For people interested in earning miles and points, Chase credit cards are awesome. Chase has many of the best signup bonuses available, and with their Ultimate Rewards they have the best flexible points program bar none. Ultimate Rewards points can be freely moved from one person’s account to another, and can be freely and instantly transferred to airline miles and hotel points at any time (using either the Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Bold).
I frequently post tips on how to earn huge numbers of Ultimate Rewards points beyond those given as credit card sign up bonuses. Many thousands of extra points can be earned when shopping for items you intend to buy anyway, buying free after rebate items, buying and selling merchant gift cards, and even through buying and using Visa gift cards.
Overall, Chase has made free travel almost ridiculously easy. The last thing you would ever want to do is to get cut off from this gravy train. But it does happen….
When searching the web, you can easily find dozens of stories of people who were cut off by Chase. The stories have a common theme: They discovered, without warning, all of their Chase accounts closed. In almost all of these stories, pleas to Chase were unheeded, and questions about why were unanswered.
Why does Chase do this? Unfortunately, I don’t have any hard and fast answers. I’ve read through countless threads on Flyertalk, FatWallet, and elsewhere and the best I’ve been able to do is piece together a pattern…
My best guess from what I’ve read is that Chase has two primary reasons for cutting people off: 1) bad credit risk; and 2) “perk abuse” (I made up that term, but it fits).
Bad Credit Risk
There are several scary stories in which a person signing up for his sixth or seventh (or whatever) credit card from Chase suddenly had all accounts closed. The common thread here appears to be that, right or wrong, Chase came to the conclusion that their customer was a bad credit risk. Sometimes this happens to people with very few years of credit history and/or a pattern of very high credit utilization. When you combine these factors with a large number of credit card applications, it makes sense for Chase to fear that the individual is desperately seeking more credit (and therefore may not be able to pay it off in the future). What I don’t understand is why Chase’s reaction is to cut people off completely! Why not discuss the situation with the customer and perhaps lower their credit limits? Wouldn’t it be better business to keep customers, than to foster such ill will?
Chase has an AARP Visa card that gives 5% cash back on all purchases for the first 6 months. There are many reports on FatWallet from people who have taken advantage of this perk to the limit: they use the card for 6 months to pay taxes, make mortgage payments, buy gift cards, fund investments, you name it. The goal they have is to get as much money back in those 6 months as possible. Not surprisingly, Chase doesn’t appreciate this. 5% cash back is an intentional money loser for Chase. Just like signup bonuses, Chase is willing to lose some money in the short term in order to get valuable customers for the long term. What they don’t want are people who abuse this perk and then ditch the card after 6 months. So, when Chase sees people maxing out their AARP cards as described above, they cancel their accounts.
Another example of “perk abuse” is with the Chase Freedom card. When combined with a Chase checking account one of the perks of the Freedom is an extra 10 Ultimate Rewards points per transaction. For example, if you buy something for 2 dollars with your Freedom card, you get the usual points you would earn anyway, plus an extra 10 points for the transaction. For large purchases, 10 points is such a small extra perk as to be almost irrelevant. For very small purchases, though, 10 points can be huge. For example, if you buy an item for 50 cents, 10 points is a 20% rebate. If you buy something for 1 cent, 10 points is a 1000% rebate! So, not surprisingly, people found ways to make many many very small purchases. One guy, for example, reported that he wrote a script that helped him buy and redeem 1 cent Amazon gift cards. For every one of these transactions, he earned 10 cents from Chase! He reportedly got away with thousands of dollars before Chase shut him down.
I hate to say this, but my Inking Money posts can be a form of perk abuse as well. The idea I described in those posts is to maximize the Ink card’s 5X office supply category bonus by buying Visa gift cards at office supply stores. That way, you can effectively get almost 5X for all of your credit card purchases not just those made at office supply stores. Unlike the two exploits I described above, though, the Ink cards do have built in limits. With the Ink Bold, you can get 5X for up to $50K in purchases per year. With the Ink Classic and Ink Cash, the limit is $25K per year. These limits help protect Chase from extreme abuse, but I’m sure they do not want everyone with an Ink Bold to maximize their annual 5X bonus! I don’t think Chase has cut off anyone yet for making too many purchases at Staples, but it will happen if too many people push the game too far.
How to protect yourself
I don’t have a magic formula for what will work and what won’t. Instead I’ve jotted down some “dos” and “don’ts” that might help. I’ll add to these as I get feedback from readers or other sources of information.
- Pay off your credit bill in full every month.
- Monitor your credit score (here are a couple of free services that can help).
- Take steps to improve your credit score if it is low.
- Keep a low credit card utilization ratio. Ideally the total amount charged to all of your cards in a given month is about 10% (or less) of your total available credit limit (across your credit cards).
- Use tricks that maximize credit card perks in moderation. For example, buying Visa gift cards at Staples to help meet the Ink Bold’s $5K spend requirement (for the signup bonus) should be fine if you spread out the purchases over several months. If you suddenly start spending $10K per month at Staples, though, I expect you’ll get noticed (in a bad way).
- Maximize use of the Ultimate Rewards Mall for earning extra points. Unlike the Ink and Freedom perks I described earlier (in which Chase loses money), Chase gets paid for points earned via the mall. I’ll go out on a limb and say that Chase would never ban someone for too much Ultimate Rewards Mall activity.
- Spread out your purchases. Don’t buy exclusively from one merchant (Staples, for example). Use the card occasionally for regular expenses such as meals, grocery, etc.
- Don’t signup for many credit cards unless you have a very good credit score.
- Don’t max out your credit cards. See “keep a low utilization ratio” above.
- Don’t use your Ink Bold exclusively for $50K worth of office supply purchases! Mix in other non-category purchases.
- Don’t scheme up ways to spend 1 cent at a time with your Freedom card.
- Don’t make large purchases that can look like cash advances. For example, one guy on FatWallet claims to have found an investment broker that accepts credit card payments. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do think that it would look suspicious to Chase.
- Don’t buy expensive refundable tickets for the purpose of increasing credit card spend and getting your money back later.
Do you have any knowledge that will help us stay on Chase’s good side? Do you have any other “dos and don’ts” to share? Please comment below.
[…] couple of years ago I broached this subject specifically with respect to Chase accounts. I wrote: Why Chase cancels accounts (and how to protect yourself). In that post I suggested that accounts were shut down for two primary reasons: Bad credit risk, […]
I see you mentioned that the Freedom earns 10 UR points per transaction, is this an old deal from 2012? Or is this current? Please source, thanks.
So after they closed all your accounts, how long will it take you to apply the Chase credit cards? 1 year? 2 years?
No idea, sorry
[…] Chase has been known to completely shut down all of a person’s accounts when they think they may be a bad credit risk or when they suspect ‘perk abuse’. If you put all of your spend in this one category (and this one store), you will be asking for trouble! Please see my write-up here: ‘Why Chase cancels accounts (and how to protect yourself).’ […]
To help avoid Credit Risk, I usually reduce the the maximum spending limit to minimum like $5K so that in aggregate, my total liability to Chase is limited, and they are also happy about that when they are issuing me the next credit card.
[…] has been known to cancel accounts if they suspect you’re abusing their system. You can read this Frequent Miler post to educate yourself on how best to avoid having accounts cancelled by […]
My account got closed…. i give Chase $250 to $300K in business spend on CC plus my brother 100K+ on business spend per year…. they didnt tell me why…. but the only mistake i did… transferred my UR points to my brothers united airlines account… we both live in the same household and same last name….So, be warned, transferring to a person living in the same address with the same last name is not ok! just my 2 cents
everything I read is so useful and valuable but I still having the question: WHY CHASE CLOSE AN CHECKING ACCOUNT WITHOUT PREVIOUS WARNING, WHY CHASE CLOSE AN ACCOUNT EVEN WITH MORE THAN 7 GRANDS IN IT? THE SAME TELLER DON’T KNOW WHY THEY CANCEL THE ACCOUNT!! THEY SAID IN 20 DAYS WE WILL RECEIVE OUR MONEY BACK BUT AFTER TIME THEY SAID WE NEED TO WAIT MORE TIME, WHAT ABOUT OUR MONEY IN THEIR HANDS? INCLUSIVELY i HAVE PROOF FROM WHERE THIS MONEY CAME FROM…
Necro thread revival. Recent follower, first time poster.
I recently got the Ink Bold and see advice to mix in 1X spending to not raise flags.
With regard to the T&C where we agree not to use it for personal/household expenses, for the ink bold, where else is a good idea to spread the purchases on?
Utilities ($50), cable ($50), cell phone ($150), staples/office depot ($3000), Amazon payment ($900)
Thanks in advance for reply!
raionz: The Ink Bold is also good for buying gas (2X). Since this was written, we haven’t seen people getting shut down for using the Ink Bold just in 5X situations, so I wouldn’t work to hard to find 1X opportunities
[…] and I personally believe that showing some extreme examples is the best way. Everyone should read Frequent Miler’s, Million Mile Secret’s, and Scottrick’s (my absolute favorite of the three) articles […]
I just saw this thread. There were comments about having credit cards and a bank relationship with Chase might help issues that could arise. I beg to differ. Back with the AARP program I had a business account (not my main bus account, a personal account and several yr history on my personal checking with fairly high daily balances. My AARP account was shut downa and they tried to keep alot of points from me. For the heck of it I contacted my branch manager. He tried to intervene and was told to get lost. Chase on the card division is far seperate from the banking division. In fact when applying for Chase cards they give no consideration for your banking relationship either. I was able to resove things the hard way and believe me it took months. I should also note all of my charges were real, verifiable, no gift cards or any other similar churning. Just using the card aggressively for the 5% bonus. Chase is a company to be careful with for sure.
[…] into theirs or vice versa. Is there anything on getting shut down by using your own accts ? http://boardingarea.com/freque…tect-yourself/ […]
[…] Credit card account closure: If you abuse the perks available to you as a credit card holder, you run the risk of the issuing bank shutting down your accounts. It has happened before. Please see “Why Chase cancels accounts (and how to protect yourself).” […]
[…] and I personally believe that showing some extreme examples is the best way. Everyone should read Frequent Miler’s, Million Mile Secret’s, and Scottrick’s (my absolute favorite of the three) articles […]
Somebody in the posts here stated that using a personal card for business expenses is against the T & C. I use many personal cards for business expcensed and have never had oen single issue. In many cases I told the company it was a business transaction (security check) on a large charge. That person should show me in T & C where is states this. I looked in several of the cards I have-Citibank, Amex and it states no such thing I could find either. Keep in mind that overall there are very few BUSINESS cbranded cards anyway compared to personal cards in the marketplace. Even look at Chase they have stacks of personal cards vs a few business. In some of Chase cards I see no clear language to prohibit business charges of any nature. Chase does act in an abritrary way with customers.
robertw: In order to signup for the Ink Bold (or any Ink card) you have to agree that it is a business account that won’t be used for personal, family, or household use. See Step 7 in my post “How to signup for the Ink Bold (or Ink Plus)“
I have 6 Chase cards and I’ve done the math to figure out which card to use to get the most UR points on a given purchase (and all of you have, too). I read that I SHOULD mix it up and do a 1X purchase now and then but haven’t read hard evidence to warrant this. It sounds like the ones being shut down are abusing the system and being extremely greedy. Seems like I’m “small potatoes” (~$1700 spend/month) compared to them and have little to worry about, I hope.
Rob P: I agree that it is unlikely Chase will come after you for $1700 spend per month
[…] account that don’t involve illegal Ultimate Rewards transfers. I suggest that you check out FrequentMiler’s concise review of this […]
Robertw: thanks for sharing that. Very useful information!
A few things. I had not had good experiences with Chase over many years. Without great details I can state briefly with one suggestion. I did do the AARP deal but never bought gift cards, or anything mentioned above. All 100% legit business charges. Although in the ARRP dispute the small print did not conform to what they were telling me and others. The language wasnt there. One thing you can never do without causing issues is as follows. Exceeding the credit limit on a card. For example I have a card with a 10K limit. Charge 10K, pay down the balance and use it again in that billing cycyle. That is a big problem with Chase. That is not a problem with AMEX or any other company I am aware of. And since Chase still has strong bonus program I try not to burn any bridges. However they are the single most difficult card company to deal with bar none. I have high limits and strong credit everywhere BTW.
[…] elseHow I earned over 1 million points and miles in 6 monthsMileage running, from homeUp in the airWhy Chase cancels accounts (and how to protect yourself)Vanilla […]
I just got my Ink Class card in the mail. I am going to mix 5% charges like OD, phone with regular charges. Does Chase mind if I use the business card to buy groceries/coffee/clothing? I heard that American Express does like people charging non-business items on the business cards.
Will: I haven’t heard of Chase disliking personal use purchases.
BostonDealLover: Can you let me know how it goes! I was thinking of doing this to my AT&T bill.
yes, I will request a refund check from Comcast. I believe there should be no problem. I know it takes time, but they can’t hold my money forever. The worst senario is Comcast has to refund through the original payment channel, which might hurt…
@Bostondeallover Are you planning on asking Comcast for a check refund? Have you successfully tried this in the past?
I just overpaid $9000 to Comcast, to fulfill the INK BOLD’s bonus requirement. Plan to pay off immediately after the statement is out.
Will let you guys know if anything happens to my accounts.
[…] Chase $300 Bonus Promotion Total: $100 or $150 Savings Account Bonus with Chase $200 Checking CouponWhy Chase cancels accounts (and how to protect yourself) – The Frequent Miler […]
[…] April I published a scary warning: Why Chase cancels accounts (and how to protect yourself). In that post, I reported that Chase had been shutting down accounts due to “perk abuse” […]
Should I be worried about this:
Long time Chase customer, always pay on time, bought one $500 Visa gift card at Office Depot with Ink Bold.
That day, transaction showed online as pending.
Today, two days later, no posting of transaction at all, not pending or otherwise.
Do you see a problem, or just hasn’t processed fully yet?
Dan: I wouldn’t worry. Its probably just a temporary hickup in the system
[…] risk, or you get too greedy with their perks, you could be in danger. For details, see: “Why Chase cancels accounts (and how to protect yourself).” Did this happen to […]
I’m not sure I buy the perk abuse thing. I was under the impression that CC companies make money off each use of the credit card, a percentage. Using, for example, your sapphire preferred card at the first retailer gets chase a percentage of that transaction. Using gift cards on the subsequent ultimate rewards mall likewise gets $$ for chase as well. I don’t see how chase is losing here. If I were to guess, the accounts get closed for credit risk reasons.
ANon: I believe using the UR mall is perfectly safe. Dangerous perk abuse comes from things like the Ink Bold’s 5 points per dollar at office supply stores. I write a lot about how to maximize that benefit (buy gift cards at office depot, for example) and basically earn 5X everywhere. Chase does make money with each transaction, but they don’t make enough to make up for 5 points per dollar.
Do call Chase on a regular basis about your account. I have a spreadsheet where I track my interactions with Chase. I think this engagement gives you much better leverage to negotiate when there is a problem. I recently missed the 93 day deadline for the 5K spend on Ink. I asked them to make an exception and give me the points. (I hit the 5K spend a few days after the deadline). They posted the points to my account less than a week later. Check out http://www.scholarabroad.com for some really good info about banking internationally. If you use your points to travel outside the US, knowing how to avoid international bank fees can save you huge money.
[…] Chase has been known to completely shut down all of a person’s accounts when they think they may be a bad credit risk or when they suspect “perk abuse”. If you put all of your spend in this one category (and this one store), you will be asking for trouble! Please see my write-up here: “Why Chase cancels accounts (and how to protect yourself).” […]
Very informative. I have a chase checking and savings account plus my IRA which is a discretionary (fee earning) account. I recently got the Chase Sappire Preferred card and use it at my office cafeteria. If I get the Freedom card and routinely use it for my typical $5 lunch and $2 snack each day for 200 days per year, that’s an extra 4k UR over what I’d normally get with the CSP. Would that raise any issues with Chase?
sbjnyc: I would only worry if you are earning hundreds of thousands of extra UR points. 4K wouldn’t be a problem at all. I’m not sure why you think you would earn more with the Freedom card though. If Chase classifies your cafeteria as “dining” then you should get 2X points from purchases there. The Freedom card does offer 5X for restaurants July-Sep 2012, but does not have a standard bonus for dining.
[…] The Frequent Miler did a thorough analysis of posts relating Chase closing accounts. It's a very helpful "what not to do" guide: http://boardingarea.com/freque…tect-yourself/ […]
[…] I wrote “Why Chase cancels accounts (and how to protect yourself).” The key take away is that schemes like this should be done in moderation. If you […]
I received my new Ink Bold card today. When I called to activate it, I asked the rep my question about the year upon which the $50,000 spending cap is based. I was told it’s based on your card’s anniversary date. So if your card’s anniversary date is 14April, your year is 14April thru 13April. So, there ya go! Not that a telephone rep has ever been wrong before, but I’d still like to see that in writing. 😉
Seymour: Thanks, great info!
I enjoyed the part on “Perk Abuse” – it’s definitely happening but there doesn’t seem to be that much information about how far things can be stretched before the card issuers take action. I got a little bit carried away with my Freedom card when I first got it putting through about 600 transactions on $800 spending in a month. Since then I’ve been about 300 transactions each month and no problems so far…
“However we would routinely find some holder with $70k in gross income with $120k in available revolving and get ourselves out of his wallet.”
That’s me too. Two years ago, I calculated I had about $200,000 in revolving available credit when I had about $80,000 in gross income. Chase has never shut any of my cards down because of it, but they have denied me additional credit on new and existing cards because of “too much available credit.” Of course, that “too much” helps my score due to the utilization ratio.
Thanks for doing the work for this post. I had just applied for a Southwest card, after getting a Sapphire fairly recently. I had hesitated for awhile because I was nervous about a full shut down after reading the stories on forums. But I felt much more relaxed about it after reading this post, because I’m not doing any of this stuff.
@sil – Hate to be wishy washy, but it depends. The key indicators were utilization, d/i, last reported income (part of d/i, but was historically moving in the right direction – UP) and use of card too (counter credit at casinos was HUGE back then), We were humans making judgement calls though, so what was a neg to one was OK to another; which beat auto-slicing anyone not meeting criteria. I understand it’s all computerized now since BoA took over MBNA and sent most of their credit card division to other tasks (i.e. Mortgage processing) over the past two years.
How can you seek legal counsel? Did you read the terms of agreement?
Tip: If your bonus is $500, spend enough to cover that bonus in purchases. In other words, spend $25,000 on the card before you stop or slow down spending activity. 2% of $25,000 is $500. That means Chase has at least broken even on that account with you.
I find this whole conversation maddening. It’s all of this clearly illegal consumer abuse by chase. Are they not dangling a carrot in front of our eyes and then bullying the ones who try to take it? Has anyone ever sought legal counsel after getting ‘punished’?
” However we would routinley find some holder with $70k in gross income with $120k in available revolving and get ourselves out of his wallet.”
Is the above what A guy named Mike described a red flag. If I have about 96k in gross income and ALL my credit limit is about 120k including Chase, Discover, AMEX, Citi, Capital 1 and B of A, would this be a red flag?
Roughly 14 years ago I was a CRA for MbeeNA, Credit Risk Analyst. We never focused on perk gobblers as a strategy, but then the perks were NEVER like they are now. However we would routinley find some holder with $70k in gross income with $120k in available revolving and get ourselves out of his wallet. It was all algorithms driving accounts to our screens. We’d read and react and that was that. We would make the call when a c/h needed to be interviewed and better considered however. It was rarely a total shut down and letter in the mail, if ever, like described with Chase. In my brief time doing that crappy job though I did slice a lot of lines down to little based on utilization, downward trending scores and failure to update applications (if a request for update was mailed or called out). Wow I hated that job. Doubt I’m adding here, but my point was it was never done for rewards or payouts, it was all strategy.
My guess is you really need to go out of your way to get flagged. Buying $5-10K from Staples probably isn’t going to put anyone in the dog house. At most it costs them 3% on every dollar spent. If you did 20K from Staples then maybe that would put you on the radar (costing them more than $500). Earning points from the UR mall also probably isn’t something to worry about – most shopping portals are designed to make money by passing on slightly less to the customer than is made from the online commission. Doing 5000 transactions under $10 to arbitrage the 10 points on freedom will probably put you in the dog house. I’d put this one in the duh category. Don’t do things that are outside the norm. I looked at my spending last year on all my credit cards and I had no more than 500 transactions under $10. I will be much more careful transferring points from now on. I’m not sure why they would care though, as it doesn’t necessarily cost them money. Seems like people get shut down for doing stuff that costs them $$$ like ridiculous spend in 5% categories or a ridiculous number of transactions for small amounts.
I think the key is to be reasonable, and not over the top greedy. Push the envelope a bit, but doing 1 cent charges over & over? Just dumb.
Bangkokiscool post made me chuckle, as as soon as I read Miler’s post, I promtly transfered my 97,000 points I still had to United. Wanted to avoid a claw back and pretty much where I spend them, anyway.
I have never heard of a UR transfer bonus. Am I missing something?
The banks just want to cut their losses, so they close the accounts for no genuine reason. If they give a specific reason other than generic “violated terms” some one can sue them against that specific reason and win. The generic reason gives them a bigger umbrella to cover under.
FM, thanks for this important post. I’ve been following the threads on other sites about card being shut down with some interest. Some of them were shut down for really off-the-wall tactics (1 cent Amazon gift cards?!), but the ones about the AARP card are really scary — Chase is apparently shutting down folks who used the card for perfectly legitimate reasons, normal everyday spending, without notice, and only for collecting about $1000 or so in rewards.
It’s important to point out that when Chase shut these accounts down, they also froze all award redemptions. If someone had cash back on one card and Ultimate Rewards points on another, they were all confiscated. I haven’t found a single instance of someone convincing Chase to return those rewards.
There’s also reports that attempting to transfer UR points to another account to “protect” them doesn’t help — Chase can claw back UR points from the transferee’s account. The only way to protect UR points, it seems, is to go ahead and transfer them to a travel partner. That destroys their flexibility, and if they run a transfer bonus promotion it would be a pity, but I don’t believe I’ve seen cases where Chase clawed back points after they were “spent” through partner transfer.
There are a couple of additional tips as well:
* It’s against a card’s T&C to use personal cards for business spending. I know folks like to use Sapphire for collecting UR points because of the 7% rebate, but using Sapphire for business spending is another red flag for Chase.
* Many bloggers tout the ability to transfer UR points to any other Chase UR account. While the system allows you to do this, the T&C only allow UR to be combined for “enabling spouses or domestic partners to combine points” (from UR FAQ). I believe transferring UR to non-related parties is another red flag for Chase.
On the bright side, the same FAQs explicitly say this:
Q: Is there a limit to the number of extra points I can earn at the Ultimate Rewards Mall?
A: No. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn at the Ultimate Rewards Mall.
Small comfort since there’s no recourse if Chase shuts you down, but it’s there anyway.
On to the next deal! When are you going to cover how to maximize the Palladium Card with it’s 35% Ultimate Rewards annual dividend?
I’ve been reading the Chase account closure stories, too. I think the FAR deals at Staples are another red flag. If you combine the FAR deals with the Inking Money gift card buys, then it starts to look like a pretty bad pattern. Then, if you take those 2 with the numerous Chase apps that most of us have, then you’ve got a pretty good profile of a perk-abusing customer that Chase wants to get rid of.
I’m in this category and belatedly realizing that pushing it with Chase is not wise.
@FM: you reminded us that the Ink Bold bonus for purchases at office supply stores is limited to $50K in purchases per year. Do you know if that limit is applied on 1) a calendar year basis, 2) a 12-month year using the date our accounts were opened [in other words, if my account was opened 14 February, would my year be 14Feb-13Feb], 3) a rolling 12-month period or 4) something else? My gut says 1 or 2 are most likely, but ya never know.
Seymour: Great question! I’ll try to find the answer. I believe it is calendar year, but I’m not sure.
mike: Yep. It’s amazing that they can get away with this practice…
Ryan: Thanks for validating part of the post. Sorry to hear about your situation, but it sounds very similar to many others I read about: the banks never fully explain why people were cut off. I bet there are lawyers involved who instruct the banks not to tell.
Mark T: Thanks for the warning! I’ll update the post.
Great post and appreciate the warning. I am sure those Chase folks did not like my 25K of inked UR points last month.
I did do the first $5000 in completely the kind of stuff they want. I may go a put some more gas on there to keep them happy. Also doing all telecom to them. I have also been buying my Visa gift cards at Office Max (due to the 4X staples death). Hoping that helps. I will be taking a break from “inking” to run up charges on my 4 new cards I scored yesterday.
Chase made an offer and does not want to fulfill the offer cause they lose money. LOL , They should change the offer to place a max benefit then if they are so worried.
They won’t cause unlimited sounds so much better.
I think the best thing to do is just use the card for normal spend and maybe not go for the full float of days when bill comes due.
Funny you mention the small charges to gain the 10x per transaction. I opened a bank account at another bank (not chase) and actually called twice and had a PM chat with two different representatives asking them if there was a minimum charge and if the points were unlimited (i was getting 20 points per transaction). All four of them said no, no minimums and no maximum amount on earning. So, I made over 5000 transactions with them and then moved the points over to the linked credit card program (just like chase). It made all my mileage runs in the month of Jan cost next to nothing for EXP on AA. After a few weeks of not making hardly any transactions, got a letter in the mail saying they were closing my checking account. I called the branch to inquire, the branch manager wouldn’t speak to me or give me a call back. The assistant manager that I kept talking to kept saying I had violated the terms and conditions of their “deposit account” agreement. I asked if they could specifically point me to which section, they said no, they couldn’t. I read the deposit account agreement word for word and could not find anything in there that pointed to a violation that I had done. So, they couldn’t point me to why and I couldn’t find anything that said why, even after checking with their representatives first. However, it served it’s purpose and I’m not heartbroken about it. I just wish they would have pointed me to what I had specifically done, I would have liked to listen to what they had to say in regards to the so-called “terms”.
DO NOT buy refundable airline tickets or make refundable hotel reservations to meet minimum spending thresholds.
I’m actually pretty nervous about this one. I got my Sapphire Preferred late last year and, to meet the minimum spending amount, among other things, booked a refundable two nights in New York in July. I have no plans to go to NYC then; I was planning on cancelling, but I just wanted the 7% on the 50K bonus.
Then I read people warning about doing this (for airline tickets) on Flyertalk.
I hope Chase will be understanding when I cancel the hotel room in June. Obviously I’ve put many more purchases on the card since then, and now am wiser about meeting minimum spending requirements.
Is the 10% Utilization at one reporting to the credit bureau? I closed an account 5 years ago. It listed my highest balance about $3000 with CL of $7000. Is this used for utilization or just the present month for reporting?
sil: I believe they are most interested in your current utilization.
I can tell you another thing that the DO watch. What do you use the card for. If you are ONLY using your INK card to the bonus deal, that looks bad. Use the card for other things. Pay your cable bill, phone bill, buy a dinner on it now and then. Mix it up. That is what they WANT to see. This is not just with Chase but all CC’s!
Wondering out loud: all my banking is done with Chase. My business account statement even lists my credit card. Do you think that maintaining a banking relationship (genuine without abuses) would help sustain the credit card relationship? I would think so.
Very good post at the right time. I just pulled my credit score TU 736 Exp 760 but I did have a 28% util on total of 50k credit line, weirdly enough the amounts were all for march which I have paid off. So I guess I need to pay off even earlier…and hold off my churn need to pull a business loan. My loan officer said their bank only looks at Transunion since it is the oldest. Ugh…
aznprzn: 10% is a target utilization ratio that I learned from some posts, but I would guess that less than 30% is not too bad. Anyone have better data/info for this?
ZippyPam: Yes, good point. A long, solid banking relationship should help as well.
Delta Points: Good points. I did mention that briefly but not in it’s own bullet. I’ll add it.