Monday, March 9, 2009

The Mechanics of Converting And Combining Your WaMu And Chase Cards -- A Primer


Washington Mutual's credit-card operations officially transitioned to JPMorgan Chase late yesterday, according to a source. I'm told the transition went smoothly. What's more, former WaMu cardmembers can now begin to combine their credit limits with other Chase cards. Today's blog entry explains the process and the steps you'll need to take if you want to convert or combine your cards.

Here's what you'll need: the phone number from the back of your WaMu credit card or your Chase credit card (either phone number will work -- but calling Chase is best because the WaMu phone numbers are being deluged with calls; if you don't have a Chase card, use this phone number to dial in: 800-524-3880). You'll need the card number to your old WaMu card (which is now officially a Chase card).

Once you've got that stuff rounded up, you'll call customer service. Once you get a representative on the phone, let that person know that you would like to combine your old WaMu card with your current Chase card. The combination process takes all of 30 seconds. But do note: Chase will NOT be able to move your entire limit from your WaMu card to Chase. Instead, you'll have to leave $100-$500 (or thereabouts) on the old WaMu card. Chase's system is set up so that a small part of the old WaMu card survives. This is not unusual. USAA, for example, does the same thing.

Once you've done the combination, you'll need to make a decision: do you leave the small-limit card open or do you just close it and sacrifice the tiny limit that you've left on the old WaMu card? If you decide to leave the card open -- with a limit of $100-$500 -- the phone call ends there.

If, however, you decide to close the old WaMu card, you'll get transferred to a "closing representative." Once you've been transferred to the closing rep, you'll be asked if you want to keep the small-limit card open. You'll be told that some customers keep them open because they use the low-limit card for Internet purchases and other purchases like that. If you decide that you still want to close it, the closing rep will do that. But you will sacrifice the small limit that's left on the card. Finally, if you have a balance on the old WaMu card, you'll receive a closing statement, which is when you'll pay off that balance. The balance, in other words, does not move to your Chase card during the combination. Make sure you make a note of that. (When I originally broke the story that customers would be able to combine and convert WaMu and Chase cards, I said that you couldn't have a balance on at least one of the cards; my sources got that part wrong. As you can see, balances don't matter.)

These are the effects of the closure of your old WaMu card: the card will report as "closed at consumer's request" on your credit report. The closed card will continue to age for another 10 years or so. Eventually, though, the card's history will fall away from your credit history. Your utilization will be unaffected by this combination because your old WaMu limit will be sitting on your Chase card -- with the exception of that sliver that you left behind. Chase does NOT pull your credit report to do the combination.

As for credit-card conversions, the process is very simple. Call Chase and tell them that you would like to take your old WaMu card and convert it into the Chase card of your choice. Generally, there should not be a problem doing the conversion. But do note that some cards aren't eligible to be converted into other cards. For example, if you're trying to convert your old WaMu card into a Chase Freedom Signature card, you likely won't be able to do that. However, if you want to convert into a Chase Freedom card (not the Signature version), you'll have no problem. I am told that conversions will NOT require a hard inquiry.

Here is the effect of your conversion: your card history will be retained. If you've had that old WaMu card since 2006, your newly-converted card will retain that 2006 opening. Your card won't lose any history during the conversion.

As for online access, Chase will slowly be making card access available throughout today. Be patient. If you already have a Chase account, you'll see your old WaMu card eventually flow into your online account at Chase. If you don't have a Chase relationship -- and you only have the WaMu card (which is now a Chase card) -- your access should be available some time today.

And P.S. to one of my readers -- who was adamant that Chase would not allow for credit-limit combinations (link here): you win some and you lose some. My sources, which have been fabulous through this entire Chase/WaMu merger of card operations, nailed this part of the story too.

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Related Articles:

  • WaMu Cardholders Won't Be Orphaned: Can Convert And Combine Existing WaMu Cards With Chase In March

  • It's Now Official: WaMu FICO Score Is Dead

  • JPMorgan Chase To Drop Secured Card Despite Favorable Trends

  • WaMu Card Customers: Conversion To Chase Credit Card Coming Soon

  • WaMu Secured Card First Casualty In JPMorgan Chase Acquisition
  • 223 comments:

    1. Is it possible to apply for a new Chae card today and then call and combine my WaMu card with the new Chase card in a few days?

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    2. Tim, you could apply for a Chase card today -- get approved in the next two weeks -- and then combine your old WaMu card with it.

      However, any reason why you'd want to do that? You could just convert your existing card into the card you'd like to apply for today, no?

      Plus, you'd avoid the new account, which will ding your credit score (because of the inquiry and new account).

      But to answer your question: yep. Both cards would be considered Chase cards and you'd be able to combine them.

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    3. Okay do I have this right? If I have a balance on my Wamu card, my credit limit can't be moved to my Chase card unless I pay the whole balance off?

      If I carry a balance I just select a new Chase card (Flexible Rewards shows on my Chase website instead of ESPN card) and the balances will remain separate?
      CiifIcare

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    4. Ciif, if you have a balance on your old WaMu card, you can still do the combination.

      If you decide to close the old WaMu account, you'll be responsible for paying off the entire balance next month. If you leave the card open, you'll continue to pay off the balance as you always have (though if you do take the majority of your limit to a Chase card -- and your new limit on the old WaMu card is close to your balance, you'll be maxed out).

      You just have to make sure you're smart about your combination.

      But, yes, you can combine cards even if you have balances.

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    5. Thanks Marcus! Got'cha!

      CiifIcare

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    6. CM, are any conversions costing a hard?

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    7. I have not done a conversion, Clutch. But I am told that they are not requiring a hard pull. You're just taking a Chase card (your old WaMu card) and converting it into another Chase card.

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    8. Clutch, I just updated the story to reflect the answer I just gave you about conversions and hard inquiries.

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    9. So timely; you're just on the ball Marcus. Thanks.
      Don

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    10. Cool... Freedom here I come.

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    11. Don, glad I could be of service. I feel really good about the reporting I did for this Chase/WaMu merger. I had some really good sources who always gave me great information.

      I think I can, with this story, put the Chase/WaMu series to bed.

      Thanks for reading.

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    12. Clutch, let me know how it goes. Tell me if my instructions worked out well.

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    13. My WaMu Mastercard is now a Chase Freedom Mastercard. According to the CSR, I can earn cash starting immediately using my old card until the new one arrives. Thanks!

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    14. Anon, glad to hear it. Enjoy the card. I have a Chase Freedom card. I use it quite a bit.

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    15. Try 30 minutes, not 30 seconds. The process was not so simple for me. People may want to wait until everyone at Chase gets the memo. lol. At first I was told it couldn't be done until after April 1st. Then I finally got transferred to consolidations where I was told it would cost me a hard inquiry. I was grilled over my credit report and asked why I need such a high limit. Why do I have so many cards, etc. She did approve the consolidation, but was hesitant.

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    16. My tranfer went seemless-and I am impressed.
      They combined my online accounts(even though they had me change the username on WAMU as they were the same)

      I am still on the fence on my combine-the 17.24& APR card needs to go though.

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    17. Anon, thanks for the note. Looks like you got hooked up with a rep who didn't know what was going on. It went downhill from there.

      Appreciate the note.

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    18. Tim, glad to hear it was seamless. That's the way it should be -- though you see Anon's comment above yours.

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    19. CM, any idea if the process is just as simple is you want to convert to a partner card, like for example Amtrak Guest Rewards? And if you receive the same bonuses and/or promos as any other new accountholder of those partner cards?

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    20. U, I don't think it's going to be possible to do anything with those partner cards right now. If you call and get a definitive answer, please post your results here.

      Some cards won't be eligible now. Partner cards, I believe, will be those that are not.

      But let me know.

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    21. If your Chase representative doesn't know what's going on, you can send them to this URL:

      http://tinyurl.com/HeadOuttaAss

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    22. Apparently others have their cards reporting as Chase now... mine are still reporting as Wash Mutual/Providian. Can't wait to get the P-word off my reports. My accounts are post-WaMu, but still.

      Can't access my accounts on the Chase site yet, either. But they do exist in the phone system.

      ReplyDelete
    23. If you have a WaMu card with a $7000 limit and owe $2000. And you also have a Chase card with a $5000 limit and owe nothing. And if you move $6500 of your credit limit over to Chase today, then from what I'm understanding... they will leave the balance due on the WaMu card ($2000)to be paid off within a month.

      Doesn't that make the WaMu card have a $500 limit with a balance due of $2000 and wouldn't that then incur overlimit fees and a ding on your credit report?

      ReplyDelete
    24. Anon, good question. That's definitely a call for Chase. They may not allow you to slash your limit to below your balance. That would be my guess. You'll just look maxed out (which is something to think about).

      When you're on the phone with Chase, see what they say. My guess is you won't be allowed to reduce your limit to below your balance.

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    25. OK, just got off the phone with really sweet and helpful CSR. She actually ran down a list of partner cards currently available for conversion:

      Amazon
      Borders
      BP
      British Airways
      Continental
      Marathon
      Marriott
      National Geographic
      Overstock
      Quicken
      Sony
      Southwest
      Toys R Us
      United Airlines
      World Wildlife Fund

      I opted for Amazon at 12.24% (higher than the Flexible Rewards, but I don't carry balances and use Amazon a lot).

      I hate to say YMMV, but I guess you always have to.

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    26. Went smoothly with a very nice young man from Canada, who knew exactly what he was doing. All is set up on line, and successfully consolidated. They did keep the $500.00 on the old WAMU. Perfect. Thanks (again) Don

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    27. U, I think it's going to be YMMV. But very much appreciate the information. Hopefully it will be that easy.

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    28. Don, isn't it always nice when it goes according to plan?

      Glad to hear it was not a problem.

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    29. I totally wanted that Amtrak card, though. Maybe it will be possible later on, for my other account.

      Anyway, I'm just glad to not be saddled with WaMu plastic until 11/10! LOL

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    30. I'm with you, U. My WaMu plastic is no more. The combination is complete. My Chase account now shows the combined limit online.

      All is well.

      If I ever hear about FICO coming back, I'll be sure to let my readers know.

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    31. OH... also, she mentioned something about there being a $30 fee to convert to Chase Freedom? Anyone else told that?

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    32. U, have not heard that (about the $30 fee). Sounds suspect.

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    33. From:
      https://www.chase.com/wamucards

      Looks like they are still trying.

      Review your free FICO® credit score. We're evaluating ways to provide your FICO score through Chase Online because we know it's important to you. As of March 1, however, your free FICO score (as well as any Experian® Business credit scores) won't be displayed. Please consider accessing your credit score details for a fee through Chase Credit Builder. 02/13/09

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    34. Tim, yep. That's the same message they gave us when they finally confirmed my story in January.

      http://www.creditmattersblog.com/2009/01/its-now-official-wamu-fico-score-is.html

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    35. MS Money was a breeze as well-

      Set WAMU to stop using online services, download chase updates, combine accounts, DONE.

      ReplyDelete
    36. Tim, thanks. Keep the tips coming in, folks.

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    37. Almost forgot- you have to acivate downloads from "Customer center" on Chase.com for each account.

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    38. I was only asking about opening a new Chase card and then combining the WaMu card over to it a little later because I was hoping for a card with a large balance in an attempt to help my credit score. My current limit on WaMu is $7400, so I if I can get a decent CL from Chase I might be able to get my first $10k+ card after they combine.

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    39. Tim, thanks for the follow up.

      Tim, I am sure your thinking would work. If you did get a Chase card you'd be able to combine the two later.

      But do realize that you will get dinged for the new account and you'll get dinged for the inquiry.

      Best of luck in whatever you do.

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    40. Anyone else still persona non grata on Chase.com? Or I am just... "special"? :-(

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    41. Some will be flowing slower than others, U. I only have one Chase card now. My WaMu card is kaput (combined with Chase card).

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    42. just called to convert my wamu card

      she said i'll have to give her a few days. She said she just saw a memo saying their not supposed to do anything to these accounts until after midnight tomorrow.

      I told her other people had done it (referring to people on this blog), and she said just cause other people had done it doesnt mean it will go through, and that the reps that did it didnt read the memo.

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    43. I mean I am still getting the "your account is moving to Chase Online" message when I attempt to log in. Everyone else seems to be able to log in OK, as well as see their accounts now reporting as Chase. :-(

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    44. CM, what's your opinion on this; Of my two Wamu cards, one has good age and a decent limit. The other has very little age and an embarrassing limit. Would it be best to add the small limit to the larger, take some of the larger to boost the smaller one or leave 'em alone?

      Wait, are they even allowing you to combine or transfer limits between Wamu cards?

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    45. Saw post on CB about Chase sending us info soon about which products we are allowed to convert to. I'll bet that's the list I posted above, as quoted to me by the CSR.

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    46. Worked for me-they did make me give up $500 of my WAMU line-but this has resulted in my largest single credit line.

      Now if I will just use it? Chase has fried my patients with them several times and my freedom card has been sitting in my desk for a few months now :P

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    47. Slightly off-topic, but I received a Chase branded Debit Card today.

      This one replaces the WaMu branded Debit Card I received less than 6 months ago.

      ReplyDelete
    48. Yep-got one of those myself on Friday-expecting too more-Too bad Chase retail is loosing my business.

      Boeing Employees Credit Union-here I come :)

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    49. Yikes, just realized my vanilla WaMu platinum card expires in 11/11, not 11/10. If I hadn't converted to Chase plastic today, imagine the looks I'd be getting 2.5 years from now, when flashing that card. At least the other WaMu doesn't have a big WaMu logo on it.

      Right now wondering if I'll still get bonus points on first use of Amazon card like new applicants. Forgot to ask CSR.

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    50. Matthew, sounds like you got a rep who is working from a different script. Call back and get a different rep. I combined this morning. No problems at all. The new limit is reflected online now.

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    51. Clutch, your two WaMu cards are now Chase cards. So, what you're asking is whether they allow you to combine two Chase cards. They do.

      You should take the newer card and merge it with the older card first. Allow the older card to survive. The newer card gets closed. Then you take the combined card and convert it into something you want.

      That allows you to retain the history of your oldest WaMu card.

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    52. U, using the old link for my WaMu cards is no good. But going directly through Chase.com seems to work. People are seeing their WaMu cards showing up in their Chase account access.

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    53. I've been trying to get in through Chase.com all day. Trashed WaMu link last week. I finally exist as of about 10 minutes ago. Funny, they have my current address and email, but combine it with an ancient phone number that was associated with old Chase accounts. Why would they dredge up that old phone number alone, as opposed to bringing over my current number as part of my info from WaMu?

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    54. I just tried converting and was told that "the available programs for these cards has not been uploaded into the system yet."

      I'll try again.

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    55. Clutch, one thing about following my blog -- sometimes, at least -- is that we are so early. I have a story out that tells you exactly how to do this stuff. But Chase, in some cases, doesn't even seem ready for it yet.

      I guess this is the downside to being so early. :)

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    56. I think it also depends on what CSR you get. Several us were able to convert without issues, and my CSR told me what programs are available.

      In other fun news, my cards have now shifted to between Capital One and Discover on my EX report (yes, where Chase should be, alphabetically), but still read "WaMu/Providian."

      ReplyDelete
    57. Yeah, they need to read your blog to keep up on things!

      FWIW, he did pull up my seperate accounts and seemed to be saying no programs were available for MY cards yet, not WaMu cards in general.

      I'll call back later tonight.

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    58. Called back, got a different rep.

      She said all cards are going to be converted to chase cards mid-april automagically. So I wonder if after this transition is complete they're planning on reuissuing all wamucards (killing the brand) in mid-april?

      I also asked about converting to a different card (a freedom card), as my account has no rewards assigned to it. She tried to get in, but like Clutch, she couldn't get into my account. So I guess him and I should have a beer for "not fully in the system yet" or something

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    59. Just keep me up to speed on your progress, guys. Some of us have already done it; others, it seems, are still working through the system.

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    60. Oh, if there is a chance to fail at something, I'll do it (passing a beer to Matthew).

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    61. I have a question. What happens if your Chase card is open, but your Providian card is closed? My guess is that they would not move the Providian balance to the Chase card. Thoughts?

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    62. Just called into take a Chase (buy.com) card and move the balance to a Wamu card (the Wamu card was older and had a higher limit). They did leave $100 on the buy.com but also transferred the entire credit line over to the Wamu card. So technically I've gained $100 in credit :) Although I just realized that the Wamu had a higher APR :( oopsie!

      I have another Wamu card that I'm going to call about next month, I'd like to pay off the balance before moving so I don't have to carry a balance on that card.

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    63. How about combining a Wamu personal card to a Chase biz card? I would like move the Wamu limit to my Chase biz card and then close the Wamu personal card.

      Has anyone done this?

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    64. Anon, generally card issuers will not combine biz cards and personal cards. I haven't heard of it happening.

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    65. Alcuria, they will not take your limit from a closed card and move it to an open card.

      That said, you could call and see if they'll reopen the providian card. They might want to pull your credit, though.

      ReplyDelete
    66. 3rd call as a charm, sort of. Transfered some CL into my pathetic MC card and turned it into an Amazon 3-2-1. Rep said my remaining Visa (older, higher limit) was not eligible for a Freedom so I took the PerfectCard (with 90 day bonus on gas purchases) for now. He said the Freedom would probably be available by then.

      This is fun. Neither WaMu cards had rewards features of any kind.

      ReplyDelete
    67. CM:

      I'll wait until everything has settled down, then I could see what options there are.

      I would imagine that the CSRs are busy these days with the change-over. Don't want any errors being made.

      ReplyDelete
    68. Clutch, welcome to Chase :)

      That's what I said in the story. Some cards won't be eligible. Some people can convert into Freedom; others cannot. Just depends on your account, I guess.

      My wife is currently on hold. She is now going through the process. The hold time is 10 minutes. That's pretty long.

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    69. V, sounds good. V, what card do you plan on converting to?

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    70. CM:

      Both my cards are Platinum, no rewards.

      If I am allowed, I may switch the Wamu to Chase Freedom. But I want to see they have first.

      I do have one of the greatest rewards in the PenFed already. Thanks to you! ;-)

      ReplyDelete
    71. Marcus, tell her my wait was 30 minutes this time, and the hold music is particularly bad tonight!

      I'll be happy to get this ugly WaMu plastic out of my wallet.

      ReplyDelete
    72. Can't beat that Penfed, V.

      Clutch, I'm listening to the music. Not very good.

      Also, I was just looking for cards to convert into. Is it me, or has Chase scaled down -- substantially -- its offerings?

      ReplyDelete
    73. "Anon, generally card issuers will not combine biz cards and personal cards. I haven't heard of it happening."

      Per another site, Chase has allowed consolidations of personal to biz for several years now.

      I don't know if this Wamu situation would be any different.

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    74. Anon, much appreciated. If anyone does a biz to personal combo, please let me know.

      ReplyDelete
    75. CM, yeah, the pickings are kinda slim. Even the neutered Freedom isn't all that good. I took these offerings because I buy alot from Amazon and because I wanted to eliminate the last of my non-rewards cards. No matter how bleak these are.

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    76. Yeah. I have the old Chase Freedom card. It gives me 3% for the top three categories that I shop in. I understand that the new Freedom card dictates which categories are eligible for the 3% each quarter?

      ReplyDelete
    77. Per same source, biz to personal consolidations aren't allowed. Chase will only do personal to biz. It's been that way for several years and was confirmed last month. I don't know if this would be any different for the Wamu cards.

      I'm going to attempt it tomorrow.

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    78. Anon, thanks for the clarification.

      I'm thinking you shouldn't have a problem. You have Chase cards now (Flexible Rewards card). I would think you'd be fine.

      Please update this thread tomorrow after you do it.

      Thanks!! And thanks for the information.

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    79. FYI: right now a 10 minute wait is about 30 mins.

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    80. OK, CM

      Final update

      called again, got a very helpful CSR. He was able to access my account, asked me the multiple choice Qs, etc.

      Said my card was not eligible to be converted into any other programs. I asked if this was a my credit thing or a chase thing, he said it appears to be a chase corporate decision. He said I could apply for a freedom card if I wanted to, I declined saying I didnt want to open a new card.

      The fools! I was willing to stop using my amex blue cash in lieu for a freedom card!

      I guess thats that :)

      ReplyDelete
    81. Matthew, thanks for the update. So Chase is saying that it will not allow you to do a conversion. Your card is simply not eligible to be converted into anything else. I had plenty of correspondence with readers today. You're the first one who has reported this. I doubt you'll be the last.

      Sounds as though it's Chase's loss.

      During the next few days, I'd give it a whirl again, by the way. We're only on day one. Lots of customer service reps seem to be out of the loop. In the next week, I suspect they'll be more educated.

      Keep trying.

      ReplyDelete
    82. CM,

      Yeah I asked "is this a temporary thing or permanently" he said it was permanently not eligible. He said Chase corporate could change their mind about these "types" of accounts (im guessing how the wamucard was acquired), and that id most likely be notified by memo/email/something that I was eligable. So yeah whoever got their card like I got my card (I responded to a solicitation mailer when in college) is probably in my same boat.

      I plan on trying again a while down the road, just in case this is a crossover hiccup. Maybe in a few months. I'll be very interested to see if there are more.

      Yep its their loss!

      Anyways found your blog about 2 weeks ago, love it, so thanks for writing :)

      ReplyDelete
    83. Matthew, did you have a student card or something? Just wondering what kind of card you have. I doubt you're alone. There must be others with similar cards.

      Glad you're enjoying the blog. Glad you stuck around.

      ReplyDelete
    84. Nope, I was just in college. It was from WaMu (after they bought providian), just a solicitor mailing in.. 2004, I think?

      The APR on it, and the chase card it will turn into isn't bad, 9.99% variable. Thats lower than my CU card usually (10.9 fixed), but on par with my amex blue cash. My credit score according to wamucards in feb was 754 so its not shabby.

      and of course, my pleasure :)

      ReplyDelete
    85. Thanks for the confirmation, CreditMattersBlog.

      Hmmm. I just checked and the Providian credit card I closed now shows available credit and cash balances. Previously, Providian showed $0 balances.

      Would Chase have re-opened the card without me saying so?

      ReplyDelete
    86. Alcuria, that's a new one on me. You saying that your previously-closed Providian card now shows that it is open?

      I wouldn't think that Chase would reopen it without you asking.

      ReplyDelete
    87. Matthew, WaMu took over Providian in the fall of 2005. Was your card opened before or after this? If you have an older (pre-WaMu) card, we may be seeing the delineation we were wondering about.

      ReplyDelete
    88. From reading posts on CB, it seems no one even read the information that has been available for a couple of months regarding how the transition will occur. They're all shocked and appalled that their checking account information didn't migrate over. The info given by Chase before this happened was very clear: already scheduled payments will go through, but you will have to set up all your checking account information again on Chase Online.

      You really CAN'T make that horse drink, can you?

      ReplyDelete
    89. That's right, U. I thought Chase did a good job of conveying that information. I guess some people did not get the memo.

      ReplyDelete
    90. U, I had a pre-Wamu providian that became a Wamu AND a Wamu proper. I converted both last night.

      And yes, no one seems to have read the payment account info from Chase. Ugh.

      ReplyDelete
    91. I'll never understand people who don't learn everything they possibly can about things that will affect them... especially in these days of information overload.

      Clutch, thanks for that. Now we know that's not what separates those accounts that can't be converted.

      ReplyDelete
    92. I also called Chase today, and they said they could not convert my Wamu card into Chase. I didn't bother to get more info, but yes, I also got my card last year as a college student after receiving the pre-approved letter.

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    93. Random thought:

      There are a few rumors still floating around that we will have to use icky WaMu plastic until they expire. One way to guarantee new plastic is to change an MC to a VISA (or vise versa) The down side to this is the card is disabled until you activate the new card.

      I did this unintentionally (on two cards) and was told not to use the cards until I get the new ones.

      Just a heads up.

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    94. Chrissy, thanks. You're now the second person to mention that college connection.

      ReplyDelete
    95. Clutch, we were just talking about that last night -- at home. Some people are saddled with that WaMu plastic for some time. I say, if you want new plastic, to just call in and request new plastic. Card replacement. But don't say the card was lost or stolen. Just say that you have a Chase card and you'd like Chase plastic.

      Might be worth a shot for those who would prefer Chase plastic.

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    96. CM, good idea. Honesty... never thought to try that!

      :)

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    97. Clutch, my typical way of thinking is to use the direct method. If that doesn't work, then you get creative.

      ReplyDelete
    98. Our letters told some of us that we would be using our WaMu cards until they expire. Letter for my just-renewed 11/11 card said use WaMu card until expiration. Letter for my expires-11/09 card said I'd be getting a Chase replacement card in March.

      Best way to replace long-term WaMu plastic (like my 11/11 card) w/Chase plastic ahead of time is to convert from the assigned Flexible Rewards to another Chase product if eligible.

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    99. Or were you told that new cards would not be issued for conversions, Clutch?

      ReplyDelete
    100. U, the MC->VISA VISA->MC insures that the number will change. If you change programs but, stay in the same payment network, they may saddle you with the old plastic until it expires. You'll still get the new rewards though.

      ReplyDelete
    101. If the number changes, you're getting new plastic. If the number remains the same, you're stuck with old plastic. That's why going from MC to Visa guarantees the new plastic. The first number for MC is 5. Visa is 4 (as we all know).

      ReplyDelete
    102. U, no. My CSR didn't mention no new cards. I'm just remembering what the Chase letters said and what I am reading over at CB. Some are reporting their CSR's told them to just use the old card 'til it expires.

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    103. Oh, mercy me... did I just damage the magnetic strip on my card? Heavens, I may need a replacement!

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    104. Yes. Your strip was demagnetized, Clutch. That happens. Card reader can no longer read your card. Must replace.

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    105. Both my WaMu cards are Visa, yet their letters said two different things. One said use the old card, the other said new card on the way.

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    106. I'm glad I don't have to deal with this. :) I already had a Chase relationship. I just combined the limits and shut down the WaMu card. End of WaMu. I hated that card (outside of the FICO perk).

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    107. I'm getting a brand new wallet this weekend. I'll be damned if I'm gonna sully it with my old WaMu cards.

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    108. Clutch, that's funny. I can imagine you looking at the WaMu plastic and scoffing. Makes me chuckle.

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    109. I called again and got a different rep. She said she cannot convert my card but she can add a rewards program to my card, so I said yes. She said I'll get $25 for every 2500 points I earn.

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    110. Chrissy, has anyone explained precisely why your card is not eligible? Seems as though some college students are getting stranded.

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    111. Like I'm going to flash a card bearing the logo of a famously long-defunct bank while doing my 2011 holiday shopping? Yeah, that'll happen...

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    112. LOL, no, CM... I just don't want to be viewed with suspicion!! Who wants to flash a card from a bank everyone knows no longer exists? It would look like I just whipped up a card on my fake-credit-card-machine at home!

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    113. What's funny is that I don't think many people even look at our plastic. They just swipe. If it goes through, you get the card back.

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    114. Oh, I get looks when I flash my Centurion.

      Yeah, right.

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    115. Although, keeping in mind the AT&T/Cingular/AT&T debacle, WaMu will re-emerge buy Chase next year, we'll go through all of this again, and then Chase will take over WaMu again in 2011...

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    116. I take it that everyone saw that Citigroup said it was profitable during the first two months of this year, right?

      http://www.thestreet.com/_yahoo/story/10469829/1/citi-having-best-quarter-since-07-ceo-says.html?cm_ven=YAHOO&cm_cat=FREE&cm_ite=NA

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    117. Yeah, caught that, CM. So did Wall Street, apparently. (AND THIS BELONGS IN OPEN THREAD!! lol)

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    118. Ulysses: BlogCop!

      lol.

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    119. It's because of U that we have the OT thread. So U is correct, which is why I just posted that message in OT (along with the FICO news).

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    120. Ulysses, ack! I messed up! I STARTED college in 2004, I got the card in April of 2006. It was a WaMu branded ad and the card has only ever said WaMu on it.

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    121. Matthew, what's the official name of your card? Meaning, I had the WaMu Platinum MasterCard. What's yours?

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    122. CM, yelp WaMu Platinum Mastercard. Looked just like this https://online.wamu.com/NR/rdonlyres/A5164403-E377-4E0A-8C3F-8B614F04C689/0/personal_plat_card.jpg

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    123. Matthew, that's exactly what my card looked like. So the problem must be in the way you acquired it. Sounds like that college connection might have something to do with it.

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    124. CM,

      Dear Chase:
      LAME
      Love, matthew

      :D I'll try again in a few months! I'll report back if I can convert it

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    125. CM, yours and Matthew's are WaMu proper (were you WaMu banking customers?), originating from WaMu Bank itself and unrelated to Providian. The Visa cards were issued by the Providian arm of the WaMu business. They were different. The MC was known to pull EX, while the Visa pulled TU (I think that was across the board, not regional).

      How did you two get your cards? WaMu MC used to be for banking customers only, and until the Providian takeover weren't even underwritten by WaMu. Can't remember who it was, though.

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    126. U, I got the card in 2006. It was always a WaMu card. Never part of Providian. I was also a banking customer at WaMu.

      I received a preapproval letter in the mail. That's why I grabbed the card.

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    127. AH! WaMu cards were first underwritten by Associates and Citi.

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    128. U, did not know that. I learn something every day.

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    129. Yes, the WaMu MC was usually for their banking customers. Not even sure there was ever an open online app. From what I can remember, in branch or by invite. You and Matthew have different WaMu platinum than I do. Both of mine were Providian Visa, though WaMu underwriting.

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    130. CM and U,

      Sounds like I got mine like CM. I banked at wamu (until last year when I switched to BECU and never looked back!), and got the offer with an "approval code" in the mail.

      Sounds like I got it at about the same time as CM, as well as the say way.

      There will be calling back in a few months!

      Thanks for the info U :)

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    131. Strange situation, Matthew. Let us know how it eventually turns out.

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    132. I often wonder how this whole situation would have shaken out had WaMu done stricter due diligence before acquiring Providian portfolio, or at least taken better stock shortly after it. They took on a lot of very risky accounts, but they apparently made the mistake of keeping them on. Sure, it's tempting to fill your pockets with high interest payments, late fees and overlimit fees, but when it comes time to sell your portfolio, you have a whole lot of bad business to offer to potential buyers. They should have shed their risky accounts much earlier, but I guess they couldn't resist the siren song of fleecing people. And that made the Chase transition that much more complex.

      (And I promise I won't stay up here on my soapbox any longer. That was just an observation.)

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    133. It seems like the only difference between me and Matthew is that he was a student when he got the card; I wasn't. Otherwise, sounds as though we got our cards in the same way: both bank customers, both received preapproval letters; both got the same card.

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    134. Yes, student cards may be flagged. I wonder if they will eventually lift restrictions if former "students" can show proof of increased income/steady employment. But knowing credit card companies, they'll advise students to apply for a new card... which they'll approve for several times the credit limit of the old card, after refusing any leeway on the old card. Happens all the time.

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    135. And this isn't even a student card. It's just a student that got the card. But you're right. If you have a student card, you'll be hard pressed to have it graduated. You'll have to apply for a "big girl" or "big boy" card.

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    136. One thing getting on my nerves is that although it appears in the list of available accounts and has a checkbox next to it, one of my accounts will not let me sign up for paperless statements. It accepts me checking the box, then on the next page it has a big orange box around it, and says statements for this account will be sent by US Mail, but with no explanation. Anyone else?

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    137. Also, was thinking it's pretty stupid to expect people to walk around for the next two or three years with WaMu cards. People are not always in a position to look up the customer service number, so I hope Chase has made arrangements to have all the calls to the WaMu and Providian numbers listed on the backs of our cards automatically forwarded to Chase call centers.

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    138. U, I am sure that the number on the back of your WaMu plastic will continue to work.

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    139. Stupid Chase question (stupid question, not stupid Chase, in case they are reading!)

      Does anyone know if the PerfectCard only comes in a MC version? I've noticed on the Chase site that most of the cards that don't mention what they are usually are MasterCard.

      This only matters in the "get new plastic by changing MC/Visa" vien.

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    140. I am sure that someone knows the answer to this, Clutch. If it turns out that no one does, though, you'll just call and find out. Would be curious.

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    141. Yup, I will call if no one knows. I just can't bear another 30 minutes of Chase music right now.

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    142. Yep. I was thinking about that 30-minute hold time. Sucks.

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    143. Just did this, no sliver was required. Really no wait at all. Only con: tried to sell me their fraud/id theft insurance. But otherwise smooth as silk. Asked for and was told a snail mail confirmation would be sent. Online information already reflects combined available credit figures. Great stuff Chase!

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    144. Anon, thanks for the note. I agree that the process was painless. And nice to see that you were able to bring your entire limit over. That's rare. Chase is insisting that customers leave a token limit on one of the cards.

      Chase did a solid job during this transition.

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    145. Follow-up by no 'sliver' I simply mean I was not required to keep open the WaMU account with a small credit limit. The entire amount was combined into the Chase card and the WaMU card closed. No mention was made of keeping a small credit line open, which frankly sounded ridiculous to me - including the logic for why. So the full WaMU available credit was added to the current Chase. All is well.

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    146. Informer, that's the way I interpreted your previous comment. Forcing customers to leave a small limit is just another way to wring out available credit, too. That, of course, assumes that the customer does not leave the account open.

      ReplyDelete
    147. http://consumerist.com/5168103/convert-and-combine-your-wamu-and-chase-cards

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    148. Thanks, U. Saw that earlier this morning. My traffic monitor -- Sitemeter -- keeps me up to speed on any site that's pointing to me (assuming someone clicks the link that leads to my site).

      ReplyDelete
    149. OK, I was just making sure you (and everyone else) knew. :-)

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    150. Haha. Thanks for looking out for the site, U. Much appreciated.

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    151. Just tried to convert my WAMU platium visa(0 balance, no usage for 6 months) to Chase Freedom card. The CSR said I was not qualified to convert to any Chase card. I was curious about the reason since my credit history is clean(no late payment, utilization ratio <3%), and I always pay in full for all my credit accounts. She simply replied that according to their system she could not do a product change and if I think it was not beneficial to keep WAMU card I always have the right to close it... Sounds that Chase does not like me at all. Really confusing.. And Yes, I got this WAMU card by accepting a pre-approved letter when I was in the college. Does this college connection really matter, as some people mentioned in previously posts.

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    152. James, there's that college connection again. I have not heard of others being rejected for a product change.

      ReplyDelete
    153. I have a chase personal card with a 9.99% Fixed Rate (this is not an introductory offer). My WaMu card is a variable rate currently around 12%. Is it possible to "convert" this WaMu credit line onto my 9.99% Fixed Chase card credit line?

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    154. I recently took my WaMu variable rate card and merged it with my fixed-rate Chase card. Worked like a charm. You should have no problems.

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    155. sorry... and if it is possible, what is the prevailing APR? Will the 9.99% Fixed stick, or will they change the Chase card into a varialbe rate card with the same APR as my WaMu card?

      ReplyDelete
    156. Anon, your Chase card should not change. Your combination will not change the Chase card in any way.

      ReplyDelete
    157. Thanks! Sounds pretty good to me.

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    158. I have a WaMu card with 22% interest and a Chase with 9.9%. Any chance they'll combine the two with the 9.9% card?

      Tim

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    159. Anon, I don't even think they're paying attention to the APR. If you allow your card with the 9.9% APR to survive, that should be your APR for the combined card.

      I would call and ask though. Just to make sure. I would hate to tell you one thing and have it be something else.

      That goes for the earlier Anon too.

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    160. "Here is the effect of your conversion: your card history will be retained. If you've had that old WaMu card since 2006, your newly-converted card will retain that 2006 opening. Your card won't lose any history during the conversion."

      This is definitely NOT true. I tried to combine, and I was told by the Chase rep that my start year of 1998 with Providian/WaMu would NOT be reflected on my Chase account.

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    161. Dorei, one rep doesn't work for me. Call back. You need a consensus. Your rep is telling you that they're effectively going to kill 11 years of history. Boo!

      Call back and ask a supervisor.

      ReplyDelete
    162. Wait a second. You combined and left which card open, Dorei? If your Chase card survives -- and you close your WaMu card, then she is correct.

      But if you do a conversion -- which has nothing to do with a combination -- then they are wrong.

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    163. Just tried to combine my cards and they're telling me, having balances will not let me. Then I asked if I could have my APR be the same sure enough they said NO! Is there a special department? This credit card stuff sucks.

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    164. I want to be clear here -- for someone who might come along and read this.

      If you had a WaMu/Providian card that was 11 years old it is now a Chase Flexible Rewards card. If you did NOTHING, it would show up next month on your credit report as a Chase card with 11 years of history.

      Therefore, if you were to convert your Chase Flexible Rewards card (which used to be your WaMu card), its history will be retained if you call Chase and tell them to make it a Freedom card. The history remains intact.

      That does not contradict my story. That's exactly what I wrote.

      As for a conversion, here's how it would work. If you take your Chase Flexible Reward card (your old WaMu card) and merge it with a Chase Freedom card (which, hypothetically has 3 years of age), your Chase Flexible Rewards card dies right then and there. The surviving card would be the Freedom card and its 3 years of age.

      That's why I recommend that people make sure they think about the combination process. Using my hypothetical, you would be smarter to take your younger Chase card (the Freedom card) and combine it with the Chase Flexible Rewards card (and its 11 years of history). That way the surviving card is 11 instead of 3 years old.

      I hope that makes sense for someone who happens to stumble upon this post.

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    165. Maurice, a lot of us had balances on our cards when we did the combination. I had a $7 balance on one card and $70 balance on the other. Had no problem doing the combo.

      I used the number that's in my story.

      Also, some of the customer service reps are more up to speed. Others are totally lost.

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    166. I've tried 5 times and keep getting the same result ... The reps are saying that if you have a balance on the WaMu card you can only combine the remaining credit-limit.

      In my case I have a WaMu card with a $10,000 limit and a 6,000 balance. I can only combine 4,000 over to my Chase Card.

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    167. GMoney, that's correct. They are not allowing you to transfer balances. You can only move your available credit (the part that doesn't have a balance). In my story I mentioned that. Said that your balance would be left behind.

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    168. From my story: "Finally, if you have a balance on the old WaMu card, you'll receive a closing statement, which is when you'll pay off that balance. The balance, in other words, does not move to your Chase card during the combination. Make sure you make a note of that."

      ReplyDelete
    169. Without calling, I think I have an answer to my previous PerfectCard question.

      Chase online now shows that I have 3 accounts. The additional one is the Amazon Visa that was converted from a WaMu platinum MC. New account number and identical credit lines as the old card. The old MC account is still there, but I assume it will go poof soon.

      The old WaMu Visa that I converted to a PerfectCard has not grown a twin. I'm guessing this means the PerfectCard comes in either V or MC flavors.

      I may only be getting one new piece of plastic for now after all.

      On to plan B...

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    170. Hey, everybody. I called Chase to convert my WaMu Visa to the Chase PerfectCard. I made sure to ask questions. The rep confirmed that my account number will remain the same, as a Visa. He said all they were changing was the face of the card to reflect enrollment in the rewards program, so I should be getting new plastic in a few days. I can actually start using my old WaMu card to earn rewards now.

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    171. Xelda, did your rep confirm you would be getting a new card soon, or did he just tell you to continue using your old one?

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    172. He said I would be receiving a new card soon. Then I asked if the account number was still the same, and he said yes. So I asked if that meant I could use my old card to start earning rewards, and he said yes.

      ReplyDelete
    173. Thanks Xelda. I forgot to ask if I could continue using my WaMu card that was becoming a PerfectCard. My rep told me not to use my WaMu MC until after I got the Amazon replacement.

      Thanks for the conformation.

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    174. Clutch, I also have three accounts now. Two Amazon Visas, with different account numbers, but the information (limit, last payment date, etc.) on the new one is identical to the real one, which is a converted WaMu/Providian platinum.

      They told us our account numbers wouldn't be changing, so WTF is this about? My card was already a Visa!! On hold, hold time expected to be "in excess of 10 minutes." At 11 o'clock at night?!

      OKAY!! 14 minutes of waiting later... >:-(

      Here's the deal for conversions: If you choose to keep the Flexible Rewards card they assigned to you, your account number stays the same. But once you convert to a different product/program, you get a new account number and with it a new card.

      New account number will supposedly simply replace the old account number on your reports, but all history will remain intact.

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    175. Dorei's comment earlier shows how inconsistent the information is at Chase right now. I figured Dorei just got an uninformed representative.

      I don't write these stories without confirming my information. Even though I am writing a blog here I still adhere to my journalistic ways. Just can't shake it.

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    176. I made the rep confirm three times that NOTHING WILL CHANGE except the account number... history will remain intact on my reports. No "closed accounts" involved. Everything the same except the account number. He laughed at me because I made him keep repeating it.

      If that is NOT true, I will hunt "Melvin" down and beat the crap out of him. And don't think I won't.

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    177. U, Chase would have a mob of angry customers if it reset the history on everyone. It wouldn't make any sense at all.

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    178. Yes, CM. Because banks only do things that make sense and benefit consumers. LOL

      It's late. You're tired. I'll let that one slide.

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    179. You know what? You're right. I slipped on that one. Touche.

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    180. These days, nothing at all would surprise me. The world has gone mad. I'm the picture of financial responsibility, yet I'm thinking "I'm lucky they're keeping my account open at all!"

      Crazy.

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    181. And so it begins...

      Guy over on CB combines his cards today, calls to convert tonight and finds his cards closed due to:

      "PREVIOUS UNSATISFACTORY RELATIONSHIP WITH CHASE"

      This is what I was afraid of. I figured if they didn't run us all through the internal system before they took us on, they would eventually. I have a pretty checkered past with Chase from my old, stupid, bad credit days. I'm sure it won't be long before I meet the same fate.

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    182. U, working behind the scenes with regard to some of the stuff I have seen during the past three days. I am working on that college angle. Also working on seeing what's going to happen now. Do some of those Providian customers who used to be extremely subprime get the hatchet now?

      Stay tuned.

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    183. I really don't want to lose $19k in lines over things I did like 10 years ago, and have paid dearly for since. But I think a lot of banks just want to shed customers, and they have to weed us out somehow.

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    184. Wow, this latest development does suck regarding the closing after combining issue. CM, you and I have both chatted in the past few months about this Chase conversion probably "not going well" for many WaMu CC holders who had BKs with/without Chase included on their credit reports. I think we're just about to see it hit the fan full force. They're not the forgiving type. :(

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    185. clutch - Just out of curiosity, how long was it after the conversion that you saw your accounts updated online? My WaMu Visa hasn't been updated to show any Rewards Details or any other indication that it's been converted to the PerfectCard. I suppose I could call and check, but I'm reluctant to spend another 20 minutes on hold.

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    186. Xelda, besides the conversion, I also asked that some of the limit from the card that would become the PerfectCard be moved to the card that would become the Amazon. That change showed up within 5 minutes of me hanging up.

      If I recall correctly, the other change that happened immediatly was the old MC got an Amazon rewards section added to it, but no Amazon logo. The card that is supposed to become a PerfectCard got named a PerfectCard but had no rewards section.

      The next day the PerfectCard got its reward section. No change to the Amazon, no logo but had the rewards part.

      3rd day, no change to PerfectCard, original MC no change. Additional account showed up with new number, rewards section AND Amazon logo.

      Just now, both old MC and new Amazon show Amazon logo's.

      This is as detailed chronology as I can remember, hope it helps.

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    187. Tang, indeed. Because I have been buried in a science paper that is due today, I have been unable to get to the bottom of some of the issues cropping up with this WaMu/Chase handover.

      However, here is what I know. Some customers, who responded to WaMu preapproval offers while in college, are looking stranded at this point.

      Also, remember that story I wrote about Providian cardmembers being "under review?" Well, I am hearing that some people are not able to convert to any product right now because many of those accounts are still under review.

      Additionally, I am hearing that some people will be getting canceled when cards expire. If anyone has recently received a renewal card (in the past several weeks), they may have noticed that the renewal was only good for a year.

      Chase is going to "run off" some customers. The changeover is now complete. Now some of the real work is starting for Chase.

      Because none of my reporting is complete yet, you can take what I just said with a grain of salt. But I can also tell you that the grain should be very small. I've heard enough to feel pretty good about what I have written in this post.

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    188. So by converting to Amazon, I may have unwittingly pushed up my "review" date from 11/11 to 3/10.

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    189. AH, re: to clarify my earlier post...

      Chase Freedom Plus Cash/Miles/Points all have a $30 annual fee... NOT a $30 fee to convert. I admit I wasn't listening to the CSR too closely because I wasn't interested in Freedom, and I was trying to concentrate on typing up the list of available conversion products to post here.

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    190. Thanks, U. You're referring to the annual fee that some of the Chase Freedom cards now have. It's $30 for those cards. The plain vanilla Freedom card, which isn't as good as the previous version, is still free.

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    191. U, I say let the chips fall where they may. I'd rather find out now if I'm a Chase customer then a year from now. I think.

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    192. A year and a half from now, my past crimes against Chase would be a year and a half older... ;-)

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