An account review inquiry is a credit check by a creditor on an active account holder. It is a soft inquiry that is recorded on your credit report, but it does not affect your score.
Major credit card companies have increasingly utilized account reviews as a way of evaluating your constantly changing creditworthiness. Prior to 2006, these occurred about every 3-5 months. Most credit card companies now perform account review inquiries ever 1-2 months.
They want to make sure that they retain you if you are showing signs of financial strength. Creditors frequently tailor balance transfer offers and credit limit increases based on account reviews.
On the other hand, they want to implement risk-based pricing if you show signs of financial weakness. This usually translates to interest rate increases, higher minimum payments and reductions in your credit limit.
One major reason for frequent account reviews was to determine whether the universal default clause should be invoked. Peaking in 2006, this clause is being utilized less, mostly due to Congressional pressure to end the practice. Most industry insiders believe that credit card issuers will face increased regulation if they do not voluntarily eliminate the practice of universal default.