Posted by William Charles on October 20, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on October 20th, 2016 | by William Charles


Chase Makes No Notice Change To Annual Fee Refund Policy

Chase has made some changes to their unofficial annual fee refund policy, previously customers were given anywhere from 60 days to 180 days after their annual fee was billed to cancel the card and get that fee refunded. According to multiple readers and comments on this /r/churning post that has changed effective immediately and cardholders will have a period of 30 days to cancel their card and request an annual fee refund after it has been billed.

American Express made a similar change recently, but they did give cardholders advance notice of the change. Personally I don’t have any huge issues with this change from Chase, it was never an official (or maybe advertised is a better word) policy they had so I don’t think advanced notice is necessarily required – although it would have been nice to see offered. You can read the annual fee refund rules for all card issuers by going here.

People have been abusing these refund rules for awhile and it’s obviously hit a critical mass for first American Express and now Chase. I think 30 days is more than enough time to give people (especially people that have just forgotten to cancel). Let me know your thoughts about these changes in the comments below.

41 Responses to Chase Makes No Notice Change To Annual Fee Refund Policy

  1. Paul says:

    30 days is sufficient time.

  2. Max says:

    How does this change downgrading rules? Can you convert Sapphire Preferred to Freedom at month 11 or Ink Plus to Ink Cash at month 11?

  3. Lantean says:

    even before… i did have 180 days, but only got prorated refund, not full.

  4. CtownBin says:

    Thanks Will for this informative post.

    It’s not clear from the post if the fee will be prorated after 30 days, or if you will be stuck paying the entire year? And also what happens to downgrading.

    This is a timely post, as those who still haven’t gotten the CSR might want to wait a bit in order to be able to get 3 travel credits with just one annual fee.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Annual fee will still be returned prorated for MA residents?

    • Not sure. I don’t know why American Express has that exception, so I can’t say for sure if Chase will have a similar one.

      • Voli says:

        They have to per MA law

        Section 114C Annual fee; notice; cancellation of agreement; reports

        Section 114C. A card issuer as defined in section one of chapter one hundred and forty D, whether located within or without the commonwealth, may assess an annual fee provided that the cardholder as defined by said section one, is notified of the amount of any such fee on or with the billing statement for the billing period prior to that in which the annual fee is billed to the cardholder’s account. A cardholder may cancel his credit card agreement at any time during this period without penalty. If the cardholder cancels the agreement at any other time during the year, he shall receive a refund on a pro-rata basis of two-thirds of the annual fee.

    • Gaurav says:

      So a data point on this (MA specific). My wife’s Hyatt AF was charged Jan 1. I forgot about it. We called in Feb 20 to cancel the card. Agent said fee would not be refunded since it was past the 30 day window. I decided to wait and see what happened. Three days later full AF was auto credited to the account.

  6. Hadley V. Baxendale says:

    Within the 30 day time-frame, ask a CSR what the time frame is for cancel and/or downgrade.

    Approx. 6 months ago, I was given 180 days to cancel Marriott Premier Visa and who knows, it may still be this way.

    I think the data points are still too few to make a blanket rule, as many of those reported were for Chase UR products and not affinity cards like the Marriott.

    Moreover, 30 days is plenty of time, better to skim off the abusers than kill the entire goose.

  7. FLL says:


    I am told the same on the Hyatt card.

  8. Stickittothebank says:

    what about lowering your credit line to avoid the annual fee 🙂

  9. rallydave says:

    Chase is problematic in that we recently got the Reserve card and asked for ONE authorized user. Somehow they issued two cards with the same name which we immediately cancelled on the day both were received. That was Sept. 12 or 39 days ago and no refund for the one provided erroneously and cancelled immediately has not yet been received.

    They keep saying one to two billing cycles but, how long can it take to make a simple refund for their error?? Tried yesterday to dispute the charge but, same stupid answer of one to two billing cycles. Have had 2 statements since the cancellation and no budging on this. Also told no interest or penalties if the fee isn’t paid when due and then a senior customer service person says I have to pay while waiting for the credit WTF!!!!!!!!

  10. ed says:

    60 days is the appropriate amount of time

  11. PMD says:

    Another new side effect of this experienced by my cousin in Texas and a niece in Florida that both went for annual fee refunds almost three weeks ago is that Chase immediately de-qualified both of them for pre-approved alternative cards. The offers were still on the pre-qualifier web page for a month or two, but apps were instantly denied (after doing a hard pull – 790-810 FICO) and with my cousin, the branch banker stated he couldn’t do anything because two past annual fee refunds triggered some sort of new adverse action to protect Chase’s financial interests. Evidently people were switching cards with Chase, jumping between products after asking for a fee refund. They don’t appreciate that more than once any longer it appears. They didn’t seem to care about product switching if it didn’t involve a refund of an annual fee. Refunding or crediting you for annual fees seems be the trigger.

    • PMD says:

      To clarify, this refund request occurred three months ago, not weeks. Don’t know if this is in tandem with the new policy or something else.

      • FLL says:

        This means if one does not want to keep a fee card one should X it or switch it BEFORE the AF is billed so there is no refund / reversal to speak of.

  12. Santosh k purohit says:

    AMex Also made the same rule for 30 days rather 60 days . I just spoke to Agent and he said rule changed as of September 2016 and it is highlighted in Statement

  13. Jon says:

    When I downgraded my CSP after the annual fee hit due to holding the CSR, the rep said they were inundated with people doing this…

    Maybe the cannibalization from the CSR is higher than they expected…

  14. sam says:

    Hmm…wonder how much money I’ve left on the table not going after my 1 month proration cancelling at month 11….I think I’m still ahead!

  15. secstate says:

    BTW to be clear (the Reddit thread is fairly clear on this point). The terms on my Chase card state that you have 30-days or one billing cycle (which ever is shorter) from the time Chase cuts the bill with the charge on it and NOT when the charge is posted. For example if the AF posts on 10/1 but your bill was cut on 10/19 and your next statement date is 11/19 you basically have until 11/19 to cancel the card and get a refund. Some Chase CSRs misunderstand the rule as when the charge was posted which is wrong. I just went through this and had to press but got my refund even though it was 45 days from when the charge posted I was still within the billing cycle.

  16. simplemark says:

    I cancelled a Chase Sapphire Preferred today (1/7/17). My fee was posted for 12/1/16 but since my actual anniversary date for the account opening was 12/10/16 I was able to cancel it and have the fee waived because it was within 30 days. So it’s not the billing date, but the anniversary date that controls the 30 day window.

  17. Jeff says:

    Will Chase refund the AF when you close the account but haven’t paid the outstanding balance in full, or do they force you to eat the AF if a balance remains?

  18. Bo says:

    Thank you for contacting us about closing The Ritz-Carlton
    Rewards® credit card from J.P. Morgan. We’ve closed your
    account as you requested.

    Here’s what you need to know:
    ? Since the annual fee of $395 was billed to your account
    within 90 days of the date the account was closed, we’ll
    automatically post a refund for that amount to your
    account within the next two billing cycles.

  19. T says:

    My wife’s CSR AF was posted 11/1/17 last year. We’re considering downgrading the CSR to a 2nd Freedom for her since I have a CSR already. No need to pay $450 twice a year. Would it be possible to hit the 2018 travel credit 1/1/18 and then downgrade and get a prorated refund or should I just downgrade in advance to avoid the charges at all? I’m sure many are interested in this topic soon since CSR’s one year anniversary is coming up.

    • Your card still gets the credit per calendar year, not card member yeah right? If that’s the case you should be able to get the travel credit as soon as her December statement closes and then cancel it even before 11/1/18.

  20. Abe says:

    Does Chase still offer prorated annual fee refunds for downgrades outside of the 30 day window? The annual fee for my CSR hit 9/1 and am trying to decide if I should keep it until after the first of the year to get the $300 travel credit.

    • chris a says:

      Same situation for me too. Annual fee got hit on first of September. Thinking of paying for now and cancelling in Jan after using 2018 $300 travel credit. Does Chase offer prorated refunds on annual fee?

      • WW says:

        wondering the same. Once January hits, I can use the $300 credit. Then downgrade by February and get $150 pro-rated. Essentially, not losing any money at all.

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