Posted by William Charles on July 29, 2017
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Published on July 29th, 2017 | by William Charles

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Official: Chase Won’t Even Approve You If You’ve Received A Sign Up Bonus On The Card In The Last 24 Months

For some time all Chase cards have had the following language:

  • This bonus is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months

New language states:

  • This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months

This means that Chase will not even approved you for a credit card if you’ve received a new cardmember bonus on that card within the past 24 months. Previously they would approve you but not give you the sign up bonus. This is something that has been previously happening anyway, but Chase has updated application pages to reflect this. I wish that Chase would do the same in regards to the Chase 5/24 rule. This shouldn’t really affect most readers as generally people will want to wait that 24 month period so they are eligible for the sign up bonus again anyway, if anything this new rule could be considered more consumer friendly as applicants are no longer signing up when they might think they are eligible for the sign up bonus. It does mean you can’t just sign up for a card when you want the card benefits and not the sign up bonus though.

Hat tip to reader VM



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Steve
Steve

Wow

Rob
Rob

People that sign up and aren’t eligible for the bonus must be angrily closing accounts or otherwise causing costly disruptions like CSR time for them to not even want to make products available to people who might understand they won’t get the bonus but want the card benefits.

JohnFromATL
JohnFromATL

I am sure Chase has some data on this … but my guess is just as many people (more?) sign up for the card and are ineligible for the bonus. Which means they do the same thing you described as costing Chase money – they call CSR, end up arguing to get a courtesy bonus / CFPB complaint.

Reg
Reg

Will,

I think the effect of this is being WAY downplayed. This is going to change a lot of people’s timeline if they are working around 5/24.

For example. Let’s say you open a SW card on October 25th of year 1. It reports as open on 10/1. You meet spend on 1/1 year 2. Experience shows the bonus will likely not post until 2/25 of year 2 (SW bonus never seems to post on the statement when you meet spend, always the next statement).

Here is where the big effect comes in. Let’s say you would’ve applied two years later in year 4 on 11/1 to get the bonus by March 1st in year 5.

Well, guess what, now you can’t even apply for the card on 11/1 of year 4. You HAVE TO wait until 2/26 of year 5. Which means the bonus likely won’t post until June 26 of year 5 (assuming you need all 3 months to meet spend).

This could be very painful if you are one of the people that need the SW bonuses to post at a certain time of the year.

tldr; for some cards, the effect of this might make it so that you can only get the bonus every 28 months or so (if you need full 3 months to meet spend).

PJ
PJ

Thoughtful interpretation.

I think you would would still operate under the same timeline as before. You would apply for the new card in year 4 2/26, which reads as the same as before.

Jordan
Jordan

He meant to say that he couldn’t apply earlier and meet the MSR later.

PJ
PJ

Again, that reads the same as before

JohnFromATL
JohnFromATL

You are missing a part of the old strategy which was “apply *BEFORE* the 2 years are up, but make sure you hit the bonus spend *AFTER* the 2 years are up.”

In his example he was saying he would apply in November, work on spend and hit min spend in March. Now he has to wait until Feb to apply and start working on spend then.

It is not really impacting me because I crash the min spend anyway, but I see his point

PJ
PJ

I see. Please excuse my misunderstanding.

Jordan
Jordan

What are you talking about? Don’t see how this is inconvenient at all. You can apply to other cards first, and presumably you need a lot of time to meet the signup bonus, considering you needed more than 2 months for $2000. Then that’s say you drop out of 5/24 in Oct, year 3, you can get other cards first and get the SW later. Doesn’t change anything.

P.S. Your math was wrong. You got the both in year 2 then you can apply again in year 4, not 5, because 2+2 is 4.

Kristy
Kristy

I thought Reg explained it very well, but it seems that a lot of people are confused. If you have been holding off on applying for other cards in order to get under 5/24 so that you can apply for both Southwest cards and get the companion pass, you now have to wait for several more months to apply for the Southwest, so that is several more months of not applying for other cards in order to stay under 5/24. I am in this exact position. I applied for and received 2 Southwest cards in October 2015. I held off completing the last of the spend until January and then received both bonuses sometime in Feb. With a little extra spend, that gave me the companion pass for all of 2016 and 2017. Now I have a bunch of cards that will become older than 24 months in October. I will go from around 9/24 to 1/24 by the end of October. So my plan was to apply for 2 Southwest cards in November, and plan to finish the spend the beginning of February, 24 months after last getting the bonus. Under the new rules, I can’t even apply until February. I will do that and knock out the spend quickly, so it probably won’t delay me getting the bonus by very long, most likely I will still get it around March. Where the problem comes in, and what most people are not considering, is staying under 5/24. Under the old rules, I would have applied for Southwest in November, and then would have been free to apply for other cards since I didn’t need to stay under 5/24 anymore. Now I can’t apply until February, so that is 3 more months that I cannot apply for other cards since I will need to stay under 5/24. This is really messing up my plans and strategy and will cause me to have to delay getting several card bonuses. I guess it’s just one more bump in the road that chase has thrown out there.

Reg
Reg

Kristy, that’s another good point, I actually didn’t consider.

But, I think you’re still being way too optimistic about when you anticipate receiving the bonus. Let’s assume you apply as soon as possible: February 2nd and you meet the minimum spend right away (within a week) in the first cycle, by February 9th. I still don’t think you will receive the bonus at the end of your first cycle (March 2nd). I think The bonus won’t get paid until April 2nd. From what I’ve seen, the bonus for SW almost never gets paid in the cycle you meet spend, it’s usually the next cycle. So basically this would delay you from getting the bonus in February to getting it in April, best case scenario.

italdesign
italdesign

do we have any data points that your old way actually works – apply before 24 months, meet MSR after 24 months? I always assumed you must *apply* after 24 months to qualify, because I thought Chase used to mail letters to ppl *before* MSR was met that they don’t qualify.

Fred
Fred

Possibly unrelated, but can someone tell me if Chase allows you to downgrade to a card you already have? (I.e., I have CF, CFU, and CSP – can I downgrade CSP to another CF or CFU?)

AKSF
AKSF

Yes, you can do that.

Bill M
Bill M

Yes, I just did it a few days ago. I had CSR, CSP and CF. I downgraded the CSP to another CF — same card number, same limit.

VM
VM

The question is does Chase pull credit in this case or it’s just auto denial without any hard pull?

tinytavosa
tinytavosa

Consumer friendly would be to not pull (also don’t they pay money when they pull?) since they are denying based on their own data and not the credit report, but this is a DP no one is gonna wanna intentionally test LOL.

Guess we will find out… I believe in you Chase

86
86

I asked Chase what would happen if I change from a Freedom to a Freedom Unlimited. The CSR said soft pull, same card number, CL, etc., but no sign-up bonus. If I want the Unlimited sign-up bonus, it’ll be a hard pull because you’ll have a new account with a more credit with Chase. She said I couldn’t do the former with co-branded cards, only Chase branded cards.

Paul
Paul

I think this has been going on longer than we think. My wife signed up for the Hyatt card over a year ago. She did not meet minimum spend (face palm) but got the 5K authorized user bonus. We cancelled the card 7 months later. Fast forward to two months ago. I tried signing up my wife for the Hyatt card again to hopefully score the 2x nights bonus. It was denied. We called recon and they specifically said that they can not approve her for the card because she got a bonus on it. They agreed that she did not get the 2x nights bonus but she got a bonus nonetheless. They said that she would have to wait 24 months.

JohnFromATL
JohnFromATL

I think this is what Will meant by saying it is now official. It has been occurring regularly for several months (though not on all cards) but the T&C language did not support it. Now the language is changed to support the action that is already in place.

Matthew

Did your wife still get a hard pull?

NinjaX
NinjaX

am i the only one who sees the same exact language twice? dude. i dont get it. it the same thing.

NinjaX
NinjaX

forgot to mention, product vs bonus doesnt mean anything to me because its just saying you cant have the same product and apply again. thats all. where does it say you wont even be approved if you had the bonus before????

Bill M
Bill M

There is a difference:

Old way: “This bonus is available if ….”
New way “This product is available if …”

So with the new way,the product (meaning the credit card itself not just the bonus) is not available if you got a bonus within the last 24 months.

NinjaX
NinjaX

yea. i guess i just looked at it differently because the sentence has 2 parts in it which is combined to state 2 different criteria.

NinjaX
NinjaX

well. i guess based on DPs, you do get denied just by getting the bonus before. hmm..

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-denying-applications-youve-received-sign-bonus-last-24-months-rather-denying-bonus

Adam

Didn’t Chase’ stance be that they dgaf if you actually got the bonus or not last time? As in say someone didn’t complete min spend & missed the bonus, they’d still have to wait a full 24mo to even attempt to get a bonus again right?

Does this new “policy” change that or is it still the same w the exception being you can’t even get the card approved even if your last attempt to get a bonus on that card was unsuccessful?

Phil
Phil

Ok, so I get the part where Chase doesn’t want churners, they are not lucrative customers – but all of this still begs the question of why existing customers aren’t incentivized as much as new customers. Most of these banks appear to be quite arbitrary with how they target existing customers for spending bonuses.
Isn’t a long term customer who spends, the best customer to have? sheesh, throw them a bone from time to time? the targeted offers have seem to have no rhyme nor ryhthym.

Chris
Chris

No, the best customer for them is the one who makes them the most money. By far most of the profits on credit cards come from people who carry balances. Banks want you to carry a high balance and pay them lots of interest. I would bet their data shows that a good number of people who sign up for a new card immediately charge up a big balance on it. “Oh boy, I have this new card! Now I can go out and buy a bunch of stuff!” So, they want to get these people to sign up for new cards. Remember, we churners are abnormal. Many people have problems with self-control and financial planning. /r/churning has some posts that go into the ways banks make money on credit cards and the different market segments.

Chris
Chris

Oh, also, there are a decent number of people who refuse to have more than one/two credit cards. For some it might be intentionally limiting themselves because of self-control issues, but some people are just “old-fashioned”. My parents (who have never carried a credit card balance or paid a bill late) used to be the latter until I convinced them otherwise. So, banks want to try to get these people to “switch” cards.

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