US Bank Now Denying Credit Based on Your Blocking ARS – Advanced Resolution Services!

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freeze or unfreeze ars

You must now UNfreeze for US Bank approvals!

Last month it was time for my wife to go for a new round of cards. All were approved instantly other than the one from US BANK FlexPerks business card during the US Bank Olympic promo. We waited and after a while got a letter that she had to call to give more info for approval.

Now here is the thing. US Bank is a very strange bank. They used to be “it” in the old NWA days. Then, once Delta kicked them to the curb in favor of AMEX for SkyMiles, they came up with their own rewards program, FlexPerks. If you work this program it can mean great discounts on travel. Many of us who apply for a number of cards a year also enjoyed the program for many new cards over the years.

Then they hit us with something new that now just about everyone has blogged about, that is, ARS or Advanced Resolution Services an arm of VISA that checks your phone number as to how many cards you have applied for. The simple solution for a number of years has been to block ARS and prevent them from reporting to US Bank (or any other bank that uses the service) how many cards you have applied for over time.

Now US Bank has taken it a step further and it is REALLY bad news for us. According to a card member investigations rep, they are now refusing to approve anyone who had their ARS frozen. And it gets worse.

If you apply when you have your ARS frozen you must unfreeze it (via this link) and then apply again. This could mean two hard pulls and, depending on the time of an offer, you are no longer able to get the old better offer but now are only approved for the current offer.

But even the latter is unlikely because once you unfreeze your ARS, and US Bank sees how many cards you have applied for in your lifetime, they are very unlikely to approve you anyway.

Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. This is horrid news.

What this means is now US Bank has the worst of all restrictions of all the banks. This means, unlike the 5/24 rule with Chase that if you wait 2 years that allows you to get at least 5 of their cards, with US Bank you will likely be blocked for many, many years to come. And let’s face it, despite a number of very attractive cards, who in their right mind would wait years to just apply for US Bank cards?

Folks, times are getting harder and harder. Chase has their rules. AMEX had their 1x per card lifetime. Citi now lumps cards into a family of cards. All of them are doing something to combat us from enjoying new card bonus offers. But with US Bank – NO – is now the word we can expect to hear! – René




  1. @PamF – That may not work. Here is why. If the ping your ARS it may show old phone number. If you freeze they simply say no.

  2. My SO and I both froze our ARS reports several years ago. I thought this was permanent, unless explicitly lifted. We were both just approved for the Olympic promo FlexPerk card offers last week. Sounds like this could be an excuse to deny you rather than a blanket reason for rejection.

  3. Wife an I applied on last day for both. The personal ones auto approved an the business went pending just got the letter to call in yesterday. ARS was frozen for both of us, I will call in tomorrow but not looking good.

  4. Applied for the personal card on Thursday, Sept 1, and noticed three or four days later that a new card had been added to my online account. Got the card in the mail a few days later. Sure is tempting to make a frozen ARS joke – mine is, after all – but I know this isn’t a laughing matter for a lot of people.

  5. US Bank rejected my online application for a checking account (with a cash bonus). In a chat, the CSR mentioned that it was due to my ARS account being frozen, but that I could apply in-branch and bypass the ARS query. Got the account, and two subsequent cards (one business, one personal) in-branch with no problem.

  6. Forgive my ignorance because I’m not a pro, but aren’t you complaining that these credit card companies are trying to thwart you churning their cards just for the sign-up bonuses? It would seem like all this opening and closing of accounts would damage your credit score, particularly average account age. Why not just get the cards that give you the best rewards and use them appropriately?

  7. I guess I’m clueless but I never heard of ARS until just now. I got instant approval for the FlexPerks personal card a couple of weeks ago. I have two other open cards with the bank and had the FlexPerks previously but canceled it rather than pay the annual fee. I’ve had about 15-20 new cards in the last two years. I’d modify your statement to say that for SOME people US Bank may have the most severe restrictions, but obviously not for all.

  8. Applied for Business Olympic Aug 26 with ARS and SageStream frozen. Received pending and the card arrived a week later. Also and unrelated – applied for AMEX Flexperk 30k personal on Jul 27 and received an instant approval. As far as history goes, I’v been milking ClubCarlson for 3 years and my spend on it is NWBucks every week.

  9. AlwaysFlying – I have a theory that this US bank restriction on their business card is placed sometime last week of Aug or beginning of September.

  10. Applied for the USbank Flexperks BUSINESS card hoping to get the Olympics bonus offer. Received a letter in the mail stating that “we were unable to verify information on your application” and asked me to call them. When I called this morning, was told I was denied because I had “frozen vcl”. I had previously frozen both my ARS and my SageStream reports about 5 months ago. They said it was too late to apply for the Olympic offer, that if I wanted the business card I’d have to unfreeze my reports and apply all over again for the current offer. Sigh.

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