In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!
I guess I jinxed myself with this one. I typically talk about how I find American Express cards to be easiest to be approved for. There’s not a card issuer where I get instant approvals as consistently, and in those cases where I don’t get instant approvals, I’ve always been able to call and have them push through the application so that it’s approved within a couple of days.
Until last month it had been a long time since I’ve applied for an Amex card. Last May I picked up the Hilton Honors Ascend Card, but that was the only Amex card I picked up until last month, since I’ve been maxed out on how many I can have. You can have at most five American Express credit cards at a time, and that’s how many cards I’ve had.
Last month I was finally able to cancel a card, and took the opportunity to apply for The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, which I’ve wanted to get so badly. The card has no annual fee, and offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent annually. There are no strings attached here, as the card is that rewarding. Personally I think it’s the single most rewarding card for the first $50,000 of everyday, non-bonused spend.
I applied for the card on February 27, and got a “pending decision” message. I was surprised I didn’t get an instant approval, since everyone else in my family who has applied for the card got an instant approval. I should note that I was getting an error message on the website initially, as I wasn’t able to log into my Amex account and have it pre-populate my information, so I had to enter everything manually.
I got a reference ID and was given a phone number I could call. While I find Amex customer service is generally quite good when you’re an existing cardmember, their new cardmember number is staffed by one of the less competent outsourced call centers I’ve dealt with.
The guy I spoke with assured me that everything was normal and that there was a “special department” looking at my application, and that I should be approved within 5-10 business days at most. That seems like a long time to me, though I figured they were trying to manage expectations, and it would actually be faster. Oddly when I went to the American Express application status page, I didn’t even see my card listed.
So I waited and waited and waited, and after 11 business days I called back.
“There is a very special department working on your application, this is a very high priority for them.”
“If there’s a very special department working on this and this is a very high priority for them, shouldn’t it have been approved within 11 days?”
The guy said he had no way of directly contacting the department, but that he’d send them an “urgent” message, and that within 24-48 hours I would have a decision. I didn’t.
I waited several more days, and then this Monday, about three weeks after I applied, I called again. I got the same answer again. This time I stressed that I had been before that I’d receive a response within 24-48 hours, and that still hadn’t happened. He “promised” that this time it would really happen.
Sure enough, yesterday I got the email that I had finally been approved for the card.
I’m happy to finally have The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express, though I can’t believe the process. I’m guessing there was just some major glitch in the system that was holding up the application, because it simply doesn’t take credit card companies that long to notify consumers of a decision, especially when the decision is issued electronically. It was probably related to me not being able to pre-populate my existing account info when applying.
I still think Amex cards are the easiest to be approved for if you have excellent credit, and that they also most commonly issue instant approvals. However, this was an extreme situation that I figured was still worth sharing.
Has anyone else had to wait nearly a month for a credit card approval to come through?