In a move that is sure upset many checking account customers, Chase (NYSE:JPM) announced today that they would be officially ending their Chase Ultimate Rewards debit card program on July 20, 2011.

UPDATE2: Chase will end the debit card rewards program as scheduled.

UPDATE: Chase has decided to hold off on canceling its debit rewards program if debit fee rules are delayed. Read the story here.

After July 19, 2011, Chase customers who participate in the Ultimate Rewards program will no longer be able to earn points on purchases using their debit cards.

While Chase promises no one will lose any points already collected, the announcement comes only weeks after consolidating its checking customers to the new Total Checking account system. The new account received negative publicity after the requirements to avoid a $12 monthly fee became more difficult.  Chase also increased fees for overdraft, stop payment and wire transfer services.

Near the end of 2010, had hinted at the possibility of Chase phasing out its rewards program by February 2011. This move was delayed, after Chase made the decision to introduce the new checking structure mentioned above.

How Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Debit Card Changed

  • After July 19, 2011, when you make purchases with your debit card, you will no longer earn points in Ultimate Rewards.
  • You will no longer be charged an annual fee for your Chase Ultimate Rewards Debit Card. Because you have paid the annual fee already, Chase will be refunding its members $13.25 directly into their checking account on April 19, 2011.
  • Chase debit card customers can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to an eligible Chase credit card account.

It is important to mention, that your card will continue to function after July 19th, with no changes to your debit card number or PIN. Account information will also stay the same, so customers can be thankful that there will be no need to change any automatic bill payments, transfers or direct deposits.

These changes also apply to the Chase RealCash debit card.

The Durbin Amendment Strikes Again

Though the new law hasn’t even been approved and is not scheduled to be until April, Chase clearly states in their announcement that the restrictions placed on debit card swipe fees (12 cents down from 44), is the reason for the change to their debit rewards program.

The Durbin Amendment only directly impacts debit cards, therefore, Chase will continue to offer the Ultimate Rewards program to members who carry a Chase Freedom® or Chase Sapphire credit card.

Racking Up Reward Points

Those looking to rack up as many points as possible before the deadline should be aware that all purchases must be posted by July 22, 2011. It is also important to recognize that posting dates usually fall a few days after the purchase date and so Chase recommends customers plan for any purchases after July 19, 2011 not to be counted.

To view your current point balance or redeem your points visit

How do you feel about the change to the Chase Debit Card program? Will you be staying with Chase after the summer or will this push you to consider a bank relationship?

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  • M E Haugen

    I was already disenchanted with the Chase Ultimate Rewards Debit after they decreased the point amount from 4 points per dollar to 4 points per 5 dollars. I was already ready to cancel my membership.

  • Melissa

    First, I agree, M E Haugen, completely. Second, I have been wanting to switch financial institutions for a while now (it’s just such a hassle), but this has pushed me to actually do it. I am over this… first Wamu to Chase conversion, then rules change, fees change (go up), programs get introduced then get modified to serve better the BANK, and then get taken away all together (as if losing my points from the modification of the URP wasn’t enough to get me mad). I can’t imagine they will let you keep your points forever until you get around to spending them.

    No thanks, I am moving to a Credit Union. Good riddens.

    • WilliamR

      I used to be a strong believer in Credit Unions. I actually worked in the industry for over 20 years, but the majority of credit unions are no longer consumer friendly. They have become as greedy as banks. Most credit union executives did not move up through the ranks, but were hired out of the big banks and have therefore radically changed the philosophy of credit unions. They spend big bucks marketing to let people think things are the way it was 30 years ago, but they do so to keep the government off their books and keep their tax free status. Unfortunately greedy corporations rule this country and there is nothing we can do about it.

      • Alex Matjanec

        Interesting points. Most recently I have read that as consumers take the jump from big banks to credit unions, the CU’s have experienced growing pains. Studies have shown customer satisfaction dropping a few points, but it’s important to note that these drops were caused by big bank customers having high expectations.

  • TrAvA

    I’ve already changed one of my checking accounts to bank of america, Chase all of a sudden got very greedy, charging 12 dollars montly over debit cards? Credit Cards charge less on interest itself. Im going to be an add on over the thousands of clients that haves chase to get away from this overprice bank.

  • Holly77az

    Im also going to move to a credit union…The rewards is what has kept me here this long!

  • Joe R.

    Looking for a new bank now. Rewards are only reason I was with Chase. Need to find who has best debit card rewards program and will be leaving soon.

    • David

      With the new law you will be hard pressed to find any bank or financial institution that will offer rewards on DEBIT card purchases. The new Durbin law is making is so the merchants that take these rewards cards aren’t penalized by the high transaction fees associated with the rewards. Somebody has to pay for the rewards and it’s always the merchant taking the card.

      • Cgsball21

        It said 13.25 refund.

    • David

      With the new law you will be hard pressed to find any bank or financial institution that will offer rewards on DEBIT card purchases. The new Durbin law is making is so the merchants that take these rewards cards aren’t penalized by the high transaction fees associated with the rewards. Somebody has to pay for the rewards and it’s always the merchant taking the card.

  • Queequeg

    I am most impressed by the $.75 refund of the $25 annual fee to use this program I paid last fall. Thanks Chase!

    • Carlos

      I laughed too. What a rip off! They should refund the unused portion of the fee at roughly $2 per month.

      This is outright stealing!

    • brianguy

      $0.75? apparently this refers to the difference between a 50% refund ($12.50) and what they’re actually giving back ($13.25)? I’m not sure I am as frustrated over this, since I initially was worried they wouldn’t be automatically giving me anything back, let alone an “extra” 75c. yes it stinks that we won’t be able to accrue points for the rest of the year, to save up for anything “good”, but I can’t expect much else. maybe if they let us cancel immediately for a full refund and sacrifice of any points accrued since the first of the year, it might be a bit more accommodating. but really I’m more peeved the program is going away because of some supposed over-reaching new regulation.

      my wife and I have one of our two debits card with the full Ultimate Rewards, while I earn lesser rewards on my non-fee debit card linked to the same account. I’ve basically accepted that they will be giving 1/2 of the annual fee back which for me is better than nothing. we still got 6 months out of our annual fee. I just wish there were a bit more warning and/or explanation. they don’t even give you any alternatives in the notice letter. at least this article explains you can consider signing up for one of the ultimate rewards CCs. I’d like to be able to cash them out and actually use the cash, but will likely end up settling for some gift card….

      • Rfdehaan

        You can have the rewards money deposited into your account (as opposed to buying gift cards or merchandise).

  • Ace

    I switched to a credit union when this was predicted to take effect in February. Now they have pushed it back to July doesn’t matter. I moved all my personal banking products from Chase. Mortgage, Personal Checking, and soon business checking. I’m never dealing with big banks ever again. They always try to figure out ways to keep raping their customers. Good Bye Chase and Helllloooooo credit unions.

    • Alex Matjanec

      It would be great if you could share which credit union you joined. It seems those commenting are considering making the switch as well.

  • Karen

    Really disappointed! Recently switched checking accounts to Chase…because of the rewards program…sorry I ever switched to Chase.

  • Cheryl070797

    I am looking for a new bank

    • Manny

      Am looking for a new bank too….never really liked Chase (in fact kind of did not like them at all) just stayed for the Continental Air Miles….I’m gone. Greedy SOB’s

      • Iccorbett83

        They are cancelling the airline miles cards too??? i asked them and they said they weren’t cancelling the airline miles cards, what LIARS!

  • WTBeals

    Agreed, the rewards is the only reason I stayed with Chase. We’ll be closing the account after July.

  • cash advance

    Chase’s debit rewards program was previously free and open to anyone with a checking account. Customers earned 1 point for every $5 spent, versus 1 point for every $1 spent with credit cards.
    That’s got to be some ancient deal because that’s not what I have with my Chase debit. Mine works on a sliding percent scale (1-3%) of how much I spend on certain things like gas and groceries. So far this year I’ve gotten back $128. A shame this is going away. The laws were put in place to protect the consumer from excessive bank fees, the banks in this case are using the law to justify charging you more for access to your own money and blaming the law for it. The reality is they will lose money that they didn’t even have to work for thanks to automation­…lets try making them a little more responsibl­e for their actions, automation costs less why should the consumer have to pay more…

    • brianguy

      Ultimate Rewards is the name of the debit card program. it replaced their previous “points-based” debit rewards program about 9 months ago. what you have sounds like a completely different program. I’ve never heard of yours. it sounds like what they offer with some of those credit cards.

      in fact, I think I like the % cash back better. any way you can find out the name of it and/or provide a link?

      • Sounds like he’s talking about the RealCash cash-back program vs. Ultimate Rewards.

        Exactly as he described. 1-3% back depending on how much/where you spend.

        Haven’t seen word on whether this program will be cancelled, as well.

        I switched to this from UR last year. After they changed the UR program, the straight cash-back option became much more appealing.

        • brianguy

          thanks… exactly what I wanted to know!!

          • Hey-

            Pardon the delay.

            Yes, I switched at my bank when an associate brought it to my attention.

            Not sure if it’s still available to new users with this back-and-forth RE: the Durbin Amendment.

            Worth asking!

        • Iccorbett83

          yes it too is being cancelled…

  • Good Bye Chase

    Definitely going to be looking for a new bank. Chase is just getting too greedy with all these fees and if they lower the maximum transaction on a debit card to $50-$100 per day, what’s the point in even having a debit card?

    • brianguy

      maximum transaction?? what the heck?

  • Tommitchell52

    i will most likely “shop” around for a local relationship bank which gives me a higher interest on my checking. My other option will be to see what happens, but I did LOVE my Chase United Airlines debit card. It gives me one point for every dollar. Yes, there was a $65 annual fee, but my reasoning to use the debit card is NOT to charge on a credit card, paying an absorbitant amount of interest. The law is forcing people who like rewards to opt back into the credit card syndrome.. a bad move Obama!

  • Tommitchell52

    PS there is a bank for Arizonians… ITs Arizona Bank & Trust.. gives you 3.03% interest on your checking with no minimum balance.. pays $20 rebate in 3rd party fees, fee bill pay. You just need to swipe your debit card,, and we all do that, for 15 transactions per month, have a direct deposit, and opt for e statements.. Take that Chase Bank,, a local bank that cares about ARizona!!!

  • That is such a bad business move as the people who make the most rewards points also have the most money and most expenses in their accounts. They will lose all of their best customers.

  • Iccorbett83

    Chase is cancelling the RealCash Back rewards card too and rolling it over to the UR card.

  • CowboyDiva

    The Durbin amendment was proposed under Bush, not the current administration.  The law was written in conjunction with several other banking regulation amendments including the new Credit Card Act. 

    Reward programs will still exist, but only with the credit cards. For most consumers, who have been able to earn thousands of points with the debit card system, it should not be that much of a problem to switch to the credit card (as long as your credit meets the criteria for obtaining an account).  You have been earning the rewards by using cash on hand.  You can should still be able to do this, just pay the bill off every month and there will be no interest assessed.

  • Wjm619

    I agree with everyone here. This cancelation and increase in fees shows greediness and shows  a non caring attitude with one of the biggest ks. I am a small business and I can’t even get a credit card, loan or any other items from CHASE. I also will be changing banks. Keep taking things away and charging increased fees and lets see how small CHASE gets???????

  • NewJerseyThomas

    I’ll be canceling my account with Chase after my first attempt to navigate the new Ultimate Rewards web site. It’s no longer possible to simply trade your points for statement credit, now you must redeem them for individual purchases made in the last few days. The site dose not streamline the process, it doesn’t give you a list of eligible purchases. You need to click back and forth between the rewards page and your statement, and enter the date, and amount of the purchase one by one.

    When I called Chase, to ask if there was some way around the poorly implemented new system, it took 20 minutes to navigate though their phone tree. When I finally spoke to a live person it was someone who spoke English poorly, and told me that generic statement credits had never been possible. An obvious lie, I’ve been using my credits for statement credits for years.

    Chase, you used to be the best credit card in the business, now you are just a sad mockery of your former self. 

  • guest

    Good riddance. We booked a hotel room through chase ultimate rewards on our debit card…a room with a king size bed and a jacuzzi…we got to the hotel..not only was there no reservation..that room did not exist at that hotel…so we were left, out of town, with a room that didn’t exist, the hotel was booked up, and no where to stay…we spent 2 hours on the phone with them, attempting to book another hotel room, only to be told that they can’t do that because it requires it to be booked 24 hours in advance (they could have told us that 2 hours earlier) and we ended up having to track down a hotel on our own and pay $161 out of pocket….the whole thing ruined our evenings plans as well, as we spent 2 hours on the phone, had to drive to a new hotel, check in…we didn’t eat dinner until 10:30 pm (had planned to eat at 7:30/8pm) and couldn’t do our other plans for the night at all. We tried to get them to reimburse us for the hotel cost and they would only reimburse the difference between the rewards amount we had spent and the cost of the hotel..not the total cost.

  • GM

    late ,cannot figure out how to even get gift cards for my points,frustrated,mad as hell,tired of being taken by chase,used to be bank one with people I knew by names,no fun getting old and taken advantage of!!!

    • Renee_satchel

      I’m mad as heck too.. this sucks, and to think I’ve just given Chase such rave reviews to my husband recently, which enticed him to open a new checking account some time in May this year.    I’m very disappointed to say the least.   I’m 42 now, and my business with them go back as far as NBD, Bank One…    These bank institutions seem to enjoy blaming all of their woes on the so-called new government regulations.    I just got off the phone w/a Chase rep and not once did he mention that the program ended due to the Durbin Amendment.   I had to go online to gain that information.     I am sitting here baffled on what my next banking move needs to be because earning rewards points was a certain motivation for hanging around for this amount of time with Chase.  I have never felt so ripped off 🙁

  • Rmojica

    Booooo Chase!

  • daniel

    There’s no point in closing a Chase account since most banks going forward wont support another rewards program like it. You’d cancel it to find another bank and then they would cancel soon enough as well. I’ve had my Real Cash card for less than a year and it was canceled. I got a $7 refund but made hundreds in rewards. So for me it was nice while it lasted and definitely paid off.

    • Guest

       I received a $19.95/refund some time in April.

  • Redmiata3

    If I am losing ,my rewards points, I will defiately be looking for another credit card. I love the way it has been working and tell all my friends about it, but if it is no longer giving rewards points, it’s gone!

    Joan Hicks