Editorial Note: I receive NO compensation from affiliate partnerships. Support the blog by applying for a card through my personal referral links.
If you’ve been following miles and points for long enough, there are bound to be a few bumps in the road. As miles and points credit cards have become more popular, banks have also become a lot stringent. They’ve enforced new rules and restrictions, and in certain cases, started denying customer applications for new credit cards. However, what happens when a bank outrightly decides to shut a customer down? I’ve previously covered Amex’s spree of customer crackdowns. Recent reports suggest that Chase may be also looking closely and in certain cases, enforcing a shutdown of customer accounts.
Chase Shutdown Data Points
As per this recent discussion on Reddit, it seems like there are credible data points of Chase shutdowns also taking place.
Reddit user AmexFangirl reported this:
Chase shut me down on Nov 27 in the evening. The notification emails arrived on Nov 28. I am just back from an international trip and have time to post this today. All 5 personal cards and 1 biz were closed.
Some background: I’ve gotten the online black star offers several times but never applied. P2, however, was approved via the black star offer earlier this year with a more lol/24 stat and survive. That combined with other successful DPs during the last round in July gave me a false sense of security, so I jumped in this time.
Anyway, after seeing others who had a lower # of accounts and inquiries got shutdown in the past week, I kind of see this coming.
I was targeted, instantly approved, and lowered CL of the UA card all on Nov 16. The number of new accounts at the time Chase pulled were 30/24, 21/12, and 6/6 excluded biz cards. The number of inquiries on the 2 reports Chase pulled was over 30/24 in total. Chase total CL includes UA and a Chase biz card was at 20% of income. Total personal card CL across all issuers was at 66% of income. No mortgage. AAoA is around 3 years. Has a high deposit in Chase deposit and investment accounts.
If you look at the entire post that’s linked, you can read the full account of what happened. The thread has a couple of reports about customer shutdowns. While this may not be a substantial statistic yet, it could be a sign of what’s to come. After reading the thread, I outlined a few key takeaways.
- The user seemingly applied for a pre-approved ‘black star’ offer and got approved.
- She has a really high number of personal accounts in the last 24 months. As per the report, she was 30/24, 21/12 and 6/6. This does not include business credit cards. 21 personal cards in the last 1 year is a really high number. I’m not surprised that Chase wanted to have a look at what was going on here.
- The user had an existing banking relationship with Chase – This isn’t surprising. We’ve seen reports where customers were denied for a card even though they had a significant banking relationship with Chase. I’m not surprised that Chase shut down her credit cards despite her banking relationship.
Another user bearcat_student reported this data point, but didn’t provide any further details:
Sorry for your loss. My P2 has been also shut down on Friday. So far I tend to think we should try to reinstate. I did transfer 305k to Hyatt from my account already. There is a risk to to that.
The Leaked Link theory
Another theory points to the possibility of using links that weren’t intended for you. The Frequent Miler reported last month about Chase taking a closer look at certain customer accounts. Given the plethora of information available online, news first broke that Chase was targeting customers with the black star offers.
However, some users figured out a way get access to those offers by tweaking the URL and getting targeted for those offers. As this habit scaled, it naturally attracted Chase’s attention. While the AmexFanGirl shutdown data point doesn’t directly allude to this, it seems like customers who may have used links that weren’t meant for them could be a target of adverse action by Chase.
The Pundit’s Mantra
More often than not, loyalty ideally cuts both ways. If you’re a customer who plays the long game and is in the bank’s good books, you’ll enjoy the rich rewards in the long run. However, a few handy tips might help you if you’re looking to play safe and avoid attracting the attention of fraud prevention teams.
- Take it slow and steady: Miles and points are very profitable for banks and travel companies. They aren’t’ going anywhere. Don’t take a crash and burn approach.
- Don’t apply for a link that wasn’t intended for you. If you get a targeted offer, then by all means go for it.
- Apply for cards that align with your travel goals. If you apply for 25 credit cards in a year or 40 in two years, will you really use all of them? Will your pace of travel keep up with the amount of miles you’re racking up? More often that not, people keep hoarding miles until a devaluation hits them eventually.
- Heavy manufactured spending, especially in bonus categories, may attract the bank’s attention. It’s your call how much (if at all any) manufactured spending you want to really generate if it entails risking a shutdown.
While I don’t think that the sky is falling, the miles and points game is definitely changing. Just like Amex, Chase seems to be getting more vigilant. As I wrote last month, it always helps to tread carefully and not poke the bear.
What do you think about these recent data points about Chase shutdowns? Let us know in the comments section.