Chase Sends Out Letter About Misuse Of Rewards Program – Will Close Accounts If It Continues

Update 12/9/19: Reader karma has received the same e-mail, but unlikely previous people they have not been skirting the rules on the referral cap. They received it on an account with a Chase Ink card where all the spend is manufactured spend at Office supply stores (paid off via bill pay at Walmart).

Update: I should have made this clearer, but this letter was sent out to people who were using methods to bypass the 5 card referral cap to earn additional points. Not just people who were hitting the 5 referral cap and others kept using their links.

Chase has sent out letters to some cardholders stating that they have been misusing the rewards program and if it continues all Chase credit card accounts would be closed. It seems that people are receiving this letter because they have gone over the maximum number of referrals you’re allowed to receive on a single card (5 in this case). There are a number of ways to go over this maximum, but I won’t go into detail here as you can see this is a bad idea and can lead to account shut down. The letter in question can be found here.

Hat tip to Andysol1983


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Nun (@guest_857336)
December 14, 2019 09:22

On the 12/9 update, did Karma have a Chase checking or savings account also?

Jeff (@guest_855910)
December 10, 2019 23:23

Lordy, lordy, I am lost. No clue as to why or how people are getting shut down and those letters (which are vague at best). I generate huge amounts of points off office spending on old Ink Plus card, but I charge a lot of other things as well. I have no idea as to Walmart Bill pay. I would love to know what is up? Somehow.

DK (@guest_855632)
December 10, 2019 12:59

If you’ve published your link how can you control the number of users? I mean even if you delete the link it could have been scraped or reposted somewhere, theoretically anyway.

Zaniac (@guest_855609)
December 10, 2019 11:57

Yeah it’s about time they go after all you people standing in line at Walmart. You really thought that could continue?

Fathiss (@guest_855769)
December 10, 2019 17:04

Let’s see…. been going strong for years and still continues today. Who’s the fool here? Wave to me as you pass my seat on your way to coach.
Also, no line at my WMT or grocery stores ):

86 (@guest_855867)
December 10, 2019 21:14

For the BP @ Wally sure. Chase is concerned about anonymous payment sources, not gift card purchases.

Z (@guest_855580)
December 10, 2019 10:56

Good. Stop ruining it for everyone, idiots.

Sevillada (@guest_855575)
December 10, 2019 10:32

Oh crap…at least they were nice enough to say “please stop”

Dave (@guest_855543)
December 10, 2019 09:01

I received a nice little letter from Chase back in Sept for the same thing, buying GCs. I only charged about $4k at stables and ODOM. I have laid back since then but will try again this wk.

chris (@guest_855585)
December 10, 2019 11:05

Weird. Myself and P2 both max out the chase Ink Office Supply category with VGCs each year at the $25,000 max. We buy in binges when they’re on sale so like $7k-$8k per statement period. Never got such a letter. Also have plenty of Chase cards with legit spend though.

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown (@guest_855654)
December 10, 2019 13:47

$4k over what period of time?

John (@guest_855523)
December 10, 2019 06:25

Really need to know the volume on the MS data points. Without that info we’re still kinda in the dark.

SMan (@guest_855513)
December 10, 2019 04:07

I have both family and friends. But they started treating my emails as Spam.

Curmudgeon (@guest_855498)
December 10, 2019 02:11

A lot of people are asking what the trick was, and understandably Will doesn’t want to share it to prevent further abuse, but reading around on reddit describes the method: When you have a legit referral on a card, you get a special identifier so Chase can track it and credit your account for the referral.

Someone figured out that if you work some magic on the referral link, you can get referral points from other cards, even those you may not actually have yourself.

Since Chase’s referral limits are per card type, you can get more referral bonuses than they intended. For example, if you have the CSR, you can get 5 referrals for the CSR. Now, even if you don’t hold any other cards, you can manipulate the referral link and get 5 referrals from the CSP, then again from the Freedom cards, etc.

While clever, it’s clearly not what Chase intended with the referral program and it makes sense they’d shut people down (or at least threaten) over this type of abuse.

I’ve tried to be descriptive enough to satiate people’s curiosity but vague enough to avoid giving a “how to” guide.  William Charles – if you think this is still too much, feel free to delete or edit this.

MoreSun (@guest_855518)
December 10, 2019 05:25

 William Charles specifically left that and it’s accompanying drama on Reddit. This was absolutely unnecessary.

tro (@guest_855576)
December 10, 2019 10:41

I disagree. There was a lot of misunderstanding originally and lack of information only increases the drama and general noise in the posts based on speculation or assumptions. This seems like the right level of detail to me, for situations where shut downs are happening, meaning Chase knows what’s going on.

Betelgeuse ㊙️
Betelgeuse ㊙️ (@guest_855526)
December 10, 2019 07:44

It’s strange that chase didn’t lock it down so you can’t be credited if you don’t have that card.

J (@guest_855530)
December 10, 2019 08:27

This isn’t even the main thing people were doing… It was used for a couple weeks, if that, by a few people.

George (@guest_855550)
December 10, 2019 09:29

My Just For You page for some time showed refer-a-friend offers for a whole bunch of cards I don’t have. I assumed it was an error altogether… wonder if those that were doing it had the same thing and the links actually worked, so they reverse-engineered the method to generate them?