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Chase Upgrades My Card to Visa Signature!

by Mr Credit Card

I just got another letter from Chase. Once again, I feared that my credit lines would either be reduced or my interest rates increased (even if I use no where close to my credit limits and pay in full automatically every month!). But phew, instead the letter was telling me that I’ve upgraded my card. Here was what the letter said:

Dear Mr Credit Card

Congratulations
We are pleased to inform you that we will be upgrading your Chase Flexible RewardsSM credit card to the Chase Visa Signature&#174 card at no cost to you. You’ll keep your current rewards program and all of your rewards – and your account number will remain the same so you can continue to use your current Chase card(s) for all of your purchases. Here are some of the new benefits you’ll enjoy:

No Overlimit Fees
Your Chase Visa Signature card comes with a credit access line instead of a credit limit and will have no pre-set spending limit, which means greater spending flexibility without having to worry about overlimit fees and gives you peace of mind when you need to make a large purchase.

Visa Signature Benefits
Your upgrade comes with several exclusive benefits from Visa Signature, including:

  • Increased Purchases Security: Covers eligible items for damage or theft due to a covered event up to $500 for 90 days after purchase.
  • Complimentary Concierge Service: 24/7 assistance on everything from making dinner reservations and travel arrangements to finding a dog walker, towing company or a plumber.
  • Free online access to Zagat: Get the web’s most trusted restaurant reviews and ratings in your neighborhood, a nearby city or vacation spot.
  • Reserved Preferred Seats: At concerts, theaters and sporting events.

Go to www.visa.com/signature for all the latest events and offerings

The upgrade to your card will occur automatically on May 29, 2009 as long as you continue to meet our credit criteria. You’ll receive your new card and benefits brochure shortly thereafter. If you have any questions or choose to opt out of this upgrade, please call the number listed on the back of your card by May 24, 2009.

Thank you for being a loyal customer and continuing to choose Chase. We truly appreciate your business.

Best Regards
Deb Walden
Executive Vice President, Customer Experience
Chase Card Services.

Nice – then on page two of the letter was the “change in the card holder agreement”!

Changes in terms notice/new cardmember agreement terms

  • The Credit Line section of your agreement is replaced with the following Credit Access Line section:Credit Access Line: Your credit access line appears on your billing statements. We may also refer to the credit access line as revolving line. Amounts over your credit access line may be referred to as a non-revolving line. The credit access line is the maximum amount upon which you can defer your payment on your account, subject to the minimum payment due. There is no pre-set spending limit for your account. Instead each charge is based on the spending and payment pattern of the account, your other relationships with us, information from consumer credit reports obtained from credit bureaus including your experience with other creditors, and our understanding of your resources. We may decline an authorization request for any transaction at any time as described in this agreement. We may also request additional information from you at any time to evaluate a transaction request or the use of your account generally. Your billing statement may show that only a portion of your credit access line may be used for cash advances. Cash advances, including cash advance checks, are charged against the cash advance portion of your credit access line, and all other transactions are charged against your credit access line. You are responsible for keeping track of your account balance, including any fees and finance charges. This agreement applies to any balance of your account, including any balance over your credit access line.

    At our discretion, we may increase, reduce, or cancel your credit access line, or the cash advance portion of your credit access line, at any time. However, if you have asked us not to do so, we will not increase your credit access line. A change to your credit access line will not affect your obligation to pay us.

    There were a few other stuff but I choose to leave them out. So great, I have my card “upgraded”. I have access to concierge service now and I will certainly test them to see how they fair! From the looks of it, it seems that the difference is that in theory, I can spend more than my previous credit lines, but I cannot carry a balance that is more that the “new” credit access line. So let’s say I have a credit line of $10,000. In it’s present form, I can spend up to that amount and carry a balance up to that amount. But now, it seems like I can charge say $15,000 to the card (no pre-set spending limit) but have to pay off at least $5,000 since I can then only carry a balance of $10,000. But using this figure as an example, I hardly come close to utilizing my credit limit and I’m not sure in this example if I can even get away with say charging $15,000 on the card.

    I’ll look at the statement after May 29 and give you folks a report on this development.

    Has anyone else gotten a similar letter?

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10 Responses to “Chase Upgrades My Card to Visa Signature!”

  1. meowcake Says:

    This actually is NOT a good thing. What this means is that instead of having a $5,000 credit limit which you can always use and max out, your charges will now be constantly scrutinized and either accepted or rejected based off of your overall credit score and other conditions such as your job status (“your resources”).

    The whole reason for this is that consumers are defaulting on credit card debt at increasingly higher rates as they hit upon hard times in this economy. This is a way for Chase to lower your limit while masking it as an improvement. If Chase sees that you lose your job or that you’ve been hit in some other way, then might decide to deny a $700 charge for a new TV, for instance (although I would agree that if you are having hard times, the last thing you need is a new TV!)

    Ultimately, the change is that instead of you having access to a constant fixed amount of credit with no questions asked, you are now effectively taking out a loan for every transaction, which Chase will then evaluate. I plan to opt out of this “upgrade” because it means that I can no longer depend on having access to an explicit amount of credit.

  2. Mr Credit Card Says:

    Meowcake

    I am checking out this feature with a friend of mine who actually works in the Chase credit card department and will keep all of you posted on this.

    Mr CC

  3. Credit Card Mosaic Says:

    Mr. CC,

    The above post is correct. Many card members throughout the industry are being changed to NPSL (No Preset Spending Limit) for the issues described above. By moving accounts to NPSL products, there is no need to send adverse action letters when credit line are decreased. The key is the following: would you rather have 15,000 in guaranteed line until it was lowered and an adverse action letter sent or the opportunity to actually take on more credit then your line is showing today. Personally, I like the idea of having the set line. Also, depending on the NPSL product it will report your credit line as the highest amount you have ever charged against the card. With our 15,000 example: lets say you put 5,000 against the card knowing you wanted to manage your credit well. The bureau for a set line would show 5,000 balance – 15,000 line (line utilization 33%). The NPSL product CAN show 5,000 balance and 5,000 line because that’s is the largest balance you have been cleared too thus (line utilization 100%).

    Do not get me wrong there are definitely some benefits to NPSL products and if you are a heavy transactor (5,000+ a month) its a great product, but if you are frugally managing your credit card debt then its probably not for you. As all materials for NPSL products state: No preset spending limit does not mean there is no limit. Be careful out there.

  4. Mr. WW Says:

    Deb Walden
    VP, Customer Service
    PO BOX 15919
    Wilmington, DE 19850
    (302) 594-4000 office
    (888) 643-9628 fax

    Physical address:

    Christina Ctr
    201 N Walnut St
    Wilmington, DE 19801-2920

  5. rjuice82 Says:

    I just got my credit report and this NPSL has adversely effected my score. Instead of reporting a credit limit, they report $0.00. So when all of my credit cards balances and limits are tallied up, instead of a 14k limit getting lumped in, it reports $0.00. So my debt to credit limit ratio is higher because there is less credit limit. I’m in the process of getting this switched. Another feature that the credit card companies have sold to its consumers as a so-called benefit.

  6. Ronald Says:

    Both Chase and Bank of America have upgraded me to Visa Signature Credit Cards. The information that came with both cards and the customer service people tell me that I have credit limits of over $10,000.00 on both cards.

    My Credit Reports from Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union, all listed these cards as having a Zero credit limit. I filed disputes agains both Chase and Bank of America to no avail. They say that the credit limit on my Credit Report should say Zero. However, they still contend that I have a credit limit of over $10,000.00 on both cards.

    So, this brings up several questions.

    How are these credit cards affecting my credit score?

    Apparently, they are listed as a credit limit of Zero. So, they do nothing to raise my available credit amount?

    So, I guess that cancelling these cards, as long as I owe nothing on them, will not affect my credit score?

    Thank you for your time.

  7. Tobes Says:

    I acutually had overseen this change in the policy. A recent check of my credit score showed a major drop of my credit score. I will change back to “real” limit as the access line was reported as zero to the credit rating agency.

  8. R.T. Moore Says:

    For the past ten years, have always held only one credit card at a time. Two weeks ago and before my Chase Freedom Visa was set to expire, Chase sent me replacement cards. At the time, my credit score was consistently around the mid-700′s for years and the available credit limit on my Chase card was $20,000. However, the replacement cards Chase sent me were Chase Freedom Visa Signature cards.

    Today I applied for a new card with American Express and I was denied. I’ve never been denied in my life for anything related to credit. I checked my credit score and it’s now in the mid-600′s. I’ve confirmed that the only reason for the destruction of my credit score was that as of two weeks ago, Chase ceased providing my Credit Limit balance to Experian.

    This is an outrage, and it essentially means that I’m stuck with Chase as my credit card company because they swapped my old cards with Signature cards. Ask whether the benefits of a Signature card is worth being stuck with Chase?

  9. J. Parker Says:

    So are guys saying that this upgrade i just got is really a credit down grade? if so wow

  10. seriously? Says:

    I just got a letter from Cap one. Thanks to you guys i threw it in the trash.

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