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Chase cuts benefits on one card, is reviewing other cards’ perks

Summary

Chase is dropping price protection and return protection from an airline credit card, and may be considering further changes to other products.

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Is Chase about to drop some of its benefits for credit card users?

Bottom line – watch your mailbox and online account pages to find out.

As first reported by The Points Guy, United MileagePlus Explorer cards will drop price protection and return protection as of June 1, 2018, and trip cancellation/interruption coverage will be reduced.

Price protection lets you recover a drop in price on items you buy if you see them advertised for less later. Return protection covers you when the seller rejects your return of an unsatisfactory purchase.

On April 9, Doctor of Credit reported that Chase is removing at least some of those benefits from other cards as well.

“Shame on you @Chase for removing price protection and return protection,” the credit card website tweeted with a link to its article.

Chase evaluating benefits offered on its cards

Chase confirmed that the United Explorer Card will change its benefit lineup, as reported by The Points Guy. However, Chase was mum about changes coming for other cards – if any.

“We want to tell our customers directly if we make decisions about how best to address their card benefits,” spokeswoman Mary Jane Rogers said.

So, should cardholders be watching their mailbox? “Sure, we hope they’re always tuning in to what we’re focusing on,” she added.

Rogers initially characterized the reports of benefit cuts as “speculation,” but said she was neither confirming nor denying the published report.

In general, Chase evaluates card benefits and tries to come up with the right mix, she said. “We’ve been looking at these things pretty hard – some benefits end up not being as valuable.” That was the sort of evaluation that resulted in dropping price and return protection for the United card, she said.

“We want to tell our customers directly if we make decisions about how best to address their card benefits.”

Benefit changes not clear on all Chase cards

The Doctor of Credit story cited the removal of price protection from an online list of benefits on the landing pages for Chase cards, with the exception of the Sapphire Reserve card.

However, some cards still list the benefits in their online guides. A web page for the Slate card, for example, lists price protection among its purchase benefits.

But that also is difficult to interpret. The United MileagePlus Explorer Card web page still lists both price protection and return protection among its benefits. The company’s mailing – reproduced on The Points Guy website – clearly states that the benefits will be dropped June 1.

Other Chase cards don’t come with the threatened benefits in the first place. Chase’s Amazon Prime Rewards card lacks price protection or return protection.

A customer service worker reached at Chase’s toll-free number said he had no information about any benefits being dropped. The Amazon card does come with purchase protection, which covers some items from loss or damage.

Trend moves away from card benefits

Card issuers have been moving away from card benefits lately, which issuers say are not widely used. Discover dropped five auxiliary benefits in February, although it spared price protection.

Discover cut purchase protection, return guarantee, extended product warranty, backup auto rental insurance and flight accident coverage.

Card issuers have been moving away from card benefits lately, which issuers say are not widely used. Discover dropped five auxiliary benefits in February.

Price protection on Chase cards

The terms for Chase’s price protection policy – still posted online for its Slate card – reimburse you for a drop in price on products you buy with the card if a lower price is advertised within 90 days.

The benefit is good on U.S. purchases in retail stores or non-auction websites.

Ads must document the price drop and the benefit is limited to $500 per item, with a total ceiling of $2,500 a year.

The limits are lower – $50 per item and $150 a year – for items advertised as closeout, liquidation or going out of business.

A number of goods are excluded such as animals and plants, autos, boats and other motorized vehicles, cellphone service and items sold as used, refurbished or “as is.” Claims must be filed with documentation showing the advertised drop in price.

Return protection on Chase cards

Chase return protection will reimburse you for unsatisfactory purchases made with the card if the merchant rejects the return, with a limit of $500 per item and a ceiling of $1,000 a year.

That’s according to the online description of benefits for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Claims must be filed within 90 days of the purchase.

A number of goods are not eligible for coverage including animals and plants, autos, computer software, jewelry and art, tickets, gift cards and travelers checks.

See related:Calculate your rewards card’s value: 8-point checklist, Compare credit card extended product warranties

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