Chuck over at Doctor of Credit put together a rather exhaustive post on Chase latest actions on approvals of Ultimate Rewards credit cards.
For me, it was a very sobering post to read. I, like many in the miles and points game, have a bunch of Chase cards. In fact, at last count, I have 8 (3 business, 5 personal), in fact, my Chase Marriott Rewards card is my longest held loyalty program credit card (and yes, its a tough decision each year, determining if the Cat 5 free night certificate can offset the annual fee).
Two major questions about the Chase action
Chuck highlights that Chase’s more stringent approval requirements are primarily focused on Ultimate Rewards cards (both quotes are from his latest post)
Specifically, if they see too many new accounts on your credit report they won’t approve you for a new card. This is even if the new accounts are non-Chase accounts. They always mention a 2-year time frame; if there were too many new cards opened within the past 2 years it’s much harder to be approved.
From what we can tell now, it appears that they are only targeting Ultimate Rewards-earning cards like the Sapphire and Freedom. INK seems to be included as well, although it may be slightly less restricted due to the fact that it’s a business card.
This presents two major questions when considering a strategy going forward.
- Hold onto one or more Inks (depending on 5x spend), or a Sapphire Preferred card, Hope they eventually refine their approval process, and keep churning non-Ultimate Rewards cards, and non-Chase cards?
Scale back on churning cards in the hopes of staying in favor when its time for another Chase Ink or Sapphire Preferred card.
- Wow, writing those out, I kind’ve feel like an idiot. I mean, Chase is king, that was what I think Joe, Shawn and I said a few weeks ago, but is it enough to completely uproot a mile and point strategy?
I would argue it is not.
My plan of action
For better or for worse, I’m going to jump on one or two cards that I’ve been eyeing for a while, but have been waiting for the right time. The number one Chase card I’ll be applying for is the Chase Hyatt card. I really wasn’t a huge fan of it for a long time, given that the most you can get is a few more stay credits with spend thresholds, and it gives you free nights instead of points. But with the latest offer (need to find that) and increasingly seeing others use the card (including Gary Leff), I think its time. Besides, I’d love to see some of the options on the Chase Hyatt card that Chasing the Points shared from a survey he saw.
Other than Hyatt, I may jump on a United or Marriott Business card, because, why not?
All the dire news aside, I think its important that as a community, we have the resources to share and know what is going on. That, and this reminds me of one of the more timeless quotes:
This too shall pass.
Because, after all, we’ve seen this game ebb and flow. Right now the economy is doing well, and logically so, airlines, credit card issuers, and hotels don’t have as great a need to be extra rewarding.
So what is your strategy regarding Chase?