So, I just got a letter from Chase informing me that they are going to add “World MasterCard” benefits to my Chase Freedom card.
The beginning of the letter details the perks, same interest rate and number, same reward program, new travel benefits, ‘overwhelming offers’ and Exclusive Event Access. All that stuff, I’m not very concerned about. I don’t use the card that much and what they are adding to it seems to come standard with Amex anyways.
What I’m curious about is the Credit Access Line. From what I understand it means that instead of a regular credit limit that I will be charged for going over I’ll have ‘no preset spending limit’. What that seems to mean is that if I charge something that puts me over my limit, Chase will decide if it’s okay and if they deem it acceptable, they’ll allow the charge and not penalize me. Any charges over the max will be part of my next minimum payment.
Sounds great. Here’s the part that bugs me. I only carry two major credit cards, they both have pretty substantial limits. My Chase card has a $12,500 limit and my Amex is $10,000 (I think). (They actually both used to be about $20,000, but they lowered them a few years ago). Also, I carry little to no balance on either of them and haven’t revolved anything in at least a year. Anyways, my understanding is that on my credit report instead of reporting $12,500 as my limit, it’ll report the highest balance. This basically means it’s going to knock $12,500 off my available credit and bring my debt to credit ratio (utilization?) way up anytime I do use my credit cards.
So, for example, if I charge $40 to it when I get it, it’ll report $40 as the limit until I charge more. If I charge $500 to it, it’ll report $500 as the limit until the day that I charge something higher then that. Keep in mind, it’s currently reporting $12,500 with a balance of $0.00
I’ve heard about some workarounds like buying several thousand dollars worth of coins from a mint and taking them to the bank or putting something very large that can be paid off right away on the card just to get the high balance up, but I don’t really feel like messing around with that.
Also, I read somewhere else that this goes into a different area of the credit report entirely so it doesn’t negatively impact your credit score and can actually look good.
Anyways, instead of me going on and on, does anyone else have any thoughts on this? If it makes any difference, short of some sort of bizarre emergency, I can’t imagine ever needing to max out both my Amex and Chase card that I would need this Credit Access Line and if I did, I’m hoping I could call them and ask for a increase in my limit since it used to be $20K. At the moment, I’m planning to decline the offer. My credit score (according to Transunion) is 910 and even though I’m not applying for anything any time soon, I’d kinda like to keep it that way, it took me a long time to get it there.
FTR, other then what Chase has specifically told me (which is that after I get these new benefits I’ll have no preset spending limit) everything else is what I’ve learned from reading other message boards on the internet. Most of the posts were a few years old so things may have changed or the people that were writing them may have been wrong.