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Last week I speculated that some significant changes were happening to three specific Chase Ultimate Reward credit cards. And unfortunately for some cards and fortunately for one card, I was correct. So here are the confirmed changes as of this past Monday, November 17, 2014:
Chase Sapphire Preferred: The minimum spend required to earn the sign up bonus in fact did increase. For awhile now you only needed to spend $3,000 to earn the 40,000 point sign up bonus, but now you’ll need to earn $4,000 for the same exact 40,000 points. Remember, you have three months to spend this amount on the card. In my opinion this isn’t a drastic change, although for those that already had a hard time hitting the $3,000, spending another $1,000 could possibly be a bit challenging. You can read more about the increased minimum spend requirement and the perks of this card in general in this prior blog post.
Chase Sapphire: As speculated, this card is no longer available for new applicants. Unfortunately Chase did not give us much notice about the disappearance of this card and is many times hush hush with these types of things. The same exact thing happened with the Chase Ink Bold card. I’ve reached out to Chase to try to get an understanding of why this card is no longer available and if I find anything out, I’ll be sure to share their strategy with you all. For those that are already a Chase Sapphire card holder, however, you are still able to keep the card and use it to earn Ultimate Reward points as you always did. You can read more about the disappearance of this card in this prior blog post.
Chase Freedom: This is a positive change where the sign up bonus in fact doubled! Right now you can earn 20,000 points after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Additionally, you’ll earn a a 2,500 point bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within the same 3 month period. Overall, this is a great no annual fee card where you get 5x points on quarterly rotating categories (up to $1,500 spend ever quarter). This card earns the limited Chase Ultimate Reward points, but if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus card (which earn enhanced Chase Ultimate Reward points), you can transfer your points between accounts. This then give you the ability to use your points to transfer to a parter loyalty program instead of using them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal (some get a better value this way). You can read more about this sign up offer and the card in general in this prior blog post.
Another revolving development… Korean Airways no longer seems to be a transfer partner for the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. Some Chase representatives have confirmed that the partnership has in fact ended and you will no longer be able to transfer your points over. If this in fact true, I am quite disappointed that Chase did this without any prior notice. While I understand programs change and partnerships end, customers should receive some opportunity to utilize the perks of the program for at least a limited time – even if it is only one day. You can read more about this development and the end of the partnership at View from the Wing and One Mile at a Time.
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