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Canceling rewards card before fee kicks in?
Old 11-12-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
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Canceling rewards card before fee kicks in?

Has anyone canceled a deferred-fee" rewards credit card before the one-year deferral period is up?

I opened a Chase Sapphire Visa account last December to get the 50,000 point sign-up bonus. As December approaches, I am wondering if there are any 'catches' to canceling the card to avoid the $95 annual fee.

I have only good things to say about the service, and have accumulated over 62,000 points (including the bonus). Honestly, if the Amethysts were travelers, I might go for the $95 and keep the card - but we are homebodies, so the concierge stuff is meaningless to us.

1. Do I just call up and say "I want to cancel my account?" and done? Do they give you a hard time, try to change your mind, etc.?

2. Supposedly, this card gives an additional 7% on top of earned points after a year. There is nothing in the agreement that says you forfeit the 7% by canceling in time to avoid the fee - does anybody have any insights into this?

Experience and advice welcomed.

Amethyst
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:33 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Has anyone canceled a deferred-fee" rewards credit card before the one-year deferral period is up?

I opened a Chase Sapphire Visa account last December to get the 50,000 point sign-up bonus. As December approaches, I am wondering if there are any 'catches' to canceling the card to avoid the $95 annual fee.

I have only good things to say about the service, and have accumulated over 62,000 points (including the bonus). Honestly, if the Amethysts were travelers, I might go for the $95 and keep the card - but we are homebodies, so the concierge stuff is meaningless to us.

1. Do I just call up and say "I want to cancel my account?" and done? Do they give you a hard time, try to change your mind, etc.?

2. Supposedly, this card gives an additional 7% on top of earned points after a year. There is nothing in the agreement that says you forfeit the 7% by canceling in time to avoid the fee - does anybody have any insights into this?

Experience and advice welcomed.

Amethyst
You can cencel anytime. Just call em' up.

I suggest though that when you call, that you tell em you'll stay on if they wave the annual fee. They just may wave it.

Check out the American Express Preferred Blue cash reward card. You Pay an annual fee of $75 but get back 6% on groceries, 3% on gas stations and 3% on department stores, 1% on everything else. For me The card more than pays for itself plus hundreds of dollars a year in cash rewards. A much better deal in my opinion.

For me a card like that is a little gold mine.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:51 PM   #3
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The last time I had to cancel a CC with fees, I sent them a letter. The CC was cancelled within a week, no questions asked.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:36 PM   #4
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I've done it with no consequences, and am about to do it again. As far as I know there is no catch. I don't know if you could do it repeatedly though with the same company (expedia.com or a particular bank for example). Never tried it. The one I just enrolled in is the airline I use the most. I figured with my frequent patronage it's a win-win for both.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:37 PM   #5
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If you decide to cancel, you may want to research what other cards Chase is offering, and move your credit line to the new card. When we got our British Air card, I moved credit line over from another Chase card, no problem. This way there is no downside to your "available credit" to negatively impact your Fico utilizations ratio.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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I had an oddly positive customer service experience recently. I called Chase to cancel a card with a $60 yearly fee. I told the rep that I had enjoyed the United frequent flyer miles in the past (I'd had the card 18 years) but I was finding them too hard to use now. And I told her I didn't want to continue even after she volunteered to waive the fee for a year. When we were done talking, the rep told me she'd have the card canceled, refund the $60 fee charged 6 months ago, and told me in a low-key way that I'd probably find a Southwest Airlines card with them more to my liking.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:08 PM   #7
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I'd make a big deal out of the fee, explaining that there are so many good fee free cards out there.
Also, if you do leave, be certain your current points are not in jeopardy.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:27 AM   #8
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I play the reward credit card game quite a bit.

Points that you have left in your account will likely be forfeited once you cancel.

Some will try a tough approach to get you to keep the card, but most of the time it is pretty simple. Asking them to waive the fee is a good idea. If they say yes, you win. If they say no, that is your reason for canceling.

That said, I find the sign up bonuses worth much more than keeping a card.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:05 PM   #9
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Check out the American Express Preferred Blue cash reward card. You Pay an annual fee of $75 but get back 6% on groceries, 3% on gas stations and 3% on department stores, 1% on everything else. For me The card more than pays for itself plus hundreds of dollars a year in cash rewards. A much better deal in my opinion.

For me a card like that is a little gold mine.
Wow! Hadn't heard of that one. Just applied online. Thanks a bunch!
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:14 PM   #10
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We have the same Chase card. I was wondering the same thing you were, and am hoping they will just OK a waived fee for another year.

We put a lot of $'s on the card so maybe that will help. The card worked well in a recent vacation to Europe and the conversion fees seemed to be rock bottom.

Amethyst, could you tell us how this turns out for you? Thanks in advance.

P.S. Looked on line and some comments seemed to say:
1) call during the week to maximize your chance of speaking to a retention specialist
2) consider asking to speak to a retention specialist, maybe you'll get a partial deal in alleviating the pain in the $95 annual fee
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:23 PM   #11
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to the op, sending a secure message is the most hassle free way. and according to this flyertalk thread, you probably won't get any offers to stay. Do remember that they have a 7% annual bonus on points earned (some people said their retention bonus was included in that). Chase retention bonus or fee waiver reports [All cards] - FlyerTalk Forums

I echo the idea of looking for another card and having your credit line moved over. although, there are a few cards out there which are more powerful than any sign on bonus.

Finally, I find the $6k annual limit the Amex blue preferred cash card imposes on the max earning category to be a little...stuffy.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:27 AM   #12
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You can "downgrade" to the non-preferred version - you lose the ability to transfer to hotels & airlines and I think the no Forex fees, but avoid the fee.

If you like to travel I'd move the points to United or Hyatt and then downgrade it to keep the line open. I'd then apply for a different card and harvest the bonus, trading the old credit line if needed.

Chase has a lot of nice cards. I have United, AARP (RIP 5%), Hyatt and Marriott. The Ink Bold or Plus cards are most appealing to me, but I am not sure I want to pretend that I am starting a small business. Freedom isn't a bad one either.

If you used the Sapphire card primarily for 2x on Dining I'd look at the Citi Forward card (5x, though TY points aren't as good as Chase's UR points).
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:09 AM   #13
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Finally, I find the $6k annual limit the Amex blue preferred cash card imposes on the max earning category to be a little...stuffy.
So because you can only earn $6000 a year in free cash money you are put off ? Note that it isn't $6k/year spending on the card, it's $6k rewards.

If you can cycle so much money through your card to be anywhere near that then perhaps you counsider more than one rewards card from different vendors.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:17 PM   #14
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So because you can only earn $6000 a year in free cash money you are put off ? Note that it isn't $6k/year spending on the card, it's $6k rewards.

If you can cycle so much money through your card to be anywhere near that then perhaps you counsider more than one rewards card from different vendors.
perhaps you have an older version, in which case I would expect an updated T&C sometime in the future. But, as of about a month ago, everyone applying for the Amex blue preferred cash card is limited to $6k spend in the 6% category, and then it pops down to 1%.

I love my ink business cards from chase! I move at least $6k/month through those @ 5%....
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:16 PM   #15
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perhaps you have an older version, in which case I would expect an updated T&C sometime in the future. But, as of about a month ago, everyone applying for the Amex blue preferred cash card is limited to $6k spend in the 6% category, and then it pops down to 1%.

I love my ink business cards from chase! I move at least $6k/month through those @ 5%....
OK, I understand better now. Still 6% of $6000 is $360. Plus you always get 3% back on gas and department stores plus 1% on everything else.

Still a pretty good deal.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:30 PM   #16
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Anyone have experience with B of A's Rewards card program? They keep sending me pleas to sign up, and claim that there is no annual fee because of my accumulated accounts with them.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:06 PM   #17
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I've had many rewards cards and "play the game" quite a bit. Some I cancel. Some I pay the fee, usually because they offer something of value that is more than the fee. I have never had points taken away just because I cancel the credit card associated with the program. Having said that, you do need to be careful not to let your points expire due to inactivity.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:00 PM   #18
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I called today to cancel the card. The rep went from warm and friendly to frostily polite like flipping a switch! No "retention specialist." She did ask why I chose to cancel, and I said it was because we weren't using the travel and concierge features. Then she said it was still a good rewards card even without the travel features, and I said thanks, we already have several rewards cards. "But why would you cancel THIS one?" I probably shouldn't have let myself be goaded, but that's when I said, "The others don't charge a fee."
"Oh."
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:41 PM   #19
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Thanks for the update Amethyst. I really hate those kind of calls where the person on the other end is too manipulative.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:50 PM   #20
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The last time I had to cancel a CC with fees, I sent them a letter. The CC was cancelled within a week, no questions asked.
Inspired by your example I've just closed one of my CC via email, it took 10 minutes ! :-)
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