Barclaycard/Chase Retention & Getting Multiple Chase Freedom Cards
Last week I covered my recent retention experience from Citi. In that post I described the process you must now go through to see if you can get a retention offer. Apparently it has always been their policy to only give you offers if you say you are cancelling, however they seem to be enforcing that now and the rep I spoke to made me say it before getting me to someone in retention. There is some good insight in the comments of that post if you’re interested.
Calling retention is not my favorite thing to do, but I had two more cards with annual fees due, a Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red (former US Airways Mastercard) and a Chase Sapphire Preferred. Naturally I put off making the calls until the very last day possible. That day was yesterday. Here is what happened.
Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red
This card came with a first year anniversary bonus of 10,000 miles that already posted and thus I have no need to pay the annual fee. My goal was to get the annual fee waived, however if they weren’t willing to do that I was going to cancel the account. This was a legitimate cancellation call.
After navigating the automated system, I explained the reason for my call to the front line agent who immediately told me to hold for a “specialist”. What happened next was a bit of a surprise. The retention agent came on the line and proactively offered to waive the annual fee before even asking me one question. I was also offered the same bonus as my wife of 1 extra mile per dollar spent in certain categories for 3 months.
Why I Am Happy
Barclaycard has been known to send out very lucrative spending offers on these cards. I have never been lucky enough to get them, but by keeping the card open I still have a shot! Also, I have the option of upgrading this to an Aviator Silver if I am desperate for MQMs. The Silver earns 5K MQMs for $20K spend and another for an additional $20K spend. It is not something I am planning to do, but it is an option.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
I have the ThankYou Premier card and a Chase Ink Plus, so I don’t feel like the Sapphire Preferred warrants the annual fee. Yes I do like the primary car insurance, but don’t feel that justifies the cost. My goal was to get the annual fee waived (not likely) or convert the card to a Chase Freedom. This is basically the strategy I laid out in my review of the card back in early 2015.
I was able to get to a retention representative fairly easily with Chase and the call went quickly. I explained my situation and was told there were absolutely no offers for my card. After a quick second push I was satisfied that there was no other option than converting. I asked if I could convert my card to a Freedom and after being read a few disclosures it was done!
Why I Am Happy
I think the Chase Freedom presents the better overall value with its 5X rotating categories (Including gas this quarter and groceries next quarter) and no annual fee. I already have the ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards to partners via my Chase Ink Plus, so I didn’t need that functionality and I will use my ThankYou Premier to earn 3X on travel and one of a number of other cards for 2X on dining.
Which brings me to a strategy I don’t see talked about enough. It is quite possible to have many many Freedom cards, although I suppose it is tougher than before. This conversion means that I now have 3 Chase Freedom cards. Yes, three! Here is how I got them:
- Freedom 1: Applied for the Freedom and got the bonus.
- Freedom 2: Converted a Sapphire Preferred a couple of years ago.
- Freedom 3: Converted another Sapphire Preferred yesterday.
Of course with Chase’s 5/24 rule, it will be harder to continue to add to my Freedom collection since I doubt that I will be able to get another Sapphire Preferred in about a year when I am eligible. Of course though the winds of change are constant and who knows when and if Chase’s policy will change. I do know that between my wife and I, we are a 5 Freedom household and that is a great thing.
I guess there isn’t much new to report here. Barclaycard seems to have loosened up on retention, or at least they have on the Aviator cards. The real news here is that Chase still isn’t offering much, but they continue to allow you to convert the Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom which is a great deal in my opinion!