Rare (For Me): Instant Approval On A Chase Credit Card

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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A few days ago I outlined my credit card strategy for October 1 and beyond, and yesterday I got instantly approved for my first credit card application… which caught me off guard!

IHG Card Instant Approval

About a week I once again became eligible to be approved for Chase cards, given that I fell under the “5/24” limit.

My first order of business was to apply for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card — this is the single card that I’ve wanted most for quite a while now. So yesterday I applied for the card, fully expecting I would have to wait a few days to hear back. Chase offers instant approvals on card applications, but I rarely get them. Much to my surprise, I was instantly approved. I don’t know if I’ve ever received instant approval before on a Chase card, so I was excited about that.

Why I Didn’t Think I’d Be Instantly Approved

In my experience Chase is the toughest card issuer when it comes to approvals. It’s not just a function of having to be under their “limits,” but even beyond that I find they can be tough with approvals.

I first started applying for Chase cards when I was in college and had very little credit history, so that may have something to do with it in my situation. The thing is, in the end I always get approved for the Chase cards that I apply for, but it usually takes one to two weeks for the approval to come through, and sometimes I even have to call in.

This is probably because I already have eight Chase credit cards. While Chase doesn’t have a hard limit on how many cards you can have, they do often have a limit on how much total credit they’ll extend you.

So oftentimes in order to be approved for a Chase card I need to switch around some of my credit limit from an existing card to the one that I just applied for in order to be approved. That wasn’t needed here, surprisingly.

I’m not sure if I’m just really lucky, or if the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card is actually easier to be approved for than other Chase cards. I have heard that, and I guess there could be some truth to it.

The Chase Cards I Already Have

Chase has some fantastic credit cards, so I already had eight of their cards before getting this one. These are all cards that I get a lot of value out of, so I didn’t want to cancel any of them (six of these cards are part of the Ultimate Rewards ecosystem). For what it’s worth, previously I had the following eight cards:

Why I Got The IHG Premier Card

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Card not only has an excellent sign-up bonus, but also has some incredible perks.

As far as the bonus goes, the card is offering 140,000 IHG Rewards Club bonus points after spending $3,000 within three months

On top of that, long term the card is offering:

  • An anniversary free night award at a property costing up to 40,000 points
  • A fourth night free on award redemptions
  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card
  • A Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit

Read a full review of the IHG Premier Card here.

I should note that I also have the old IHG Select Card, and these cards are fantastic complements. By having both of these cards:

  • I get two anniversary free night awards per year
  • I can stack the 10% rebate on redeemed points offered by the Select Card with the fourth night free on award redemptions offered by the Premier Card

You are eligible for the bonus on the Premier Card even if you have the old Select Card.

Bottom Line

I had to modify my credit card application strategy a bit given that I didn’t want to miss the bonus offer on the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card. I’m thrilled to not only have been approved for the card, but to have been approved instantly.

I wonder if the card is actually easier to be approved for than other Chase cards, or if I just got lucky.

Stay tuned for the remainder of my credit card application strategy.

If you’ve applied for the IHG Premier Card, what was your approval process like?

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  1. I wonder if the better approval rate for the IHG credit card is a function of the target customer segment of the card— people who largely stay Holiday Inns and the occasional Crowne Plaza or Kimpton? I have no stats to back this up, but I wonder if the median income / credit score of people who stay at IHG hotels is lower than those who choose to stay at Marriotts, Hyatts, etc. It would thus make sense for Chase to have a lower credit score threshold for approval for this particular card.

  2. Congrats on the approval!

    QQ – From reading the article you referenced about cards you wanted, you made it sounds like you’d go for the Southwest Business card first before the IHG. Did you decided to put off the Southwest card until you’re back under 5/24 (which looks like a year from the screenshot you posted)?

  3. @ James — Great question. Initially I was going to get the Southwest Business Card first, but then I found out that the IHG Card offer expires October 9, which I wasn’t expecting. That’s too high risk for me since I really want the IHG Card, so I went ahead and applied for that first.

    My plan is to still apply for the Southwest Card — often the new card doesn’t show on your account until the following month, so I think I still have decent odds, but it’s no guarantee. Hoping for the best, but ultimately wanted to make sure I could get the IHG Card.

  4. @ Blake K — It’s a great question. I’ve heard others say the card is easy to be approved for as well, so I wonder if there’s something to it.

  5. I was immediately approved a few weeks ago with a larger than expected credit limit. I have several of their cards as well including the old IHG card. Working on the spend now…

  6. Not immediately approved. Had to call in to verify identity yesterday (ID theft last November). Still waiting for further processing. Already have multiple (7) Chase cards, including older IHG card. Will update.

  7. @ Lucky, I mentioned this in your earlier application strategy thread, but I’m still curious so I thought I’d bump it here: Why do you plan to put spend on the Citi Double Cash vs. the Amex Blue Business Plus? Are you simply stocked up on Amex MR points and looking to build up the ThankYou points stash, or is there some strategic reason that using the Double Cash would be better even if one is agnostic as to earning in MR vs. ThankYou?

  8. I still never get instant approval from chase. always approved after 48 hours
    Six figure income
    5 year credit history
    Score 740+
    Maybe it’s because i’m not a US citizen?

  9. I was instantly approved to, and I used one of your links, Lucky sooo…you’re welcome 😉

    Btw- what’s going to be your spending strategy with this card? Once you’ve hit the spending bonus will you keep using it to take advantage of 4x?

    Asking because I have the exact same portfolio of Chase cards as you except the Ink ones.


  10. I applied for the Marriott card with the 100k point offer yesterday when I went under 5/24 – however, I was an AU on one of my partner’s cards. Got the message it was under consideration and called the reconsideration line to explain that one of the new cards on my report I’m only an authorized user and don’t have financial responsibility for; got grilled on why I wanted the card, how much I expected to spend on it, and why I had so many cards (I have 10 open, 6 with Chase). I gave pretty good and truthful answers (I recently got a new job where I stay at lots of Marriotts and can pay with my own card), but today I got a letter that I was denied for having “too many open cards and too much outstanding credit”. My total lines are less than 50% of my income – any thoughts on if Chase is tightening up how much credit they’ll give you, or if they have restrictions on how many cards they will allow you to open in total?

  11. I also got instant approval for c.s.p. 1st chase cc. I was very suprised. Applied 10.1.19. I had to.wait for.the 5/24 and thankfully your suggestion advised oct 1.

  12. @Lucky I am at 3/24 as of September but I am really trying to decide my best move. I had applied for a chase ink business preferred card, but got denied in the verification phase since I am a sole prop and they wanted a DBA which I was not about to pay for. In a few days I was going to reapply for the chase ink again but this time use the exact business name as my other ink card which should allow my open ink cash card to serve as business verification. I was going to apply for the ink card on 10/4 (just over 30 days since my last business denial due to lack of verification). I have heard chase has become real touchy about applying for multiple chase cards in a short period of time. Does it make sense to apply for the IHG to get the bonus and try to get the ink later or just go for the ink now since its what I have been holding out for. I focus mainly on Hyatts and Hiltons at this point so the IHG card would only be for the signup bonus/free cert.

  13. Lucky – not sure why you have a problem. If you pay off your cards I would assume you have a high credit rating due to the overall amount of credit you have and the average percentage utilization.

    In the past year and a half I have gotten 3 Chase card (Bonvoy Brilliant, CSR and IHG). In all cases I immediately got a confirmation with an initial credit limit in the $30,000-$35,000 range. I’d assume anyone with good credit would have a similar experience. Surprised you find this so unusual!

  14. Wow you guys have such generous credit card offers in the USA!

    I have the UK version of the IHG card which is issued by Creation here and the sign up bonus is only 10,000 points and just 1 point per £ spent or 2 points per £ if spent in IHG hotels.

    And no free night at the end of the year. Its hardly worth having.

  15. Steve,

    Brixham is a great little town, by the way.

    It’s all down to the fees the card issuers get per transaction. In the UK (probably the EU) it is capped at a very low rate, but not here in the US.

    So card issuers here can afford to be much more generous. Although some theorize that these huge bonuses lead to frequent devaluations. 100,000 points on some hotel loyalty plans isn’t that great.

  16. Congrats on your IHG card approval. I picked up the same card about 8/9 months ago when the sign-up bonus was 80,000 points for $3,000 spent in first 3 months, and a bonus $40,000 points if total spend in six months is $5,000 or more. I easily picked up both bonuses, but feeling like I’m missing out of the current bonus. I stay at IHG properties fairly regularly so the 25x points on IHG spend would be a huge deal for me. Have you ever had any situations like this? Do you think it’s worth calling and asking if they’ll match that current offer? Would love to hear if anyone has ever had any success asking for a matching bonus like this one.

  17. Update: Approval with one of the highest CL’s Chase has given me! Now at 8 cards with Chase. Happy weekend!

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