Why Discover Could Reject Your Credit Card Application Even If You Have Good Credit

Discover credit cards come with some of the best rates and rewards of any card on the market. The company offers a wide selection of cards so consumers can find one to fit any need, never charges an annual fee, and often offers reasonable interest rates for those with good credit. Additionally, Discover’s Cashback Match program automatically doubles all rewards earned during new cardholders’ first year.

With all of these benefits, it’s understandable why you would opt for a new Discover credit card. Many of these cards are available for customers with credit scores starting at 670, so if you’re sitting pretty at 800, you may believe you’ll have no problem securing approval. After all, you’re well above the minimum credit score requirement, so you should be a shoo-in, right?

Well, maybe not. There are a few reasons why Discover would reject your application, even if your credit is in good standing. The Motley Fool explains why this could happen and how to prevent it.


Discover Application Rules

Discover has several application rules that impact your chances of approval:


  • Customers have a two-card limit
  • Students can only have one student card 
  • Customers can only open one new Discover account each year


So regardless of your credit rating, there’s nothing you can do about these restrictions. If you received a Discover card four months ago, you have to wait eight more months before you can apply for another. And if you already have two Discover accounts, you can’t open another. To do so, you’ll have to close one of your old ones — and canceling a credit card isn’t exactly ideal for your credit.

Other Factors That Could Affect Your Chances Of Approval

Like any other credit card provider, Discover takes several additional factors besides your credit score to account when it reviews your application. It could reject your request for a variety of reasons, including:


  • Insufficient income: How much money you take home affects your chances of approval as well as your potential credit limit. Your debt-to-income ratio — your income against your outstanding debt — is particularly important. For example, if you earn $40,000 annually, you may qualify for a Discover credit card. However, if you’re already $45,000 in debt from other credit cards, your debt-to-income ratio might be problematic.


  • Recently opened accounts: Another reason why Discover could reject your application is that you recently opened several new accounts. This is a red flag to credit card issuers because it makes you appear desperate for cash. If you applied for several credit cards from other companies within the last six to 12 months, Discover might not approve your application.


  • Recent credit checks: This factor is similar to the previous one. When you apply for a line of credit, the lender conducts a hard inquiry to determine your risk as a borrower. Not only do hard credit pulls temporarily hurt your rating, but lenders see multiple checks as another sign of risk, even if the other issuers rejected your request.


If Discover denies your credit card application, the company will send you a letter via snail mail explaining their reasons for the rejection.

What Should You Do If Discover Rejects Your Application?

Sometimes — but not always — you could convince Discover to rethink their decision. However, whether you have this option or not is based on the reasons the company rejected you. For instance, if you don’t meet the application rules, there’s nothing you can do. Discover is extremely rigid about these restrictions, so don’t bother trying to fight them.

But if you were rejected for another reason, you might get Discover to reconsider. First, call the company’s customer service line (1-800-347-2683). Then, ask to be connected to the reconsideration line regarding your application. After that, tell the agent how excited you were to get a Discover card and inquire if there is any possibility they could accept your application.

If you have a stellar credit profile, make sure to mention it during the call. If customer service expresses concern about your debt-to-income ratio, don’t deny the fact. Instead, highlight how you’ve regularly paid your bills on time and maintained a low credit utilization ratio. These are signs that you’re responsible and know how to manage credit.

When you have a high credit rating, you should have a high likelihood of approval. However, none of that matters if you don’t meet Discover’s strict application rules. If you do, but Discover still denies you, your best bet is to request a second chance.


  • Daly, Lyle. “Why You May Not Get Approved for a Discover Card — Even With an 800 Credit Score.” The Motley Fool, 12 Jan. 2021, www.fool.com/the-ascent/credit-cards/articles/why-you-may-not-get-approved-for-a-discover-card-even-with-an-800-credit-score/.
Ian Schindler