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.
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.
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.