Chase Is Trying to Rip Me Off

I received a letter this weekend from Chase, the bank where my primary credit card is housed.  The letter seemed all nice and fluffy.  I am being “upgraded” to a new premier rewards program.

As I read on, the one page letter outlined that my account and card number would stay the same and my rewards would increase to 3% for gas and grocery purchases.  That seemed fine.  I like better rewards.

I kept reading and everything seemed great… And then I made it down to the end where they drop in a line saying that I will have to pay a $30 annual fee.  Not going to happen.

As I have said in the past, your credit card should pay you.  I will not pay an annual fee for my card.  I plan to call Chase in the next week or so to discuss my new “premier” status.  There is no annual fee for the first year, but I do not plan to stick around that long if they require my credit card terms change.  I am happy to stay on the way I have my account today.  The change in terms goes into effect on August 31st.

The potential outcomes of my call:

1. Chase lets me keep my current terms and I keep using my card regularly.

2. They upgrade me to the new program but waive the fee permanently.

3. I opt out of the Chase rewards program and leave the account open, but use another card with better rewards.

4. I close the account if they insist I pay a $30 annual fee.

Each of those options has ups and downs.  I listed them in order of preference.  As you all know, closing a credit account is not good for your credit score, so I want to avoid that if I can.  I would prefer to just leave things the way they are if I can.

When I call, I will keep Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Richin mind for customer service representative negotiations.  You can almost always save money if you ask.  From there perspective, I am a good customer.  While I do not pay interest, they make a lot from merchant interchange fees on my card usage.  They would loose all of that if they lose me as a customer.  Keeping my account as it is today is win-win for both me and the bank.  I hope all it takes is asking.

I will update you all sometime soon when I call Chase.  The lesson to you is: Read your credit card mail.  You never know what terms the bank is trying to slip into a nice, glossy letter.

2 thoughts on “Chase Is Trying to Rip Me Off”

  1. Hi Eric,

    I'm a reporter at Money magazine, and I'm writing about these changes and other credit card issues for an upcoming feature story. Would you be willing to talk to me about your situation with Chase? If so, please email me at [email protected].

    Thanks so much!

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