Yet Another Lesson On “Not” Closing Credit Card Accounts

About a year ago I signed up for the Chase OnePass Plus Mastercard, which featured a very generous 50K mile sign up bonus at the time. That card has now been converted into the MileagePlus Explorer Card.

I also have the Chase MileagePlus Club Visa card (which has now been discontinued converted to this card). I figured that I didn’t really need two MileagePlus cards, so last week I called Chase to close the former OnePass Plus Card. The agent was very nice to me and asked why I wanted to close my card. I gave him my reason for closing and he looked up my spending last year, and said “well we would really like to keep you as a customer, let’s see if I can offer you anything.” Of course, I said “yes,” just to see what their offers would be and he came back with three options:

1-      $100 statement credit

2-      10,000 miles

3-      15,000 miles if I spent $3,000 in the next month

Of course, most people would take option 2, which is guaranteed and completely free, but I chose option 3.  My rationale was that although I don’t spend $3K per month on my card, I could accelerate some purchases like prepaying my home/auto insurance, and purchasing some gift cards for retailers I would normally buy things from anyway like Whole Foods, Shell (gas), and possibly some Visa gift cards from the grocery store or Office Depot.

The way I see it is that the additional 5,000 miles requires $3K of spending. Right now through the end of April there is a targeted 50% bonus on all purchases over $1,000. Hence, I would receive:

1 – 3,000 miles (miles earned for normal spending at 1 mile per $1)

2 – 5,000 miles (bonus for spending $3,000 in one month)

3 – 1,000 miles (50% mileage bonus after spending $1,000)

All in I would get 9,000 additional miles for spending $3K, which equates to earning 3 miles per $1. I value MileagePlus miles at 1.8 cents per mile, so this equates to earning 5.4% cash back on all purchases!

In total I’ll earn 19,000 miles ($342) for this promotion. Quite a haul for taking 10 minutes to call Chase and transferring my spending to their card!

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