RIP: Chase Cash Plus Rewards Visa Cancelled

letter from Chase about Cash Plus RewardsJune 22, 2011 was a sad day for me, a proud cardholder of the Chase Cash Plus Rewards Visa. It was the day I received a letter in the mail from Chase, informing me my card was being switched.

This credit card was by far the best on the market for cash back… it had no annual fee and gave a full 5% rebate on gas/grocery/drugstores all year round. Although it has been closed off to new applicants since July 2006, I was lucky to be grandfathered in as I opened my account just a short time before that. So over the last 5 years, I have been raking in some mad cash back on these categories.

The letter starts out by saying the following:

“Your current Chase Cash Plus Rewards credit card is being changed to Chase Freedom. That means you can now earn even more cash back.”

I find that statement a bit amusing. Not to knock the Freedom which is a great card, but the bottom line is the Cash Plus Rewards Visa is probably the best credit card of all time. For them to say the change means “you can earn even more cash back” may technically be correct, since there’s no ceiling on the 1%. However I am certain myself and many other cardholders won’t be earning “more cash back” over the course of a year, when compared to that killer 5% we were raking in on those 3 popular categories all year long.

Is there any way to opt-out?

I called up Chase and asked to be patched through to supervisor to find out if there was any way to delay the inevitable. Because I know the program has to die someday, but I wanted to be in the very last group to get phased out.

As it turns out, if you are receiving a letter right now that means you are in the last group! The supervisor told me that by August 1st everyone will have been switched. Unfortunately I’m in the group that gets switched by July 1st which means I only have a couple more days left to milk the old rewards program. Time for a big grocery trip? I think so! I need to get one last thrill from the Cash Plus Rewards credit card before it dies forever.

Best alternative for these categories?

You will like the Freedom no doubt, but because the categories rotate, it’s not the best card to use year-round for groceries and gas.

My recommendation? Check out the AmEx Blue Cash Preferred & Blue Cash Everyday, which give 6% and 3% at U.S. supermarkets, respectively (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). These new versions of the Blue Cash were just recently launched and are much more appealing for most people than the older version. Both also offer good gas rewards.

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Ever since Chase implemented this card about 8 years ago, they’ve lost money on it. After only a year, Chase apparently realized that and started looking for ways to switch customers.

Earning 5% on gas, grocery and drugstore was awesome and people flocked to it. My wife and I used this card only for those purchases, because it unfortunately maxed out at 30,000 points. I got the same mailing that Michael received but there was fine print about an opt-out that I was able to use to keep my card. However, it looks like the trail ends this year. I just got notified that Chase is flat-out ending the program. I’m going to call and just ask to opt-out to see if can throw them off. If they won’t, I’m cancelling the card… cause 1-for-1 is no replacement for 5-for-1.

4/9/2012- My card is still a Cash Plus Rewards, it hasn’t been changed yet “knock on wood”

I’m a Gas and Groceries credit card user. I have been looking for something that competes with Chase Cash + Rewards and really couldn’t in the end. But with them changing me over to Chase Freedom, I’m finding a bunch of better alternatives for my spending habits.

Chase has lost a customer in me.

UPDATE: My partner finally got the letter this week (last week of Sept), with conversion from Chase Cash Plus Rewards to Chase Freedom “on or about October 31, 2011.”

Chase must be lying to some of us. My partner has a Chase Cash Plus Rewards VISA card that has not been converted yet (as of Aug 10, 2011) into a Chase Freedom card! The card still gives 3% back on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases. My partner has never received the letter, and, in fact, even got a new Cash Plush Rewards card in the mail recently with a later expiration date. When we first got our cards, it was 5% in those three categories, next we both got downgraded to 3%, and earlier this summer my card converted into the Freedom card after I received the same letter in the mail. Like CreditCardGuru, I contacted Chase (by e-mail), and they claimed that all cardholders were migrating in waves to the other card.

I also just got the letter regarding this switch too! I thought I can keep it forever. Too bad.

There is no doubting the freedom is a good card but the way they began the letter makes me chuckle – More cash back? Not quite!

Thank you for the update on the Chase cards. I used to be a member with Chase, but after several hassles, specifically with rewards, I decided it was better to just move on.

craig margolies

Hmm I have the original amex cash back card and am a heavy spender I wonder when they party will eventually end?