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Chase adds new warning for sign-up bonuses on select cards — why this shouldn't affect you

May 23, 2022
6 min read
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We spend a lot of time talking about things like how to avoid red flags with banks and why you should never close a credit card within one year of opening it.

Recently, Chase added new warnings into the terms and conditions of select sign-up bonuses, underscoring why these strategies are so important. However, if you follow our advice, these new terms shouldn't affect you at all.

Here's the newest (public) application restriction from a major card issuer.

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New Chase terms on select sign-up bonuses

(Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Chase has added new verbiage into the sign-up bonus restrictions on select cobranded credit cards. Here's what we are seeing:

  • All Hyatt credit cards, including personal and small business: “If your account is not open for at least three months, Hyatt and Chase reserve the right to deduct the Bonus Points from your World of Hyatt account.”
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card (but not on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card): “If your account is not open for at least six months, Marriott and Chase reserve the right to deduct the bonus points from your Marriott Bonvoy account.”
  • All United credit cards, including personal and small business: “If your account is not open for at least six months, United and Chase reserve the right to deduct the bonus miles from your MileagePlus Program account.”
  • All IHG credit cards, including personal and small business: “Chase may close your credit card account or suspend your right to use your credit card account, at any time for any reason, including account inactivity.”

These terms are listed in the sign-up bonus restrictions paragraph on Chase's website, and they provide a specific timeline and avenue for Chase to take back any bonus rewards you receive if you don't keep your credit card open for the specified amount of time.

United Quest℠ Card sign-up bonus restrictions, with the new terms highlighted. (Screenshot courtesy of chase.com)

While the terms on the Hyatt, Marriott and United credit cards specify an amount of time, the terms on the IHG credit cards are different. With these terms, Chase has added language saying that the bank has the right to close your credit card account "at any time for any reason."

Additionally, the "pricing and terms" sections on all Chase card applications now include this verbiage:

"Chase cardmembers who currently have or have had a Chase credit card in any Rewards Program associated with this offer, may not be eligible for a second Chase credit card in the same Rewards Program. Chase cardmembers currently receiving promotional pricing, or Chase cardmembers with a history of only using their current or prior Chase card for promotional pricing offers, are not eligible for a second Chase credit card with promotional pricing."

It's important to note that "may not" is listed in these terms. Therefore, it's not a clear prohibition against opening a second credit card that earns the same points (Ultimate Rewards, United miles, etc.) as a card that you already have. It's simply a possibility.

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We reached out to Chase to clarify when these terms were added and whether we can expect them to be added to other cards in the future. Should Chase reply, we will provide updates here.

Why these terms shouldn't affect you

The terms on the Hyatt, Marriott and United credit cards require keeping your cards for several months. Since we always advise keeping your credit card open for a minimum of a year, doing so will more than meet Chase's new requirements.

However, the updated terms on the IHG cards are more vague, and the language that could prevent you from getting a second card with the same rewards currency is concerning. After all, if you recently opened a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you may want to add one like the Chase Freedom Unlimited to further maximize your spending.

Nevertheless, these policies shouldn't have a practical impact on most travelers, as long as you follow best practices like paying your bills on time, avoiding red flags, spending periodically on all your credit cards and minding the banks' rules.

Bottom line

Chase has added new terms to select credit cards, specifically in the sign-up bonus restrictions. Some of these terms allow Chase to confiscate your welcome bonus if you don't keep your new card open for a set amount of time, while others provide a pathway for Chase to close your account. These terms are (in many ways) following in the footsteps of American Express, including terms on welcome bonus eligibility and language that appears to give the issuer broad discretion when it comes to approving an account (or keeping an account open).

While these terms can seem startling, they don't change our overall advice reiterated throughout the site and in our beginner's guide. If you follow the bank's application rules, use your credit cards regularly and always keep your cards for at least a year, it's unlikely that anything will change for you — even with these new terms in place.

For more information on this topic, be sure to check out our guide on why you should never close your credit cards before the one-year mark.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
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Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
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Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.