Don’t Get “Chase”-ed Away!

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If you have spent any time around frequent flyer sites, blogs, or even just checked your email from time to time, you probably already know that Chase is the issuer of several different points and miles reward credit cards.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but some of their current offerings include:

United MileagePlus Explorer Card

Southwest Airlines Card

The Hyatt Card

Priority Club Select Card

Sapphire Preferred Card

Marriott Rewards Card

All of these offers come with pretty generous sign-up bonuses that range from two nights in any Hyatt hotel in the world, to enough points for two domestic round-trip airline tickets, to up to six nights in a Marriott hotel, etc…. This is in addition to the regular points and miles earning potential you have by using these cards.

As you can easily see, this list includes many of the huge airline and hotel companies in the world.  These cards, and their sign-up bonuses, make up some of the main ways in which you can quickly increase your miles and points totals.  I personally have had a positive experience thus far with Chase and with many of their rewards cards.  In fact, I currently have three of their rewards cards.  There are many other families who also have multiple Chase rewards credit cards.  If it were up to me, I would actually get a couple more of these cards for the great sign-up bonuses and benefits that they offer!

However, all good things come with a price, and Chase may have developed a bit of a negative opinion towards those of us who would like to take advantage of several of their great offerings.  A couple of years ago, during the heat of the “credit crisis”, Chase seemed to have a policy in place where someone could only get a new Chase card once every six months.  While I have no clue as to whether or not that was an “official” policy, that seemed to be the reality based on multiple reports on message boards.  That once every six-months “policy” seems to have slid by the wayside in the last year or two, but Chase might be tightening up their criteria again.

In the last few weeks some slightly unfriendly wording has been spotted in the terms & conditions section of Chase credit card applications.  You know, the boring lawyer-y sounding part written in the small print.  This wording basically says that if you have received a sign-up bonus on any rewards card then you may be denied subsequent bonuses on other “similar” rewards cards.  It continues to say that Chase customers who have a history of getting credit cards just for the “promotional pricing” may be denied a second card with “promotional pricing”.  To me promotional pricing does not equal sign-up bonuses, but I also don’t necessarily speak Chase legalese.  I am pretty good at reading between the lines though, and to me those lines say, Watch Out!  There are some reports of people who are getting turned down for Chase cards because of having a history of being a “credit card churner” (someone who gets the card just for the sign-up bonus, cancels, and then does it again after a period of time).

Because of all the great rewards credit cards that Chase offers, I have no desire to be on their “black list”.  So, I am being very selective and careful with Chase.  Since I already have three Chase cards, I am betting that I would be pushing it to get four.  There are people who have four Chase cards, but there aren’t many people who have been approved for more than that.  In truth, who really NEEDS more than that?!  I am planning to put a good deal of time between my last Chase application and my next one…..at least six months in my case.  I also use the Chase cards I have for way more than just the minimum spend required to get the sign-up bonus.  I have now also seen language from Chase that they may take the miles or points back if you close your account within the first six months.

Overall, if you are seeking your first Chase card, you have nothing to worry about.  If you are seeking your second Chase card and have waited at least a month or two since applying for your first Chase card, you should have no problems.  But, if you are in the same boat as me and already have multiple Chase cards, I would proceed under the yellow flag…..with caution.  Be very selective about the offers you are applying for, and put at least a few months between applications with Chase.

It seems that many people have great success in getting Chase to work with them to get the card approved if you are initially declined, if you talk to them.  This may mean simply explaining why you need this specific Chase card (for example, if you are going to start flying that airline or begin staying at that hotel frequently), moving some of the credit line from another Chase card over to the new card, or even closing down an existing Chase account.

Hold on tight, be patient,  and be careful with your Chase applications, and hopefully you can spend quite a long time going around-and-around collecting fantastic bonuses from Chase’s line-up of rewards cards!  This is Little C hanging on tight going round-and-round on the carousel.  I knew I had a lot to learn from a toddler!

I’d love to know how your Chase applications have been going.  Success, denials?  Am I just being a crazy over-reacting mommy for thinking Chase is trying to stop the sign-up bonus fun?  What Chase card do you plan to apply for next?

 

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  1. This happened to me. We have the BA card and have had it for years, applied and received the Sapphire card, and applied for the Hyatt one a month later and got turned down due to having too many cards. I plan on calling the number this week to work on it!

  2. 1. Thank you for making me laugh out loud!!! “Little C will draw the winner. In the event she gets bored, wants to eat the tickets, or otherwise is in a bad mood, we will help her out.”
    2. Regarding Chase cards, my advice is: Be patient. Since there is a limit to Chase applications, wait for a truly great offer — such as 100,000 British Airways miles — or — apply for a Priority Club credit card in conjunction with an offer like “Crack the Case” where getting the card helps you earn an additional 100,000+ points as part of a promotion.
    3. I L-O-V-E your blog!!! Keep up the great work!!!

    • Ha ha, glad you liked the Little C part. You never know with these toddlers! I couldn’t agree more about waiting for the great Chase offer. Thanks for your kind words!

  3. I once had 5 Chase cards at the same time. However, two of them were accounts that I had had for a long time (Amazon and the Chase Business Ink). The other thing working in my favor, I think, was that two of them were business cards for a legitimate business: the aforementioned Ink and a Chase Southwest Business card. So, the Southwest card was my 3rd Chase card, which was opened in Jan of 2010. I then got the BA card for my fourth card in Feb of 2010. Then, I got the United Visa in April 2010.

    That Visa card required a phone conversation. I did not have to call them. I remember it being a long wait, then they sent me a letter saying it was being reviewed, and then one day they called me, and didn’t grill me too hard but the guy did mention offhandedly that I had four other Chase cards.

    I agree that since then they seem to have tightened up standards. Unfortunately, I did not really put much spending on 2 of the last 3 cards, so they might have marked me down on their naughty list. I waited 10 months since getting that United Visa card before applying for another Chase card. And, I cancelled 3 of my then-existing Chase cards before I applied (there are different schools of thought on this — some people say not to cancel anything, and to use closing an exisitng account as a bargaining chip when your application is being reconsidered). I was approved for the Continental OnePass Plus card in February of this year.

    I will be applying for the Sapphire probably sometime this week. It has been six months since the CO OnePass so I think I should be ok.

  4. Same boat…have the Freedom, just got BA and Sapphire-was tempted to get either Southwest or Continental OnePass but figured I’ll wait it out to see if another card will come out that will be worth the attempt at a 4th card.

  5. I currently have 5 active cards from Chase. United, CO President, Marriott, Hyatt and Sapphire Preferred. They all are used regularly as I travel for business. I anticipate one of the UA/CO cards to go when the merger is complete. I’ve had UA and Marriott for more than 10years and added the rest over the past 16 months. Never had problem with approvals.

    • Hearing these reports of 5 and 6 Chase cards makes me feel better about going for #4 later this year. Good job for holding on to those two cards for over ten years!

  6. I currently hold 6 Chase cards: Marriot Premier, Priority Club Select, Amtrak, British Airways, Onepass, Southwest. The first 3 are all from 2007. I got the BA with the original 100K promo in 2009. In February I applied for Continental for the 50K. It was instant approval even though I was worried they might frown on too many cards. 2 weeks ago I applied for the Southwest card. (I did not wait 6 months.) I did not get instant approval, and was certain it was a denial and fully expected to call in to cancel one of the other cards in order to be approved. But it did not happen. When I called the status line the next day…it was a congratulation with a surprisingly large credit line. So, who knows……
    I am still considering the Sapphire Preferred and the Hyatt for later on. I am sure next time I will have to call for reconsideration.

  7. Here is my recent Chase line up straight from my excel spreadsheet
    Card – Point Bonus – Applied Date
    United Visa- 50,000 December 2010
    Continental MC 50,000 February 2011
    British Airways 100,000 April 2011
    Sapphire 100,000 June 2011

    The first two cards were instant approval and the last two I had to call for reconsideration. I mentioned my excellent standing with my current accounts and my excellent credit score (780+ & no debt but the mortgage)
    I am still amazed I got all 4 cards & bonuses.
    Unforunately, I agree with you too that I need to lay low now for a good while before applying for any more Chase CC’s. There are a few good offers I’d like to do but I think it’s too risky. I have just canceled my Continental card because it was pass the 6 month mark and I’m trying to decrease the cc’s to make room for new ones in the future. It was an easy cancel. I was hoping for a retention bonus but no offer….they were more than happy to cancel the card (which is unusal) because of the merger of course and the new United Explorer card coming out. Maybe enough time will pass and the bonus will get better for the Explorer card.
    I guess I’m going to be sticking with other banks beside Chase for the rest of the year. I think that is the safest bet. Unless something is just way to incredible that’s worth the risk!

  8. I had considered getting the Chase Sapphire and Continental cards in order to build up Continental miles before the merge with United. However, I did not want to use up the credit inquiries until I had secured LTG on AA.

    The Sapphire 100K opportunity may have been worth it but was targeted and they only matched the bonus for a couple of days. I may still try for one or both in the next couple of months.

    Ike

  9. I have had great customer service from chase. every time I call they have someone on the phone who knows what they are doing and has some authroity to make decisions. this is a stark contrast from Citi’s we will look into that and send you a letter in 14 days. i have gotten 3 cards in 6 months including the CO, BA, and now the Sapphire. the Sapphire took a call to the reconsideration line but they were kind and helpful and approved me on the spot with some credit line rearangement. It might help but i also use the cards some(at least a few times a month) after the initial spend.
    One additional note it seems for me at least everytime I call Chase I land at a call center that is here in the US, I appreciate this as I have made an effort to buy most things for my 3 y/o that are manufactured in the US. i know its hard but i was even able to find a crib made here. It seems chase is able to keep jobs state side and still offer the best cards out there.

  10. I have an old Chase card from before I played the mileage game and more recent cards of theirs that I got for the points/miles (BA, Priority Club, Continental).

    I plan to cancel the Continental card before the end of 2011, in case it might otherwise negatively affect my ability to get a bonus on some future United card.

    The Hyatt 2-nights-free offer is tempting. If the 100k Sapphire offer came back that would be a no-brainer. Other than that, I’m mostly sitting pat until I see something that I particularly want.

  11. @Chris, that is great what you are doing by shopping for things made in the USA. No offense to other countries, but we need all the help we can get here. We try to do that when we can, too. It’s not easy! I agree about the Chase customer service!

    @Amber, thanks!!

    @Bradley, the Sapphire 100K was great. I feel lucky to have gotten in on it. Hopefully something else great will come around in the next few months.

    @HeatherC, Legoland sounds awesome for kids that age! Thanks for reading.

  12. I had Chase CO MC from 2005 or so. I had Chase SW in last Feb, and Chase BA in last April. When I applied for Chase Sapphire Preferred last month, it was denied due to many cards with Chase. I called in, and the Chase CSR offered to close the SW card in order to open the Sapphire card. In my case, Chase seems to allow three cards. Like others, I also have had great customer service from Chase.

  13. My wife and I started the credit card game last December and at this point, we have 3 Chase cards each. I have Southwest, BA, and Continental and she has Southwest, BA, and Priority Club. The reason for the difference was that she was targeted with the 80k offer for Priority Club and I was recently targeted with the 50k offer from Continental. Even though I was targeted and hadn’t tried for a Chase card since the BA one a few months ago, I was initially denied for the Continental card. I called and told them I wanted the card because I am flying Continental twice this fall and they quickly agreed to lower the limit on my BA card and approve the Continental card. I have found Chase to be reasonable if you are willing to adjust credit limits (no need for 20K limit on my BA card), but have not tried for a 4th card yet. We will see how that goes this fall.

  14. I have 2, Priority Club & British Airways. I got the Priority Club card in Feb and British Airways in April. I recently applied for the Continental card after being targetted via email, and was denied. I called the reconsideration line and was told that I had to cancel one of my other 2 cards, I could not “just” lower the limits. This was disappointing because I actually use the other 2 cards for travel right now, so I’m not sure what to do. Any advice?

  15. So I’ve got BA and SW Chase cards. I want a CO before they get eaten up by UA. If I do get a CO card, what happens to it with the merger? Does it become a UA card? I don’t want to lose out on any bonuses!

  16. I hope that its OK for me to make a 2nd comment on the same topic. I just noticed a comment on the Frugal Travel Guy website which is applicable to the Chase topic. The commenter (Carl) wrote:
    “I applied for Freedom and Sapphire on the same day. Was declined on the Freedom, so I called the Chase reconsideration line at 1-888-245-0625. The kind CSR moved some credit from another card and approved me. By the way, the Freedom signup bonus is essentially 20k points when used as described by TPG, so a good deal for no annual fee and the quarterly 5x bonuses.
    While on the line, I asked about the Sapphire app and she said it was still pending, but went ahead and approved it by moving additional credit over from the same card that I was planning on canceling. YMMV, but I learned the following:
    1. you can get approved by Chase for 2 apps on the same day.
    2. Don’t be shy about phoning the reconsideration line. They are very nice.
    3. even if you don’t use a credit line anymore, worth it to keep it open to have the flexibility to move over the credit later.
    4. You can have several Chase accounts in a short time period. In the past 6 months, I have gotten the Hyatt, OnePass, British Airways, and now these 2 accounts.”

  17. @Nguyen, congrats on getting it approved!

    @Kevin F, sorry to hear of your falling out, but you are right there are luckily other banks out there!

    @Trey, thanks!

    @Lauren, I am in a holding pattern for a while, too…..unless something worth the “risk” is too good to pass up. 😉

    @Jefferey, fingers crossed for #4 for you.

    @Harold, ha ha!

    @Jeff S, could it be related to the credit lines on those two cards? I can’t remember the exact number for sure, but I think the Continental requires at least a 5K credit line (or similar). Maybe there wasn’t that much to move over and still meet the minimum lines on the other two? Just an idea. If not, I would just be polite, hang-up, and try again.

    @BunMama, I think it would eventually become a UA card as CO is going away and the benefits now align exactly. No guarantees, but I would get the CO sooner rather than later if you want to try and take advantage of both!

    @Alan, you are welcome to comment as much as you like! Good tip with the Freedom. Congrats on getting two in one day, not everyone can get that accomplished! Good story that sometimes you can take advantage of multiple Chase offers in a short period of time.

  18. I had 4 Chase cards this summer until I cancelled my Continental Master Card last week…after holding the card for 11 months. I’m thinking about cancelling my Amazon card, love the 3% back on Amazon purchases but love travel rewards more. I’d like a United card next, am waiting for a good offer.

  19. The Sapphire card gets double points at restaurants and I have found they consider Megabucks Coffee(Starbucks) a restaurant. Also I have found they list my wife’s gym membership as a restaurant.

    • I love that new feature of the Sapphire card. That’s great that your gym is a “restaurant”. Yum, yum, treadmill……..

  20. We have multiple Chase cards as well. My favorite being the Chase Freedom… I love the 5% bonuses they offer every quarter!

  21. I applied today to get the United Explorer 50k+10k offer and my application was delayed for “further review”. I already had 3 chase credit cards, including the Continental card. I called the reconsideration line and explained upfront that with Continental going ceasing operations next month I wanted to switch to the United Card and that I was ok with either transferring the credit line from the continental to the new card or cancelling the continental card. The agent put me on hold for two minutes and came back saying that was ok. She asked then how much credit did I want to transfer, put me on hold again for 2 more minutes and voila, the application process was complete. I should have my United Explorer card in the mail in the next few days.

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