Chase Cancels Your Credit Cards With No Notification

If you have any Chase credit cards, call to make sure they haven’t been canceled out from under you with no notice. Huh? Are credit card companies allowed to do that? Don’t be silly. Of course they are.

Joey wrote in with this tale of annoyance and woe:

Last Friday, when I stopped at a gas station and tried to pay for gas with my Chase Freedom credit card, the machine told me it was declined. I thought it was a problem with the machine so I went inside and tried to use the card with the person working. The card was denied again. Frustrated, I called Chase Card Services to figure out what was going on.

The rep told me my card had been cancelled. Not only my Freedom card, but also my 3 other Chase credit cards (I use them for different rewards). I told him it was outrageous that I hadn’t received any early notification, and all he could say was that I would be getting something in the mail soon. I asked why my cards were canceled, and his response was that I had too many loans out so Chase considered me a risk. For the record, I do have loans that I’m paying off – my student loans and the loan on a recently purchased house. However, I’ve always paid the balance on my Chase credit cards in full every month and rarely ever am I late (the last time was at least 6 months ago). Nothing in my history with them would cause them to think I would not pay my bills. The rep couldn’t do anything for me so I asked to speak to a supervisor. I was told they were busy and that one would call me back. No one has since.

This angered me to no end and ruined my weekend. Not only did 4 out of the 5 credit cards I have get cancelled (I still have an Amex), the rep told me that since my credit cards were cancelled, I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the rewards I had accumulated on the card. I currently have over $100 in rewards from Chase that I’ve been saving to get the $250 check for $200 reward dollars program they had. So now they expect me to pay the remainder of my bill, but they’re screwing me out of money I could potentially get from them.

Today, my parents told me all their Chase cards had been canceled as well, and their credit history is probably better than mine. I assume there are many other people out there that have been affected as well. What the #*&@ is going on with Chase!?!?! Do they really have the right to do this!? Can I at least force them to let me use my rewards?

Fight back, Consumerist-style. If escalating things in the normal customer service channels doesn’t work, we have some ideas about who to call or e-mail. Be polite, professional, and firm.

Have you experienced similar cancellations at the hands of Chase? Have you fought back? Share your story in the comments.

RELATED:
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(Photo: frankieleon)

Comments

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  1. MostlyHarmless says:

    Any idea if the CARD act is going to make this kind of shit harder to pull off?

    And people say we need less regulation.

    • s73v3r says:

      @MostlyHarmless: I would be surprised if there wasn’t already an existing law against this sort of thing. No, wait, no I wouldn’t.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        @s73v3r: Huh? Are credit card companies allowed to do that? Don’t be silly. Of course they are.

        Reading comprehension.

    • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

      @MostlyHarmless: Going from memory here, but I am pretty sure that the CARD Act eliminates “Universal Default” which is what this case sounds like.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        @larrymac: Yeah, that would make sense.

      • kexline says:

        @larrymac: Universal default is where Card B raises you to a punitive rate because they heard through the grapevine that you made a late payment on Card A. Unless I missed it, the OP didn’t mention late payments on his mortgage or student loans — they just decided they hate him because he has a mortgage and student loans.

    • joepa1 says:

      @MostlyHarmless: The CARD act is the reason for these actions. Rates going up and lines going down as a preemptive strike by the cc cos. We’ll probably see other crZy actions before the law goes into effect.

    • rugman11 says:

      @MostlyHarmless: So you’re saying that if I, your lender, decide that you are suddenly too much of a risk, that the government should FORCE me to continue lending to you because canceling your line of credit would be what? Unfair?

      Wasn’t lending to risky borrowers what got us in this mess in the first place?

      /I’m not saying the OP is risky or even that his accounts were canceled because his risk increased (I would think they were canceled because he was unprofitable), but they idea that we need a law that would force companies to lend money to people they don’t want to lend money to is ludicrous.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        @rugman11: No, I am saying they need to inform me in advance if they are going to pull shit on me, so I can make arrangements.

      • Megalomania says:

        @rugman11: they should be required to notify him on his monthly statement that they would be cut off on the next billing cycle. As long as he’s competent enough to read the bill, he’ll get the note, and if he’s not reading the bill then congratulation, wise move credit card companies.

        • NatalieErin says:

          @Megalomania: Have you ever gotten one of those notifications? They are usually in tiny type and they completely blend in with the other three paragraphs of fine print.

          And it’s possible to be a responsible credit card user without checking the “official” statement. My bank gives me all of my purchase, interest rate, rewards, and payment information online, but that’s still not considered a statement.

          • oneandone says:

            @NatalieErin: I got one a few months ago, as Chase was buying Washington Mutual. It was very clear. I had a credit card I hadn’t used in more than a year, and they said it was ‘closed, effective immediately.’ Regular size piece of paper, 12 pt font, very short letter.

            I was a little annoyed, since it was my oldest card, but I understand why they did it. I would have appreciated some notice (I would have started using the card to keep it active), but I thought the cancellation letter was clear.

            Maybe the OP’s letter is in the mail?

        • outshined says:

          @Megalomania:

          I got this as well on both of my Chase credit cards. I called to see if they could stop the cancellation if I used it right away. They said no, but I could apply for a new one. That seemed like a hassle and the rate was higher now Nordstrom Bank and Citibank get the benefit of my 806 credit score and payment history. Bye, Chase.

    • mrearly2 says:

      @MostlyHarmless:
      I say we need less regulation.
      The ones that require regulation are outfits owned by the likes of the Rockefellers, DuPonts, etc, e.g., the private Federal Reserve. Chase is Rockefeller-owned, and they certainly don’t care at all if their rotten companies make life harder for the little people.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        @mrearly2: Those exactly are the people I am saying we should regulate.

        By “we need regulation” i meant “we as a people need the govt to regulate these behemoths” and not “really, government should regulate us to stop us from doing stupid things”. Because that second part just does not work, and trying to enforce it is more trouble than is worth.

        If I do something boneheaded with my money when i am being stupid/blinded by greed/malice, it will probably only hurt very few people. When huge cos and banks that are “too big to fail” do stuff when blinded by greed, they screw up an awful lot of people.

        So yes, you are completely correct when you say that the Private Fed needs to be regulated.

  2. NeverLetMeDown says:

    While I’d be ticked off about the rewards (and I think you should be able to get some satisfaction about that), it’s really their call whether to continue to lend to you.

    Also, just so you know, “rarely” late is nothing to be proud of from a lender’s point of view. I’ve had one late payment (by a day) in the past 17 years.

    • Hil-fish says:

      @NeverLetMeDown: Well, yes, they should have the right to refuse to lend more to shady customers, but I think they should warn said customers AHEAD OF TIME that they’re cutting them off. If people are using their credit cards to manage their cash flow, being cut off with no notice could REALLY screw them.

    • HRHKingFridayXX says:

      @NeverLetMeDown: Exactly. Although there’s a difference in never being late and paying in full each month. Never being late, but carrying a balance, is somewhat profitable and only a little risky. I’d be interested in which the OP meant.

    • kexline says:

      @kexline: Oh, damn, reading retention FTL. He does sound like he’s proud that it’s been all of six months since he last paid something late.

  3. montusama says:

    This sucks, Chase has no right to do it. My only credit card I have is by a 3rd Party at my bank. FIA card services, which is owned by Bank of America (we all know how much we love them here). I haven’t had any issues with them but I can’t really get another card as I was denied for a Discover some months ago. Don’t like destroying my credit either so next CC I’m going to apply for is a JCB. That will have to wait for another month or two at the minimal.

    At least I know NOT to get a Chase card.

    • Brent Woodle says:

      @montusama: Here’s an idea, don’t get another credit card. They can only hurt you if you let them.

      • dohtem says:

        @Brent Woodle: Sigh… I don’t know how to respond to this one.

        • katstermonster says:

          @dohtem: Here’s how…

          1. See Facebook logo on picture.
          2. Bang head on desk.
          3. Walk away from computer.

          • Cyberxion101 says:

            @katstermonster: Oh, is that a Facebook slam? I thought we had grown beyond that sort of childishness. I thought wrong.

            • katstermonster says:

              @Cyberxion101: It was a facebook *joke,* and I thought we had a sense of humor around here. Besides, it’s just way too easy when the Facebook logo coincides with a stupid comment. It feels like that still happens way too often…

              • bwcbwc says:

                @katstermonster: Did I miss something? Is Facebook the new AOL?

                • katstermonster says:

                  @bwcbwc: Facebook posters aren’t always known for their contributions to discussions ’round these parts. Or…maybe it’s better to say they’re infamous for it? There are exceptions, but it’s a pervasive belief around here, one that posters such as Brent Woodle aren’t doing much to reverse…

                  • NeverLetMeDown says:

                    @katstermonster:

                    The reason they don’t provide notice should be kind of obvious – if they’re worried that your credit profile is deteriorating, so they no longer want to lend to you, and then say “hey, in 30 days, we’re closing your card,” you might say “hey, if I’m going to spend money, I should do it on this card, so I don’t lose the balance.”

                    • Megalomania says:

                      @NeverLetMeDown: then that’s a risk they have to take. The credit card company gives you a line of credit, at a rate of their choosing, with a limit of their choosing. They should absolutely be able to change either of those values (apart from changing the interest charged on money they already lent to you) but they should be able to both unilaterally AND immediately do it.

                    • NeverLetMeDown says:

                      @Megalomania:

                      Why shouldn’t they be able to change both unilaterally? In the corporate world, if you want guaranteed availability on a revolving line, even if it’s unused, you pay _a fee_ for that, since the bank is reserving capital for that line, should you want to use it.

                      As for changing the rate on funds lent, they can do that too, but only when the loan comes due (i.e. the monthly statement).

                    • FinanceGuru says:

                      @NeverLetMeDown: Not in all cases. If a borrower has a good relationship with its lender, the borrower won’t necessarily have to pay a maintenance or cleanup fee for the reveolver.

                      Yes, I know this from personal experience.

                  • Brent Woodle says:

                    @katstermonster: Do you also discriminate against people who have different colored skin? I post from Facebook because the universal login makes it easier. I have a Consumerist account but I choose not to use it.

                    Please notice that I said not to get another credit card. She indicated that she already had one.

                    I am sympathetic to those who need to use credit cards to pay off necessary expenses. The reason I replied to this thread were because of the comments: This sucks, Chase has no right to do it, and I haven’t had any issues with them referring to her current card which she slams simply because it is owned by BoA.

                    Commence baseless Facebook discrimination.

    • sharkzfanz says:

      @montusama: Why does chase not have no right to close cards? Is it wrong 100% but I dont see how they dont have the right to do this…

      • s73v3r says:

        @sharkzfanz: Its not that they don’t have the right to close cards, its that they need to provide some notice far in advance. This guy was pretty much caught with his pants down because they didn’t see fit to notify him that they were canceling the card. He also now has lost all his built up reward points; giving advance notice would allow him to redeem those rewards.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        @sharkzfanz: what s73v3r said, and on top of that, theres the whole thing about credit lines, and credit scores and %of credit utilization. A line disappearing from your report can be a hard hit on your score.

      • bwcbwc says:

        @sharkzfanz: It isn’t the closing that’s the real problem here, it’s the lack of warning. Where would the OP have been if he didn’t have that Amex as a backup? In jail?

        Lesson learned for future reference: don’t keep all your CCs with one company.

        Although, this tale makes me wonder if there was a communication that was sent electronically that somehow got missed (spam filter?). Chase has screwed me over raising interest rates and minimum payments, but they did give me a couple months warning.

  4. greggen says:

    Glad I paid off all three of my Chase cards…

    • PinkBox says:

      @greggen: Keep a lookout, still. I had a card cancelled simply for not using it for two months. They closed it for inactivity.

  5. sharkzfanz says:

    I got mine reinstated in a second by Chase Executive Relations… Very nice group….. Email the list that Consumerist included above… That’s what I did…

  6. EBounding says:

    That sucks, particularly about the rewards. This is one reason why I’m leery of accumulating too many reward dollars on CC’s. I try to cash them out ASAP. I managed to get the the $250 reward recently. Hope you can get the rewards you earned.

    • Megladon says:

      @EBounding:

      This is exactly what i just took the cash back option on my rewards card. Keep your miles that i’ll never earn enough of and rewards that i dont want anyways, cash is my best friend.

  7. TCinIowa says:

    Is sounds like card companies are getting in their last minute shady moves before the minor pains of the CARD act go into effect.

  8. Bud Caddell says:

    This just happened to me!!!!

    I got my wallet stolen last night and I called to stop my cards (I have two chase cards) and they told me they’d already canceled one of them last year!! I don’t use my credit cards very often, so I guess they just decided to kill it… It still shows up on online banking, but my phone rep couldn’t give me an answer, and tried to get me off the phone asap.

  9. 72Riv says:

    I just got THREE card cancellation letters in the mail today from Chase (for 3 different cards). How are they planning to make any money if they keep firing their customers and trying to find loopholes to give their execs more bonuses? Backwards thinking to the nth degree.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      @72Riv:

      Firing (some of) your customers is almost always a good idea. There are customers who just aren’t profitable, and you’d be better off without them. Maybe you weren’t one of them, but their algorithms tend to be pretty good.

      • bwcbwc says:

        @NeverLetMeDown: Yeah, get rid of any hint of risk in their CC portfolio, and charge the remaining low-risk customers as if they were sub-prime deadbeats. They’re just taking advantage of the tight credit markets where there aren’t any real alternatives.

  10. nybiker says:

    Late last year I got the letter from Chase saying my card was canceled. No reason given. I logged on and for the next couple of days we went back and forth about reinstating my card with the credit line and my original membership date (it was my first card, so I wanted to keep the years in there). I had explained that while I might not have used card very often (which was true since they had gone to a 20-day grace period), they should have given me a warning and that I was a long-time customer (granted, in recent years, not a profit center to them, but I didn’t remind them of that). I kept asking (nicely, mind you) and finally they told me they were reactivating the card. I now use it once a month for small purchases.

    Good luck with your situation.

    • Megalomania says:

      @nybiker: any profit is better than no profit. Even the “deadbeats” who carry no balance make them some money through merchant fees and when you have millions of customers, small amounts add up fast.

  11. processfive says:

    Lucky me, I beat them to the punch and canceled my Chase credit card this morning.

    • NTC-Brendan says:

      @processfive: Well played Process 5. My response to something like this would have been “Thanks”, back when we “used” debt as a “tool”. Congrats and ditching the shackles.

    • HRHKingFridayXX says:

      @processfive: high five! If we’re all so mad at these banking execs making money, I think the best way to stop it is to just stop using your credit card. Its not like you have to cancel them (although that is fun). Just put 20 bucks on them to keep them active and go cash for everything else.

    • joepa1 says:

      @processfive: @processfive: did they try to keep you or did they just say bye?

      • Coelacanth says:

        @processfive: Brilliant! Enjoy the hit on your credit score for closing the account, reducing the average length of accounts as well as your available credit.

        Cancelling cards makes sense only if it’s a last resort from getting stuck with a punitive rate increase on a large balance.

        • eddieck says:

          @Coelacanth: If you’re not going to use a card it’s probably better to close it yourself. AFAIK, if the bank closes it it’ll show as “Account closed by credit grantor” which doesn’t look too good.

        • HRHKingFridayXX says:

          @Coelacanth: I would feel better either cancelling them or zeroing them out now, taking the credit hit now, than having Chase up and cancel them. Chasing your credit score is for the most part a losing game for people who are obsessed with putting less down on their home and want to save 4 bucks a month in auto insurance.

  12. Thanatos says:

    Chase cut my credit card limit by more than half. Now the balance on the card is over 50% of the total card limit, which means it makes an impact on my credit score.

    The reason they lowered my credit was the same lame reason they used in this story (and no early notification either, I just happened to see it on my online statement).

    I’ve always paid on time and I never pay just the minimum… Most times, I pay the full balance on the card but I still have no interest until early next year so why give them all my money at once.

    As soon as this grace period is over, I’m canceling this card and never doing business with them again.

  13. lehrdude says:

    Hah…They not only cancelled my cards, but they FROZE MY ASSETS until I was able to convince them that I was not a sleeper agent who formed a business relationship in order to keep an account there for over 20 years in the hope that one day I can pass $5000 worth of phony checks…

    Needless to say, my money is now elsewhere!

  14. Hil-fish says:

    Two things here that I haven’t seen addressed much in other Consumerist forums:

    1) Diversify. It seems that, just as you diversify your investments to hedge against losses, you should do the same with your credit cards. As in, don’t have all your credit cards with the same company, lest you find yourself without any credit cards at all when they decide that, since it’s raining today in your home state, they’re going to cancel all your accounts. (Please, PLEASE don’t let this be their method for deciding which accounts to close.)

    2) Use all your cards every month. I keep hearing about people getting accounts closed because they don’t use the cards. Wouldn’t it be wiser to use every card you have every month, even if it’s for piddly purchases? For instance, I have 4 credit cards. Every month my gym membership goes on one card, all my gas charges go on another, the third is for coffee purchases, and the fourth is for, well, everything else. I pay them all off every month, so the credit card companies aren’t making any money of me (at least not through finance charges and interest), but the cards are all active, so they can’t cancel them for inactivity.

    What say other Consumerist readers?

    • erratapage says:

      @Hil-fish: Deversification sounds great! Unfortunately, several of my credit accounts were purchased by Chase. I wish I had the right to decide who gets to give me credit.

      • Hil-fish says:

        @erratapage: Ugh, wow, that stinks. I feel for you.

      • dadelus says:

        @erratapage: I had the same thing happen with BoA. I used to have three cards with three seperate banks. Now I have three cards all under the BoA umbrella. Don’t want to close them and lose the account history and don’t want to open additional accounts.

    • chucklebuck says:

      @Hil-fish: Good strategy. I don’t use all of mine every month. I have my primary that I use for everything and two more that I use every quarter to keep them active. That seems to be enough to not get them closed (so far).

    • golddog says:

      @Hil-fish: Yeah gotta spread the risk. Are the rewards at Chase so great and unduplicable by other banks that its worth having FOUR eggs in the Chase basket? That’s just asking for salmonella.

    • Megalomania says:

      @Hil-fish: I try to just pay with cash or via debit wherever possible. And, to all the debit haters out there, I like knowing I can’t dig myself into a hole and I keep it around $200 through transfers from a different account.

    • oneandone says:

      @Hil-fish: 1 – I think the bank conglomeration has made it harder to diversify – and people who once had lots of different cards now don’t. Unfortunate.

      2 – I’m trying this, but even though it seems like a relatively straightforward thing, it’s tricky to keep track of spending on several different cards. I’ve only recently finished paying off my credit card debt, so I’m trying to be extra-organized and plan my spending. So far it’s working, but for me, personally, having several avenues of spending would lead back to disaster.

      I have started auto-paying some bills (cellphone) from a credit card instead of a bank account – and then auto-paying the credit card from the bank account. It actually took me a while to get mentally comfortable with it, but it’s basically the same thing I was doing, just with the credit card as the middleman. Now that it’s gone well for a few months, I feel slightly less nervous, and probably will do the same thing with a different bill and a different card soon.

      But rotating my purchases in a store or online through different cards would be disaster. I need to see how my cc balance is going up or bank balance is going down in order to not overspend.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This exact same thing happened to me down to being denied at a gas station! For me it was a low limit card ($700) that I only use occassionally and pay off in full almost every month. It was denied with a 0 balance and then I called Chase – they couldn’t explain WHY my card was cancelled but just told me I’d be getting something in the mail. I wondered if it had anything to do with their recent merger? Anyway, I’m not too sad about 1 less credit card. Just would’ve been nice to have some advance warning. Glad it wasn’t an urgent situation.

  16. lalaland13 says:

    This scares me. I have student loans out the wazoo. But can they cancel me if I have a balance? I do. Not much of one, but it’s there. I do pay more than the minimum each month, and always early or on time.

    • PinkBox says:

      @lalaland13: My Chase card was canceled this week.

      I had a balance, and also always paid on time. I had never made a late payment or maxed out my card.

    • HRHKingFridayXX says:

      @lalaland13: On the upside, if they do close your account, your student loans will count for something towards your credit score. If you’re into such things.

  17. Harry Manback says:

    Weird, because Chase recently raised my credit limit by $3,000 without me asking. I didn’t notice until I logged in to pay the balance. I have 2 student loans and a car loan, but I use the card regularly (over $1,000 a month in purchases) and have never carried a balance, never mind been late with a payment. I thought I was one of the “bad” customers, but I guess they like me enough to try to make sure I stick around.

    • Hil-fish says:

      @Harry Manback: Yeah, we got a notice about an increase two days ago. We never requested one, and we have never even come close to using the credit limit we had before, forget about this new limit. I will NEVER understand credit card companies.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @Harry Manback: they [Chase] raised my credit limit $200 in april – i got the letter in early may but i had already seen it on my online account page. the weird part is that i had applied for a Chase BP gas card with cashback two weeks before the unexpected limit increase – and my application was denied. it felt kind of like ‘now that you have a decent credit history we won’t let you have the card with better rewards and lower interest, but here’s a little more money you can spend on that high interest card because you obviously want to spend some money’

      i was just hoping to get the lower interest, cash back card and close the higher interest, points back card eventually. i guess people do that a lot.

  18. Mark Harrill says:

    Had the same thing happen with my Chase (formerly WaMu (formerly Providian)) card this week. I made two purchases, including a hotel reservation with the card on Tuesday, went to use it on Friday and the card was declined. Went on my trip anyway and when I stopped for gas I called and spent 30 minutes getting bounced around from country to country trying to figure out what happened. They said they cancelled the card on Tuesday and I would be receiving a letter in the mail shortly. Nice timing since it screwed up my hotel reservation.

    They offered to rereview and reopen but said I had to much outstanding balance (which is true I do, but I’m working on it). The sad thing is I am the perfect customer: I’ve kept a large balance on the card, always paid on time, paid more than the minimum but never paid off the card (yes I know I know).

    So with a couple hundred more miles driving in front of me to think about it, I decided to let ‘em do it, I’ll pay it off soon and they can lose out on more interest that way.

  19. SacraBos says:

    Close your other Chase accounts, too. What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander?

  20. HiPwr says:

    I have two credit cards with Chase and no issues. They did, however, arbitrarily close my debit card for reasons even they couldn’t explain. They overnighted me a new card, but couldn’t turn it on until I got the PIN which took another three days. Why go to the expense to overnight a card that still can’t be used until the PIN arrives in regular mail? Can’t answer that one!

    • Coelacanth says:

      @HiPwr: Maybe you can use your debit card as a credit card?

      • HiPwr says:

        @Coelacanth: That’s what I was attempting to do. I always use it at the gas pump that way. But they wouldn’t activate the replacement card until I got the PIN. A security measure, they explained, that they don’t mail them both in the same envelope. That makes sense, but what didn’t make sense is that they cancelled it for reasons unknown and they paid extra to overnight a card I couldn’t use for three more days.

  21. MaytagRepairman says:

    I hope they close mine on me. I’ve been wanting to cancel my card for months but have been too lazy to wait on hold to do it.

  22. scoobydoo says:

    Chase has been really weird lately. First (last year) they sent me a high limit Freedom card with 0% till Feb 2010, then 3 weeks ago they canceled the Freedom card with no reason other than “the current economy bla bla bla”.

    I hope nobody is heading out on vacation this year and relying on their Chase card to pay for the hotel and other expenses.

  23. 310Drew says:

    This is what happens when you put your eggs all in one basket.

    I do not agree with the no notice part, but they are a business and do have the right to decide who they lend to, and just like you can change your mind on your friends, so can they.

    As for the rewards, tough luck. It sucks, but no your not entitled to them. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. You should have cashed out at $100 or less.

    • Hil-fish says:

      @310Drew: See the responses to my comment/question on page 1. Some people do diversify their accounts, but if the banks your accounts are with all get bought up by the same mega-bank, you’re SOL.

  24. Silica says:

    I have a Chase credit card, but at least according to their web site, it is still active. Last month, however, I had a $1000 charge on a VISA card (non-Chase), and the vendor was “Chase Internet Services.” I contested the charge, it was removed, and I’m still waiting to learn what that was all about.

  25. queenie says:

    Ugh. This isn’t new – Chase did this to me years ago. They did have sort of a reason – I was delinquent on my overdraft line of credit (but even that was shady — they were sending the bills to the wrong address for months and months, despite the fact that the bank account it was linked to had the correct address). But they did cancel the card without any kind of warning, which I only found out in humiliating and public circumstances when I was denied a dinner charge for a friend’s birthday.

    I left Chase and vowed never to come back. And then they bought WaMu…

  26. rdm says:

    Amex did this to me one week ago without warning. This has also resulted in all my extended warranties being canceled as well (as that is the main reason for using the Amex). Their response? Tough s—. I’m too high a risk anymore despite me never being late paying them and paying off every time in full.

  27. Silica says:

    Last month, I had a $1000 charge on a non-Chase card, and the vendor was “Chase Internet Services.” I contested the charge, it was removed, but I don’t know what Chase Internet Services is supposed to be.

    Why is it that so many banks essentially have one-sided contracts with consumers? They can change the conditions of the contract unilaterally at any time, but the consumer remains relatively powerless to do anything except cancel their accounts. As long as the government will bail them out, they suffer no damage to their financial status by losing customers.

  28. starrion says:

    Sorry. I don’t blame the OP very frequently, but consumers have no “right” to credit.

    We cannot demand that a company do business with us if they feel it’s too risky to do so. It is unfortunate that the OP had several cards with Chase, but Chase gets to decide who they do and do not do business with.

    On the other hand, when things improve, then OP will get to decide what to do with Chase’s junk mail when they want customers again.

    • frank64 says:

      @starrion: Not many are upset about the channelization, it is the no notice part that upsets me and others. Also the rewards were earned, I don’t think they have much to stand on by not paying them out.

      Someone should get a statement from Chase about not giving proper notice. There is no excuse for them stranding customers. How can anyone have faith in their product.

      Does any CC company or Credit Union have stated policy of making sure they give proper notice and pay earned rewards? Little things like that show respect for a customer and may go a long way PR wise.

      To me it is very serious and I along with other practices do now know not to use Chase for anything.

      • johnva says:

        @frank64:

        Think about that for a second. If they gave people prior notice that they were getting their cards closed, some people would go on a spending spree and then default (the ones who Chase actually had good reason to close accounts on). So they’re worried that you might do that if they told you in advance. To prevent that, they just cut it off and then send you a letter or wait for you to call in. Kind of sucks from a customer service perspective, and could be embarrassing if you’re card gets declined, but it does make sense from a risk management perspective. I can see where they’re coming from.

        As far as the rewards, they have their contract which says that they owe you nothing until the rewards are actually cashed. Sucks, and should probably be litigated by someone, but it’s in there.

  29. SlappyFrog says:

    US Bank is doing the same thing.

  30. CheritaChen says:

    I just checked online to verify that my Chase account is still open. While it wouldn’t be the end of my world if they did this to me, it would be mighty damn inconvenient, as theirs is the only credit account I have. Just this May I paid for a 10-night hotel stay with my Chase card, having booked way in advance. If they’d cancelled on me without notice, I’d really have been screwed.

    They always include that bit about their terms being “subject to change at any time,” but doesn’t it usually also say that they will provide some kind of notice? Wouldn’t cancellation of the account count as a (big) change of terms?

  31. jdmba says:

    Although not a credit card; please remember that WaMu/Chase went around reducing everyone’s HELOC’s last November. Plenty of coverage here on that. They simply aren’t interested in holding debt, I assume.

  32. sean98125 says:

    My account hasn’t been closed but I just cashed in my rewards just in case. Thanks for the heads up.

  33. Squeezer99 says:

    chase did the same to me a couple of months ago and closed one of my cards w/ no notice and lowered the limit to almost nothing on the other. oh well, i’ll just switch to someone else with a good rewards program.

  34. ChuckECheese says:

    My conspiracy theory is that CC cos are firing enough of their customers, hoping they’ll complain to the gummint, so that the CARD act can be overturned.

  35. Megalomania says:

    wow, that’s insane. You would think that debit cards are pretty much free money for providers, given that the risk is beyond negligible for them and it’s just free merchant fees.

  36. risottto says:

    Chase card randomly canceled a card due to inactivity about 3 years ago. Had not used it in about 6 months. No notification until after it was gone.

    At least B of A just cuts your credit limit in half, then notifies you that you are not worthy of your old credit limit because your credit score. Which un-coincidentally was lowered because your credit limit on your oldest card just got cut in half.

  37. mrdrum1 says:

    “and rarely ever am I late (the last time was at least 6 months ago).”

    Well, there’s something right there. So Joey(the OP) WAS late. Yes, not very often, but by being late once Joey has already separated himself from most of Chase’s prime borrowers.

    I KNOW, Chase does this to people who have never paid a bill late. I still believe that there is SOME, albeit neurotic and idiotic way of doing things, but SOME systemic way they do these cancellations/adverse actions. My cards are still active and well, millions of customers cards are still active and well. Maybe it’s where you live? Maybe it’s a sudden change in spending pattern? Maybe you have a loan and something else that in Chase’s book makes you look more risky?

    On another point, how is Chase supposed to know if your “late payment” was just a mistake or actually a sign of financial trouble? Yes, they can look at historical trends but when everyone is defaulting left and right I honestly don’t think these banks can afford at this point to start guessing which late payments are “real” and which aren’t.

    Just my 2 cents.

  38. gman863 says:

    When Chase ate WaMu last year, I ended up with three Chase Cards (1 I pay in full each month, 1 dormant and the former WaMu I had paid off a few months earlier).

    Within a month of buying WaMu, I got a letter congratulating me on my “excellent credit” and announcing the credit line on my rewards card (the one I pay in full each month) had been raised by $3000. Two days later, I received a second letter announcing my former WaMu card was cancelled.

    Two months later, the line on my rewards card was again increased. Two days later (you guessed it), my inactive Chase card was given the axe.

    I’m guessing Chase is hoping I’ll eventually quit paying in full so they can stick me with the 19.99% APR on the remaining card. And Chase – in case you’re reading this – don’t even THINK about screwing with my rewards card. You may not care if you piss me off; however think twice: Doing so will make your competitors at Capital One and FIA very happy when their cards move to the front of my wallet.

  39. biggeek4 says:

    I’ve always paid the balance on my Chase credit cards in full every month and rarely ever am I late

    That’s why you were canceled. Credit card issuers make the lion’s share of their consumer profits from interest from the principle carried on your card. If you left a moderate balance on your credit card, you’d still have it.

    People who pay off their entire balance on their credit card every month may be good personal financiers, but they are leeches as far as the credit card issuers are concerned.

  40. vdragonmpc says:

    I played the game with Chase years ago. They thought they had me over a barrel with a 2200$ balance as I was a full time student. They raised my rate from 11% to 24.5% and claimed I was a risk and there was nothing they could do. My only choice I was told was to write a letter and cease my use of the card. This way I would only have 11% on the balance that the original agreement covered..

    OOPS! I had a full time job. I paid the card off and told the supervisor that I would always bad mouth Chase until the day I die. Citi, Chase, FLEET, and MBNA can all burn as far as I care. The stuff they pull on college students at those kiosks and tables promising service and good rates is a crime. Once you get a balance on the cards they suddenly shoot up in interest.

    I had no bad issues or late problems. (USAA, my credit union, Amex and my other emergency card have never had an issue) What happened? I bought a house. Getting the home loan made me a horrific risk to them and they boosted my rates. Even when I got my wife’s toyota the rate was low. Our credit was good.

    Apparently there is a ‘matrix’ and if you have student loans and over 1500$ in card balance, buy a car then a house you are going wild and crazy with the finances. I can say having your cards change while you are getting your new home straight is nothing short of rage inducing.

  41. dresden says:

    My Circuit City Chase card just disappeared from my list over the weekend. I knew it was going to happen, but I didn’t know when. I haven’t used it, but it’s kinda crappy that I lose out on some of my credit history there.

  42. rebelj12a says:

    Just called its still active, then again i’m close to the limit right now so they are probably holding out on canceling because they are hoping i go over the tipping point :P

  43. TrixMelampus says:

    My father received a letter from chase a few weeks ago declaring that his chase card had been cancelled due to “inactivity.”

    Yeah, I’d buy that seeing as how he never had a card with them – he has JOINT cards with my mother, but none of his own.

    Prior to that, my mother received a letter from chase stating that her minimum payment was being raised to 14% her total balance. While she does pay on time (and well, WELL over the minimum payment), she does owe a lot on that card and one other, plus cosigning a student loan and car for myself, but trying to milk her out of $1,000 a month in payments alone? You can’t squeeze blood from a stone.

    I’m glad she cancelled the card before they had a chance to.

  44. MauriceReeves says:

    Our Wamu card (so now Chase) was canceled without warning last week as well. We were going to use it to pay for our trip to the beach with the kids. Oops. No vacation now because Chase decided to close out the account.

    Our credit’s about average, but the card carried no balance, we have no mortgage, and only one car payment, so it’s not like we’re underwater.

    When I called in to complain I was told that there was nothing they could do, and the card would not be reactivated. Very frustrating.

    And worst of all, I had to tell my kids that we weren’t going to go on vacation this year.

    Thanks Chase!

  45. schernoff says:

    No problems at all with my Chase cards. However, HSBC just pulled the same thing – cancelled my husband’s Guitar Center card, which he discovered when he went to make a significant purchase a couple of weeks ago. The reason for cancellation: inactivity. Sorry, but we don’t buy music equipment on a regular basis. Tried to reinstate the card – no go. Never been late, never carried a balance on that card other than their “same as cash” deals. But HSBC won’t even tell him why they won’t reinstate the card, or give him a new one.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I read this article and started to get a sick feeling in my stomach. Called Chase and sure enough, they closed my account today. When I asked why, they said “you’ll receive a letter in the next seven to ten days explaining it.” “Oh? Will this explanation include why you’ve closed my account today without notice? The only reason I know you’ve closed it today is because I read an article and thought to call and ask.”

    With this one act they have caused my credit score to be dinged three different ways — this was my oldest card — 11 years; this was my highest credit line — it’s now been cut to an 8th of what I have available to me; they chose to close it so it will show up on my credit report as “closed by the card company.” I can’t wait to see what my FICO is after this. Just in time for my planned mortgage refinance! Fuckers.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I was a Washington Mutual customer, both Checking, Savings, and a Credit card. They canceled my card 7 days ago, and I just found out now because I read about it here, and called the company myself. They state the reasons are because I don’t have cards open long enough (I only have 3 cards, and all were opened within 3 months of each other – this card being one), and the balances were too high (one of my other cards has a 0 balance for the last 5 months, the other is used for purchases and reaches a 0 balance every month). How asinine is it that this company is shedding customers like water? I am not in the process of moving my checking and savings accounts, and being a huge thorn in their side as I get everyone I know to leave this company, and sell all their stock in this NON-customer oriented tyrant.

    Thanks for ruining my day Chase, I hope you rot in hell!

  48. econobiker says:

    I have a Chase card that I cancelled in 2005 or 2006 that still sends email account notifications as I had set up it to notify if a charge of $0.00 or greater was made…silly I know but it is interesting that it still is alive and sending.

    As for accounts, I am keeping about a $50 credit balance on a no-use BOA card discourage them from cancelling it. This was a credit left from a balance transfer from that card. It seems like they aren’t going to send a check anytime soon for the credit amount so it may be working…

  49. baristabrawl says:

    We have a WaMu card that was 0% interest and when they were bought out by Chase our interest rate magically increased to 20%. When we called they basically told us we were screwed. So of course we’ve been paying $200ish a month and we’re getting nowhere fast.

    Student loans are in in August and we’re paying off the card and canceling it. Chase, you can suck it.

  50. 3skr1mad0r says:

    Uh oh. Looks like I need to check mine. Since it has no balance and I haven’t used it in a few months, what are the chances its still active? I was looking forward to the rewards too.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had this $8000 card for 2 years, first with wamu, now chase. this card, and all of my other cards have been perfect. no late payments, never over-limit, not dormant, I dont understand. when I called them, they wouldn’t give me a specific reason. they actually told me one of the reasons was the length of time I had the account. WHAT? that makes no sense. they were rude, and I even got hung up on by 2 different supervisors. and to add insult to injury, they doubled my interest rate 2 days before they cancelled it, again with no notification. (I found out it was cancelled when it was all of a sudden declined at the store. EMBARASSING!) I’m contemplating a lawsuit, and going to my attorney general, as well as BBB, FTC, and the local media. I am NOT taking this sitting down, like they expect me to.

  52. RV63 says:

    I have two credit cards with Chase and to my surprise I found out yesterday that they were cancelled by Chase during their internal review. I was never late with them, always paying more than minimum and keeping only less than 20-30% of the balance occassionally or paid it off completely during the last 2 years. These accounts are maintained in very satisfactory way and I am really surpirised why they got cancelled.
    I dont know how they are getting away with this. I was also suprised that as a consumer we can not really sue the Bank because we signed up for the arbitration deals. This is certainly a ripoff and scant disregard to the consumer rights.

  53. Anonymous says:

    This is why I haven’t used a commercial bank or any of their credit cards in a dozen years or so. I’ve been quite happy with my credit union and their 12% steady interest rate. Membership regulations have relaxed a bit in the past few years. Perhaps if more people switched from banks to CUs, then Chase et. al would get a clue.

  54. Anonymous says:

    My wife was getting her car repaired. When she went to pay for it with her chase credit card they said her acct was closed.
    She called chase and they said yes it was closed because they saw a negative on her credit report. Heres the rub…she was
    intially with washington mutual but only had a checking acct. 5yrs ago she filed for bankruptcy. She then open up a secured
    card with a $300 limit and kept paying on time & using it. She then received a offer from washington mutual to open a unsecured
    credit card, which she accepted. That was 4yrs ago,she always payed on time no problems, but it was a high interest card. About
    2yrs later she received a offer for a lower interest card, which she accepted and closed the high interest card. Again always payed
    her card on time, no late payments or anything. Then Washinton mutual as you know went out of business & was taken over by chase.
    Everyone at chase assured us there was no reason to close her accts..checking or credit card, everything would stay the same.
    So she elected not to close her accts and continued paying her credit cards and maintaining her checking acct perfectly.

    That’s when out of nowhere chase closed her acct.to this day she has never received a notice from chase of the card being closed.
    We are about to contact their dispute dept monday 7-20-09. When we contacted cust.ser. they said the acct was cosed because of a
    negative on her card, and nothing else could be done… not fair She is in fear of losing all of her good credit history, a drop in
    her fico score and the need of having and using her credit card. Then seems highly illegal and horrible ethics with damaging results
    for her credit & history.Her credit limit is $2400 & her balance is $1800. She has never been late and although i was out of work, which
    now i’m back to work. We had intended to decrease the balance by $1000 next month. I will be be filing a dispute in her behalf.
    #1 she never received a notice, letter email or anything that this action was about to take place. And was guaranteed when chase took ove wamu,
    that all was safe,no need to change. They’ve had plently of time to review her status back when they took over wamu, and for the last
    4yrs she has litterly showed her credit worthiness.
    She is of japanese descent & her english is no where near the level to handle this without my assistance. We are in Studio City Ca not TX.
    But because we saw your advice concerning simular matters on http://www.creditmagic.org/card/chase.html. We thought we would search
    for perfessional advice before contacting a attorney…which is costly. Your advice would be greatly appreciated or any refferal in
    the los angeles area that can further help or advise us is needed greatly.
    I know we need to hurry before all is lost and the credit agencies issue bad marks on her report.Can they do this? without warning?

    All The Best

    Irate Consumer

  55. DarienA says:

    Got a letter from Chase on Saturday (as well as a letter from Majestic Visa), both cards closed… the Chase card says its because of high balances… that’s funny on June 30th I paid off all my high balance cards, including the Chase card (ex-Wamu card).

    I just got off the phone with cstmr service and got the run around. Not pressed about the Majestic card because its balance wasn’t that high, but this Chase card had a decent limit on it… still it wasn’t my only high limit card so I’m thinking screw it… note to self, never do business with Chase again.

  56. Judy Cole says:

    I got double whammy from Chase (wamu) today, I had my pets at the vets while having a new a/c compressor unit installed. (live in FL) very ness.. I was floored when my card was declined for a 145. charge, even worse, it’s waht I was going to use for the a/c. I got home and called Chase while the a/c tech was finishing… OMG, they had closed my account without warning, I logged onto the account and there was nothing to indicate it was closed, The foreign phone rep said I would get a letter that was sent the 14th.
    What a lousy bunch. Never late, never over, and paid more than the minimum. not enough anymore.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Chase closed my account, which was in good standing, because I was paying off other credit card services and paying more than the minimal amout due. I told the Chase rep that made no sense…treating people in a negtative was for being financially responsible. Wasn’t the bail out money from the federal government supposed to keep credit flowing, Chase got their fair share of this bail out money.

  58. Trois de Jesus says:

    Just found out Chase canceled my two cards- pretty much the same story Joey

    • Americun MORAN© says:

      @Trois de Jesus: as an added note, I suspect the reason Chase is doing this is because when they cancel your account, it lowers your fico, thereby allowing them or anybody else to charge you higher interest rates should you apply for credit in the future. And we all know, the interest is where they make their money.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Same here, my purchase at a Lowe’s was declined. I burned 15 minutes cell time on hold trying to find out then hung up. A week later my card and my wifes card were cancelled. We got a letter in the mail…too many loans. I have always paid on time and pay extra. I am a contractor and had to use my card more than usual last Oct till this April when work slowed down.
    I’m not going to try to get the cards back, I’ll just pay them off and go on. The whole financial world is going to be messed up soon, this is only the beginning. Loving the LORD is the main thing.

  60. Anonymous says:

    My Chase (Wamu – before that Providian) card has just had the available credit cut in half. I’ve had the account since 98 – balance has been $0 for 2 years. This month I used it & then paid it off three days later and I just logged in to pay off the card again after a $60 charge from this weekend – only to see that my available credit has been cut in half! (from 9k to 4k)

    I rarely use this account, so it won’t result in a cashflow issue, but this will cut my credit score as it’ll shift my overall balance of available credit to credit used.

  61. whoda says:

    Chase just did this to me, except I was out of state trying to get gas.

    The unbelievable thing is that I had a $0 balance, got charged the annual membership fee, did NOT used the card one time after, and now they won’t refund the annual membership fee. It was 110 days from fee to cancel.
    :/

  62. Terie.V says:

    I’d never had a charge declined before, it was surreal. But don’t expect much from Chase in the way of customer service. We had a home loan,got into a situation where we had to do a lease purchase because we couldn’t outright sell the house with one of those “sell your house in 7 days” people. We notified Chase in writing, gave our new address in a diff city. But the new “owner” kept changing the address to his PO Box so we wouldn’t get statements (online not avail) and we had to keep calling Chase. We had a password put on the account to protect it, never helped. All the guy needed was our name,DOB and address it seemed. After 2 years of it, we finally got the new “owner” to pay off the loan, but Chase never stopped letting him change our info. They are pathetic!!!!!