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Chase Product Change/Card Conversion: Downgrade, Upgrade, Keep or Cancel? (2016-2019)

Chase Product Change/Card Conversion: Downgrade, Upgrade, Keep or Cancel? (2016-2019)

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Old Jan 12, 20, 3:55 am   -   Wikipost
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This is the general 2016-2019 thread for weighing the relative merits
of keeping, downgrading, or canceling Chase-issued credit cards.


Post-2019 discussion continues in this thread.

What's the main reason people product change (PC)?
The benefits offered by a particular card, might suit you better than the card you are holding. Many people, unable to qualify for a new Chase Sapphire Reserve application, upgraded from the Sapphire Preferred to the Sapphire Reserve, because the benefits of the CSR's cash reimbursements made the annual fee a nominal difference the first year. And vice versa- the onerous $450 yearly fee of the CSR makes an appealing case to downgrade to the Sapphire Preferred, and eventually to the no-fee Sapphire or a Freedom card.

Many people product change to avoid the annual fees on the premium versions of the card. Keeping the card open, via a product change, keeps the account open. This allows you to retain the seasoned account, and the banking relationship that the older card has established with Chase.

Why not just cancel the card and be done with it?
This may be the right choice for you, but others want some of the card benefits without having to reapply. Also, Chase has become very restrictive for new card applicants. For Chase cards, you must wait 24- 48 months since the last time you received a bonus before reapplying. Please see the threads on the individual cards for updated overlay rules.

An additional (and more stringent) overlay is the infamous 5/24 rule, which Chase instituted in May 2016 as a counter-measure against churning, or, as they refer to it, "Serial Starters." The 5/24 rule is that you won't be eligible for most Chase card products if you've opened more than 5 credit cards in 24 months. For more on this and other application-related issues, see the current "Applying for Chase Credit Cards " Master thread.

Finally, canceling certain cards--those earning Chase Ultimate Rewards--may deprive you of the ability to exchange UR for miles/points in air & hotel programs. See Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, times & rules.

Is there any way I can keep a card without paying the annual fee?
See Chase Retention Bonuses: June 2015-Present

Are there any restrictions on product changes?
Product changes are only allowed within the same card "family," and are not permitted between business and personal cards. Also, Chase cites the federal CARD Act to deny product changes on any account less that one year old.

Will a product change count as a new card?
No, you will keep your same card number, "opened on" date, credit line, automatic payment arrangements, etc. A product change does not count against Chase's 5/24 limitations on new cards.

Will I get a signup bonus when I change?
No, product changes do not result in point bonuses. Signup bonuses are reserved for new applicants only. For the complete list of public sign up offers, check the Chase sitemap here: https://creditcards.chase.com/sitemap

Is there a place I can look to compare cards?
Go here: https://creditcards.chase.com/credit...D=177087865887
Click: All cards
Place a checkmark in the Compare box for up to three cards.
Click: Compare cards...and you should see a side-by-side display.

I've figured out what I want to switch to. How do I product change my card?
Call the number on the back of your card.

Product changes for the Ultimate Reward Business and Personal Card Family

The UR family of cards includes the Chase Ink business cards, the Freedom Unlimited, the Freedom Card, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Reserve and Sapphire.

The Slate (personal) card is also available to downgrade to. It has no annual fee and does not earn any type of reward points. It offers a low fee (currently 0% for the first 60 days) balance transfers and APR.

Personal Cards
  • Freedom: 5X points in rotating quarterly categories up to $1500 spend per quarter. If you max out the $1500 every quarter, it totals 7500 UR per quarter, or 30,000 UR per year.
  • Freedom Unlimited: 1.5X for all spending, no bonus categories. $20,000 in spend would net 30,000 UR per year.
  • Sapphire Reserve: $450 annual fee, $300 annual travel credit, 3X points for travel and dining. Books travel through the UR portal for 1.5 per dollar. Lounge access and other goodies. See the thread here for details.
  • Sapphire Preferred: $95 annual fee, 2X points for travel & dining
  • Sapphire: Not available to new applicants. Available as a product downgrade/change only, must tier down from the Sapphire Reserve to Sapphire Preferred to Sapphire or Freedom cards. No annual fee. Some Customer Service Reps are citing that the original product (i.e., the CSR), must be held for one year before downgrading. Please provide data points in the thread if this happens to you.


Business Cards
  • Ink Plus: $95 annual fee, 5X office supplies, 5X cellular/landline/cable; 2X gas and hotels
  • Ink Preferred: 3x on travel, shipping, internet/phone/cable, & some online advertising.
  • Ink Cash: No annual fee, 5X office supplies, 5X cellular/landline/cable; 2X gas and restaurants

If you still have a legacy Ink Classic or Ink Bold business card, neither of which is available for new signups, you can product change to one of the other Ink cards.

Considerations for downgrading/upgrading:

Can I combine my UR points?
Yes, UR can be combined freely across the cardholder's own personal and business accounts.

What about transfering my UR to another person's Chase UR account? To their air/hotel partner account?
With restrictions, UR from a personal card can be transferred to a person living at the same address. Business cards allow transfer to owners of the company listed as authorized users.

However, be warned that there are transfer restrictions. Unauthorized transfers have resulted in shut-downs. Review the Chase T&C for details before planning a transfer. For discussion, see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chase...-accounts.html.

The Freedom cards, no-fee Ink Cash, and no-fee Sapphire cards do not allow UR transfer to airline/hotel partners. If you are downgrading from a premium UR card and will only have no-fee cards left, it may be prudent to transfer your points to the partner of your choice beforehand.

I know I can use UR to pay for travel directly (as opposed to transfering points into a travel partner program). Do the Chase UR cards differ on this?
Only the Sapphire Reserve books travel on the UR portal for 1.5. So you can stack your card bonus opportunities when your UR points are combined into your CSR account and used for booking travel. If, for instance, you earned 5x on your Ink Plus on your phone bill, and combine those 5x Ink earned points into your CSR's UR account, you'll now get an additional .5 in value when you redeem them on the travel portal.

Product Changes for United Airlines Cards

There are options to downgrade or upgrade UA cards.
  • United Mileage Plus Card- no annual fee, 1 UA mile per $2 in spend
  • United Mileage Plus Explorer Card- $95 annual fee, 1 mile per dollar earning, additional award inventory on UA, free checked bag, 25% bonus on the shopping portal.
  • United Plus Club Card- $450 annual fee, 1.5 miles per $1, many additional premium card benefits
  • Business Cards for the Mileage Plus and Club Card give you a choice to upgrade or downgrade between those two.

Southwest Airlines Cards

The difference here is a nominal $30/3000 points per year.

Personal cards
  • Plus Card- $69 annual fee, 3000 bonus points upon renewal
  • Premiere Card- $99 annual fee, 6000 bonus points upon renewal
The Business cards also have a Plus and Premiere version.
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Old Mar 5, 16, 8:55 pm
  #76  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 102
Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
About 11 months ago I used the free-for-one-year link to get the United Mileage Plus Club card. I don't want to pay the $450 annual fee so need to cancel or downgrade. Sent an SM to Chase asking to downgrade to an Explorer Card (simply moving the available credit to that card) and got this response:



Do I have any alternatives to closing the account and re-applying for a different card?

I don't want to take a bad hit to my FICO. Along with the United Club card I have an Amex Hilton HHonors card (open for about 5 years, zero balance), and an old United Mileage Plus Signature card (had for about 20 years)

Be gentle; it's my first foray into the credit card forums
Just call Chase after the fee posts - which should be 12 months from when you opened it, so it would satisfy that requirement. As long as you call and are able to downgrade within 30 days after that, you'd get the annual fee refunded.
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Old Mar 6, 16, 8:10 am
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
About 11 months ago I used the free-for-one-year link to get the United Mileage Plus Club card. I don't want to pay the $450 annual fee so need to cancel or downgrade. Sent an SM to Chase asking to downgrade to an Explorer Card (simply moving the available credit to that card) and got this response:



Do I have any alternatives to closing the account and re-applying for a different card?

I don't want to take a bad hit to my FICO. Along with the United Club card I have an Amex Hilton HHonors card (open for about 5 years, zero balance), and an old United Mileage Plus Signature card (had for about 20 years)

Be gentle; it's my first foray into the credit card forums
You can downgrade to Explorer after 12 months, so you can do what HBKFan75 says. However there are a couple things you should know:
  • Explorer AF is $95 and it won't be waived for the first year
  • You won't get any signup bonus for Explorer

I think it may be worth applying for Explorer and cancelling the Club card instead of going the downgrade route.
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Old Mar 6, 16, 10:52 am
  #78  
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Thanks to you both. Is that policy of refunding an annual fee within x days of its being posted to an account published anywhere?
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Old Mar 6, 16, 5:03 pm
  #79  
 
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Originally Posted by pallhedge View Post
You can downgrade to Explorer after 12 months, so you can do what HBKFan75 says. However there are a couple things you should know:
  • Explorer AF is $95 and it won't be waived for the first year
  • You won't get any signup bonus for Explorer

I think it may be worth applying for Explorer and cancelling the Club card instead of going the downgrade route.
These are good points. Or perhaps look into a downgrade to the no-fee United card and apply for an Explorer separately to get the bonus and still keep your credit history from the Club card.
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Old Mar 6, 16, 5:05 pm
  #80  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
Thanks to you both. Is that policy of refunding an annual fee within x days of its being posted to an account published anywhere?
Not to my knowledge, but any Chase rep should be able to confirm it for you over the phone or via SM. There are also numerous data points in this forum that illustrate the policy in action.
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Old Mar 7, 16, 7:42 pm
  #81  
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Thanks again. This is the response from the Chase rep via SM:

Thank you for contacting Chase about switching to a
United MileagePlus Explorer card.

We value your relationship with Chase and want to ensure
we address your needs as a customer. Let me inform that
the annual fee on your United MileagePlus Club card
account ending xxxx is $395.00 and this is due to be
charged on May 01, 2016. Please know that your account was
opened on April 28, 2015 and as your account is open less
than 12 months, it is not eligible to change to a
different product. Please know that the annual fee will be
automatically credited when account is closed within 90
days of billing. Please reply to this email on or after
April 28, 2016 to request to downgrade your existing card
and we will be happy to review the account further.
Thinking about some of the advice received above, if instead I were to close the account and then apply for the Explorer (or other Chase Card, like the IHG) would I be eligible for the sign-up bonuses?
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Old Mar 7, 16, 10:00 pm
  #82  
 
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
Thanks again. This is the response from the Chase rep via SM:



Thinking about some of the advice received above, if instead I were to close the account and then apply for the Explorer (or other Chase Card, like the IHG) would I be eligible for the sign-up bonuses?
I don't see why you wouldn't be eligible for a signup bonus on a different product.

The problem most "avid" posters in this forum have is getting approved for additional Chase cards, due to having applied for more than a handful of cards in the semi-recent past.
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Old Mar 8, 16, 1:17 pm
  #83  
mia
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
...if instead I were to close the account and then apply for the Explorer (or other Chase Card, like the IHG) would I be eligible for the sign-up bonuses?
This is a more complicated question than it should be. In simple terms, if you have opened more than five credit cards from any issuer in the past 24 months you may have difficulty opening another Chase card. Details matter because Chase proprietary cards (Freedom, Sapphire, INK) have different standards than the co-branded cards (BA, UA, WN, HYT, IHG, MAR), but this may change in May.

Read the Wikiposts of these threads:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chase...5-present.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chase...eculation.html
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Old Mar 8, 16, 1:21 pm
  #84  
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
...In simple terms, if you have opened more than five credit cards from any issuer in the past 24 months....
I have not.
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Old Mar 8, 16, 3:43 pm
  #85  
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
This is a more complicated question than it should be. In simple terms, if you have opened more than five credit cards from any issuer in the past 24 months you may have difficulty opening another Chase card. Details matter because Chase proprietary cards (Freedom, Sapphire, INK) have different standards than the co-branded cards (BA, UA, WN, HYT, IHG, MAR), but this may change in May.

Read the Wikiposts of these threads:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chase...5-present.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chase...eculation.html
Last I saw, the rumor / leak was that business cards would change in March, and partner cards in April. Has there been an update that says May, or did you mistype?
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Old Mar 9, 16, 7:56 am
  #86  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
Thinking about some of the advice received above, if instead I were to close the account and then apply for the Explorer (or other Chase Card, like the IHG) would I be eligible for the sign-up bonuses?
There's really no need to "close the account and then apply" in that order. I would apply for Explorer first just to make sure you are approved (strange things can happen). This takes all the guesswork of "should I straight cancel or downgrade" out of the equation. If at that point you've already been approved for Explorer, you can downgrade to a card with no annual fee. Bottom line, I can't see any good reason to take any action until May.
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Old Mar 11, 16, 7:56 am
  #87  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 98
I have a hard time searching for a good answer before calling chase. Closest was this thread:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...dit-cards.html

But I was wondering if you could change between co-branded cards. That is, the Chase United to maybe a Hyatt? I know you can do a pc between the same brand, and you can't do it from a Chase co-brand to a Chase card (unless Chase forces it)
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Old Mar 12, 16, 7:27 am
  #88  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by buggy51 View Post
I have a hard time searching for a good answer before calling chase. Closest was this thread:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...dit-cards.html

But I was wondering if you could change between co-branded cards. That is, the Chase United to maybe a Hyatt? I know you can do a pc between the same brand, and you can't do it from a Chase co-brand to a Chase card (unless Chase forces it)
Probably can't be done. But for the sake of argument, if you could product change to Hyatt, you would forego the signup bonus of 2 free nights and it's likely the first year annual fee would not be waived. Not many would do this even if they could.
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Old Mar 12, 16, 7:50 pm
  #89  
 
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Southwest Premier

Closed card today since I will not be flying Southwest once I take my last award flight with them. I didn't like having to drive 67 miles to the closest airport WN flies. When I got the card, Chase gave me only 2K CL because they had given me large CLs with UA and Marriott. They offered to reallocate so I could have larger SW CL. Glad I never bothered. If I ever apply for a CSP then I will reallocate.
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Old Mar 13, 16, 3:55 pm
  #90  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
And if I have a companion card on my wife's Ink Cash account, there should be no problem transferring her points to my UR account?

BTW, I can find almost no discussion of Ink Cash on Flyertalk, so if it's "widely known," the topic is well hidden!
Another feature flying under the radar is that Ink Cash gives 2x on dining up to 25k. Who needs CSP anyway, if you have one premium INK?

Can the old Bold be converted to Cash, or only Plus?
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