They have been very lenient as of late. And while the limit may be low, I've seen some low 600 score approvals....
I recently was denied Chase Freedom with a 649 score on their own scoring system, but I called two diff times for a recon and got a $5k limit! I'd say go for it as long as you have a year or two of history and a few credit cards in good standing. For recon, you can actually ask them to pull any report.
I got denied last month with a score of 651. They pulled TU for me. I did call to recon and they were concerned with my utilization on my Citibank card and my HSBC(now Captial One). Both were hovering at 80-90% utilization. I think I would have been approved on recon if not for that. Last late payment on a card was exactly 2 years ago and one paid collection showing on TU.
I agree that they have been pretty open about accepting lower scores lately. I recieved my score of 655 (not fico) from them when I got my card. I did get the review message and called in and got denied. Did a recon and got approved for a decent limit. Plus I burned them for about 1000 about 5 years ago and they pulled EX. Had 3 recent inquries in a month span.
I had a tough experience with them when they approved me for the Freedom. They denied me for several times in recon; they just wanted me to lower my util % and when I did they immediately approved me. The limit was low but it's CHASE ! NOW, I just got approved for another card backed by CHASE.. the Amazon.com card.
I'd say the approvals don't depend on the scores anymore .. they're more about the current and past use of credit .
As many know I was approved 8/12/12 for $2k Chase Freedom. Transunion pulled 631. Called (888) 270-2127 day after getting 7-10 day message. Be prepared to explain any baddies/inq.