With so many people applying for the Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus (thanks to the limited-time increased offer), I thought it would be good to look ahead and bring out some key points regarding Chase Ink retention offers.
Chase Ink Retention Offers
Retention offers are something that credit card companies sometimes extend to their customers to keep them from cancelling a card or leaving the company. Retention offers used to be far more lucrative in years past with offers being that you would get 20,000 or 30,000 points just to keep the card. Some customers reported that they were still able to call back later and cancel it and keep the points. Well, credit card companies have wised up on those practices and now many retention offers are more like spending offers – where you get another bonus if you spend so much on the card in a certain timeframe.
When it comes to cards like the Chase Ink products, there are really no key incentives to keep you with the card after the first year. Sure, the 5X points on office supply store purchases are great and useful, but that is something you get with the card. It is not something that is extended to you to thank you for your continued loyalty. With some cards, you receive an anniversary bonus so that is something you can expect to receive with your annual fee. Not so with Chase Ink cards so they are great cards to use for retention offers when the annual fee comes due.
Retention Offers Are System Generated
There are some bloggers that may encourage you to call and threaten to cancel in order to get the retention offer. Guess what – with the Chase Ink cards (and possibly other Chase cards), it doesn’t matter what you tell them! If I am really wanting to cancel the card because of the fee, I tell them that the annual fee is making me think about canceling the card. If it is a card that I use often and I do not have any intention of canceling, I will tell them that I love using the card and really do not want to cancel it but just want to see if there is something they can do to help with the pain of the annual fee. I have even told some straight up that I will be keeping the card no matter what but just wanted to see if there is something they could to help me out.
Well, Chase Ink offers are system generated. That means that the rep puts a request into the system for a retention offer and the system tells them what they have available. The rep has no power over the offer. Now, if you get a rep who really doesn’t want to help you, they may not even key in the request and just tell you that there is no offer. But, if you get an offer, know that it is an offer the system has given them and there is nothing they can do about it. The reps have told me this is to help with their accountability and they can only give what is offered. Now, you could escalate it and a supervisor could override, but the rep that gives you the offer is giving you exactly what is on the screen.
Just keep this in mind when calling – you do not need to threaten canceling when you do not plan on it. Remember, this is a bank you want to continue to have a good relationship with. If notes are made that you always tell them you are going to cancel unless they give you an offer, you don’t know what the system is going to offer someday! 🙂
Retention Offers Are Date Structured
There have also been some bloggers who recommend you call to get the offer but then call and cancel later on after the offer is received to get your fee back and keep the points. The banks are catching on to that a bit! Chase Ink retention offers now are offered with a particular start date. This eliminates the potential for you to cancel the card anyway (to get the annual fee refunded) after you have received the points from the retention offer.
This is how it works: you can call Chase to get your annual fee back up to 60 days after it has first posted. When you call for the retention offer, they will give you a start date that will typically be the day after the next billing cycle. Since Chase does not give bonus points until a week or two after the statement closes, this puts the date you receive the points right at or after the 61 day point since the annual fee may have been billed (this only applies if you met the spending requirement on the first day or in the first cycle). Except for some (rare) situations, this means that you would be unable to cancel after receiving the points and get your fee back.
How To Get An Offer
- Hold off of big spending before the annual fee – Any retention offer is going to require some amount of spending (typically $5,000 in 90 days). I put off some my gift card purchases knowing that I was going to have to meet the spend later. This helps to not have too much of your available credit line tied up when the offer comes.
- Wait for the annual fee to hit – You cannot call for a retention offer until after the annual fee has posted, so don’t call too early!
- Call Chase – As far as calling them, there is no secret number! Just call the number on the back of your Chase Ink card (800-945-2027)
- Tell them what you want – I tell the rep that my annual fee has hit and I would like to be able to get something to help me out with that. I always make it a point of telling them that I like the card and use it (which they can see) but I also have the Chase Ink Plus which I also pay the annual fee for. Too many annual fees!
- Push back (if you want) – Some people may not want the original offer that is given (more points, better statement credit, etc). If that is you, you can push back at it a bit and say that it is not enough. See what else they may offer you. I have tried that with the Chase Ink cards a couple of times and the offer always remains what it is. It is up to you – you may get lucky and receive something more like 20,000 Ultimate Reward points! But, remember that you do not want to do this everytime if you value the relationship you have with Chase.
- Start spending after the date – Find out what the start date is and get the spending done! Make sure you make note of the 90 day end date so you get your spending done in time.
Is It Worth It?
The typical offer is 10,000 Ultimate Reward points after spending $5,000 in 90 days. Yes, that is a lot of spending for fewer points than the original sign-up bonus, but it is a great offer for a card you probably use anyway. If you spend that $5,000 at office stores (like I do for the gift cards), you will get another 25,000 Ultimate Reward points after meeting the spend! To get a 10,000 point bonus for that is pretty great!
10,000 Ultimate Reward points is worth a minimum of $100 (if redeemed for cash) and could be worth $200 when used for travel. I find that to be worth the $95 annual fee which is why I have kept my cards. Is it worth it to you?