any questionable ways.  And I don’t have any other Capital One products.  The only other Capital One product I’ve ever had was an ING Orange online savings account that was bought by Capital One whereby it became a Capital One 360 account.  Years ago (Jan 4, 2015), Capital One forcibly shut down that account.  That time I did do some weird stuff completely by accident and so they shut me down without giving me a chance to explain my error.  Fair enough.  Today, are they continuing to punish me for my (accidental) sins from 7 years ago?  That’s my best guess.  That’s my only guess.

Weird stuff that got my Capital One 360 account shut down in 2015:  I don’t remember the exact details, but I remember the gist of what happened.  I had a Bank of America account linked to my 360 account.  Somewhere along the way, I changed the type of account I had with Bank of America and they gave me a new account number.  I forgot to update the account number linked within my 360 account.  Then, one day, I initiated a transfer of funds from BOA to 360 (or maybe the other way around — I can’t remember).  The transaction appeared to go through, but then later was reversed.  I discovered the reason: I hadn’t updated the old BOA account number.  So, I updated it and tried the transaction again.  Boom.  Capital One shut down my 360 account.  And now, apparently, they’ll continue to shut down my Capital One accounts until the end of days.

Mixed Feelings

Obviously I’m disappointed about Capital One shutting down my authorized user card.  But its not a big deal.  The only time I expected to use it was when I was at an airport that has a Capital One lounge and when my wife (or a friend with a Venture X card) isn’t with me.

On the plus side, we were previously walking on eggshells with my wife’s account.  I wondered if they would figure out that we’re together and punish her for my 2015 sins.  We made sure to cash out her rewards at a penny per Mile as soon as they were earned so as to avoid the possibility of only getting half a cent per Mile as was done to me in 2021.

Now, though, they seem to have implicitly accepted my wife’s account as legitimate.  The fact that they only shut down the authorized user card and not her primary card was great news.  As long as she doesn’t try to add me again as an authorized user, or fraternize with me in any way, her account should be safe.  Whew.

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Etta

Also, in relation to my post below, a full year and a half later, my second Capital One card remains open just fine after I told them to keep their restricted card ( the first card) since they had made me jump through many hoops and still wanted more.

My fraudulent audacity of having two bank accounts in my own name ( and they are not fraudulent, by the way, tongue in cheek) apparently only applies to one Capital One card and not the other, since one card remains fully open.

That’s accurate fraud prevention for you. Not.

To those who read this, I would recommend not adding more than one checking account to your Capital One cards for payment purposes, because Capital One is completely crazy.

Last edited 1 month ago by Etta
Etta

Please see below for additional detail.

Last edited 1 month ago by Etta
Etta

Sorry to hear this happened to you. It’s frustrating. Capital one restricted only one of my two cards with them. The other one has remained open just fine. The reason? I added a second bank account ( both my own) to make payments.

After sending letters to Capital One from both bank managers and providing statements proving both accounts were my own, they started wanting more. No, I said. I have plenty of other good cards and credit unions who trust me. Go ahead and restrict the one card because you’ve already made me jump through major hoops with you.

And no unusual spend, no gift cards, always made payments of 6x the minimum, and nothing unusual about the account. Never made unusually large charges, and never had a single charge from a questionable source.

I’d love to know what kind of “fraud prevention” restricts one card and lets the cardholder keep their second card open with no issues.

“Fraud” in their opinion must be a customer having two bank accounts in their own name as many people do. They’re crazy.

Last edited 1 month ago by Etta
Etta

And to clarify for those who are interested, these were 2 regular checking accounts with 2 major banks. Both had been established in my own name for 10 years.

No crazy large payments of $5,000 at one time or anything like that either.

No bluebird, no prepaid accounts nor any of that. I don’t do MS nor anything off the radar.

Their fraud protocols are badly broken, and I’m posting this to help others be aware.

My additional concern is that they may also miss real fraud if their fraud protocols are broken. They seem to spend a lot of effort pursuing non-fraud, and they alienate loyal customers in the process.

Last edited 1 month ago by Etta
Michael Karaman

I’ve had several poor experiences with CapOne credits cards over the years. After being a customer in good standing for a decade, I missed sending in my monthly payment (this was long before bank transfers were common). They had no interest in waiving the late payment fee, so their card moved to the end of my list.

A few years ago they declined a small ($14) transaction with a local restaurant. I literally had to sit on the phone for 40 minutes with a rep who clearly hadn’t verified a user before. Needless to say, I don’t do business with CapOne anymore.

Hope you’re doing well, GDK!

samsmom

My husband was shut down by Cap 1 earlier this week…new Venture card w/ no MS or erroneous spend. First C1 card ever, no other history with them. Called and was told account was “under review” and a case manager would be calling in 7-10 days. Asked that he send in copy of SS card, DL, etc. Said they had reason to suspect fraud but did not address any specific transaction. Card only open for 2-3 weeks, had just paid the AF from first statement. Points earned so far not available for redemption. I did install the C1 Eno browser extension at the time the account was open, might they be spying on me reading FM?? I only did so to checkout fast when attempting to get Taylor Swift tickets (HA). Actually the only reason the account was opened at all, and we all know how that went. What a joke, no thanks.

robertw

They have a picture of Greg at Capital on HQ in the mens bathroom. It says dont let this guy be a card member.

Jarrett

This is so lame. Makes me lose interest in them, for a multitude of reasons, one of which being they are simply risky to do business, particularly due to how they cashed you out.

robertw

I never had any issues with them. I hold no grudges if a program is good. Chase screwed me over many yrs ago. I fought them hard and won and got what I was entitled to.

Tom

Aye seconded. Chase shut down my wife’s and my mom’s account…after I opened a checking account they sent me an offer for….

robertw

Wow. That is really weird. Your mother as well. Does she live in the same address as you? I use Chase cards because they have very strong programs for me in personal and business. No MS here and all of my charges are proper. With that in mind I had some weird situations with them in the past.

Cavedweller

INKer 4 ever only had 5 their nice people like me. V Bernie

loungeabuser

No idea what this means. The mustiness of the cave must be getting to him

Cavedweller

Get an INK Fool and cancel the other junk. I’m sure u have been in the Lounges to long too.Try Cheap United lounges I’m sure they will work for u. LOL and V Bernie

Randy B

Seems like Capital One is doing it’s best to piss of the points and miles community.

Dan

I mean they don’t want the business. That’s their right. Chase holds 5/24, that’s their right.

People get pissed off for a lot of things these days, but I think Greg is taking this like a champ. He also joked about getting shut down by C1 earlier this year, so I think he saw this coming.

C1 does spend a lot of money on their risk management side of their business though.

JohnB

Cap1 issues more CCs to sub-prime customers than any other bank. I guess that is how they make money. Treat good credit customers like crap, that is a good business model for the long run.

karma

I think if for any reason (even once if caught) doing manufactured spending of any kind, gift card purchase, making multiple payments especially from accounts like bluebird, or prepaid non standard banks and caught then they dont all any relationship as its tied to SSN. I am in dog house with Capital one, Chase for same reasons and it doesnt matter they will either imeediately deny or 1-3 months they dont want to do anything with you. Its like permament naughy list !

robertw

Interesting point. I never have dome any MS spend. They see such activity as money laundering.

loungeabuser

Chase shut me down in 2013, and then ten years later with no unusual activity on accounts open 10 years. My conclusion is they all have security departments with too much authority.

JohnB

Mr. Gregory, per Capital One, you are longer approved to cohabitate with your wife. Only kidding!

I have only applied for the Venture X CC. I was denied because they stated that I had too much credit. When I called, the agent was not allowed to tell me the real reason.

I have written off Capital One! Cap1’s primary business is credit cards for sub-prime borrowers. Over 90% of the Cap1 CCs issued are for borrowers that have blemished credit. Cap1 pulls all 3 credit reports. So you get 3 hard pulls.

Then Cap1 recently announced that Cap1 VentureX will lose Priority Pass restaurants. With this news, I have totally written off Cap1. I ignore all the blogger posts that the VentureX is so wonderful! VentureX is a con game that makes me distrust bloggers who promote it!

Earl Lee

Did you buy any gift cards? Chase did the same thing to me which has been brutal since they have all the great cards. Most likely it’s because of that or some other type of manufactured spend.

Earl Lee

Hmm. There has to be some logical reason. Something in the algorithm that made you non-desirable to them. It’s been 2 years and I’m hoping Chase comes around. But same thing, they cancelled my authorized card with my wife as well.

But I do admit, I was going crazy with Simon Mall gift cards. The Capital One Venture X is a great card. I got it for all the SUB points but the card pays for Itself with the various bonuses.

loungeabuser

No , there does not have to be a logical reason. Stop looking for one.

Colonel Klink

VEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRY Interesting

Sgt Schultz

I know nothing . . . Nothing.

Paul

There’s a reference for the kids 🙂

Bret

Greg, You having the wrong account on a transfer doesn’t pass the smell test. It has to be some other reason. Did you know anyone that works or use to work at Capital one(holding a grudge)? It seems someone has put you on a list that is typically reserved for risky individuals. Certain customers get a lot more scrutiny because of their business, job or reputation.

Anyway just a thought! You are unlikely to change Capital One’s mind!

Harry

Agreed: Your 1st shut down would been enough for me. In fact your previous shut down help my decision to stay very clear from Cap1 even though almost daily they are throwing apps at me. The aggravation factor is just too much. Screw’em.

Nun

If you stop paying a credit card and a collections agency purchases the debt, the bank marks you as an unsatisfactory relationship forever. It’s not 7 years like credit reports and they will deny or close all new accounts.

Maybe ING got you on that list, even if unjustified. If you have time I would send a paper letter to Capital One’s office of the president and ask if there is some outstanding issue that can be corrected.

JohnB

That isn’t true. My sister went bankrupt about 15 years ago. She has multiple Cap1 accounts. Credit cards, checking account, car loans.

Nun

That’s interesting. I’m glad to be wrong.

For a friend of mine it’s true for Chase. It wasn’t bankruptcy protection though— just stopped paying.

JohnB

Yeah, she had some cards that she hadn’t paid for 6 months and then finally saw a lawyer. She was constantly getting calls from all kinds of collection agencies. Unemployed, etc. No one would negotiate with her for a payment plan. Us, her siblings, said it was time to see a lawyer, just to stop the harassing phone calls. Which according to Federal law, they are not supposed to do, but it seems to not be enforced. They would call at 11PM and 6AM, she finally unplugged her home phone. After the settlements, which only Amex came to court, 18 months later, applied to Cap1 and was instantly approved. Cap1 is the king of sub-prime CCs.

Recon

Now we know the real reason that Mrs. FM wasn’t invited as Greg’s guest on the 3C3C challenge — didn’t want to give Cap1 any evidence of potential fraternization.

Herbie

Greg– I sympathize with the frustration you have with C1’s unconscionable business quirks. In one sense, I am luckier than you. I have consistently been rejected numerous times (with 3 800+ scores –more on that later). Having said that, I must confess to having received several secured card offers–WOW. Accordingly, at least I was never shut down like you were. My latest rejection was a joke. Everyone gripes about C1 using 3 hard pulls per application. I got 4 pulls–one from a financial company I never heard of. Also, my rejection letter cited (presumably as one reason for rejection) a credit score in the mid 700s. I think it was Experian, where I actually hang between 820 and 825. After getting blown off by a phone rep, I wrote a vicious letter to C1 that probably leaves me “blacker” than you on their list. I threatened litigation (not subject to arbitration if never had a card) if I ever discover that the erroneous credit score is or has been disclosed to any 3rd party. I’m over it. With Chase, AMEX and Citi available, who needs a 2nd rate program with no meaningful transfer partnership arrangements.

Nick Reyes

Regarding your score, there are different scoring models. I don’t know off the top of my head, which model C1 uses, but your score certainly may vary from FICO8 to FICO9 to FICO Bankcard 4 to FICO Bankcard 5 to FICO 10 T, etc (there are quite a few more) and I rarely ever found that the Vantage score that most free monitoring products offers is particularly relevant. Mid 700s is typically high enough for the best terms anyway, but I point that out to say that it may not have been inaccurate but rather a different model than whatever you were citing.

Herbie

Thx for response Nick. Phone rep did not offer a relevant comment such as yours. BTW, I noticed you already have one thumb down from the mystery rater.

Herbie

Followed up on your comment. Present (supposedly real from Experian) FICO 8 score is 823. I understand your thought, though, that one of those other models might have been used by C1. Perhaps they look for the lowest number and then recite it.

Cavedweller

Mine is 800 to 820 doesn’t matter C1 never gave me a card.Ask Nick he knows their system..ALOHA

Herbie

Thx for your input Cave… It’s comforting to know there is a brotherhood of individuals who are victims of C1’s questionable business practices.

Russ

I was recently denied a Savor card. My credit score is 829, I’ve never missed a payment in my life, and I never carry a balance. They sourced all three credit bureaus plus something called Lexis/Nexus which seems to be a risk assessment outfit; they determined that I had access to too much credit. This is BS. I ran into them years ago with my car insurance, again, same thing, I had access to too much credit and was a risk to go on a spending binge and declare bankrupcy. I was in my 60s at the time with no issues on my credit score. Because of having too much credit available, I was a risk, so they raised my car insurance rate. I had no accidents or tickets on my driving record, nothing. I canceled my policy and went with a new insurer. I too had an ING online savings account that morphed into Cap 1 after they purchased it. Just what is going on with Cap 1 cards is a mystery.

Nick Reyes

US Bank also tends to pull Lexis Nexis. You’re right that it’s another risk management tool, but my understanding is that it’s much more thorough. I’ve heard from people who have requested a copy of their Lexis Nexis report that it is almost uncomfortably detailed. You can freeze it.

ktc

do you mean freeze Lexis Nexis? if so more details?

JohnB
David

Its too bad that you found out she was fine until after you cashed out her points. right now Capital One transfer partner Turkish Airlines has an incredible deal to/from a list of destinations. 30% off (points) award flights. RT business class for 2 to Europe only 126k miles and $1000ish. I’m shocked you guys haven’t reported on this!

Nick Reyes

We tried but couldn’t find enough availability to make it worth writing about. I haven’t found a single available flight to/from the US over the past several days. I haven’t looked at December 2022 departures, but everything I’ve checked out further hasn’t been available.

David

Well I was lucky enough to find a few dates… my coworker booked from Rome to Seattle via Istanbul for 2… maybe its dried up now… but Seattle had a few days in April, March and Feb.. (around 2 days each all with 4 available) about 3 days ago. Maybe Seattle is the ticket?

Use Woke Madness to Your Advantage

Time to fight fire with fire.

File a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Board and say your account was closed because of racism, sexism and homophobia. Tell them you identify as an non-binary American indian lesbian and THAT’S why they denied you credit. The complaint and their response will be a matter of public record. In your complaint, tell them you won’t make the complaint public and you will withdraw it if they give you the Auth user card back.

Lee

Don’t forget “with a limp in your left leg.”

Stevenson

how does capital 1 treat buying gc from simon mall to reach the SUB spend? thinking about signing up for the Spark Travel Elite card but need tons of MS to reach the $50k.

Lee

shut down

Stevenson

personal experience ?

Last edited 3 months ago by Stevenson
Nick Reyes

I haven’t had an issue with it, but some have been shut down. YMMV.

Jina

not sure if it’ll be worth your time, but an organization called Elliot Advocacy helped me out when I had trouble with United. A completely separate matter, but they help you reach executives at a company and help you get your story heard. My case was resolved. https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/capital-one-customer-service-contacts/

Oren

Hilarious. Bureaucracy at its finest. No rhyme or reason. But at least they were “fair” and didn’t take it out on your wife. Play on!

Sco

They gave your wife a phone number to call with any questions, have you tried calling it to find out?

Seems pretty clear that the confusion about the BoA account with your ING account triggered a fraud warning for CapOne and they’ve added you to a blacklist. Presumably you could try contacting them and seeing if there is an appeals process, but given how strict CapOne seems to always be about things my guess would be its unlikely to work out. At least your wife has been able to keep the card so you have some access to CapOne points!

patrick

I haven’t ever been shut down by Cap One, but they sure don’t like me either. Went back and looked at my spreadsheet and see that between my wife and I we’ve been turned down for Cap One cards 11 times in the last 7 years. LOL! Looks like the only Cap One cards we’ve had were the Venture and Quiksilver and that was 10 years ago.

rxgeek

By shutting down Greg, CO probably lost dozens of potential customers scared off by this bs, er, situation.

Topsyturvy

I always assumed you did a lot of manufactured spend. Even if it wasn’t on the Cap One card I belive the credit report lists the monthly balance (spend?) for each account so presumably they can see that you’re spending a lot more than your stated income? Could that be it?

BB312

You can’t actually tell from a credit report whether someone has high monthly spending and pays in full or just carries a balance and pays interest.

Topsyturvy

But isn’t a high monthly spend a risk factor? When it’s significantly higher than the income (bec of manufactured spending)? Not sure if paying of balance before statement closing helps.

BB312

Sure. But only the issuer of that particular card would have that information. Credit utilization generally is the only proxy other issuers would have. Other issuers don’t know if you’re paying it off or rolling it over. That information is simply not shared. They report your balance, limit, and whether you paid at least the minimum due. They don’t report how much you actually paid or spent in a given month. 100% agree that if I were a creditor, I would find that info relevant. Capital One does not have access to monthly spend info at Amex, for instance. But I bet Amex looks at it internally.

Bob

Again not true, I’ve seen the monthly payment show up on my experian and transunion. So the banks know how much you paid in the cycle.

BB312

No, the “monthly payment” field on a credit report is the minimum payment due, not the actual amount paid.

Bob

I’m sorry but you are incorrect. It’s two separate entries. I have a pdf version of the Experian credit report downloaded from annual credit report website. I don’t carry balances. I pay in full. The report shows one field which is called “scheduled payment” which shows the minimum payment (if you balance carry) so this field is 0 for me, and another field which is called “paid” and it shows the exact amount I paid on the card during the statement.

You need to go look for yourself because I am telling you that I am correct. It sounds like your information is outdated. What you say is the old way. Things have changed. The report has more detailed information now.

Last edited 3 months ago by Bob
Bob

Not true. Credit report shows the payment. You might not see it, but the lenders have access to it.

BB312

Pretty sure that would violate the FCRA to show to creditors but hide from consumers.

Bob

Well I don’t know why you can’t see it on your credit report, but it’s on mine. So I can only conclude that it is hidden on yours. Whether it’s legal or not is another discussion. The information exist regardless.

Last edited 3 months ago by Bob
JustSaying

You should just accept you are very bad person and that your photo is up on their dartboard in the company conference room and all new employees are briefed on how dangerous you are and what to do if contacted by you. They just aren’t worth the ink.

Lee

Imagine that you receive both postal mail offers and email offers from Capital One that say that you are PREAPPROVED for a specific card. To be clear, these are not offers that say “see what you might be preapproved for.” So, you apply. And, you have a hard pull. And, you are declined.

Now imagine that you receive another one about three months later and think you still have a shot. Same result. Now imagine it happens a third time. So, you move on. But, now, other banks say you have too many credit inquiries.

This scenario happened to my wife. Between this series of events and Capital One absolutely terrible in-branch customer service, Capital One is off the list. Others might sing the praises of Capital One but every single offer now goes into the shredder.

Greg, I had a similar shut-down experience with US Bank. At the time, I had substantial assets at US Bank and was in a special relationship group. Every single purchase was a bona fide purchase. Account lock and account lock. I validated every single purchase with its “secret” fraud team, who then told me my account was being shut down due to fraud . . . and I would lose all of my points. This joker on the “special” fraud team was aware of my broader relationship with the bank and simply didn’t care.

After the shut-down call, I quickly redeemed all of my points before the forfeiture hit the rewards platform. About two weeks later, my checking account was closed due to fraudulent activity. (I only paid my credit card bills, utilities, etc. with it.) Needless to say, my investment account resides at another firm.

Lee

Just received ANOTHER pre-approved offer today. If you can believe it.

Jonathan H

Although capital one may not like the work that you do here for us, we all certainly appreciate it! If we ever cross paths in Dallas or DC, I’ll happily let you in a lounge as my +1

Mark R.

Capital One is in McLean, VA & they know you are an Ann Arbor Wolverine & are not happy that U of M will be in the national championship, it’s that simple.

Dave

I’ve moved on from Capital One. Applied for the Savor twice and denied both times. This after holding onto their Venture for 10+ years. Can’t figure them out…

Name

It’s the old ING account. I’m in the same boat. I confirmed that’s as the root cause when I tried to open a 360 account for a bonus. I also did some weird stuff with my ING account and was also shut down many many years ago. It’s a shame.

Phil Ridolfi

In solidarity with Greg, I had avoided Capital One products entirely until a few months ago when his wife was approved. So I applied for and received the Venture X card and have actually come to really like that 2X on “everything else”.
But I have an idea! Let’s all cash out all of our Capital One miles (just in case) and then add Greg as an authorized user. Even the blockheads at Capital One might realize it’s time to respond to all of their unhappy customers.
Who’s with me?

Tony

This type of issues isn’t limited to Capital One. Banks maintain lists of people blacklisted and computers do the rest. It’s all automated without human involvement. Fortunately, each bank has its own system/blacklist and it wouldn’t affect systems/blacklists at other banks, unless one somehow manages to get on the DHS list…

Jim

I just do not understand Capital One. I have had a Capital One Spark Business card for a while that I spend about $10,000+/month, I have a Capital One 360 Performance Saving account with over $100,000+, and I have never had any prior issues with Capital One that I am aware of. But Capital One will not approve me for the Capital One Venture X credit card no matter what I do, even asking for reconsideration in writing, it does not make any sense. My mom, dad, wife, oldest daughter and sister were all approved for the Venture X, but not me. I have been added as an authorized user and “account manager” for all of my family members accounts with no problem. Things that make you go hmmmmmm……..

David

This story takes the cake. You do good business with them! what are they doing? If I were in your shoes I would not do any further business with them. I would call and cancel the spark card and let them know its because I felt they do not value me as a customer.

JohnB

I agree! Move on! There are other better banks than Cap1!

Jacques Bertonnis

You’re blacklisted, unfortunately. And these systems have a very long memory especially now, when digital records exist …

Vic

Same with me, I wont ever do biz with them again!

NCTipper

Cap One seems to hate me as well, but I don’t have a specific negative experience with them to point to to explain it. I present virtually zero credit risk to Cap One but they won’t approve me for the Venture X because I apparently have too many credit cards, which I suppose is fair enough since by any reasonable standard I do. But they still send me an email every month asking me to check which Cap One cards I could be pre-approved for, so I do and there is always some garbage card with no SUB that they would approve me for but never any Venture cards. I suppose I could get one of these alternatives and hopefully “prove” to them that I am a worthy customer, but I don’t think that’s worth my time and effort. I guess the Centurion and PP lounges will have to do for me.

Nick Reyes

That preapproval tool is pretty meaningless. My wife only got preapproval for a secured card (i.e. one where you need to make a deposit to guarantee the account and that’s your credit limit), no preapproval for any actual credit card — yet minutes later she was approved for a Venture X with a $20K limit. I’m not saying they’ll approve you, just that I wouldn’t put more than entertainment value on their preapproval tool — and it isn’t even very entertaining.

NCTipper

Ha – true – not very entertaining indeed! Just what I need, a secured starter credit card! Not sure I was totally clear in my post though – I’ve actually applied for and been declined for the Venture X (the only card I’ve been declined for in at least the last 25 years). I figure the main reason I was declined was that Cap One determined that there was virtually no way for them to profit from having me as a customer, since I would likely hit the SUB and stop using the card. But I spoke to a Cap One rep I met at an event recently and he told me that if I was declined it was strictly for credit reasons, and that the approval models don’t take into consideration profitability. I find that difficult to believe given my credit record, unless their model puts way, way oversized weight on available credit versus actual usage and payment history.

Darin

I think what the rep is saying is that there is not a separate profitability screen outside of the credit review process, which is likely true. But banks set the standards of the credit review itself to include any number of factors outside of just creditworthiness, and CO clearly has set standards that filter out people they know have great credit but don’t suit the profile of a customer they want. I had been in the same boat for years while having no problem getting cards from other banks. I was recently able to get the Spark Travel Elite through a relationship manager, which seems to be easier to get for people like us and has the same benefits of the Venture X. You do have to be able to spend $50k in 6 mos for the full SUB, but approval itself seems to be easier than Venture X, which I was declined for along with all other CO attempts.

BHays

I don’t think that the profitability enters into it. I think there are many like me who were approved for the VX and have 25+ other cards we rarely use and never carry a balance. The amount of credit I have available to me far exceeds my annual income. I had 1 very old, never used V card and was a bit surprised to be approved for the VX with a large cl (over 10k). I have no clue how they choose who to blacklist and who to bestow generous credit and rewards upon– maybe it really is a magic dart board. That makes as much sense as any other answer. (I am getting a little paranoid though, and thinking I need to hurry up and spend/transfer all those points!)

Daniel

That’s not the same scenario at all.

snap

CapitalOne is a strange beast… and I say that with two people I’m close to working there. My experience is that while Venture X is a strong product, the customer service for it and the Visa Infinite benefits suck. Even when having an iron clad case of a dispute being in my favor (the retailers own terms and conditions that spelled it out) CapitalOne denied it. Had to spend hours appealing before I finally got a substantial part of the charge given as a courtesy credit. Never had the same issues with Chase/Visa Signature or Amex.

snap

And had another incident that resulted in the same denial, lengthy appeal, subsequent credit

Andy

Next post is going to be about how you log into your wife’s Capital One shopping portal and see a bunch of targeted cashback offers for dating apps and divorce attorneys.

Carl

I’m no apologist for CapitalOne, and I do think that you should be able to get detailed reasons for a shutdown and have a chance to appeal such a decision.

Where is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on this issue?

Oh, that’s right, it’s a creation of Elizabeth Warren who wants 1099’s on payments over $600. The reason that banks are so trigger-happy is that they have big burdens and penalties to prevent money laundering, and the fines if they slip-up are disproportionate. It’s safer to blacklist a customer. It’s also why it’s become difficult to impossible for U.S. taxpayers to open accounts abroad.

GUWonder

Sounds to me like his being blacklisted has nothing to do with Elizabeth Warren, nothing to do with money laundering, and nothing to do with FATCA.

Sounds to me like he’s still being blacklisted for having conducted (or having attempted to conduct) transactions via an account which was known as having been closed and/or emptied of funds at the time of the 2015 transaction that eventually caused the blacklisting. Accidental or intentional, customers trying to use their own closed accounts for financial transactions is considered to increase the risk that such flagged customer will produce a negative balance account/position and lead to an increase in non-performing assets for the bank.

Carl

The climate that a bank can shut down a customer for what can be an innocent mistake without explanation or recourse is directly related to the regulations promulgated by Elizabeth Warren and the treasury department. Banks do face large fines for making mistakes on AML/KYC, FATCA etc. and apparently no consequence at all for shutting down an innocent customer without explanation or recourse. Seems like the kind of thing CFPB should protect, not ignore.

LarryInNYC

There are various reasons why one might end up on a bank / financial institution’s blacklist including:

  1. Regulatory burden.
  2. Theft.
  3. Gaming.

You seem to be certain that Greg’s situation falls under (1) while GUWonder feels it falls under (2). For my part, I think it’s impossible to know exactly what the bank suspects Greg of. So it’s possible this is related to exposure to some regulatory issue, but in no way is it certain to be the case.

Carl

The bank ought to give you the reason you are being blacklisted, and the chance to challenge or correct the record. No different than the fact that you are entitled to see what is on your credit report and get it corrected.

LarryInNYC

Given that the bank believes you to possibly be a criminal attempting to steal money it’s going to be hard to convince them to give you any information about what tipped them off.

It’s the same reason that, when you have a failed login to any software or website, they don’t (or shouldn’t) tell you whether you got the user name or password wrong. Sure, most of the time it’s an innocent mistake and it would help the innocent user correct the problem to know which of the two was wrong but in the few cases in which your site is being subject to a brute force login attack you would really be helping the bad actor crack the login.

You know what forces companies to divulge the reason you’re turned down for service? Government regulations.

Ken

Yeah, Cap1 has a trigger finger and a long memory. They shut me down in 2012 because I was depositing MO’s at a local branch. I applied for a Venture in 2016 and got approved; card came and I activated it. Two days later it was shut down.
You’ve had a similar experience: Cap1’s approval process doesn’t seem to get screened by whatever department manages their legal risk …..

Dave Hanson

Appreciate the detailed data point, Greg.

I had a mass shutdown of many Capital one CC accounts back around 2008 because I was using their $0 fee balance transfer checks for free float once every billing cycle. I’m interested in these new products, but experiences like yours make me wary of trying again.

Note there is a difference with Cap One between “restricted” accounts and a profile that is deleted. The former used to follow you indefinitely. The latter is much harder to get done, but can sometimes be managed. Not sure about purging a checking account relationship though.

Rob

They think you are a check kiter because of the ING account incident. Banks are subject to so much regulation and violations of certain regs cost them dearly. That is why they are draconian about things like kiting, cycling and anti-money laundering/know your customer.

Jules

For those of us not in the know, can you please explain what you mean by “check kiter” and “kiting”.

Rob
Rob

The link bot won’t let me post it. Just go to youtube and search “Check Kiting (fraud scheme)”

anonymous

Waste time watching a potentially lengthy video instead of just looking up a brief definition on the internet? What have we become? LMAO.

Greg, convince your family to not do business with Capital One anymore. 😉

Rob

It’s a short video, but the concept takes more than a few words to describe if you don’t know what it is.

Ronnie

Or you could just Google it for yourself.

Joe

Whaaa? Sounds like too much work.

LarryInNYC

The reason that they’re vigilant about check kiting (as well as simple, legal, gaming) is loss control, not government regulation. Banks don’t need the government to tell them it’s bad if people steal money.

Rob

It is regulation. Check kiting is illegal.

LarryInNYC

It’s illegal because it’s theft. Robbing a bank at gunpoint is also illegal — not because of government regulatory overreach. It’s just a crime.

Rob

Lol – I know you really want that to be the reason, but it’s not Larry. It is bank fraud under federal banking law. Check kiting schemes are responsible for causing entire banks to fail which threatens the solvency of the banking system and causes the failed banks to go into FDIC receivership. There are many regulations in place to prevent it from happening which is why the bank freaks out if it happens because it means it was not in compliance.

LarryInNYC

So your argument is that, in the absence of regulation prohibiting writing bad checks, banks would freely allow this practice? That it’s only fear of federal regulatory penalties that inspires their desire to ensure that there are funds to back up the checks?

Rob

Of course not. But I don’t think you appreciate how hard it is to detect a real scheme, especially when it is spread over say 10 or more banks, each taking advantage of 2 day clearing. It can go on for quite some time before it is exposed. That’s why they are supposed to monitor frequent deposits, nonsufficient funds instances, large deposits, escalating balances, short average time of money in account among other things as part of compliance.

Many of the things folks in this hobby do gets them into trouble with their banking relationships because it also looks like possible kiting or money laundering.