I’ve had my Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) for a year now. It was one of the first cards that I started with. It’s a great card and one of my first recommendations for beginners. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.
Year One with my CSP
Last week, the annual fee posted for the second year. Since meeting the minimum spend last year, I’ve pretty much only used my CSP for some minor travel and dining expenses (2x UR). Earlier this year, my wife used my CSP referral link to get her own CSP. I added myself as an authorized user to help her meet the minimum spending.
After this, I basically stopped putting any spend on my own CSP with the exception of car rental charges. At the time, I wasn’t sure sure whether or not AUs are covered under the CSP’s primary car rental insurance benefit. Turns out they are. Since I have the Ink+, I can still transfer points to travel partners by moving points to my Ink+ UR account. Therefore, there was no reason to keep my own CSP and pay the annual fee.
Retention Offer? Nope.
I called the number on the back of my CSP and spoke with the customer service rep. I stated that my annual fee just posted and I was debating on whether or not the card was worth keeping. Then I asked if there were any retention offers or spending challenges. The rep pulled up my account, but noted that there were no retention offers.
This didn’t come as much of a surprise to me. Retention offers for the CSP are notoriously difficult to come by. You have to put a lot of spend on it over the course of the year in order to be eligible. I told the rep I was still trying to decide what to do and I’d call back later.
I called back the next day and told the rep that I would like to product change my CSP. She initially asked if I would like to product change to the Chase Sapphire, which still offers 2x UR on travel/dining, but without a lot of the rewards. I responded and asked if it’d be possible to product change to the Chase Freedom. The rep asked which Freedom I was interested in, Freedom Unlimited, which gives 1.5% cashback or the Freedom Ultimate that has rotating 5% categories.
I had never heard the old regular Freedom referred to as the Freedom Ultimate, but I knew that this was the card I wanted. The reason I chose to product change to the “Freedom Ultimate” is because for the rest of the year they are offering 5x UR/$1 spent at Warehouse Clubs. It is fairly easy to max out this bonus category by reselling gift cards.
I already have one of these Freedom cards so this will give me twice the bandwidth. If I max out both of them, I could potentially earn 15k UR per quarter (since each card gives 5x UR on the first $1,500 spent on the specific bonus category). Not bad for a card with no annual fee.
It is also worth noting that product changing maintains the history/age of the credit card account on your credit report. Since it has no annual fee, I’ll never have to cancel this card. The account number on my card won’t change and all of the UR points were transferred to the “new” Freedom. The rep noted that my card should arrive in 3-5 days. The new Freedom is already reflected on my online Chase account. I’ve already spent $1,500 for the Q3 bonus on my first Freedom so now I’ll have about a month and a half to hit this “new” Freedom’s Q3 bonus. Here’s to hoping that the Amazon 10% Q4 bonus comes back this year!