A long-time reader sent me an email the other day and told me he was just shut down from Chase. He gave me permission to post his story so we can all learn from it:
I’ve been a fan of your blog and I have read your shutdown stories, but never expected to get axed myself. I’m just really very confused because I was just able to purchase 2 Nike GCs from Gyft about 2 hrs ago or so. My previous was Tuesday. Then I was updating my Hyatt on AwardWallet and I noticed I earned hundreds of points when I only spent $2 at the PH in Buenos Aires last month. So I logged in to my Chase acct to see if I was charged a lot more and sure enough I saw the remarks that ALL my Chase cards were closed! 10 total, 1 INK Bold, 1 INK Plus, & 1 INK Cash, with 1 Marriott business. The rest are personal. Now first of all, since we arrived here in the states in 2002, we’ve been with Chase (Bank One back then I think). Our savings and checking have been with them since ’02, and our mortgage has been with them since 2011. Those are still alive. I rarely deposit MOs at Chase, and I’m not even a high spender on my Ink cards. In fact I was planning to downgrade 1 to Ink Cash again since I don’t come close to the maximum. And my wife also has an Ink Plus that we don’t use much. I called Chase but the rep couldn’t really disclose much. She was just reading notes that Chase decided to end the relationship. No reasons given. I’d really love to know what I did wrong. I did Bill Pays here in xxxxx up until last month. Sadly just last week they decided to close their Money Services so no more BPs & MOs for us. Anyhow, I know you didn’t think the BP triggered your shutdowns, but what else could have caused mine? It can’t be the Gyft purchases, can it? I did get approved for the BA card a second time last month. First was like 4 years ago. Could that have been the reason? I certainly didn’t break any rules by doing that. For the record, my personal cards are BA, Hyatt, IHG, Freedom, no AF United, & Ritz. My wife has the exact same personal cards with 1 Ink Plus and 1 Marriott business just approved last month. She also just got her 2nd BA last month. So far her accounts are fine, I sure hope it stays that way. Our savings and checking are joint accounts so they can easily see her accts through mine. My very first card was the Sapphire Preferred in 2012, then the INK Bold a month after.
What would your advice be, and should I go to a Chase branch to see if there’s anything they can do? Should I try to call the number that was in your shutdown letter? I wish they could give a reason for the shutdown so at least I’ll know what to do to protect my wife’s accts. But again I know u were sort of expecting to get axed, but that never crossed my mind at all since I’ve never even cycled through my credit limits, which are $10k or lower each. And if they don’t reinstate my accounts do I have any grounds to file a CFPB? Really looking forward to your reply. Tnx, Vinh! God bless!
Potential Reasons for the axe
I don’t know the exact reason why the reader got axed, but I hear enough shutdown stories, that I can make educated guesses as to what happened. Here are the top reasons why Chase would axe you:
- Ink abuse – doesn’t sound like it in this case
- High credit utilization when applying for a new card – this is a fairly new reason these days. What happens is when you apply for a new Chase card, they’ll look at your CR and see if you’re running high balances on your other cards (not just Chase,) and will preemptively just axe you.
- Spending too much too fast – this is what did me in, but not in this reader’s case it seems
- Messing with their bank side – another reader was shut down for this, but not this reader. Seems his MO deposits were very light.
- Anonymous payments – this is my best guess as to what led to this reader’s shut down story. I had asked him what his volume on his BP’s were and this is what he said, “$1998 each time about once a month or none (if balance is below $2k) on each of our 4 INKs.” So while it was low volume, it seemed enough for Chase to shut him down. A part of me also thinks the recent BA apps may have put eyes on the account as well.
I’m sad to hear about what happened to this reader since he’s been with me since the 150K AMEX Platinum days. I wish he hadn’t done those BP’s. BP’s are just saving you an extra MO trip if you think about it. Just gives you more liquidation bandwidth in one trip. I’ve been flirting with anon payments with Citi lately, but this has thrown cold water on me. Realistically, it’s just saving me a trip to Walmart, so I’ll just put up with a few more trips to Walmart and not even risk it anymore. Also the rare MO deposits into Chase was definitely a big no-no since that’s shitting where you eat. So to recap, 1) don’t BP or do any kind of anon payment to Chase (even including paying your Chase card with MO’s in branch, 2) don’t shit where you eat (meaning don’t even bank with Chase.) I’m sure a few of you readers will comment, “Oh well I’ve been depositing MO’s into my Chase account for years now and I’m fine.” Well, good for you. Keep on doing what you’re doing. Don’t let a blogger tell you what to do.
I did give the reader some tips on how to get his account re-instated or at least be given a reason for the shutdown. I’ll post a followup if he does get back in. I wish him luck.