Chase Sapphire Reserve
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I believe the term is “calling your bluff”, and Chase may be calling yours.

In recent weeks, credit card companies have come around to the reality that many highly touted credit card benefits aren’t going to be useful to cardholders in the near term.

Accordingly, many credit cards have increased retention offers, which are a banks tool of keeping you from cancelling a card, and can range from offers of bonus points to a statement credit on a future bill, before you cancel.

The thing is, you have to call and mention you’d like to cancel to trigger one of these lucrative offers. In the past this wasn’t a big deal, since a simple “I *think* I’d like to cancel my card” was typically good enough to get offers flowing, and allowed for an out, if an offer didn’t in fact pop up. Chase appears to be calling the bluff, adding a level of jeopardy to card retention offers.

In short: you better be ready and willing to cancel your card, if you are in hopes of a retention bonus.

Chase Sapphire ReserveAccording to Miles to Memories, and a variety of cardholder reports, Chase has buried any retention offers until a customer specifically says they’d like to proceed with the cancellation. If no offers pop up, your card will be cancelled.

If you really “mean it” that you’re considering a cancellation, it’s no big deal, but if you were simply fishing for some free points, or money back on a future bill, you’ll be down a card. If it’s your only card with the bank, it would mean a loss of points too.

This is a shrewd, clever move from Chase, preventing a run on the bank from savvy cardholders. On one hand, there are absolutely things cards should be doing to earn member retention, particularly in the travel rewards card space, and new perks and earnings rates are being added.

Capital One added streaming redemptions, Amex announced a forthcoming benefit refresh across its card portfolio, Chase has home centric cash back offers and food delivery perks, and more are being added daily.

Chase Sapphire Preferred And Chase FreedomWhat Makes You Eligible For A Retention Offer?

There’s no exact science to it, but guesswork is fairly logical.

If you are a regular spender on the card, a long term cardmember or even a very new one, the card issuer will want to keep you on. If on the other hand you never spend anything, don’t carry it in your wallet and simply pay an annual fee, you’re less likely.

If you’re a cardholder legitimately struggling to justify keeping their card open, and are genuinely happy to cancel, there’s still all the same hope there was before. You may receive a fantastic offer to keep the card open, and can still choose to do so.

But… You’ll only know once you confirm to the phone agent that you’d like to proceed to the final step completing the cancellation. If you’re a chancer, hoping to cash in on easy perks and points, without any intention to actually cancel your card, the stakes may now be a bit too rich. Ooh, the jeopardy.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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6 Comments

    1. Great question, I believe the answer is closed is closed, but it’s not one I have personal experience with. I think this is precisely the point for Chase here, it’s a one way street if no offer pops up.

  1. Cancelled 2 Chase cards in 30 days and more to come, even though 1 had a lot of spend on it. No retention for either account.

  2. No; it is not possible to undo a card closure; once it’s closed, it’s closed. If it’s the perks on the card that you like, you can open a new account with the same card, I believe six months after the last card was closed. I did that with Chase once, and it was between 6 and 12 months apart.

  3. Happened to me the other day. I was closing a SW card and I asked if there was anything they could do to help, she said no, I said OK proceed and then right before she closed it she said they would comp 50% of the AF.

  4. If the card you are closing is an old account, wouldn’t closing it hurt your credit? You’re also lowering your available credit and increasing your debt-to-credit ratio, provided that you have other cards with a balance.

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