Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
This week I thought I would let “Bob” share his tale of woe of what led up to him getting shut down by Chase. At the Chicago Seminars in October 2017 one of the sessions I am speaking on “Avoiding shutdowns / Financial Reviews and Customer Services levels” that can impact your quest to earn max points. Let’s see what you think of this real life warning story from Bob!
To begin, I realize that I of all people should know what not to do and especially what not to do in the points game since it is not a new interest of mine. I have made a couple or three dumb mistakes along the way recently with Chase. I am going to use the excuse of being caught up in the frenzy of massive bonuses and some cash back (or I am getting older and lazy when it comes to the details is probably more accurate).
So here is what happened. Back in January I got an uncomfortable call from the local Chase banker wanting to know about money orders I had been depositing and asked questions about my Ink Bold and Ink Plus accounts as well as the IHG, Marriott, and Sapphire Reserve. Questions were about the charges at the local grocery stores (the banker knew these were grocery stores so I was amazed that this drew attention since I occasionally bought the food for neighborhood parties) and I got questions about purchases at Staples and Office Depot. I answered clearly “office supplies”. He also asked about the business nature of the businesses on the Ink Cards and had a tone that these should only be business charges not any personal purchases. Lastly there were questions about Simon Mall that I did my best to answer (they do sell furniture there FYI).
Last year when I opened the Sapphire Reserve card I also opened a Chase checking account on the suggestion of the Chase personal banker (and picked up a $300 bonus offer they had at the time). I specifically asked him if it was OK for me to deposit money orders in the checking account since I get these quite often. He said it should be no problem. I deposited money orders 4-5 times a month with totals of $2-5k each per deposit at the ATM.
All seemed to be going well but 6 months after having received my Sapphire Reserve card it declined for a breakfast charge with a friend and later I learned of the “business decision to end our relationship” (see screen shot above).
The hammer has fallen (so far) on my INK Plus, Sapphire Reserve, IHG which I have had for years, and a Personal Marriott card that has not been used in over a year as well as my checking account. However, they left open a few other Chase cards including one I just about never use.
From what I read on FlyerTalk and other sites there will be no mercy when and if I call Chase to reconsider but I may do that just in case it works. At least I have been able to get my points out but not in the way I really wanted to. I still cannot believe I was so negligent in paying attention to what I was doing. I know I should never deposit money orders with banks I am doing creative spending with but I got lazy and it cost me big time! Don’t let this happen to you. – Bob
Thanks Bob for sharing this. Ouch. There is much we can take away from this. First off, as Bob points out, if you are someone who finds themselves with many money orders I would avoid depositing them in a bank that you use for high volume spending. Next, getting shut down can cost you more than you can earn hammering certain cards. I love so many Chase cards and use them for organic spending and some, like the IHG card, I just hold for the perks alone – I would hate to get a “divorce decree” from Chase. Be careful you don’t end up like Bob! – René