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Chase Product Change/Card Conversion: Downgrade, Upgrade, Keep or Cancel? 2016 onward

Chase Product Change/Card Conversion: Downgrade, Upgrade, Keep or Cancel? 2016 onward

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Old Jan 7, 19, 12:23 pm   -   Wikipost
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This is the general 2016-2018 thread for weighing the relative merits
of keeping, downgrading, or canceling Chase-issued credit cards.


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 months since the last time you received a bonus before reapplying.

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.

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 Jan 8, 19, 9:15 pm
  #946  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 61
Planning to cancel my CSR this year since i'm not getting enough value out of it anymore.
The only other Chase card I have is a Freedom card.

Should i downgrade my CSR to a regular Sapphire? Or a Chase Freedom Unlimited? Realistically this card is just going to sit in my drawer.

I'm leaning towards the regular Sapphire since you can't apply for that and I can get a Freedom Unlimited in the future and still get the signup bonus
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Old Jan 8, 19, 9:32 pm
  #947  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 122
Originally Posted by dreamspeed View Post
Planning to cancel my CSR this year since i'm not getting enough value out of it anymore.
The only other Chase card I have is a Freedom card.

Should i downgrade my CSR to a regular Sapphire? Or a Chase Freedom Unlimited? Realistically this card is just going to sit in my drawer.

I'm leaning towards the regular Sapphire since you can't apply for that and I can get a Freedom Unlimited in the future and still get the signup bonus
Another Freedom in case there's a good 5% category in the future
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Old Jan 9, 19, 6:54 am
  #948  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,014
Originally Posted by dreamspeed View Post
Planning to cancel my CSR this year since i'm not getting enough value out of it anymore.
The only other Chase card I have is a Freedom card.

Should i downgrade my CSR to a regular Sapphire? Or a Chase Freedom Unlimited? Realistically this card is just going to sit in my drawer.

I'm leaning towards the regular Sapphire since you can't apply for that and I can get a Freedom Unlimited in the future and still get the signup bonus
Downgrade to a 2nd Freedom rather than a useless Sapphire.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 3:02 pm
  #949  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Programs: UA 1P, AA Gold, HHonors Gold, Marriott Silver
Posts: 32
My annual fee hit on 1 Dec. Statement closed 15 Dec. I used $300 travel credit on 16 Dec, and requested a downgrade on 6 Jan. I haven't seen my $450 fee refunded yet. I understand I am in the 40 day window for a fee refund.

Should I expect it all to be refunded? Just $150, since I already used $300 credit? The guy on the phone wasn't very nice about it and said "the travel credits already used would be taken into consideration when considering refunding the fee."

When you see a fee refund, how soon does it typically come after the downgrade? immediately? End of billing cycle?
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Old Jan 12, 19, 7:44 am
  #950  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,014
Originally Posted by monkeybizness View Post
My annual fee hit on 1 Dec. Statement closed 15 Dec. I used $300 travel credit on 16 Dec, and requested a downgrade on 6 Jan. I haven't seen my $450 fee refunded yet. I understand I am in the 40 day window for a fee refund.

Should I expect it all to be refunded? Just $150, since I already used $300 credit? The guy on the phone wasn't very nice about it and said "the travel credits already used would be taken into consideration when considering refunding the fee."

When you see a fee refund, how soon does it typically come after the downgrade? immediately? End of billing cycle?
You should expect to see the entire $450 refunded within 2 weeks.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 4:11 pm
  #951  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 648
Originally Posted by pallhedge View Post
You should expect to see the entire $450 refunded within 2 weeks.
I received the $300 travel credit refund (on a Chase Travel Portal hotel purchase) about 5 days before calling in the number on the back of my CSR to product change to a Freedom Unlimited and have the $450 fee refunded. I was given zero grief and the refund of the annual fee showed online the next day. The change of the CSR to Freedom Unlimited was reflected in my online account the same day. All of this was done this month. Good luck!
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Old Jan 12, 19, 4:21 pm
  #952  
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 35
Right now I have the Citi Prestige and with the 5x points might not get as much use out of the CSP. Already have Freedom and Freedom Unlimited, and like the ability to transfer awards points to travel partners. Right now I have a food delivery subscription on my Citi Double Cashback, but it is categorized as merchandise. Going to see if it count as 2x with Chase, and if so, might dowgrade to a second freedom. And in time apply for CSR. The food subscription alone is worth the difference between the CSP and CSR, if it codes for bonus.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 6:15 pm
  #953  
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 26,348
Some discouraging DP - under 5/24 is no longer a good bet.

I strongly recommend those who dont want to keep a fee based card take the downgrade route, even though you may just want to close it - product change it first then take time to decide what you want to do much later. This is based on yet another DP saw on non-English site that a poster is denied on Ink Unlimited even he was only 4/24. First recon just told him nothing can be done. Second recon the rep was actually quite well-informed on the 5/24 but told the poster that he had many opened / closed cards in his record, and "that was not the behavior the bank liked to see." The rep added, "If you wanted UR pts, you could open the Sapphire Bank Account or moved the mortgage to Chase."

Not clear is, whether the Chase rep also looked at the non Chase cards that were opened/closed but not kept.. My guess is, he took other banks in the tally as well due to the poster is 4/24 (but actually have opened 3 biz cards that are not counted, and just closed a UA Biz after 1st anniversary.)

Last edited by Happy; Jan 12, 19 at 6:23 pm
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Old Jan 14, 19, 11:14 am
  #954  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards
Posts: 22
My Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee renewal is coming up in February 1. I was planning to downgrade to a Chase Freedom. Will the chase points balance I have with Chase Sapphire card automatically transfer to the new Chase Freedom Card account?
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Old Jan 14, 19, 11:18 am
  #955  
Moderator: Travel Buzz, Chase Credit Cards
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Sunny San Diego
Posts: 2,564
Originally Posted by th79ft View Post
My Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee renewal is coming up in February 1. I was planning to downgrade to a Chase Freedom. Will the chase points balance I have with Chase Sapphire card automatically transfer to the new Chase Freedom Card account?
Yes, they will if you downgrade. The card number actually stays the same. Do keep in mind, though, that you will lose the ability to transfer to airline and hotel partners if you do not have a premium card, such as the Sapphire Reserve. You can move your points freely to consolidate them from card to card --Freedom points to other UR earning cards, for instance. But if you don't have a premium UR card of some sort, you won't be able to export them to outside programs.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 11:52 am
  #956  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by StartinSanDiego View Post
Yes, they will if you downgrade. The card number actually stays the same. Do keep in mind, though, that you will lose the ability to transfer to airline and hotel partners if you do not have a premium card, such as the Sapphire Reserve. You can move your points freely to consolidate them from card to card --Freedom points to other UR earning cards, for instance. But if you don't have a premium UR card of some sort, you won't be able to export them to outside programs.
My spouse has a Chase Sapphire Reserve, and we are keeping that one open. I suppose I could still move my points to my Spouse's UR account and transfer pts to Airline/Hotel partners that way right?
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Old Jan 14, 19, 12:00 pm
  #957  
mia
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator: American Express, Citi, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami & London
Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; HH Gold
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Originally Posted by th79ft View Post
.... move my points to my Spouse's UR account and transfer pts to Airline/Hotel partners that way right?
Correct, BUT your spouse can only transfer points to his/her own airline/hotel accounts unless you are an Authorized User ($75/year) on the Reserve account.

11.15.2015 Ultimate Rewards transfer ONLY to own & AU's airline/hotel accounts
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Old Jan 15, 19, 6:35 am
  #958  
Moderator: Travel Buzz, Chase Credit Cards
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Sunny San Diego
Posts: 2,564
Originally Posted by th79ft View Post
My spouse has a Chase Sapphire Reserve, and we are keeping that one open. I suppose I could still move my points to my Spouse's UR account and transfer pts to Airline/Hotel partners that way right?
Mia has provided a link to the thread on moving UR points.
Product change comments have been merged into the existing mega-thread on the topic. Please continue the discussion here.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 11:33 am
  #959  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 6
Product change twice?

I recently product changed from Chase Sapphire (No AF version) to Chase Unlimited. I realize that I would be better off with the chase sapphire preferred but got denied. Can I product change the chase unlimited to the chase sapphire preferred or since I recently product changed do I need to wait 12 months before changing again?
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Old Jan 15, 19, 11:48 am
  #960  
mia
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator: American Express, Citi, Diners Club, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami & London
Programs: AA & Marriott Perpetual Platinum; HH Gold
Posts: 36,316
Originally Posted by sportsfan1130 View Post
.... chase sapphire preferred ....
What is the reason for the denial?
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