Category Archives: Capital One

My Easiest (and Quickest) Credit Card Cancellation

I recently did my monthly update to my big credit card spreadsheet and discovered I had two cards with annual fees about to hit.  After a brief analysis I decided that at least one of them, my Capital One Spark Business, had to go.  I had never cancelled a Capital One card before so I had no idea what I was in for.

The Card

The Spark Business from Capital One was my first card from that heavily advertised bank.  “What’s in your wallet?”  Not many Capital One cards.  For reasons I won’t get into right now, they have historically been relatively unpopular with those of us playing the credit card game.


In a nutshell, the Spark Business earns 2% cash back on all purchases.  The sign-up bonus after spending $4.5k in 3 months was $500 cash!  That’s a pretty sweet deal, and the 2% cash back isn’t bad either.  But in my case, I wasn’t putting much regular spending on the card so the $59 annual fee wasn’t worth it for me.  The fee was waived the first year, but my first year was almost past.  It was time to cancel.

Easy (and fast!) Cancellation

I always dread cancelling cards.  This is an irrational dread since most of the time it’s pretty painless.  But once in a while you’ll get a customer service rep who wants to convince you to keep a card.  If you don’t make your intentions clear right off the bat, you’ll have to endure their run-through of the card’s benefits, or their pitch to downgrade the card or convert it to another type altogether.

In some cases, you’re fishing for a retention offer, so the personal customer service is what you want.  But other times you know you want to cancel and you just want to get it checked off your list.  In those cases, the human interaction could bog things down.

A few months ago I wrote a blog post about how easy it is to cancel Citi cards online.  At the time this was my only experience cancelling a card impersonally.  (After all, who really wants to talk to a human when you could hide behind digital anonymity!)  When I called Capital One to cancel the Spark Business I stumbled upon an even easier way to cancel cards!

I prompted the automated phone system by saying the reason for my call was: “close account.”  After I verbally affirmed a few things, the system read me a description of what closing the card would mean.  It even proactively notified me that any annual fees posted to the account in the past 30 days would be automatically refunded.  (A nice reassurance even though my fee had not yet posted.  Overall the call took less than three minutes!

Credit card cancellation in record time

As far as I know, only Capital One allows card holders to perform a credit card cancellation over the automated phone system.  I’m sure it was faster than cancelling my Citi card online and it was even more impersonal . . . if you’re into that sort of thing.

If you’ve had similarly convenient or quick experiences cancelling credit cards, please let me know by commenting on this post or on the ValueTactics Facebook page.

Thanks for reading!

My Last Chase Card Application Ever?

A few nights ago I had an AOR (app-o-rama) and applied for 3 cards, including the Marriott Rewards Premier from Chase.  Unless something changes in Chase’s 5/24 policy, this may be my final Chase application for the rest of my credit card career.  As I discussed in this post, the policy says that if you have 5 or more new card applications (from any card issuer – not just with Chase) in the past 24 months, you will be summarily denied on any Chase application.

I have opened 9 new credit cards in the past 24 months, so I’m well beyond the 5/24 limit.  But the rule goes into effect for Chase co-branded cards some time this month (April), and I applied for the Marriott card on March 31st.  I didn’t particularly want this card but I figured it was my last chance to get any Chase card for the foreseeable future, so I picked the best current promotion that I was eligible for and gave it a shot.

My philosophy is to never apply for just one card so I shopped around for the best current promotions at other banks that I was eligible for, and here’s what I came up with:

  • The Chase Marriott Rewards Premier card: 80,000 Marriott Rewards points (+7,500 for adding an authorized user) after spending $3k in 3 months.  $85 annual fee not waived the first year.
  • The Spark Cash for Business from Capital One (gasp!): $400 cash back (+$90 for meeting the spend) after spending $4.5k in three months.  Annual fee waived the first year.
  • The Starwood Preferred Guest card from American Express: An unprecedented 35,000 point bonus after $3k in 3 months spend.  MASSIVE FAIL (read about it here), so instead…
  • The Hilton HHonors card from American Express: 75,000 Hilton points after spending $1k in 3 months.  No annual fee.

And here’s how the applications went:
Two out of three instant approvals at this stage in my card career isn’t bad!  If I end up getting denied for the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier it will be very interesting to see what the reason is.  Will the 5/24 rule be applied when the application is reviewed even though the application occurred in March?  When exactly in April will the rule go into effect?  Well, for my sake I hope these remain a mystery because I want to be approved 🙂

No matter what the result of the Chase application I have some serious spending requirements to meet in the next three months.  If I have to get creative it will probably be a good time to write an article or two on how to meet minimum spends.  As always, I’ll keep you posted…

Links to the card offers mentioned here:
Chase Marriott Rewards Premier
Capital One Spark Cash for Business
American Express Hilton HHonors card (offer expires 05/04/16)