Over the past few months, I have gone from having the Chase Sapphire Preferred being the “must have card,” to re-thinking if it is worth keeping and most recently decided the Citi Premier is better. My annual fee is coming due this month and last month I started the losing process of asking for a retention offer on my Sapphire Preferred. What was my result?
My $95 annual fee for my Chase Sapphire is due at the end of July and I haven’t used it but a handful of times this year. After taking a look at our spending on the card and trying to decide if keeping the card was worth it. It was a pretty obvious answer that this card was not worth keeping. There was one factor that made me think I should keep it….
Chase just made some changes to their approval process and I know I would not be approved for an Ultimate Rewards card, even with my FICO being over 800! If you’ve applied for 5 cards from any bank in the last 24 months, it seems you get a denial and there’s nothing can be done. There are mixed reports from people about this also applying to their co-branded credit cards (Southwest, Hyatt, IHG, etc). I’m sure this will eventually make it’s way to those cards as well.
After looking at our situation, I decided I would cancel my Sapphire Preferred. I always like to reach out first to see what type of retention offer I could receive for keeping the card. Chase seems to not give retention offers on the Sapphire Preferred, but they love to tell you about the benefits (2x on dining and travel, transfer partners, blah blah blah), but I thought I’d try anyways. I decided to send them a private message asking if there were any offers and wouldn’t you know it….I was told there were no retention offers for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
A few days later I called to cancel my Chase Sapphire Preferred and I was prepared to move my credit line from my Sapphire Preferred to my IHG credit card. Once I got through to a representative, I informed her my annual fee was coming due and I didn’t think it was worth paying $95 for the card anymore.
Before I could tell her I wanted to move my credit, she said something I never thought I’d hear, “What if I give you points to offset your annual fee? I can give you 5,000 Ultimate Reward points, would that help.” Wait, what? She was actually giving me some sort of retention offer on the Sapphire Preferred? Without hesitation I told her yes, that would be great. It was even more shocking since I have put very little spending on this card this year.
She told me the points were already in my accounts and they were! Just like that, I was given 5,000 Ultimate Reward points for my Sapphire Preferred. Did it offset the entire cost, no but I have heard of very few cases of people receiving a retention offer on this card.
I actually didn’t want to keep the card at all though, I don’t use it and even though it would be $45 for the year, I still saw no need for it. How could I turn down 5,000 free points though?
I was actually messaging with Charlie from Running with Miles (awesome blog, you should check it out) and he gave me the idea to downgrade to the Freedom. For some reason, I had put very little thought into this until he mentioned it. But it made perfect sense to do that!
Charlie is actually going to be running the marathon distance, on 6 different continents, in just 4 and 1/2 days! He is trying to raise awareness and money for the Wounded Warrior Project. That’s a lot of running!
This was a good idea for a few reasons:
- I just received 5,000 Ultimate Reward points, which I could think of as a “sign up bonus.” This would be half the normal 10,000 Ultimate Reward bonus.
- It would save me a hard pull on my credit history
- It would save my pride by preventing a denial from Chase
- It would continue adding history to my credit history, which will only make my score better.
When I took all those factors into consideration, it made sense. I just didn’t want to call Chase back and convert over the phone, so I decided I would send them a message to do this. After a few messages, my Chase Sapphire Preferred was converted to a Chase Freedom.
In the end, I received a 5,000 Ultimate Reward points as a retention offer on my Sapphire Preferred, but converted to the Freedom. This was a win in my book, because I was going to cancel the card.
I normally post just once a week, but I wanted to post this sooner rather than later, just in case your Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fee is coming due. Hopefully, you can be successful in receiving a retention offer as well!
Have you received a retention offer on the Sapphire Preferred? If you have received an offer, leave a comment on what you received.