Rakuten Visa Card
We’ve had quite a string of bad luck lately, particularly my wife. We suffered a significant credit card shutdown, she received the worst Amex pop up, and she was approved for the Rakuten Visa card. Wait, why is that last one bad news? Dear reader, that’s what I’ll answer today. But first, why did she just apply for it?
My wife and I each held Rakuten cards for a good while; they were Ebates cards back when we first got them. We enjoyed the Membership Rewards-earning version of the Rakuten credit cards for the past few years, particularly in the Gift Card Mall heyday. After the ugly death of that play, our use of the Rakuten cards greatly diminished. We focused our Rakuten spending on a few online purchases, primarily on my card. Maybe too much. Synchrony automatically closed my wife’s Rakuten Visa card last spring due to inactivity. After receiving our recent shutdowns, we wanted to re-energize with other card issuers. My wife applied and was instantly approved for the Rakuten Visa card. She was back in the Rakuten Visa game! But wait…
Demise of the Rakuten Visa Card
Five days after my wife was approved again, news appeared that the Rakuten Visa card was no longer accepting new applications. Our first thought was how lucky she was that she re-obtained this card prior to it closing for new applications. We quickly shifted to concern that the Rakuten Visa card may disappear entirely.
Our concerns were justified. Two days later, Synchrony basically announced the death of the Rakuten Visa card, effective 17 September. Apparently, eligible Rakuten Visa cardholders will receive a product change to the Synchrony Mastercard. It’s not clear if that’s everyone or just a subset of cardholders. Synchrony promised to send a letter in early August with more info.
Why This Stinks
Of course, the Rakuten Visa card disappearing is bad news for fans of the card. This particularly stinks for my wife for a few reasons. First, she only has about six weeks (at most) to use the card. (Actually, she still hasn’t received the card in the mail.) Second, at best, she essentially applied for the Synchrony Mastercard without knowing it. Would she have applied for this card otherwise? NO. And at worst, she applied for a card that will end in mid September and not get a replacement card. Third, it’s one more opened card on her credit report. We quit caring about Chase’s 5/24 rule years ago. But we’ve found other banks’ rules a bit more palatable, particularly Bank of America’s 7/12 rule. This approval counts against those numbers, and it wasn’t even worth it.
That’s why we would have been better off with my wife getting denied for the Rakuten Visa. We’re disappointed but not angry at how things turned out. I actually laughed at the sequence of all these events. You can’t make up this run of bad luck we’re on. Of course, things could be worse. It’s comical to consider this stuff a big deal in the grand scheme of things. As much as things can go positively in the points and travel hobby, rough patches inevitably appear. We’ll keep grinding, and I encourage you to do the same!