How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

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sunny_socal
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How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by sunny_socal » Sat May 04, 2019 7:53 am

I recently applied for two Chase credits cards in order to receive a Southwest companion pass. The scheme worked very well, I now have the CP for the next year and a half.

But I also have two cards I don't really need:
- Basic Chase card, $69 annual fee
- Business card, $99 annual fee

Any reason not to just close them now? I could wait another year but I have no plans to use them.

michaeljc70
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat May 04, 2019 8:02 am

I generally put it on my calendar to cancel them before the annual fee hits. The only reason I can think of to not cancel them earlier would be a card that has benefits you may use. Examples include cards that give you free checked bags, priority boarding or access to airport lounges.

Edit: I don't know if CC track this currently, but it wouldn't surprise me if they start at some point. Meaning you get the bonus and close the card the next week.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Sat May 04, 2019 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

SimonJester
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by SimonJester » Sat May 04, 2019 8:03 am

I would keep them until the annual fee is due, then cancel or preferably do a product change to a non fee card.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

student
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by student » Sat May 04, 2019 8:13 am

I agree with others who said to keep it until the next annual fee is due.

Shallowpockets
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by Shallowpockets » Sat May 04, 2019 8:26 am

Are there implications on closing the card with the miles in there? Or are the miles safe even when the card is closed?

michaeljc70
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat May 04, 2019 8:30 am

Shallowpockets wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:26 am
Are there implications on closing the card with the miles in there? Or are the miles safe even when the card is closed?
It depends on the card. If it is something like a UAL or AA card, they are in your airline account and closing the card has no impact (make sure they posted first though). If it something where it is generic miles (aka points) you need to transfer them to an airline or other partner if possible or use them for travel or giftcards or whatever or they will be lost.

Shallowpockets
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by Shallowpockets » Sat May 04, 2019 9:01 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:30 am
Shallowpockets wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:26 am
Are there implications on closing the card with the miles in there? Or are the miles safe even when the card is closed?
It depends on the card. If it is something like a UAL or AA card, they are in your airline account and closing the card has no impact (make sure they posted first though). If it something where it is generic miles (aka points) you need to transfer them to an airline or other partner if possible or use them for travel or giftcards or whatever or they will be lost.
Thank you for that. Those are the exact two CC I have.

centrifuge41
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by centrifuge41 » Sat May 04, 2019 9:27 am

For the two southwest cards, wait until year 2 fee posts. Confirm you got your year 2 3000 and 6000 rapid rewards in your account. Close card. They will credit back the year 2 fee. Same for united MileagePlus explorer. Year 2 bonus is 2 united club passes.

tibbitts
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by tibbitts » Sat May 04, 2019 9:35 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:30 am
Shallowpockets wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:26 am
Are there implications on closing the card with the miles in there? Or are the miles safe even when the card is closed?
It depends on the card. If it is something like a UAL or AA card, they are in your airline account and closing the card has no impact (make sure they posted first though). If it something where it is generic miles (aka points) you need to transfer them to an airline or other partner if possible or use them for travel or giftcards or whatever or they will be lost.
I'm not sure of that for every card. It seems that with some cards miles only post once per billing period. When you close the card with a mile balance before the end of the billing period, I don't know if they transfer. I have never closed a card with an "internal" miles balance that hadn't posted yet.

michaeljc70
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat May 04, 2019 9:48 am

tibbitts wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 9:35 am
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:30 am
Shallowpockets wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:26 am
Are there implications on closing the card with the miles in there? Or are the miles safe even when the card is closed?
It depends on the card. If it is something like a UAL or AA card, they are in your airline account and closing the card has no impact (make sure they posted first though). If it something where it is generic miles (aka points) you need to transfer them to an airline or other partner if possible or use them for travel or giftcards or whatever or they will be lost.
I'm not sure of that for every card. It seems that with some cards miles only post once per billing period. When you close the card with a mile balance before the end of the billing period, I don't know if they transfer. I have never closed a card with an "internal" miles balance that hadn't posted yet.

TravelGeek
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by TravelGeek » Sat May 04, 2019 10:35 am

SimonJester wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:03 am
I would keep them until the annual fee is due, then cancel or preferably do a product change to a non fee card.
Same. I don’t know that Chase is currently using cancellation behavior to identify churners and deny future bonuses (I think Amex has started to crack down), but they’ll obviously have the data to do that in the future. I rarely apply for cards that don’t offer enough ongoing benefits to keep long-term, but if I do (looking at you, Barclays Arrival+ and Citi Premier), I keep them until the renewal AF posts and then call to cancel or get some kind of bonus offer for keeping it.

I am not a WN (card) user, but it would seem to me that with a companion pass it would make some sense to actually use at least one of the cards to acquire points for award trips since they are essentially double value (companion gets a free award, right?) unless a UR card offers better earnings with transfer to WN.

BeneIRA
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by BeneIRA » Sat May 04, 2019 10:39 am

Wait until the second annual fee posts, call the number on the back of your card, they will probably waive one fee and reduce another. Keep the cards another year. On year 3's annual fee, they won't give you a credit, so wait until the points post to your account and cancel both. Easy. The benefit to closing them now is approximately zero. Chase has where you can lock a card on their website, so do that so you don't have to worry about it incurring charges.

There aren't no fee Southwest cards, so a product change won't matter.

tibbitts
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by tibbitts » Sat May 04, 2019 10:42 am

BeneIRA wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:39 am
Wait until the second annual fee posts, call the number on the back of your card, they will probably waive one fee and reduce another. Keep the cards another year. On year 3's annual fee, they won't give you a credit, so wait until the points post to your account and cancel both. Easy. The benefit to closing them now is approximately zero. Chase has where you can lock a card on their website, so do that so you don't have to worry about it incurring charges.

There aren't no fee Southwest cards, so a product change won't matter.
When I've called to cancel a card, the only offer I've ever heard has been "Is there anything I can do OTHER THAN WAIVE THE ANNUAL FEE that would make you want to keep the card?" The fee was never, ever negotiable. Maybe for other people, not for me.

BeneIRA
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by BeneIRA » Sat May 04, 2019 10:46 am

tibbitts wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:42 am
BeneIRA wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:39 am
Wait until the second annual fee posts, call the number on the back of your card, they will probably waive one fee and reduce another. Keep the cards another year. On year 3's annual fee, they won't give you a credit, so wait until the points post to your account and cancel both. Easy. The benefit to closing them now is approximately zero. Chase has where you can lock a card on their website, so do that so you don't have to worry about it incurring charges.

There aren't no fee Southwest cards, so a product change won't matter.
When I've called to cancel a card, the only offer I've ever heard has been "Is there anything I can do OTHER THAN WAIVE THE ANNUAL FEE that would make you want to keep the card?" The fee was never, ever negotiable. Maybe for other people, not for me.
For Southwest cards, on the second annual fee, I and others have had great luck with getting the annual fee waived on the Southwest Premier's $99 fee and at least a $35 credit on the Southwest Plus. The year after, absolutely nothing. Call in, say you want to cancel the card, they'll ask why, tell them it is the annual fee. Your mileage may vary, of course, but with Southwest, there is usually a lot of latitude on the second annual fee. What else did they offer you and what cards were these?

investor997
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by investor997 » Sat May 04, 2019 10:52 am

I put a lot of spend on my Southwest Plus card during the first year I had it (to extend companion pass an additional year). I called to cancel when the second annual fee hit and they credited $70 back to the account. I plan to do the same when the fee hits this year and I doubt they'll make the same offer since I stopped putting spend on it.

tibbitts
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by tibbitts » Sat May 04, 2019 10:58 am

BeneIRA wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:46 am
tibbitts wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:42 am
BeneIRA wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:39 am
Wait until the second annual fee posts, call the number on the back of your card, they will probably waive one fee and reduce another. Keep the cards another year. On year 3's annual fee, they won't give you a credit, so wait until the points post to your account and cancel both. Easy. The benefit to closing them now is approximately zero. Chase has where you can lock a card on their website, so do that so you don't have to worry about it incurring charges.

There aren't no fee Southwest cards, so a product change won't matter.
When I've called to cancel a card, the only offer I've ever heard has been "Is there anything I can do OTHER THAN WAIVE THE ANNUAL FEE that would make you want to keep the card?" The fee was never, ever negotiable. Maybe for other people, not for me.
For Southwest cards, on the second annual fee, I and others have had great luck with getting the annual fee waived on the Southwest Premier's $99 fee and at least a $35 credit on the Southwest Plus. The year after, absolutely nothing. Call in, say you want to cancel the card, they'll ask why, tell them it is the annual fee. Your mileage may vary, of course, but with Southwest, there is usually a lot of latitude on the second annual fee. What else did they offer you and what cards were these?
I had the exact opposite experience with the Southwest card. I called in, said I wanted to cancel, they said why, I said annual fee. You could tell by the person's voice that he was anticipating me asking to waive the annual fee, so he added to what I wrote before "the one thing I absolutely can't do is waive the annual fee." And you could tell there was nothing he could do about the fee.

But with Southwest Premier for me the only point had been the card opening bonus. Unless you live on Southwest jets, the new card (what's it's called?) is the first card that's roughly break-even or slightly better vs. using other cards on Southwest (if you keep it past the first year, that is.)The other cards, like my old Premier, always were break-even or below for me, unless I bought a ticket during a double-credit promotion or some unusual circumstance. For a while the new card had the companion-pass bonus, which was completely useless for a lot of people, but fortunately I think it's back to a regular point bonus now.

When I cancelled my latest Premier card this year, the rep completely anticipated the bonus motivation, and basically told me the scenario I was planning to do before I told him.

BeneIRA
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by BeneIRA » Sat May 04, 2019 11:38 am

tibbitts wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:58 am
BeneIRA wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:46 am
tibbitts wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:42 am
BeneIRA wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:39 am
Wait until the second annual fee posts, call the number on the back of your card, they will probably waive one fee and reduce another. Keep the cards another year. On year 3's annual fee, they won't give you a credit, so wait until the points post to your account and cancel both. Easy. The benefit to closing them now is approximately zero. Chase has where you can lock a card on their website, so do that so you don't have to worry about it incurring charges.

There aren't no fee Southwest cards, so a product change won't matter.
When I've called to cancel a card, the only offer I've ever heard has been "Is there anything I can do OTHER THAN WAIVE THE ANNUAL FEE that would make you want to keep the card?" The fee was never, ever negotiable. Maybe for other people, not for me.
For Southwest cards, on the second annual fee, I and others have had great luck with getting the annual fee waived on the Southwest Premier's $99 fee and at least a $35 credit on the Southwest Plus. The year after, absolutely nothing. Call in, say you want to cancel the card, they'll ask why, tell them it is the annual fee. Your mileage may vary, of course, but with Southwest, there is usually a lot of latitude on the second annual fee. What else did they offer you and what cards were these?
I had the exact opposite experience with the Southwest card. I called in, said I wanted to cancel, they said why, I said annual fee. You could tell by the person's voice that he was anticipating me asking to waive the annual fee, so he added to what I wrote before "the one thing I absolutely can't do is waive the annual fee." And you could tell there was nothing he could do about the fee.

But with Southwest Premier for me the only point had been the card opening bonus. Unless you live on Southwest jets, the new card (what's it's called?) is the first card that's roughly break-even or slightly better vs. using other cards on Southwest (if you keep it past the first year, that is.)The other cards, like my old Premier, always were break-even or below for me, unless I bought a ticket during a double-credit promotion or some unusual circumstance. For a while the new card had the companion-pass bonus, which was completely useless for a lot of people, but fortunately I think it's back to a regular point bonus now.

When I cancelled my latest Premier card this year, the rep completely anticipated the bonus motivation, and basically told me the scenario I was planning to do before I told him.
Interesting. Thank you for sharing.

centrifuge41
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by centrifuge41 » Sat May 04, 2019 1:36 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 10:35 am
I am not a WN (card) user, but it would seem to me that with a companion pass it would make some sense to actually use at least one of the cards to acquire points for award trips since they are essentially double value (companion gets a free award, right?) unless a UR card offers better earnings with transfer to WN.
Yes, companion pass gets a free award. But it's a bit of a logical fallacy. I could argue that your Chase URs and USDs are now worth double as well. No matter how you pay for your Southwest seat (USD, Southwest RR, Chase UR, Citi TYP used in a cash-like manner, Arrival+ points used in a cash-like manner), if there are 2 seats, the 2nd seat can be bought for taxes/fees (generally $5.60 per direction).

After getting the companion pass, it's preferable to continue earning 2% cashback on something like a Double Cash than to continue earning 1 Rapid Reward point/$ on general transactions.

ragnathor
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by ragnathor » Sat May 04, 2019 1:47 pm

Consider reading the terms of when your eligibility to get a second companion pass is available. I think for the Southwest cards it is 24 months after you get your bonus.

It's been awhile for us, but my wife and I have gone through two iterations each where we've both gotten the companion pass (total of 4 times). If you wait too long to close your card and are hoping to get the reward by doing it again, you want to be sure that it's counted as a new account and not opening your old card.

TravelGeek
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by TravelGeek » Sat May 04, 2019 4:40 pm

centrifuge41 wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 1:36 pm
Yes, companion pass gets a free award. But it's a bit of a logical fallacy. I could argue that your Chase URs and USDs are now worth double as well.
I did mention the URs (if the OP has such a card), but you could probably tell that I didn’t have enough coffee onboard when I wrote my reply :oops:

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fortfun
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by fortfun » Sat May 04, 2019 4:43 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 7:53 am
I recently applied for two Chase credits cards in order to receive a Southwest companion pass. The scheme worked very well, I now have the CP for the next year and a half.

But I also have two cards I don't really need:
- Basic Chase card, $69 annual fee
- Business card, $99 annual fee

Any reason not to just close them now? I could wait another year but I have no plans to use them.
You might be more likely to be denied future Chase cards if their algorithm detects churning. At least that's what I've read on flyertalk and reddit.

tibbitts
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by tibbitts » Sat May 04, 2019 5:32 pm

ragnathor wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 1:47 pm
Consider reading the terms of when your eligibility to get a second companion pass is available. I think for the Southwest cards it is 24 months after you get your bonus.

It's been awhile for us, but my wife and I have gone through two iterations each where we've both gotten the companion pass (total of 4 times). If you wait too long to close your card and are hoping to get the reward by doing it again, you want to be sure that it's counted as a new account and not opening your old card.
The Chase person I last spoke to mentioned about avoiding having my card re-opened, and implied that waiting for the close to post to the reporting bureaus would be sufficient, assuming it has been 24 months since receiving a previous points bonus, of course.

tibbitts
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by tibbitts » Sat May 04, 2019 5:34 pm

fortfun wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 4:43 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 7:53 am
I recently applied for two Chase credits cards in order to receive a Southwest companion pass. The scheme worked very well, I now have the CP for the next year and a half.

But I also have two cards I don't really need:
- Basic Chase card, $69 annual fee
- Business card, $99 annual fee

Any reason not to just close them now? I could wait another year but I have no plans to use them.
You might be more likely to be denied future Chase cards if their algorithm detects churning. At least that's what I've read on flyertalk and reddit.
I would tend to not try to churn a card that I wanted to have in the future, because you never know when the rules will change.

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sunny_socal
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by sunny_socal » Sun May 05, 2019 10:57 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 5:34 pm
fortfun wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 4:43 pm
sunny_socal wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 7:53 am
I recently applied for two Chase credits cards in order to receive a Southwest companion pass. The scheme worked very well, I now have the CP for the next year and a half.

But I also have two cards I don't really need:
- Basic Chase card, $69 annual fee
- Business card, $99 annual fee

Any reason not to just close them now? I could wait another year but I have no plans to use them.
You might be more likely to be denied future Chase cards if their algorithm detects churning. At least that's what I've read on flyertalk and reddit.
I would tend to not try to churn a card that I wanted to have in the future, because you never know when the rules will change.
I _do_ plan to use this approach again in the future but I don't plan on spending any money on these cards. I'm inclined to close them, I have plenty of other cards sitting around with no fee (Amex, Fidelity.)

pindevil
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Re: How soon to close credit card that was used for churn?

Post by pindevil » Mon May 06, 2019 6:53 am

centrifuge41 wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 9:27 am
For the two southwest cards, wait until year 2 fee posts. Confirm you got your year 2 3000 and 6000 rapid rewards in your account. Close card. They will credit back the year 2 fee. Same for united MileagePlus explorer. Year 2 bonus is 2 united club passes.
This is how I closed my southwest cards. Use the secure message from your account on Chase's web site to close the account. It's the easiest way to close and they are very quick about responding.

Another thing to keep in mind is Chase will no longer allow you to have multiple personnel southwest cards. So you may need to change your strategy for future CP.

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