Sometimes I’d like to cancel most of my credit cards and be like the “normal folks” out there. Only be concerned with one or two credit card bills a month – always know when I’ve paid (instead of going through all of them every few days), and that would be that. I could sleep at night without jumping up thinking, “is there a promo I missed?” “should I cancel or keep a card?” “did I get the best offer or retention offer out there?” Without being consumed by all the blogs out there for fear of missing the newest deals? Or worse, fear that others got the deal that I didn’t? Oh lord, I suck. What have I done?
Seriously, I do try to be smart, cautious and responsible. I pay all my bills, at least when I remember. Credit card bonuses are fabulous – some more than others – and the learning curve does take effort and time. Along with hard work and hopefully smart saving and investments, savvy understanding and utilization of credit card bonuses, promos and the like can enable one to travel further or better than without.
What’s crazy is that, no matter how much I read and read, and how much I learn, I still don’t know all, I still get perplexed, I still confuse the benefits of cards and promotions. And I still question at times whether I’m making the best decisions about finances.
There must be a cure. Maybe I should just move closer to a Walmart store?
One of the many areas where I get “stuck” is that of retention bonuses. This situation occurs most frequently when it is time to renew a credit card you’ve most-likely had for one year – either with a nice sign on bonus and/or a first year waiver of annual fee. Welps, year two is rolling around and the honeymoon is kind of ending – no more glorious heaps of points or miles are being thrown at you and you receive a bill for the next year. But it’s not that simple. That card’s been in my wallet for a year, and I kind of have an odd separation anxiety. I’m not a love ’em and leave ’em kind of gal when it comes to credit cards, though I’m trying, trying to learn. And then there’s the issue of credit limits and credit reports. If I cancel can I keep my credit – can I move it around? Can we be stuck somewhere between separation anxiety and credit card encopresis? Yikes.
Right now, I have two credit cards up for renewal that I’ve been debating whether or not to renew or cancel. I’ve made a number of calls on each and am confident that I’ve received the final best offer on each. I was tempted to accept each such offer, but, after “talking” with friends on Twitter, I’m thinking that it might just be best to cancel each of these cards. I can always reapply for these or similar cards later that will garner even more points or miles. I’d like to share the facts on one such card with you and ask you for your opinion.
The card is the Chase United Mileage Plus Club Card. This is an expensive card $395 per year. I got it last year with the first year fee waived. The main benefit of the card is membership in United Clubs, and 1.5 miles per dollar on spends. My options: (1) cancel (2) convert to Explorer card ($95 annual) or (3) convert to the no annual fee card – which I’d never use but wouldn’t have a “cancel” on my credit report.
I do not have status at United, but have toyed with the idea of doing a challenge in the fall provided the required miles for the challenge do not increase. I thus thought perhaps it would be beneficial to have the Explorer card. Then again there are lots of good offers out there on business versions of the Chase United Cards.
The best retention offer I got from Chase after lots of phone calls was – convert to Explorer card, pay $95, but I’d receive 10,000 miles if I spent $2,000 in one month.
I’m tempted to just cancel, and in three or six months, apply for the Chase Business Explorer or Club Card.
What do you think? YAY or NAY?