My Chase Ink Retention Call & Ongoing Ink Strategy
Last month I shared the story of a Chase Ink retention call that went as well as expected. Despite them almost never waiving the annual fee in the past, I was able to get them to credit the $95 fairly easily. At that time I asserted, “…perhaps with these new application rules, new retention strategies have gone into effect.” Well today I had a different experience, but lets back up a little.
The new application rules I am speaking about are of course Chase’s war on credit card churners. Over the past couple of months they have been denying anyone who has applied for 5 or more credit cards over the past 2 years. (Denials only apply to the Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, Ink Plus, Ink Cash & Slate.)
A Change in Strategy
These new rules along with the elimination of the Ink Bold have forced many of us to change our strategies. You used to be able to get an Ink Bold and an Ink Plus for each business every two years or so. For those with multiple businesses, it was fairly easy to churn these cards on a semi-regular basis. That simply is no longer the case.
Between my wife and I, we have a total of 5 Chase Ink cards. Since I doubt either of us will be able to get new cards any time soon, I have really been thinking a lot about the strategy we should pursue going forward. Of course if they waive the annual fee, then no decision needs to be made, but what if they don’t?
Today’s Retention Call
Today I called on another one of my Chase Ink cards that was coming up for renewal. I had actually called a couple of weeks ago and was told there weren’t any offers, but decided to take some time to think before calling back. I was also hoping an offer would magically appear in my account during that time.
To reach someone, I simply called the number on the back of my card, verified the last four digits of the card number and my zip code and then hit “0” when the automated system started telling me the card’s balance. I was instantly connected to a phone agent here in the U.S.
The agent was pleasant and I explained that I wanted to know my options to avoid the annual fee. She placed me on a brief hold and came back on the phone to say no retention (her words) offers were available. My only option was to convert the card to an Ink Cash. After a few minutes of script reading, she told me the new card would come within 3-5 business days.
Since there were no offers a few weeks ago when I called, I fully expected this to happen. A few reps have explained that their computers either have an offer or not. Calling back (HUCA) won’t change that since they cannot give you an offer unless it is in the system. My only hope in this scenario was that an offer would appear during the few weeks between calls.
So my 2nd Ink Plus card is now being converted to an Ink Cash. I am ok with this since we haven’t been hitting the maximum of $50K in spending at office supply stores on all of our Ink cards. The Ink Cash has a lower $25K limit at office supply stores, but I do feel that will still work for us. Perhaps I will need to do a better job of tracking purchases though.
This situation has me thinking about what we should do on each of our cards going forward. Unless Chase changes their rules, we simply won’t be getting any new Ink cards in the near future. That means we must decide to either keep the premium cards and pay the annual fees or downgrade them to no annual fee Ink Cash cards.
So I am 1 for 2 with Chase Ink retention calls over the past couple of months. We still have a few more cards with annual fees coming due in the next couple of months, so my ultimate strategy will eventually have to be decided. Right now I am happy with the Ink Cash conversion and the ability to continue to earn 5X on up to $25K per yea in my favorite bonus category.