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chaseinkSo I got a Chase Ink plus last July as part of a credit card churn back in May of last year.  I’ve enjoyed the card, especially the 5x points at office supply stores.  This has led to many opportunities to get free money, as the various office supply chains (Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, etc.) have deals on gift cards.

Chase Ultimate Rewards are probably my favorite rewards currency out there, since they’re so flexible.  But in order to truly maximize them, you need to have a premium card (like the Ink, or the Sapphire Preferred) so you can transfer them to places like Southwest, or United, or Hyatt, etc..  But with the annual fee coming up, and my wife having also gotten an Ink card when the bonus went up to 60,000 points recently, I don’t have the need to have a premium card myself (since I can transfer points to my wife at no charge)

I had called into Chase a few weeks ago as part of my periodic card housekeeping, and they had offered me a retention bonus of 10,000 Ultimate Rewards to keep the card open.  I thought about it for a bit but in the end, decided to just cancel the card.

But why can’t I downgrade the card?

What I REALLY wanted to do is just downgrade the card. Chase offers the Chase Ink Cash card, which is a no-fee version of the Ink card.  It doesn’t offer a lot of the benefits that the premium versions have, and you won’t be able to transfer points to airline or hotel partners.  But what it DOES offer is the 5x points at office supply stores, which is probably the best category bonus out there.

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Now for me, it doesn’t really matter, since I play the credit card “game” in 2-player mode, and as I mentioned earlier, she has the Ink card, so I can always use her card if/when I need to.  But I don’t understand why I can’t downgrade the card.

Other banks / issuers allow this.  There has been lots of talk about potentially downgrading your annual fee-having Citbank cards to something like the Citibank Double Cash Back card, and I believe Amex also allows this, to something like the Every Day card.

But twice now when I’ve called Chase they have not allowed this.  They say, “oh well you can apply for a new card and then cancel this one.”  Uhhhh no thanks.  I’ll save my credit inquiries for cards where I actually GET a signup bonus

In the end

So in the end, I just canceled the card.  I tried to transfer my credit limit, but because it was a business card, they couldn’t transfer the credit limit to my Chase Freedom card but that’s okay.

Anyone have any experience downgrading with Chase?  Any tips?  Share your experiences in the comments

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