If you’ve been looking into applying for a Chase credit card recently, you may have noticed some differences in the process. For one, some of Chase’s credit cards are not currently showing up on the site. Additionally, other cards are requiring a sign-in before you can apply.
Today, I’m walking through some of the recent changes and how they might affect cardholders looking to apply for new Chase credit cards in the coming months.
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Removal of some cards from the Chase site
We’ve received a few tips from TPG readers that some cards have disappeared from the Chase site. At the time of writing, I’ve noticed three cards missing: the Chase Slate, the United Club Business Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. You can still apply for the United Club Business Card if you go through United’s site, but I was unable to find a way to apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card.
We haven’t received word from Chase that any of these cards are actually discontinued, meaning you should theoretically be able to product change to these cards as normal. The most likely explanation is that Chase has temporarily pulled these from the site to curb new applications during the current economic downtown.
The information for the Chase Slate, United Club Business Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The Chase Slate is a low-tier credit card that doesn’t earn rewards, so I’m not surprised they’ve closed off the card to new applications. It’s historically been an easier credit card to be approved for from a credit score standpoint, and issuers across the board are looking to mitigate risks during the current economic climate. But the other two card removals are a bit more surprising. Both carry an annual fee and generally appeal to business owners with good credit scores.
How this affects you
This affects business owners more than anything else. While the Chase Slate is a solid no-annual-fee card option for those looking for a balance transfer card, it’s not a large draw for points and miles earners.
The other two cards currently missing in action could be of value to business owners who want to rack up points to travel once pandemic concerns have subsided. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card even earns points that count toward the Companion Pass. Since not many business travelers are likely going to hit that 100-flight requirement for the pass, credit card spending is the more realistic way to earn 2021 Companion Pass status this year.
Meanwhile, the United Club Business Card can now earn up to 4,000 Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) per year toward elite status (though to be fair, earning all 4,000 PQPs does require significant spending on the card).
The good news is that you can still apply for the United Club Business Card when you go through United’s website (it will eventually take you to a Chase URL for the actual application).
For those who wanted to apply for a Southwest small business card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is still available. It’s arguably the more valuable Southwest credit card and still only charges a manageable $199 annual fee.
The information for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Related reading: 7 credit card rules ever business owner should follow
Business application process changes
The negative changes don’t stop there for small business owners. Last week, Doctor Of Credit reported that Chase was requiring annual business revenue (rather than letting you put $0) and business established date (rather than asking for a more vague “years in business”). Now, it appears Chase is continuing to add restrictions to business card applications.
For all of their currently available small business credit cards (except for the United Club Business Card), you have to sign in to a Chase account before you can go through the application process. Now, I did sign into my personal Chase account (I don’t have any Chase small business cards) and that sent me to an application with some of my information pre-filled.
So, it doesn’t seem like you have to be an existing business account holder, just a Chase credit account holder in general. I do have a friend who has a personal Chase checking account (but not any credit cards), and she was unable to use her login credentials to get to the application page. So, you’ll likely need to be a credit card holder or business banking customer in order to apply.
Doctor of Credit has also recently reported anecdotal evidence of Chase tightening the approval criteria of small business credit card applications, citing “insufficient balance in deposit and investment accounts with us” as a common reason for denial.
Chase isn’t the first issuer to give preference to existing account holders – Bank of America is notorious for this. But it does make things harder for small business owners hoping to jump into earning Chase Ultimate Rewards right now.
Related reading: Do I need a business to get a business credit card?
How this affects you
This is obviously a way for Chase to mitigate the risk of taking on unknown applicants. It makes sense when you look at it from their perspective. If you are a banking customer with Chase, they have access to your funds and can know whether you have the capital to pay your credit balances. And if you are a current Chase credit cardholder in good standing, then that shows them you are more likely to be a trustworthy borrower.
However, these new restrictions do put non-Chase customers at a severe disadvantage. If you are a business owner, it might be worth opening a Chase business banking account if you really want to apply for a Chase small business credit card. You can also start with a Chase personal credit card before trying to apply for a business card in the coming months.
These changes are likely temporary while the economy is in a downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic. Restricting which cards are open for applications and focusing on developing deeper relationships with existing customers is a way for banks to have more control over the risk they are taking on.
Unfortunately, I predict that we’ll see these types of changes extend beyond just business applications as we head deeper into this recession. Credit limits are likely to decrease, new applicants are likely to be subject to higher application criteria, and approvals, in general, will likely be harder to come by for anyone with a sub-700 credit score.
This doesn’t just apply to Chase cards. We’ve seen in the past that banks across the board are less inclined to open new lines of credit during an economic downturn. While it won’t last forever, it will likely make opening new cards harder in the coming months.
Beginners to the credit card game will be the hardest hit. Those with long credit histories, excellent credit scores and existing banking relationships may not see the effects of issuers tightening approval criteria. But young professionals, new business owners and others who are just starting out with credit cards may find it harder to open lines of credit for the duration of the recession.
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