If you’re floating on air expecting your 80,000 points Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa sign-up bonus, try not to hit the ground too hard when you open your mailbox and find a letter stating that you don’t qualify for the reward.
It turns out some of us (and potentially thousands of us) have received that letter in error, including many who have already received the bonus in our accounts.
The letter states that the premium is available only to new cardholders, and that anyone who has taken advantage of a similar offer in the past two years is not eligible for the bonus. This statement is true, it just turns out the letter was mailed to an undisclosed number of customers who had not signed up for the card before.
As a first time Chase Marriott Rewards Premier cardholder, I was perplexed and a little upset when I received this letter, especially since I had paid the $85 annual fee and met the $3,000 minimum spend to get the big sign-up bonus. A quick call to Chase, however, cleared up the situation, and I’m happy to report I’ll be taking that dream getaway with those bonus points soon. And so will many of you.
“We sent a letter to a limited group of customers in error,” said Amy Bonitatibus, managing director of communications at JPMorgan Chase. “We apologize for the confusion, and have or will automatically credit the bonus points for customers who qualified.”
While many of these letters were sent in error, some were not a mistake. Credit card companies have been tightening the rules regarding sign-up bonuses (probably in part due to credit card churning by points pros and dedicated amateurs). Unfortunately, if you did sign up for the card anticipating a bonus but received this same card in the last 24 months and earned a bonus, then you aren’t eligible for one now. You can find all the information in the disclaimer in the “Offer Details” link on the card’s website.
It’s a good reminder to check the fine print before you sign up for a new credit card, especially if you’re someone who applies for a lot of cards regularly.
If you’re not sure, don’t toss out your resort brochures prematurely. Call Chase, using the number on the back of your card. The customer service rep probably will be aware of the letter sent in error and able to tell you if you are, in fact, eligible for the reward.