Haterade of the Week: Chase Shutting Down Churners

From the Terms & Conditions of Chase’s new MileagePlus Explorer credit card:

Chase cardmembers who currently have or have had a Chase credit card in any Rewards Program associated with this offer or have received a similar bonus offer, may not be eligible for a second Chase credit card in the same Rewards Program, or for any bonus offer. Chase cardmembers currently receiving promotional pricing, or Chase cardmembers with a history of only using their current or prior Chase card for promotional pricing offers, are not eligible for a second Chase credit card with promotional pricing.

Bad news for us card churners. Chase seems to be tired for those of us who open cards solely for the promotional bonus and then proceed to close them. Why? I’m not entirely sure. It’s not like these bonus points/miles cost them a lot of money. They buy them at a huge discount by the trillions. It’s not like they aren’t make money on merchant swipe fees. The spending thresholds are usually $2,500-3,000. Sometimes, the annual fees aren’t waived and you pay them soon after approval.

What I think it means is that Chase felt a little hit from earlier in 2011 until now since they have been offering some amazing bonuses on their co-branded cards – British Airways 100k, Sapphire Preferred 50k/100k, Continental 50k, United 50k, Southwest 50k, etc. I guess they figure they can still get people

What this means, in practice, is a little vague. Only time will tell how Chase will handle the card churners. Previously, if you were not instantly approved, you could call the reconsideration line and either a) move some credit around to make room for the new card or b) close one card to make room for the new card. The agents were usually very accommodating with those requests but going forward, who knows?

My advice for now is to be careful with which card and bonus you try for. Think long and hard about it. It may make you ineligible to receive future (better) offers if Chase thinks you are a card churner.