Updated on May 12, 2018
The following is a guest post from a reader who fell victim to the latest Chase shutdown. Chase closed all his credit card accounts! You'll find out how it went down and what he said to get all his cards reinstated successfully.
Background – My Chase Shutdown
I woke up one morning to a string of Amazon.com emails. “Update your payment method for your subscribe-and-save items that are about to ship”. When I logged into Chase.com, my worst fears had come true! All my accounts were closed, both business and personal cards.
I immediately called the number on the back of my JPM Reserve card (not to be confused with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card) and was told that the department that handles this would not be open for another few hours.
I spent the next few hours reading through this, this, this, this, this, and finally this in efforts to come up with the best arguments I could make. The problem is that these posts primarily consist of stories from individuals who were shut down and speculation on what might have triggered the financial review and subsequent shut down.
And I already knew what brought the axe down on me. Despite Doc's warning, I decided to apply for the Chase Marriott Business card since this was going away. You see, I thought I was special. I was on a major approval streak with Chase and since I was a JPM Reserve cardholder (which typically require $10MM AUM with JPM/Chase), I thought I flew below the radar for everything Chase related. I was wrong.
Anyway, I was looking for ammo. These posts lacked success stories of what individuals did or said to get their accounts reinstated. So I winged it, and below is my story.
Account Closure Letter
For reference, the letter that I had received a few days later was near identical to the one Travel in Points received. Specifically it stated that the reasons my accounts were closed:
- Number of credit card accounts
- Too many accounts opened recently
- Too many requests for credit or / reviews of credit
My JPM/Chase Credit Profile
I had 10+ chase cards, mostly personal cards, open at the time. That’s solely the count in my JPM/Chase portfolio… I have at least that many active cards across other banks.
My only spends on my Reserve, Freedom and Ink cards were solely within the bonus categories (for example – meals, entertainment and travel). And of course, I never carry a balance. I have less than $5,000 on deposit with them.
In short, JPM/Chase loses money on me; I am not their ideal customer.
Which Phone Number Should I Call?
I called the phone number on the back of my JPM Reserve card. This time, I was transferred to someone within the “Card Services” department. It is unclear whether this was the general department run by Chase, or if this is the “JPM Executive” department from my relationship via JPM Reserve and JPM Ritz cards.
If you read through this FlyerTalk thread, you will read horror stories of rude analysts who clearly were not on the customers’ side. I presume the majority of these individuals called the number on the back of their Chase cards and NOT the JPM Executive Line on the back of the JPM Reserve and JPM Ritz cards. The JPM Executive Line is supposed to be some sort of VIP line for JPM/Chase's best customers. Whenever I call this line, it's pretty obvious you got through to the JPM Executive line. They are more polite, more professional, and not… offshore.
My Points of Argument
When the JPM/Chase analyst asked me why I had opened so many credit cards recently, I was quite candid with her. I told her that I loved bonus points & miles similar to how a shopaholic loves a sale at Macy’s… so when Citibank and Amex send me credit card offers, it is very hard for me to say no. I also argued that Chase did a fantastic job with marketing, and perhaps it was too good of a job:
- Every time I visit my Chase banker, he’s always trying to convince me to apply for a credit card. I am ALWAYS preapproved for some card
- Ads are so prominent within Chase branches, I can’t even use the ATM without thinking about the credit card ad I just passed by
The analyst completely understood my perspective and said she would be submitting my card closures for another review. She noted that she was actively taking notes during this conversation. The reviewer would have access to her notes, of course.
“Excessive Amount of Credit”
I asked her what the ultimate concern was. She said JPM/Chase considered me to be high risk. Why? The excessive amount of credit that’s been extended to me and the many recently opened accounts.
Reading in between the lines, I think another unsaid reason was that JPM/Chase considered me to be a credit card churner, and that ultimately, I was not profitable in their eyes. Since I knew she was actively taking notes, I made the following points:
- I have liquid assets that equate to many multiples of the credit line I have with Chase and I can provide support if needed
- My monthly statement is usually paid in full before it's generated. I pay each of my credit cards 4x / month and always in full each time.
- My oldest Chase card is over 20 years old
- With the exception of 1-2 Chase cards, I keep Chase cards open and pay the annual fee
- Provided her an example: I have paid 2 years worth of annual fees on my JPM Reserve and Ritz cards – that’s almost $2k in fees for just 2 cards
Wrapping Up The Call
I think each of these pointers helped a bit. When combined, it painted a picture that I AM good credit, I AM a loyal customer, and whatever churning I did, was solely to my sidepieces and not my 1 true love. Before the call ended, I made one final argument… that if Chase still considered me to be high risk subsequent to this review, the prudent solution would be to reduce (and not eliminate) exposure, whether its reducing my credit lines or cancelling some, but not all, of my accounts. I emphasized that I loved Chase and that if push comes to shove, that JPM/Chase highly consider letting me keep just 1 card. Of course, that would be the JPM Reserve card.
The rep was super nice to me on the phone, and the call ended with me being convinced that the closure was a mistake (I knew it wasn’t). I had such positive vibes that I knew the fall would hurt THAT much more if the appeal did not rule in my favor.
5 calendar days go by and I get a call from JPM – the rep apologized for the inconvenience and informed me that all my Chase cards had been reinstated (would take 24 hours). WOO HOO! I did try to push my luck a bit and asked about my Chase Marriott Business card app. She kindly informed me that she could not extend me anymore credit. Shifting existing credit may be an option but that it was not within her powers. She offered to ask around for me. I politely (and immediately) said “forget about it, let it stay declined. I am happy with the outcome”.
Words of Advice
If you play the credit card game hard like me, do not apply for another Chase credit card. If you truly feel like rolling the dice, don’t simply go for one of cards that do not follow 5/24 – that’s what I did and the axe still came down on me (and I am special, remember?). Instead, go in branch and apply for cards you are preapproved for OR look for a BRM and apply for one of these via paper app. Again, only if you want to roll the dice.
If the axe came down on you already and you are looking for what to say, don’t just use the pointers above. They worked for me but they may not be true for you. Your talking points should center around your credit profile and why you consider yourself low credit risk.
I hope you never go through this process. I literally lost 5 nights of sleep over this.
Did Chase shut you down too?
If you had your accounts closed/reinstated, let me know what happened below in the comments.