What will the face of travel credit cards look like over the next year or two?

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The current points bonanza from the US BANK Olympics promotion has raised many question. One of them being turned down due to ARS or Advanced Resolution Services saying you had to many credit requests to your PHONE NUMBER. Yes, you read that right, your phone number you used when you requested a card. You can read more about this kind of program HERE.

So far it seems ONLY US BANK is taking this extra step beyond checking with a credit bureau and making sure your score is high enough, they want to see what else you have been up to (for a card churner, one more hurdle to clear).

I was hit with this little gem when I went for the card in July. I was turned down, called back, had to explain that I run an LLC and have several small business and just because I have separate lines or cards for each is no reason to turn me down. After all, just look at all those lines (OK so maybe 30+ cards all-in for Lisa and me is getting a little silly) I have never ever been late on a single one. Result – as you know – approved.

But will other banks start taking this step this too? Not just this, but what else are these titans of wall street doing to check up on us and see if we are worthy of a new card. Take a look at this piece from the New York Times.

An e-score! We now have to worry about an e-score? Not yet, but as we can see from ARS, more is coming and coming fast. A bank wants to KNOW you are a good risk before they say approved. I also want to know what impact 3rd party sources like these will have on the reconsideration department people we often have to talk to in order to get final approval (see the bottom of my best points cards tab for these numbers).

I don’t know what is next, but after almost 18 years in TECH I do know data on us, from what we do, where we go, what we post on Facebook (one of the reasons I DON’T have a personal or DP page) and on and on and on will have an impact on so many parts of our lives beyond the digital.

Then there is the final bit of this puzzle. The court ruling  that businesses, like my computer shop, could pass on a “fee” to take credit cards without fear of the processors shutting you down so you can no longer take cards. So, do I charge a fee? Not yet. I always ask for cash or a check from customers and most agree. When they want to pay with card, I eat the fee. I think most businesses will stay this way too. But have you every tried to buy a car with a credit card? You see my point.

Right now the pickings are still very good with deals like the 30,000(deal over) 25,000 point SPG personal and business cards, or, for who knows how long  (HINT HINT),  the reduced $2000 spend (Now $3000 spend to get) 40,000 bonus points Chase Sapphire Preferred® card,  and I hope deals like this last for as long as they can! – René


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  1. This is why more and more our hobbies goes public, good things will die. Since you have been in tech business for many years, I will give you a hint on something that died long ago due to the public learning about it. It starts with a B. not hard to figure out for techies.

  2. @Mike – true, but I am 100% against the keep it PVT. That is why I have the TEXT ALERT system to jump on deals fast. You know what, the deals will NEVER all go away. All we have to do is adapt. Change. Be ready to move to the next deal and work the new rules. I, that is Delta Points, will always publish ANYTHING that we call all recreate and do! – Rene

  3. Thanks, Looks like I’ll use my office line for my US Bank application.
    And as for using a credit card to buy a car – I’ve done it. Not the WHOLE car, but I was allowed to make a 5k down payment on my Delta AMEX for a car (that helped me hit my spend for bonus MQMs last year!).

  4. Interesting, especially since the article states, “He [Gordy Meyer] adds that eBureau’s clients use the scores only to narrow their field of prospective customers — not for the purposes of approving people for credit, loans or insurance.”

    Based on Rene’s interaction with USBank, this statement is false.

    Personally, I hate how much intelligence is available on us via websites like Spokeo. While much of the information is publicly available, it becomes a privacy threat when it is compiled into actionable intelligence, as these sites do.

  5. I was told by a Chase CSR that they used telephone numbers to check on the number of previous apps also. I suspect your name, SS#, address and phone are all cross referenced by computer search. Also I was turned down by US Bank when I went after the Flex Perk card; the reason being to many recent CC apps. I called and asked for reconsideration and was told to check with the credit agency that had provided the report to the Bank. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she was telling me the same thing. I admitted to her that I had applied for multiple cads (4) the previous week and gave my reasons and my speil about my great record. She agreed to send it to . “the committee” that reviews denials and a few days later I got the card. Normally I would have waited 3 months before making new apps. but the Olympic Promotion was due to expire at the end of the month.

  6. @Rene,

    Who did you call to resolve the US Bank denial? Was it US Bank or was it ARS?

  7. Our business WANTS credit cards. No hassle, no mess. No billing customers, no delinquent accounts, no processing checks, no chasing customers, no credit hold, get money in three days. 3% — totally worth it.

  8. USe a google voice number with some of the applications if you wish. Of a cell number.

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