One of the benefits of the Chase Ink cards has been the Lounge Club membership with (2) free visits. Many people did not realize their card(s) came with those club visits, and, to be honest, I actually never used mine. Since I have Star Alliance lounge access through my Aegean Gold, Admiral’s Club with my AA Executive Aadvantage card, Delta Skyclub access with my Amex Plat, and Priority Pass access with my Amex Plat, I have never really had a need for it.
Bye, Bye Lounge Club Benefit
Still, it is never nice to see a stated benefit of a particular card going away. The letter that we got (similar to the letters that all of you Chase Ink Bold/Plus card holders will receive) stated that the benefit is going away but you will have the membership until your Lounge Club card expires.
Signing Up For The Lounge Club
If you have not yet signed up for this benefit, visit their website – here – and use invite code chaseink to get your free membership and, with it, two free lounge visits. You will need to enroll for your free Lounge Club card before April 30 and the membership will be valid for one year.
To see the list of Lounge Clubs, check out this website and use the drop-down menu to select your city and airport.
Turning This To Your Advantage
Since a regular visit to one of these lounges would cost you out of pocket and 2 free visits are included with your Chase Ink card, the termination of this relationship gives you some leverage when it is time to pay your annual fee.
About a month before your annual fee is to hit on your Chase Ink card(s), give Chase a call (the number on the back of the card works fine) and tell them that you were disappointed to see a benefit stripped away from the card. Losing benefits does decrease the value of cards (even though one of the strongest uses of the card is for the 5x categories) and they understand that. You will most likely be able to secure some type of retention bonus – which will require some spending.
Chase is likely to offer you some retention bonus on these cards anyway, but the loss of this benefit just makes your case that much stronger. So, do not just pay your next annual fee on these cards (you should always give a call anyway and see if there is anything they can do to help you keep it – statement credit, points, etc). Give them a call and bring up the loss of this benefit. They will be hearing that quite often and should have an offer ready to go for you.
The standard offer I have received was for 10,000 Ultimate Reward points after spending $5,000 in 90 days. That was before this benefit loss. So, look for at least that (or the $100 statement credit), but do not be afraid to push some more. The initial offers are all in their system but they can give you a better one, even if it requires a supervisor’s approval.
Lounge Access After The Year
Of course, if you do use these lounge visits, all hope is not gone! In many international airports, I noticed that most of the contract lounges allowed access to Lounge Club members as well as Priority Pass members. Since you get free visits with that as well (and that membership is free with the American Express Platinum family of cards), you will be able to continue accessing lounges.