It actually happened: Chase approved me for an Ink Business Preferred card. I’d nearly given up, but perseverance paid off in this case. While the application itself was easy, my experience after that was anything but. Here’s what I had to endure as I was dragged through the Chase Ink Preferred application process:
My Unfortunate Chase Ink Preferred Application Process
Back in November I picked up my first Chase business card in over two years. I’d nabbed the Marriott business card just before it became subject to 5/24, and after that, the door was shut. But I made the decision to drop under 5/24, which is finally reality. The Chase Ink Business Unlimited was a lucky strike with a Just For You offer.
Fast forward a couple months, and I’m sitting at 3/24. This meant it was time to get an Ink Preferred, a card I consider to be the best premium Chase credit card after the fee increase on the Sapphire Reserve.
Instead of an untimely approval by email, as had happened with the Ink Business Unlimited, Chase mailed me a letter. Apparently they didn’t trust that I’m the same business I said I was two months ago. Wonderful.
Chase Ink Preferred Application Process: Gathering all 17 Things
Unlike my untimely, but easy, approval for the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card, the letter I received from Chase regarding my Ink Preferred asked for all kids of additional information. What was requested was both personal and business info. Why? The only thing that makes any sense is that we’d just moved. I’d used my old address (which we’d actually just left) for the Unlimited application. But I used the new one for this one.
Which caused all sorts of headache. Chase wanted, for starters:
- Personal address verification
- Business address verification
- Business mailing address verification
- Business name verification
- My firstborn
- My left kidney (and the right won’t do)
I jest about those last two, but that’s how it felt. Some of the items were easy, whereas others would actually be a bit of work. The list of what was acceptable and what was unacceptable were provided as well.
Round 1: What Papers?
So I collected a pile of documents and brought them into a branch on our way to SFO to fly Virgin Atlantic economy to London. I explained that I use my full name as my business name and thus don’t have a DBA statement. The banker reviewed everything, walked away with the stack of documents, and then returned and told me I was all set.
Sweet. Now all I had to do was wait for Chase to let me know the status once I got back.
Round 2: Mostly Accepted
We spent most of a week in London, the following weekend passed, and still no word from Chase. Nada. I didn’t know what had happened, so I finally dug up the original letter and called them up. The agent found my application quickly using the case number, and he then listed off all the things that were needed.
I was perplexed. Didn’t they have everything? Well, it turns out that nothing reached them. They hadn’t received anything. He apologized and said he’d send me a Docusign link to upload everything to. So, again, I put together:
- Utility bill to show my personal address
- Credit card statement to show my business physical address
- Chase bank statement with a DBA in the account name for the business physical address and hopefully the business name
- Schedule C showing my business name as well (since who wouldn’t accept tax documents?)
I attached a cover letter explaining my lack of DBA, scanned everything, and sent it in.
Round 3: More, Please
This time I wasn’t going to wait for a letter. A few days later I called and inquired. The rep let me know that some of the documents had been accepted, but they still needed to validate my business physical address and business name. I told him that I work from my house and that I don’t have any utilities or anything else in my business name. Virtually all I do is online.
Turns out all they had accepted was the utility bill. The Schedule C was rejected outright, as was the Chase bank statement. Turns out you can’t use any other Chase document for verification (yet the banker had had no issue opening my account with the new address, which was maddening).
After arguing, they finally accepted the credit card statement for the business physical address. American Express truncates the business name since there is a character limit that they can print on the card. He also used this to validate the business name itself.
So, now it was time to try another credit card statement for the business mailing address.
Round 4: Nope, Again
This one was rejected as well, finding this out when I called three days later. Turns out since I’d omitted other characters from the business name (Using “I Snyder” instead of “Ian Snyder”), they couldn’t accept it.
I found another credit card statement, but nothing else had my mailing address on it. The one that did have the full, non-truncated business name should have worked. Except that Barclays doesn’t generate a statement for their card if there is a $0 balance. I’d had a zero balance for months, so my last statement was from June. Sigh.
I called Chase again asking what they would accept. It boiled down to the one option I’d avoided for over two years: file a fictitious business name statement with the County.
So I drove up to the County office, paid them their $50, and literally received a copy of the piece of paper I’d filled out with my mailing address for which the County required no verification. The paper was embossed and signed. So I guess that makes it official? I could have written anything into the mailing address and they would have accepted it. I’m so glad this is what Chase is looking for.
The Final Call
Uploading those to yet another Docusign link, I hoped this would be the last. I applied at the very beginning of the year and now it was March. March. Two months of letters, back and forth, and at least four phone calls. I was going to cry if they didn’t approve me.
I was nervous when I finally called a few days ago, but the news was official: I was approved. I never expected the Chase Ink Preferred application process to be so rigorous. But I’m glad I persisted. I will have truly earned those 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points by the time they hit my account.