Stop Me If You've Heard This Before

Because I haven’t.

I received a change of terms notice for my Chase Amazon Rewards Visa credit card. This card has been great for me. It has no international transaction fees for port adventures on Disney Cruises, delivers 5% cash back on purchases (that can easily be applied to more Amazon purchases) and also provides a clear picture to just how much I spend at Amazon each month. OK, so maybe I wish I didn’t know that part. :slight_smile:

So I was bracing to see the changes to this card:

Balance Payment Plan: Access to My Chase Plan to pay off balances (which I don’t carry)
Cash Advance Fee: From $10 or 5% (whichever is greater) to $5 or 4%
Balance Transfer Fee: From $5 or 5% (whichever is greater) to $5 or 4%
Cash Transfers: Improved language describing what constitutes a cash transfer
Interest Free Period: Improved language explaining why it is beneficial to not carry a balance

Wait a second? Aren’t those good things?

Well, there may be a catch. The My Chase Plan carries a 1.72% monthly fee, and the penalty APR for missed payments is variable (based on the Prime Rate) up to 29.99%. But not until you are 60 days late on a payment. Then, of course, you may not ever get out of it.

Still, if you don’t carry balances, it seems that Chase Amazon Rewards is staking a competitive claim to cash advances and balance transfers. Not just a temporary promotion but a core change to the card’s terms. And if you do carry a balance, they are making it easier for consumers to manage these features wisely.

It will be interesting to see if other cards, including his other Chase cards, follow suit. If so, it may be battle-on for credit card companies for your cash advance or balance transfer business.

Who isn’t going to change the way he uses credit cards (paying balances in full except for promotional 0% financing offers, which are treated as an installment loan with payments spread over the appropriate months), but he’s so used to cash advance and balance transfer fees increased, this caught him by surprise…

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This may have something to do with it; posted from the WH today:


Already, agencies have delivered. In February, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)1 announced a proposed rule to cut most credit card late fees to no more than $8, saving consumers an estimated $9 billion a year.

Edit: Also posted here last month: