Meeting the Chase Team in San Francisco

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On Tuesday, I (along with few other affiliates) was invited to meet with the folks from Chase at the Top of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel in San Francisco.  Gary from View from the Wing and Geoff from Noob Traveler also attended the event and it was nice to catch up with them and trade notes!

I redeemed 25,000 United miles (no prizes for guessing how I got those miles!) for a coach award ticket to San Fransisco and the retail price of that non-stop flight (Only United flies non-stop from Kansas City) was $1,000+.

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I’ve always thought that Chase was the bank which most understands what consumers want and which designs credit card products in such a way that even if your intention was to get the card for just the sign-up bonus, you invariably end up using the card because of a good category bonus (like 2X points on travel or dining with the Sapphire Preferred) or features like no foreign transaction fees.

It turns out that this isn’t a coincidence and Chase specifically designs products to get consumers to apply and use their cards (engagement being the marketing buzz word used).  I know that there are lots of good Chase cards which I still have to apply for!  And I use my Chase cards more than my other cards.

Over the past few years, Chase has assembled a team of American Express credit card veterans right from Gordon Smith (co-head of consumer & community banking) to Eileen Serra (CEO of Chase card services) and the general managers of some of their credit card businesses.  And the results have been phenomenal.  Chase is the #1 Visa card issuer in the world and the leading card issuer in the US.

There’s also been increased funding for customer service and getting as many  customer questions resolved in their first contact with Chase.  I’ve been very impressed with the Chase customer service & reconsideration telephone representatives together with the secure message responses, and it looks like this investment has been paying off.  Readers also comment that Chase is usually very responsive to their queries.

The big takeaway from the meeting was that affiliates would be held to higher standards than before to ensure the accuracy of the card sign up bonus, spending requirements, etc.  This makes sense because Chase wants to ensure that the consumer is not mislead.  Capital One and AMEX recently settled with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for millions of dollars for misleading offers, which certainly helps concentrate the mind.

This means that affiliates can’t share information on when an offer will be updated or of upcoming changes unless those changes are publicly announced on the Chase website or application page as well.  I only hope that Chase makes these details public on their website so that I can then share them with you!

To be clear, Chase has not had and will not have any control over what I write.  And I will still promote offers which are either better than my affiliate links (like the statement credits with the Marriott and Hyatt cards) or which are the best offers available like the 50,000 point Southwest card.

More and more consumers are using mobile devices to access the web and Chase is developing specific links and application forms for folks who want to apply for a credit card using their phone!  I’ve been working on the Million Mile Secrets web app for the iPhone and mobile website for smartphones as well, so please email or comment with your feedback!  I’ve been surprised at how many folks access Million Mile Secrets primarily through a smartphone.

I also learned that Chase has a customer support Twitter handle @ChaseSupport.  I haven’t tested this out as yet, but folks who tweet with a question will get a response within working hours if the question is general.  Or you will get a direct number to the Twitter customer resolution team, if it involves personal information which can’t be tweeted.  Hmmm, I wonder if they will be able to reconsider applications as well!  🙂

I didn’t come away with any juicy tips on new offers or increased sign-up bonuses.  But I did come away impressed with the genuine curiosity & passion of the Chase managers at the event to truly understand their consumers and affiliates.  Often companies in leadership positions or who dominate an industry tend to be aloof and arrogant, but I didn’t get that impression from Chase.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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