During the 70,000 point sign-up bonus promotion, many of you picked up an Ink Plus credit card. Now, some of you may be considering whether to keep or downgrade the card. I’ve also heard from lots of people who are considering downgrading their Sapphire Preferred card, something I will do in the next month or so. If you’re leaning towards downgrading the Ink Plus to Ink Cash or the Sapphire Preferred to the Chase Freedom card, you will need to wait until the 12 month mark.
Twitter follower @JGR called to downgrade his Sapphire Preferred 10 months after account opening and was told he would be ineligible until his account was at least 12 months old. I called to inquire about downgrading the Ink Plus card I picked up back in September and was told the same thing: I was ineligible for a downgrade. When I asked why, I was told because my account had only been open for four months and that I could either cancel or call back at the 12 month mark. I hadn’t actually planned on downgrading the card, but I wanted to see what kind of reaction I’d get and pass the information on in case any of you were having trouble.
In my case, the information wasn’t volunteered, so I imagine some people might not even ask for a reason and simply cancel to avoid the annual fee when it comes up. Lately, I noticed banks aren’t quite as apt to offer a retention bonus or convince me of the virtue of their credit cards when I call to cancel. So it wasn’t a huge shock when the agent offered me the option to outright cancel the card or call back in 8 months to downgrade.
My brother recently called Barclay to cancel his US Airways card and aside from a long-winded monologue about the benefits of the card, the agent didn’t offer him a retention bonus. I had instructed him not to take anything less than 10,000 miles anyway, but was pretty shocked when he reported back that the cancellation was complete. This is especially surprising since Barclay has been offering spend bonuses of up to 20,000 miles to existing cardholders – just to rack up spend, rather than as an incentive to keep the account open. They may not be as desperate for new customers as I thought.
In any case, I’m curious to see what kind of feedback you’ve been getting lately during cancellation/downgrade calls with various banks. Please share in the comment section.
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