What Not To Do: How To Avoid Having Your Account Closed

Banks don’t close down accounts for no reason. I have significant point balances in currencies like Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards and don’t sweat it because I avoid risky behavior (even if I do have a couple dozen cards from those 2 banks). The 3rd major transferable point program, Starwood Starpoints, is not affected even if your card is closed.

Those that are more risk-averse or who engage in riskier activity should definitely look into transferring your points to an airline where they will be safe.  However points are far more versatile when they’re in a transferable point system as you can wait until you want to redeem for travel before locking them into a single program.  In this post from a year ago I talked about some of the best Chase transfer options.

If you are hit by a financial review from American Express (F/R) they will ask for your tax returns. As long as you made money on the books and filed a return you should pass the review. Your credit lines may be reduced if your taxes show less income than you reported when you applied for the card.  If you make nothing on the books then you can ask if they will accept your bank statements.  If they won’t just go ahead and close the accounts yourself so that it doesn’t say closed by creditor on your credit report. American Express will allow you to transfer Membership Rewards points even if you are under financial review.

Other banks like Citi and Chase can take adverse action (A/A) if they feel you are a risky customer.  In these cases that may reduce your credit lines or close your cards.  Some people have been able to get the bank to reconsider and reopen their cards, so it’s definitely worth trying to appeal. With Citibank ThankYou points the points have been confiscated. With Chase some people have had points confiscated while others have been able to appeal and transfer the points or at least get 1 cent per point even if the decision to have their cards closed remains final.

Typically these things can happen when you have several risk factors and the bank decides it’s too risky to have you as a customer.  Here are activities you should try to avoid:

-Using the majority of the credit line on any given card.
Ideally for your credit score you want to use as little of your available credit on any given card as possible. This can be accomplished by paying off 99.9% of your bill before your statement generates or by using business cards.

Even if you do that the bank will not like seeing you use too much of a credit line as it can mean that you are racking up a bill that you won’t pay.  Excessive spend is a trigger for financial review and adverse action.   As with everything in life, moderation is key.

-Uploading gift cards online to Bluebird.
Bluebird now allows you to upload $100 per day online from your debit card for free. Don’t do it from a gift card as it’s a definite trigger to get your account suspended.
Far better off going to WalMart and using their ATM machine or any cashier to load a gift card on Bluebird. Besides for being able to do 10x the amount per Bluebird card it takes away a huge risk factor. But for gosh sake if you load with a cashier just say that you want to load your Bluebird from your debit card and don’t say you want to use a gift card.

Or just buy Vanilla Reloads from stores like CVS which transfer to Bluebird online without any issues. Most CVS stores will take credit cards but even in the same store some cashiers may decide not to allow it while others will. When I was in Miami last year the cashier in the front said no but the pharmacy did it without a problem.

Personally I also avoid making online Bluebird transfers to checking accounts. Better off paying off your credit card bills, rent, mortgage, or even writing a Bluebird check to your spouse.  However I wouldn’t deposit that check into an account with a bank that I have credit cards with. I also don’t have Amazon Payments deposit my balance into an account with a bank that I have credit cards with.

-Having too much total credit.
It’s been said in the past that having a credit line over $25K on any American Express card can trigger a financial review. If your credit lines are far beyond the income that you report it can also be a red flag.

-Not paying your bills on time and/or carrying large balances.
These actions will lower your credit score significantly. If your score has a big drop it can trigger action from other banks besides the one where you had a late bill or carry a large balance with.

-Using your credit line multiple times in a month
Banks don’t love it when you pay off your bill several times in middle of a month just in order to be able to spend beyond what your monthly credit line is.

-Adding too many additional users.
This is a known trigger for an American Express financial review.

-Transferring/Receiving Ultimate Rewards points to/from another Ultimate Rewards points account that belongs to someone besides you or your spouse.
This is a known way to get your Chase accounts shut down. Anecdotal evidence is that transfers directly to someone else’s airline/hotel account (as opposed to Ultimate Rewards account) is safe, though a couple people have reported that they think it may be a trigger as well.

-Depositing excessive cash or money orders into a checking account.
Banks don’t like to see excessive cash/money order deposits into a checking account as it can look like money laundering. If you do that with a bank that you have a credit card with it can cause a shutdown of both your checking account and your credit cards.

-Having a 3rd party pay off a credit card bill or deposit a check into your account.
Pay off your own credit card bills from your own bank account. Don’t deposit checks that aren’t made out to you.

-Getting multiple checking account bonuses.
Some people have reported being shut down for getting multiple checking bonuses.

-Paying for the mistakes of others at your address.
Typically when a bank does a financial review or decides to close accounts they will go after all accounts located at the same address.

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172 Responses to “What Not To Do: How To Avoid Having Your Account Closed”

  1. stephen Says:

    i usually use my credit Line a few times a month mainly because it is a small CL….according to you that CAN (not definite) cause an A/A or F/R….what do you suggest?

  2. Dan Says:

    Get another credit card so that you don’t have to resort to that.

  3. Joe Says:

    So do they (chase, amex, or starwoods) take the points when they close ur account?

  4. yitz g Says:

    Dan, great advice! Thanks

    For paying bills, is it a red flag to pay during the month, if you use up all your credit? Meaning, i usually pay twice a month. Once a day before it prints and then the rest when its due.

    Is this good practice?

  5. Joel L. Says:

    Does chase ever do a financial review?

    I have had it with Amex in the past but never with Chase.

  6. chossid Says:

    If i pay my credit card from someone else account but its written out to the credit card company, is that ok?

  7. stephen Says:

    @dan i have a few but i prefer to do my spending on Chase and amex ( which dont have the highest CL’s)

  8. Dan Says:

    I’ve updated the post to make it more clear.

    @yitz g:
    The main thing to avoid is spending $10,000 in a month if you line is only $6,000.

    @Joel L.:
    It’s pretty rare.

    It can be a trigger.
    A trigger doesn’t mean you will for sure get shut down, but it’s something that you should definitely avoid.

    It’s a trigger.

  9. Susan Says:

    So if you are buying vanilla reloads to meet a spending threshold and you have the money in your bluebird account how do you suggest paying the credit card bill. If I need to pay off AMEX can I deposit money from Bluebird to Chase account and pay AMEX from there? I would never pay a chase credit card this way but what about amex. For Chase I have a credit union account that I could use. Any advice?

  10. Dan Says:

    I wouldn’t worry about paying an AMEX card directly from Bluebird online.
    Much better than making a Bluebird transfer to a Chase checking account online.

  11. Al Says:


    You suggest “paying off 99.9% of your bill before your statement generates”

    With respect, I don’t think that’s a solution. The problem is the amount you are charging relative to your income.

    For example, say you have a declared income of $10k/month, but you are charging $10k of Vanilla Reloads per month. In the bank’s eyes, how can anyone with an income of $10k/mo. afford to charge $10k/month? Even if you are cycling the funds and paying off the balance, that must raise a red flag.

    I got a nasty Financial Review from Amex this year even though I was paying off my card every few days after buying Vanilla Reloads. Yes, they reinstated my accounts after reducing my lines, and my income is not insignificant. They also put limits on my Platinum and PRG cards.

    I don’t care about Amex, but I worry if I will run into the same problem with Chase even though I pay my cards in full every month.

  12. David Says:

    Dan, with chase it doesn’t matter if you have risky behavior or not, they close checking and credit card accounts even when their is nothing wrong, if you gave a check to someone who was closed for any reason, you will be closed too. they believe in אוי לרשע ואוי לשכנו and nothing will help.

  13. Dan Says:

    The 99.9% is mainly to improve your credit score.
    But the main thing is not to use the majority of your line and not to reuse your line several times during a month.

    That’s BS. Banks don’t close people for no reason at all.
    There’s going to be some trigger that set it off.

  14. ben Says:

    @dan, I think you didn’t do enough reserch yet, I know of many bank accounts / credit card accounts without the above reson who were closed, the last reason “Paying for the mistakes of others at your address.” Makes the most sense, with one correction, its not the address, its more likely the State you live in…….

  15. Susan Says:

    What about paying a credit card with bluebird check?

  16. Yaks Says:

    What abt 3bm’s in general or just opening too many cards in a short period of time (even with small credit lines)?

  17. Dan Says:

    Right, they’re just going to close everyone in a state.
    You do know they’re not stupid. People may not like admitting that they made a mistake, but there’s always going to be a reason for their action.

    They just won’t tell you what that reason is.

    Should be OK, but personally Id avoid doing it with Chase for the time being.

    As long as the lines aren’t too large for your reported income it should be fine.

  18. jack Says:

    What’s about business credit card?

  19. Thingywingy Says:

    I have deposited bluebird checks into my chase account where I have a few credit cards. Do you think that in itself puts me at risk of getting reviewed by Chase?

  20. Dan Says:

    Whats about it?

    I don’t think that by itself would be an issue, though combined with something else it’s a possibility.

    If you’re very nervous though then just transfer your points to whichever program you think will fit your needs.

  21. Zack Says:

    @dan Is it true jewish areas are being targeted?
    And is switching your Billing address multiple times risky?

  22. Fishing4Deals Says:

    Good advice.

  23. Dan Says:

    I don’t believe that for a second, those are ridiculous allegations.
    Again, the banks aren’t stupid. Do you have any idea what kind of lawsuit that would make?!?

    Now if multiple people all transferred points to the same broker, or all had their credit card bills paid directly from the same person, or have the same address, or all deposited points into the same airline account that those would definitely be a trigger.

  24. mileschurner Says:

    @Zack: that never sounds like a good idea..

  25. Avi Says:

    Are you saying not to pay online from someone else bank account is that even with the same last name?

  26. Dan Says:

    Same last name is less risky but still, why add any risk unless you absolutely have to?

  27. Zack Says:

    @dan thanks, can switching your Billing address once or twice be a trigger?

  28. yuneeq Says:

    Great post Dan, though I would probably try to think of better post title. Maybe “How to avoid getting your accounts closed down” or something that is far less vague than “what not to do”.

  29. Anon Says:

    I didn’t know all this information, and have been charging about $3500 on my Chase Ink card that has a $2,000 credit limit, paying off most of it before it even bills. I have all my business and personal bank accounts with Chase. This is the only creditcard we have aside for a Capital One Secured Card. What should I do at this point? Should I call and ask for a credit increase based on my history with Chase?

  30. Yankel Says:

    Dan remember reading in another post that ideal spending is 10% of credit line is that not correct?

  31. Sam Says:

    @Dan, Currently i am taking advantage of 5X card from citi. the CL given to me is 7.5K, but i am spending around 30K by paying off multiple times a month. According to your post it is risky, but i don’t see any other way to milk this offer. Do you have any suggestions?

  32. Yitz Says:

    This guy on Kol Mevaser was terrifying the Oilem…

  33. yankel Says:

    Just wondering, this whole idea of not using someone else’s check or bank acct for payment, how does that go hand-in-hand with amex or chase’s encouragement of AUs. Am I expected to have the AU dep the money in MY bank acct for the payment?

  34. Dan Says:

    I wouldn’t do it too often, but once is obviously not going to be an issue at all.

    Better now?

    Just stop doing that.
    Better off applying for a new card that asking for an increase. Both involve a hard pull but at least you’ll get miles for it with a new card.

    Under 10% is good.
    Under 1% is even better.

    Citi is very trigger happy with their 5x cards and they go back many years for misdeeds.
    Use those points while you can as Citi is just vicious with those cards.

    It’s sheer idiocy.
    The notion that a bank would just randomly “close everybody” or target people of a certain religion is quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

    See comment 23.

    He should write you a check and you pay off the bill.

  35. GoldMine Says:

    While I agree that there must be a reason as Dan wrote, by many people it can be extremely minor and unavoidable. I don’t Believe that Chase is closing accounts out of the blue, but it might that they target certain areas to be more careful. I personally know many people that their accounts were closed that none of the above reasons apply. The explanation they got from the representative was just, we decided that your total credit limit of all cards (including other banks) is too high. This reason is unavoidable, when you open cards and use them carefully. So, just follow Dan’s advice, but be prepared for a sudden shutdown! Don’t let your points sit in Chase for to long..

  36. BlueBird123 Says:

    If your Blue Bird Account is “suspended” because you took advantage of them now allowing you to transfer debit card value to your Blue Bird account (and you used a gift card debit card) any advice/experience what to tell them when it comes out a gift card type debit card was used. They are asking for proof of identity and a copy of the card and the bank statement for the debit card. Thanks, Dan

  37. yankel Says:

    @Dan: What if I’m in a situation that I can’t have such large deposits to my bank account?

  38. ben Says:

    @ Dan, The muslims, have actually engaged in a law suit in June for targeting the arab community, so don’t say its not possible, a branch manager explained me that they know the areas who are community based, & when they fear a risk of one account, the chain is endless

  39. Anon Says:

    @Dan, Is it better if I apply for another card with Chase, or start with another bank altogether.

  40. bruce Says:

    great concise and clear post dan!

  41. newcomer Says:

    So if I don’t really have any of those triggers, should I transfer my points or not?

  42. joe Says:

    if i have 19k credit line should i lower it?

  43. Al Says:


    I try to buy $15k of VRs per month. I like to use the UA Club card for the 1.5x. If I charge say $5k and pay it off within a few days can I use that card again or should I be using other cards for the remaining purchases? Is paying off your charges immediately a good or bad thing?

  44. abe Says:

    Are you saying it is not a good idea to sell your CC points?

  45. AJK Says:

    @Dan — would you recommend closing some cards if your total CL exceeds your annual income? Does the analysis change if you regularly apply for new cards?

  46. Ash Says:

    If I need to get money out of bb and want to give it to my wife, should I write her a bb check or “pay” her online?

  47. AJK Says:


    How can he answer that question? Having a 19K credit line in the abstract isn’t necessarily bad. However, if you’re stated income is $10,000 and your reported income is half that, it’d very much be a problem.


    No offense, but based on the recent round of closures, putting $15k/mo of CVS charges isn’t a red flag, it’s a firey orange flag with fireworks. Sheer stupidity IMO.

  48. Targeting communities Says:

    Dan, I disagree with your premise that banks would never target Jewish communities for fear of a lawsuit.

    Banks will do whatever it is they need to do to protect their assets. They can always deny the allegations, just as the IRS denies that they targeted Tea Party groups.

    Let’s not be naive here. You can be certain that between Brooklyn and Lakewood, (two tiny dots on a huge map) a disproportionate amount of points and miles are being racked up, relative to other communities across the U.S.

    When it comes to Amex SBS, you think they don’t see that a disproportionate amount of the credits are coming from certain places?

    Based on my own experience, outside of the DD/DDF and FT communities, most people don’t have a clue about the value of miles and points, and end up using them for either overpriced tickets or cashing them out for overpriced items.

  49. Josh Says:

    Dan, What about cash payments (at branch) towards credit card bills. Bad idea?

  50. AJK Says:


    Selling Ultimate Rewards is against the T&C of the program. Violating those terms makes you subject to account closure. So, in short: yes.

  51. Farj Says:

    @Dan : if I am paying my bills ontime with no problems, why would the bank care if I am paying it multiple times to offset a low credit limit?
    For some reason my Amex has a very low limit of 2K, despite my Master card having over 18k limit. I have 4 users on the amex card and spend 20K/month and everything is paid off before the bill comes out. Why would that trigger a review, and if it does what is their to review? I am not doing anything illegal or against the policy of Amex, would they close my account?

  52. ryan Says:

    Thanks Dan, but I think your post should have been about Chase only. They are by far the most aggressive – especially of late. Amex and Citi are in the minor leagues compared to Chase.

  53. AJK Says:

    @Targeting communities:

    You realize you disproved your own point, right?

    “Dan, I disagree with your premise that banks would never target Jewish communities for fear of a lawsuit.
    Banks will do whatever it is they need to do to protect their assets.”

    Make no mistake about it, a class action suit by the targeted group or even better, a suit by the CFPB against Chase for discrimination will cause *exponentially* more harm to Chase’s bottom line than whatever exposure they’re mitigating by closing these “questionable” accounts.

    And if you think Lakewood or Brooklyn even shows up on the radar of Chase, I think it is you who are the one who is being naive. Granted, it may be slightly more concentrated, but compared to the FT and MP communities, these locales wouldn’t make the grade.

  54. jewish Says:

    my credit limit is $2000, and I sometimes use it more then that after I pay off in middle of the month. is that bad that they should close my account?

  55. menachem Says:

    i usually pay off my credit card bills with a third party check made out to chase, does that mean that im in trouble now? should i transfer my point out of chase???

  56. Targeting communities Says:


    “Make no mistake about it, a class action suit by the targeted group or even better, a suit by the CFPB against Chase for discrimination will cause *exponentially* more harm to Chase’s bottom line than whatever exposure they’re mitigating by closing these “questionable” accounts.”

    Incorrect, as they can claim they are not targeting a race or religion, but rather a geographical location. All the banks around the Brooklyn area flat-out stopped accepting the dollar coins from the U.S. mint, was that a basis for a class action lawsuit?

    If you think that Brooklyn and Lakewood are not showing up on their radar, at least in terms of point and miles activity, I have a bridge to sell you…

  57. Chaim Says:

    I have multiple business cc from American Express and I’m paying it off from a few different accounts none of that under my name and one of those is under the business name does this trigger a review? And what are my best option if I don’t want to use my account

  58. AJK Says:

    @Targeting communities:

    First,to quote Denzel Washington, “it’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.” The mere allegation that Chase is targeting a religious demographic will be enough damage that they’d endeavor to stay from away from it.

    Second, you need to research “discrimination by proxy” and then get back to me about the viability of “hey, prosecutor, we were just targeting 11201, not anything to do with the people living there!”

    Wah, wah, wah… all the way to the bank… to pay the massive penalty.

  59. Peretz770 Says:

    I just went to walmart to load some gift/debit cards on to my bluebard but they said I needed to have a pin for my debit card. But can you get a pin for a gift debit card?

  60. Tim Says:

    Does anyone recommend me asking cc companies to decrease credit limits on some cards ?

  61. Happy Says:

    thanks dan for this post. a few questions here:

    1) Is it bad to pay off my chase ink bill with bluebird? Ive been buying gift cards at office stores and depositing it into my bluebird and using it to pay off my ink bill. is this too risky? is there a better way of doing it?

    2) is paying my credit card bill with money orders or cash dangerous?

    3) is paying my credit card bill with a check that someone else sent me (made out to my name) dangerous?

    4) if i sold points – ie, transferred chase points into someone else’d united account does that mean i’m in danger of being shut down?


  62. Happy Says:

    also if my credit limit is above my income- should i call to lower it? does credit limit go by bank or by all banks together?

  63. RJ Says:

    Is it okay to pay credit card bill with a non for profit / company check. I do not want to get reviewed. Why should they care where the money is from ?

  64. Daniel Says:

    last four digits of the card

  65. Daniel Says:

    Wow Dan thanks! What a gr8 post!!

  66. Daniel Says:

    Ditto. gr8 q. Dan, can you answer?

  67. don Says:

    darn I just deposited a blue bird check into my own chase account to pay credit card hey dan how is credit utalization calculated .is it the total of your credit (including the credit from being authorized user ) or by how much of each card ?

  68. Daniel Says:

    @Dan — would you recommend closing some cards if your total CL exceeds your annual income? Does the analysis change if you regularly apply for new cards?

    Ditto. gr8 q. Dan, can you answer?

  69. maven Says:

    @peretz770. you can call the number on back of debit card and there should be option to make a new pin. I think option 4. Otherwise the default pin is usually the last 4 numbers on front of card. Hatzlacha

  70. Frugal Travel Lawyer Says:

    Great information all in one post thanks!

  71. A Says:

    Thanks u r the best just 1 q. u write about not depositing AP and not BB but what about charging AP?

  72. Dogo Says:

    nice article!
    “-Having a 3rd party pay off a credit card bill or deposit a check into your account.
    Pay off your own credit card bills from your own bank account. Don’t deposit checks that aren’t made out to you.”
    Im wondering if you can have the 3rd party write “chase” (for example) as the payee and pay your bill in a branch..

  73. sam Says:

    is this closing accounts going on in Lakewood too or so far only Brooklyn?

  74. Paul Says:

    @Joel L.: Chase is more draconian. They simply suspend your account, do an internal review w/o any request for info from you. When that happens, you’re most likely screwed. Amex’s FR is great by comparison.

  75. Dan Says:

    Say you didn’t know and beg for mercy?

    Don’t spend so much?

    I wouldn’t but others would disagree.

    If you only make $10K/year, sure…

    If your trying to circumvent your credit line it can be a trigger.

    Might make sense.


    @Targeting communities:
    Again, they’re not closing people for no reason or for where they live. It’s based on risk based triggers.
    And it’s nowhere near as widespread as some fear-mongers would have you believe.

    If you’re doing that to spend $4,000 in a month it can be a trigger.

    I would definitely stop doing that.
    But just because you engage in one risky behavior doesnt mean you’ll get burned.

    @Targeting communities:
    Not taking dollar coins has nothing to do with shutting people down.
    They don’t shut people down based on their location or religion, this is utter narishkeit.

    Should be OK.

    For Visa cards just use the last 4 digits of the card number.

    It can make sense though on the flip side you would be hurting your credit score.

    1. There are better ways to do that as I wrote in the post.
    2. Not a good idea at all.
    3. Another bad idea.
    4. This is unknown if it’s a trigger.

    But at this point I’d transfer out my points if I were you.

    They look primarily at their own bank but they may look at all banks if they’re looking into you anyway.

    For one they don’t want others to launder money through you.


    @Frugal Travel Lawyer:

    Seems to be fine.
    Not depositing AP/BB is just using an abundance of caution, not necessarily triggers.

    Not a good idea.

    It’s also happening in 48 other states to people who have too many triggers…

  76. eli Says:

    @abe: how long ago did u hit planet earth lol

  77. eli Says:

    @AJK: whats FT and MP?

  78. eli Says:

    @Dan: Dan, please put your reply to questions right after the question. (not like now, that after 20 questions you put 20 answers) thanks
    great post keep up the good work

  79. newcomer Says:

    Dan, thanks for the great post and thanks for the quick response!

  80. israel Says:

    are you suggesting people move out points now even if they never transferred UR anywhere? and anybody may be a risky account to chase these days?

  81. Dan Says:

    Flyertalk and milepoint.

    When you’re paying for the advice you can dictate terms 😉
    Until then click on the name to see what I am replying to.


    If you transferred UR-UR of a non-spouae then I wouldn’t keep points in my account.

    I’m not convinced that UR-airline is problematic and wouldn’t move out points for that alone.

  82. bracha Says:

    regarding amazon payments, i charge $1,000 on a chase credit card, deposit the funds into my chase checking account, and then pay the cc bill from my checking account. How bad is that- a trigger or not? How can I get around doing this, if I don’t have any bank accounts outside Chase (nor do I have Bluebird).

  83. israel Says:

    so otherwise if never moved points to anyone you wouldn’t advise to move anything now even with many chase card accounts including business cards doing regular daily transactions?

  84. chase Says:

    dan do you think customers should not leave for too long their UR sitting by chase rather use em? what amount is too much to let sit there? and what do you consider long? thanks

  85. Me g Says:

    HI DAN-
    I need help I am looking to cancel my SPG card as the year is up. I wanted to transfer my credit line from there to my blue card. They are giving me a problem and asking for all kinds of information. Is it worth it to keep the card or should I just cancel it????

  86. shay Says:

    what if i transfered my son’s ur points to mine. she has the same last name but lives in another address. is this a trigger point? should i worry?

  87. Dan Says:

    Why can’t you get Bluebird??

    I don’t think it’s necessary but if you know where you want to move them anyway then go ahead.

    I have 1 million Chase UR points and haven’t moved them.

    @Me g:
    If you don’t need the Starwood card then just cancel it. It still stays on to help your credit history for 10 years though the loss of the line may cost you a few points (that you can recoup when you open another card).

    I wouldn’t worry too much about that but I wouldn’t do it again.

  88. Me g Says:

    Ok bec I have 20K credit line hate to see it just go. But transferring it is becoming a problem and a credit pull.
    So canceling that much doesn’t affect my credit w Amex in any way???

  89. Happy Says:

    thanks for the quick responses Dan

    just one thing im still confused with: i thought that before canceling a card you should always transfer credit so ive been doing that with my cards. is it better to lose the credit if my total credit line will be above my income?

    also can you post the link of the post where you write how to manage amazon payments (ie- what to do with the money in your account).

  90. Average Joe Says:

    Dan, if u have dozens of credit cards, u must have a very high credit line. How isn’t that a problem for you ? ( I think the cc companies let the famous bloggers get approved for anything. Free pr, while the average joe has a hard time getting approved & then get shut down)

  91. Dan Says:

    I don’t have a good answer for you.
    Lowering your credit lines will hurt your score somewhat.
    Plenty of people have more credit than income, but it can be a trigger. Or it may not be.

    Just send it to a checking account ot Bluebird account.

    @Average Joe:
    Plenty of people have more credit than income and most of them don’t have any issues.
    It’s a combination of risk factors that becomes a problem.

    And companies couldn’t care less about that I’m a blogger. I get absolutely no special treatment with my own cards.

  92. chase Says:

    dan is it okay to ask for more credit on a chase business card like move from a personal to the business?

  93. Average Joe Says:

    Then how do u have such an easy time with recon, while they are busy telling everyone else either that they can’t have 3 cards within spicific amount of time, or they refuse to move credit over.

  94. Dan Says:


    @Average Joe:
    Lol, you think Recon knows who the heck I am?
    That’s priceless.

    And who said it’s easy? It’s just about knowing what to ask for and being compassionate. And knowing how to HUCA. Hundreds of others have been able to accomplish the same thing, just read DDF.

  95. HP Says:

    What would you recommend for someone not so credit card savvy, that wants to start off with getting credit cards to get points or money. Looking at this post get’s me nervous because it looks like if I don’t know what I’m doing I have a lot to lose. I also don’t think I’m going to spend the proper time to figure it all out. So are there any simple rules (even if I won’t make as much) that I can follow where I won’t run into any trouble?

  96. Dan Says:

    If you aren’t involved in anything now that what would you have to lose? Worst case scenario is back to where you are now.

    Open a few great cards and enjoy the rewards, simple as that. If you want to get more involved then come back to this post to know what not to do.

  97. Average Joe Says:

    Don’t be so humble. Of course they know who u are. Every time a blogger writes a great review on a card or hotel stay, thousands sign up for it.

  98. Newbie lerker Says:

    Does solid credit i mean 13 year history score in the 800s solid mortgage payment history, have anything to worry about $35k personal line and $10k biz, total of 6 cards with them 4 pf the cards came from 2 difrent 2bms, one vanilla reload purchase which i funded the bb and straight into my chase checking from there

  99. Dan Says:

    @Average Joe:
    Thousands? Now that’s funny.

    While their online marketing team may know my name that has nothing to do with Recon or with their loss prevention team or any other internal department.

    I go through the same interrogation as anyone else goes through, there is no special note on my file (though it sure would be nice if there was!)

    @Newbie lerker:
    You have nothing to worry about.

  100. TimT Says:

    Dan, how do you pull it off with recon, I was on with them the last few days for 2 southwest cards. Every time I call they tell me that the first recon rep explained everything to me and that they agree with the first rep.
    I only have 3 other chase cards,2 from a while ago, they don’t let me move credit over, they say I have “sufficient credit with chase” whatever that means.

  101. Dan Says:

    Let’s stay on topic, this isn’t the place to discuss Recon strategies.

  102. Chan Says:

    Dan i want to do a 4bm with chase(ink bold, plus, SP, BA- your links of course) do you recommend I go for it?

  103. new yorker Says:

    so I have the Ink bold and the year was up and got charged with annual fee can I still change it for classic and have the charge removed? will it affect anything on my credit? thanks dan

  104. yitzy Says:

    I change my sapphire account to a freedom card iwanna apply now for a sappihire account in order to transfer the points can it trigger a problem?

  105. kol mevaser Says:

    did any one hear about united glitch $45 to isreal?

  106. orrin davis Says:

    What does this mean?
    “Besides for being able to do 10x the amount per Bluebird card it”

    Thank you.


  107. Dan Says:

    Thousands of people have done 3BM/4BM without issue.

    @new yorker:
    I don’t think Ink Bold can be downgraded.
    Ink Plus should be able to.


    @kol mevaser:
    Won’t work, ticket will not be issued.

    @orrin davis:
    $1,000 at WM versus $100 online.

  108. Banana Says:

    Hey Dan,

    How does having a card closed by creditor(specifically Amex) affect your credit SCORE? (Or does it?)

    DO I need to re-apply if that has happened? (Too much usage on the card – always paid on time but F/R was kinda shady so they closed the account. Wish I would’ve read about closing it myself if they were going to cancel the account)

    If I need to re-apply, how long should i wait?

    Density vs Sparsity

  109. novice Says:

    i don’t understand the amazon payments thing. let’s say someone sends me $1000 and i put it in my Chase bank. then i use my chase credit card to send someone else $1000 that’s a problem? Is it only a problem if I send the same person back the $1000.
    What if I use a non-Chase card to send the $1000 back.

    (I think I’m missing the whole chochmoh with the Amazon payments.)

  110. yittzy Says:

    Is it a problem paying my cc bill from a company account or a non for profit account

  111. ephy Says:

    Last time i transferred UR points to a 3rd party UR account was a good 11 months ago, haven’t transferred since, trigger out not?

  112. Eli Says:

    is it good to sell ultimate reward points?

  113. yanki Says:

    Its against the terms and conditions.

  114. Eli Says:

    will it help to transfer the ultimate rewards points to mils and then to sell them?

  115. shua Says:

    just to clarify if someone writes a check to amex every month and i put my amex acct on the bottom to pay my acct is that a trigger and why

  116. Ash Says:

    How can you transfer amazon payment funds to blue bird?

  117. sara Says:

    on chase can I use 6000 of 6500 in the second month of ard or it’s risky?

  118. Scared Says:

    Hay Dan
    U mentioned about Amex when they fr you they go for the entire family also
    Well both my bros got fr in the past year I never started with them Ok so besides צדקה תהלים סיום שס תפילה and of course ואהבת לראך כמוך any other advise not to get fr by them 😁

  119. Abe Says:

    Great post! Very informative.
    Is paying with a different check a trigger on a business card as well? I always have my work pay off my monthly expenses directly to chase and amex…

  120. sarah Says:

    What if I never have enough money in my checking account and usually pay my cc bill with cash or checks made out to me at my local branch? I have other people using my cc and usually tell them to make the check payable to Chase, why would that be a problem?
    I never did anything risky otherwise, no BB, no Amazon, haven’t opened a card in more than a year, never transferred any points out… need I worry?

  121. yudig Says:

    is amazon payments via chase ink biz card a potential trigger?

  122. Yaakov Says:

    Dan, up to how many additional users can I make on Amex without triggering a financial review?

  123. Average Joe: Says:


    Sorry to say, but you are forsure getting treatment because you’r a big famous guy, nobody gets approved each time these specials come out for all card, example I know alot of people who applied for the ink bold and ink plus when there was the special for 60k, they were only approved for 1, so you are for sure getting better service

  124. Dan Says:

    Having it say closed by creditor doesn’t affect your score any more than closed by you. It just doesn’t look good.

    Wait a couple years or until you can pass.

    Why would it be?

    You should be able to get the direct deposit info on bluebird.com

    Not good for your score for one thing.

    It goes in waves. You won’t necessarily get FR’d, YMMV.

    I don’t advise it.

    Not the best of ideas.

    Not that I know of.

    It’s not a set number.

    @Average Joe::
    Stop talking out of your tuchus.
    Dozens of DDF guys were able to do the same thing by calling and knowing what to say.

  125. Scared Says:

    Thank you Dan for all the time u spent Answering all of our questions this is a very hard topic to deal with but we know who the ask and we appreciate you answering this is probably the most answered comments I have ever seen in a long time and I’m grateful for that 😀
    For the internet world why are you questioning dan the answers and Asking again u think really is true or I think u wrong
    you do this cc hoking for 15 years you make a blog site and then you can Maybe have say in the matter till then shut up and be happy u have a mentor to ask hard complex questions to

  126. Out of towner Says:

    Chase closed all 4 of my accounts and 2 of my wifes without explanation. Was spending 15k+ monthly and paying in full (a few k was paid in cash every month). Tried calling many times but they would not reconsider. Does that mean that I am blacklisted or can I apply for a new chase card again?

  127. Dan Says:

    @Out of towner:
    Lots of triggers there.
    But people have been able to get cards in the future.

    You can dispute the accounts with the 3 credit bureaus to have them deleted from your report.

  128. Yaakov Says:

    Then what does it depend on?

  129. yuneeq Says:


    Yep, the title is a lot better.

  130. Out of towner Says:

    I know someone who defaulted on a chase account and them settled and paid in fulll 5 years ago. He had the account removed from all 3 bureaus and score os above 750 but chase will not give him credit. he is blacklisted even though there is no mention of any cjase account on all 3 bureaus!

  131. Dan Says:

    @Out of towner:
    Defaulting and settling is very different.

  132. chase Says:

    is it a trigger changing billing address on credit card for a business account.

  133. a happy reader Says:

    thank you so much Dan for clearing up all my questions, just for reading all the commons i got all the info i needed, thnx for taking the time to answer everyone!!!! you the best

  134. shua Says:

    what did you mean Having a 3rd party pay off a credit card bill or deposit a check into your account.

  135. Dan Says:

    Once, no.

    @a happy reader:


  136. shua Says:

    sorry for not being clear can you explain Having a 3rd party pay off a credit card bill

  137. shua Says:

    and thanks for the great post and amazing response time waiting eagerly for the cle dds

  138. Tolch Says:

    If someone in u house is carrying a big balance with Amex does the effect everybody else who applies for that address

  139. isaac Says:

    “What about paying a credit card with bluebird check?
    Should be OK, but personally Id avoid doing it with Chase for the time being.”
    Why? And why only Chase?

  140. isaac Says:

    “Under 10% is good.
    Under 1% is even better”
    Do you know this for a fact?
    I signed up for transunion free trial, and they said there that to have moderate utilization is better than very low.

  141. isaac Says:

    “2) is paying my credit card bill with money orders or cash dangerous? Not a good idea at all.”

    Is that going on money orders,too?

  142. Daniel Says:

    This was such an amazing post. Thanks Dan the Man!

  143. yaako Says:

    Dan wrote,
    “Or just buy Vanilla Reloads from stores like CVS
    which transfer to Bluebird online without any
    issues.” pls let me know how to do that online, my neighborhood walmart makes me problems like letting me load only $200 per day..

  144. Davidd Says:

    I am surprised no has mentioned anything about the new Amex Serve card. Card is not new but at CVC no purchase fee until 12/13. Is this another way to pay mortgage bill like bluebird? is this card risky?? Dan no post on this no purchase fee period?

  145. Nate Says:

    @Dan: Can you get AA’d by Chase by adding an employee to your Ink Card that previously defaulted? Does an employee card have any effect on the employee’s credit?

  146. Nate Says:

    @Dan: To clarify, the employee previously defaulted with Chase

  147. yitzy pitzy Says:

    dan besides your massive knowledge, your sense of humor is great.after reading this post and all the comments i wanna be on safe side with my ur points. between united and avios, what would you recommend where should i transfer my points?

  148. Dan Says:

    Your colleague shouldn’t pay off your credit card from his bank account.

    Hope to see you there!

    If they are hit with a financial review it’s very possible that everyone at that address will be as well.

    But it doesn’t affect their scores.

    They are currently shutting people down for suspicious activity.
    It’s out of an abundance of caution that I recommend doing something else with it.

    Maybe for their own methods of creating a FAKO.
    However a TU free trial comes with a FAKO score not your real FICO score that lenders like AMEX would use to check your score.

    The lower the utilization the better. But consistant zero utilization isn’t ideal as well.




    You can’t have Serve and Bluebird and Bluebird is the better card.

    Interesting question, I don’t have an answer for you.

    The employee card won’t affect the primary card’s credit-especially because business cards don’t affect your credit anyway.
    Though if he gets you shut down that could affect your credit.

    @yitzy pitzy:
    Thanks 😀

    Really depends on how you redeem points.
    Avios are best for really cheap short domestic flights.
    United miles are best for international trips, flights with stopovers, or longer domestic flights.
    Don’t forget about Hyatt for excellent hotel value, Southwest for good domestic value, and Korean for amazing first class availability as well.

    Lots of good options out there. It’s hard to give a blanket answer that will cover everyone.

    Good luck!

  149. Punctuation Says:


    I can’t make out what you are saying. In general, when writing, it is wise to use something called “punctuation” so that people can know where your statements start and stop.

  150. bingo Says:

    I got a couple of $200 visa gc’s and some $100 mc’s which I purchase during the amex 150 shoprite deal I understand that the mc cannot be directly loaded to bb , cani load it to AP and from there transfer to bb or is that not safe
    Or do you have any better ideas for me
    Thanks for this free advice line I wish you would do shalom bayis too 🙂

  151. Dan Says:

    Try setting a pin and uploading at a walmart ATM to BB.

  152. Cook Says:

    Thanks for all the crucial info.
    Just a bit confused here, if paying a cc with a third party check written out to myself is a potential problem, does that mean it isn’t a good idea to use my paycheck to pay my cc? How else can I possibly do it? ( better if I first deposit my check into my chcking accnt and pay cc through there?)

  153. bingo Says:

    Dan u say adding multiple au’s is a known trigger – what is called A lot 6-7, 15-20 or more like 50 ?

  154. Scared !?!?!? Says:

    Thank you Dan for all the time u spent Answering all of our questions this is a very hard topic to deal with but we know who the ask and we appreciate you answering this is probably the most answered comments I have ever seen in a long time and I’m grateful for that 😀
    For the internet world why are you questioning dan the answers and Asking again u think really is true? or I think u wrong!?!
    you (whoever is complaining and saying that Dan is wrong)do this cc hoking/studying for 15 years you make a blog site and then you can Maybe have a say in the matter till then shut up and be happy u have a mentor to ask hard complex questions to Dan .

    Dan is the man and he is here to help and advise not to be harassed for volunteering to help !!!

  155. chase Says:

    dan you write you wouldn’t make a deposit from amazon payments to a checking that you have a card with is that also include AP to BB ?

  156. chuk Says:

    Is it safe to buy high-value gift cards on:
    Ink-office supply, amex-%6-supermarket-%3gas stations,amex business-office supply?

  157. ybeeds Says:

    Has Amazon Payments flagged accounts that send multiple smaller denominations to the same person in one month? (Ex: If I empty 5 x $100 Visa GC and 5 x $50 Visa GC to my wife all in a short amount of time will they flag me?)

  158. Jay Says:

    Never vouch for someone else to a bank, college, car dealership or other “financial” institution. You’re not a rabbi, don’t give a “haskamah”

  159. Josh Says:

    Bad news for bluebird??

    Bluebird by American Express Account Ending in –

    Hello Joshua,

    We would like to inform you about a change to your Bluebird Account effective November 12, 2013.

    For added security, you will no longer be able to link 4 debit cards to your Account and instead will only be able to link 1 debit card. As a reminder, the debit card must be in your name to successfully link to your Bluebird Account.

    And don’t forget, you can add money to your Account with a debit card at Walmart for free.

    Should you have any questions about this change, you can contact a Bluebird Customer Care Professional at 1-877-486-5990.

    Thank you for your Membership,
    The Bluebird Team

  160. Avery66 Says:


    Is this risky? Buying Vanilla Reloads at CVS with Barclays (US Airways) Card. Loading them to Bluebird. Writing myself a Bluebird check to my Chase checking account, $2K for the EFT draft from that Chase account for my son’s private school tuition. I do have a couple of Chase credit cards, I think they’re the Freedom ones. But I mostly use the Vanilla Reload>Bluebird combo to top off my US Airways Dividend Miles. From Bluebird, I pay directly the gas bill, Nordstrom, Discover and also the Barclays/US Airways. I spread it around.

  161. yudig Says:

    on a chase ink BIZ card, is it a trigger if a 3rd party pays bill e.g. business is sole proprietorship and check is from someone else or someone else does chase billpay?

  162. Thadeus Says:


    I want to link my mortgage payment from two accounts. One which withdraws most of the funds from Blue Bird and the rest from my regular bank account. Is there any risk?

  163. Mendel Says:


    Can I transfer my chase points directly into a non-relative’s miles account?

    If so what are my chances of adverse action?


  164. menachem Says:

    cant bealive it but i got a letter in the mail today stating that CHASE is closing my checking account in 3 weeks, i really dont use my checking account much and didnt do anything that could trigger a A/A but thats what i got, and now my credit cards which i uselly pay off with my business check (which i know could trigger…) is still working, and when i called the number that was on the letter i got from chase they told me that my credit cards are working, and the reason for closing my account was cuz of the transactions i made and didnt wanna give specific details (i transferred my UR points out of there!
    what should i do???

    1. am i ever gonna b able to open a new checking account?
    2. are they gonna close my cc as well just a metter of time?

  165. @emp919 Says:

    I attended your 5towns seminar and I already have a HAS advantage card with a lot of points accrued already (280k). Should I wait to use them on an El Al flight, redeem them for cash (1%), or is there a program that I can transfer them to?
    Any advice would be appreciated.

  166. Michael Says:

    Is paying a bill from bluebird considered a third party payment?

  167. Tim Says:

    I just received a letter from chase stating that they will close all my and my wifes checking and savings accounts without any explanation other then when I called they said that it states on our account that the Chase Operating Loss Prevention Department left a message on our account that said “We have chosen to exercise our right to terminate our relationship”

    When I called the number for loss prevention, to ask what the deal was and how to correct the situation, they just threated me and said that they are under no obligation to tell me why they are closing my accounts and that If I try to pursue the reason any further. The Chase supervisor I spoke to in loss prevention was very unprofessional and rude.

    I took my financial statements to another bank in town and they looked at my statements and they too could not wrap their head around it. They offered to set me up and get me back in business and said that Chase is one of the most greedy banks around.

    I talked to a chase teller and she said that chase even closed her account in the exact same way for no valid explanation, except that she had to jump through hoops and go through long financial reviews with her employeer to keep her job.

    Just verified that my wifes and my credit scores are 805+
    I do not make any cash deposits.
    I do not engage in any illegal activity.
    I don’t make late payments.
    I paid off the home to purchase a car last year.
    I got a 60K car loan about 5 months ago.
    I don’t bounce checks and have not had any over withdrawls
    I have not reported any unknown transactions.
    I have 4 Hilton AMex Cards and I never use more then 25 % of the credit line in a total month.
    I recently applied for a citibank visa and was approved two days after the date on the letter received from chase. I applied for the new credit cards because I can get Hilton points and link it to my Hilton Amex cards and I won’t have to use my Chase visa when people don’t accept AMEX.
    I just have all my utilities, gas and all shopping going on my creidt cards and I just pay off the credit cards weekly so I know where i stand financially.

    I only write about 1 – 3 checks a month for monthly bills that can’t use autopay or a credit card.

    I also use chase bill pay for a couple monthly utilities that will not accept a credit card payment.

  168. Tim Says:


    When I called the number for loss prevention, to ask what the deal was and how to correct the situation, they just threated me and said that they are under no obligation to tell me why they are closing my accounts and that If I try to pursue the reason any further, it will bring on a wealth of heartache and grief for my wife and I. I do not need to take this kink of abuse. The Chase supervisor I spoke to in loss prevention was very unprofessional and rude. I just can’t wrap my head around this situation. I have done nothing wrong and have not tried to do any manufactued spending scams, however that is done.

  169. Bennyboy Says:

    IM so lost . ok just a ittle lost. Can someone please take out the time to help me please . dan or anyone who knows . Trying to meet a threshold for an amex gold .
    after buying vanilla reloads ,loading vanilla reloads onto bluebird account whats my next safest bet ?
    A-Can i just pay off my amex card directly from bluebird ?
    B-go to atm and pull out cash ?
    C-write myself a check ?
    D-write a check to cash ?
    E- write a friend a check ?
    F- transfer straight into my own chase account from bluebird and then pay my amex card from there like i usually do ? Thank you anyone who can help. I really appreciate it .

  170. Joe S Says:

    Any updates to this? Recently seeing a lot more written about Chase closing people down. I’ve had a checking account with Chase for over 10 years, but am definitely contemplating shutting it down, as it seems to often be a trigger for them to look into shutting down Chase credit cards as well. Thoughts? Also going to not sign up for Chase cards more than 2 times per year. Used to be so easy…

  171. mr. l Says:

    Hi i applied for a chase ink and i called to see the status and they said i should send in tax returns to get a final desicion i didnt put sole prop made a mistake what should i do, should i be nervous what happens if i just ignore it? Please respond thanks

  172. Max Says:

    If you had a chase account closed and your rewards points were forfeited, you can now join a class action (Gao, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., et al.) to be compensated for chase not letting you redeem your points.

    Deadline to sumit claim is March 17, 2017



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