Chase Kills Churning: Will TPOL Survive?

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Look more bad news! Chase gutted the UR churning program by restricting clients from applying for UR earning cards if they have had more than 5 new accounts in 24 months. Most of us have 5 new accounts before we wake up for breakfast. Now it is being reported on Al Jazeera that they are going to enforce this rule on all applications.

Like my Serve analysis suggested, the only workaround is to have more spouses. Alternatively, I may hit up nursing homes in my neighborhood in the hopes that my new friends will not only allow me to churn on their SS# but also be kind enough to leave me an inheritance. Maybe they’ll even agree to open a Serve card.

TPOL has never cried wolf on the demise of the points hustle and continues to find a way to travel for free in luxury despite the devaluations, Dodd-Frank regulations, and the greatest, most beautiful wall built by Donald Trump. This year I already have epic (a word I do not use casually) trips planned. I probably have enough in the tank to replicate part of my adventures next year. But what happens in 2018 if this trend continues? Will we all be flying peasant class to Orlando and renting cars to get to Tampa for the sake of evaluating whether Busch Gardens is a better value than Universal?

Today, I also read a post about how Citi has shut down clients’ accounts who have plundered that booty by applying for obscene amounts of cards and manufacturing the duck out of them. They may be out of the game permanently but it does beg the question if we were we being too cautious this whole time? Given the new points landscape, should we have been applying for Citi Exec cards then cancelling them as soon as the bonus hit only to do the same thing again and again? I don’t believe so for two reasons: First, the handful of times that I have tried this blatant approach, I was rejected. (see Alaska Airlines) Second, like the economy, the points hustle is cyclical. Terrible offers today can turn into great opportunities tomorrow depending on the desperation of the banks. Right now Chase is riding high and Jamie Dimon is loving life. He doesn’t need our business.

Going forward, TPOL has to be more prudent about which cards he applies for, which offers he selects (note: it’s looking like I was completely stupid for taking the TY points over AA for the Citi Checking), and how he redeems the points (Etihad Apartments versus Etihad business). Barring travel sponsorship which is long overdue, this conservative strategy will be the only way TPOL’s blog survives.

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I’m going to Disney World, sad smiley

4 COMMENTS

  1. I think (from my own perspective which isn’t worth much) there are three ways to look at this:

    1. you load up on Chase cards and other cards right before April, then from April to April two years later you only open 4 cards to keep getting Chase cards.

    2. You just keep some Chase cards open and focus on churning other cards (Citi and BOA are still great options to get the churning miles)

    3. Hope for another recession……

    Personally, I think I am going to end up in the second camp. Also, I think mileage runs will make a bit of a comeback as getting 5 points per dollar (plus any other bonuses you can add on that) is going to be more effective then opening up a single credit card every 6 months.

    • Im going to do the first half of #1, all of #2 and take advantage of #3 should it happen.

      I agree that we’ve grown lazy and spoiled by racking up points without leaving the bed/couch. Mileage runs could be worth it, especially if they align with my entrepreneurial business travels.

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