Chase Financial Review: Results are in

Chase Financial Review is a stealthy process about which not much is known, but last Friday we published a post about it (See: Shop until you’re dropped: Chase Financial Review freezes account). To recap the main points of the story, my wife had recently opened several new Chase cards (three in one day in fact) and then proceeded to do a bunch of holiday shopping (which included purchasing a number of store gift cards both in-person and online). Chase suddenly froze one of her accounts without warning or notification, with customer service reps unable to give her any explanation or information beyond telling her that her account was under periodic review and couldn’t be used during the process. The results of her Chase Financial Review are in….

Chase Financial Review

Chase had someone crunching the numbers on my wife to see if she added up.

Results came in on time

When my wife called last week, she was told that they would have results for her by the beginning of this week. She intended to call them on Monday or Tuesday, but she didn’t have to: someone (let’s call this Rep #1) called my wife on Monday and left a message asking her to call back. My wife returned the call and spoke with a different rep (henceforth Rep #2) who reviewed the notes and said that my wife needed to speak with Rep #1, so they would have to hang up and Rep #1 would call her right back. My wife hung up and didn’t receive an incoming call.

However, she doesn’t get great cell service at home and realized a few minutes later that the phone never rang, but Rep #1 had indeed called and left another message to call back. At this point, it seemed clear that there must be some further questions that Chase wanted to have answered. Wanting to get this processed finished up, my wife called again — now reaching Rep #3. Rep #3 was brought up to speed with the process thus far. This rep then put my wife on hold and came back a couple of minutes later unsure why Rep #2 said that my wife would have to speak with Rep #1: the results were already in.

Outcome: Win for the home team

Chase Financial Review

Rep #3 assured us that all of my wife’s accounts are open and in good standing, ready to be used – no need to speak with anyone else. Not wanting to be standing in line at the supermarket with her card getting declined, my wife pressed…”Are you sure that all of my cards are active and can be used? Even the Marriott one?”. Rep #3 confirmed that all of her accounts are open and active — no issues. My wife went on to use the card at the supermarket a little while later with success — her Marriott card was no longer frozen.

This is basically what I expected in the first post, though it certainly came as a relief. It would have been a big time bummer to lose all of her Chase accounts, including the three new ones that still require more spending to trigger the siignup bonuses. I think that would have been a pretty extreme reaction given the relatively small amount of charges, but it didn’t seem impossible.

Further insight into the Chase Financial Review process

I had hoped that by the end, we would have gained some further insight into the Chase Financial Review process. Unfortunately, all three reps remained very tight-lipped in terms of answering any questions. In fact, they didn’t answer anything despite my wife asking for any insight they can give her as to the cause of the review or what they needed to verify that would require a freeze on the account. There were no answers to be had.

That said, I think the many readers who commented are likely right: the root causes were probably the sudden opening of three new Chase accounts in one day combined with spending that was mostly focused on gift cards (and spending on all three cards straight out of the gate). In the future, if opening multiple Chase cards in one day, I would probably make a more conscious effort to go slowly in terms of total spending as well as ratio of expenses in terms of having charges that look more “normal” included with the gift card purchases.

One thing that may be noteworthy or may simply be coincidence: My wife paid off all of her Chase cards Monday morning and received the call with the results of the review Monday afternoon. These weren’t balances incurring interest, but rather activity on her Chase accounts (including the other two new cards) that wasn’t yet due for payment. She had contemplated paying off everything last week when this Financial Review business began, but opted to wait a few days to be sure that pending charges on her other cards went through properly. Did paying off her Chase cards push her through successfully? I doubt it — but I also doubt that paying them off would do much damage here. It was worth making those payments even if they didn’t help see her through the process.

Bottom line

If there is one key lesson we learned from Chase Financial Review, it was this: it’s possible to pass with flying colors. Unlike Amex Financial Review, which often requires tax forms and recent bank statements, the Chase Financial Review process seemed entirely internal, with no input from my wife expected or requested. I can appreciate that, though I do wish there were an automatic notification sent out when the account is frozen so that we wouldn’t risk being embarrassed in a checkout line when a card gets declined (which didn’t happen in this particular case, but could have). Notification or not, it all got fixed in the end, and my wife didn’t miss a beat in getting back on track with meeting her spending requirements — though I imagine she’ll lay low on gift card purchases for a bit.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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  1. […] Chase Financial Review: Results are in. – These financial reviews are not the good kind that you’d have with a financial advisor to determine how you’re tracking towards retirement and other financial goals.  Essentially, they’re looking to see if you’re gaming the system and spending way more than what your income would justify.  Be careful out there! […]


  1. They had thought someone had fraudulently opened the accounts and was going to run away.

    You made this into a bigger deal than it should have been. Why open 3 accounts to get around 5/24?

  2. She was lucky. I was traveling, staying overnight at an airport Marriott in Denver when flight was cancelled, tried to use my card to pay the hotel bill, it was declined. I tried to use my United card, it was declined. I used a not-Chase card, went up to my room and called customer service — they said that Chase was terminating my relationship with the Bank. I said, but I’m talking with a Private Client investor to move all my money to Chase, not trying to close accounts, why would my “relationship to the bank be terminated?” They told me they had no more information. Long story short, all my Chase accounts were closed, NO explanation whatsoever, escalated to highest supervisors and no one would give me any information. So that was United, Marriott, IHG, Hyatt, British Air, INK, 2 Freedom cards, and Sapphire. All gone. Not interested in pursuing it, too bad about UR points, but I’m not doing business with them every again.

      • I have bought $200 cards at Staples regularly (we don’t have an Office Depot anymore here), and lots of $500 VISA and MC debit cards, when I could still find ways to liquidate them. That’s all I can think that I ever did. This was over a year ago. There must have been a “reason” but no one would tell me anything. I never posted about it because it didn’t seem very useful/interesting, since there was, as far as I could determine, absolutely no provocation. This was not some sort of financial review — it was, in their words, repeated over and over by every person I spoke with, “a termination of the bank’s relationship.” There was no notification about this, before or after, simply all the cards were closed, nothing in writing, no pro-rated refund of annual fees, just termination. (I’ve never had any problems with AMEX, BoA, US Bank or any of the other many banks I have credit cards with.) I have taken my business elsewhere.

        • Wow. Really weird.

          Maybe the person you refused date in college became the head of the card division and still is bitter about it.

          You should file CFPB complaint and get your annual fee etc refunded.

          That’s the weird thing about Americans. They are pretty lax about laws (the biggest being illegal immigrants demanding they have the same rights as the legal residents) and then suddenly they throw this fake pose of being law following blah blah blah.

    • Please describe why this shutdown might have occurred. Just posting what is written thus far is nearly worthless. Details are everything in shutdown cases

  3. If she doesn’t get good cell service at home and she’s on wifi, she needs to turn on wifi calling, in settings, and this will fix the problem at home immediately.

  4. I’ve had the Chase Explorer card since it came out, and the other UAL card before that. I got the CSP last November, then the CSR in January – basically by waving my arms and saying I wanted them. Then I applied for the Freedom Unlimited a few months later, after satisfying my sign-up spends with ordinary spend, and being under 5/24. My application ended up in the Fraud Department, though I managed to convince them I wasn’t a fraud. I don’t understand Chase, but I’m grateful for all the miles.

  5. I wonder if Chase has been hacked, but they aren’t telling us. Or, they are being more cautious/burned after the Experian hack. Not the same as your wife, but a tale of extreme caution from Chase recently…

    My Chase Freedom was frozen last week. I’ve had it since 2013. I did use it at Kohl’s a lot in the last couple of weeks, for real shopping not gift cards. I was trying to finish up my $1500 bonus spend with the Chase Pay deal on when I got shut down. That transaction included gift cards.

    One rep told me someone in Brazil had my user name, but nothing else. The person in Brazil was trying to log into my account, but couldn’t. I had to run a virus scan on my computer, change my password on my email and call them back. We changed my user name and password on my Chase acct then, too. After being moved around to 4 reps (answering security questions for each one) and 45 minutes on the phone to get this all done, I got a call from Chase Fraud a couple days later. It turns out someone called Chase 30 minutes after I changed my user name to try to access the account, but couldn’t answer any of the security questions. Rep #5 wanted to me to do the whole thing again – run virus scan, change email password, change Chase user name. She was sympathetic when I told her I just did all that. She saw it in the notes and didn’t make me do it again.

    Chase has never made me jump through so many hoops after being hacked – especially when the hacker had so little to go on and couldn’t penetrate the first layer of security. The hacker obviously didn’t have access to my email to change the password on the Chase acct, or they would have done it.

    I can only imagine the headaches they have with the Experian hack. Hackers could have our SS #, address, DOB – enough to open three new accounts in one day and go on a spending spree. Then Chase would have to foot the bill.

  6. Hi. So I’ve always wondered, does Chase know when I buy $200 Visa gift cards from Office Depot using my Ink card? It’s nice to get the 5x, and I do use the gift cards for real expenses. However, I don’t want to have my cards shut down because of it. Thanks.

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