A few days ago both of my credit cards from Chase stopped working. I received no sort of notification from the company that any action was being taken. Both accounts are in good standing, far below the credit limit and without missed payments. One I've had for a couple years and one is new (so new that the first statement just arrived and the first payment isn't due yet.)

When I finally got through to customer support, they fed me a line about how my account was under a "periodic review" done on a "random" basis "for the credit bureaus", and the hold would be lifted in a few days. This didn't sound entirely credible to me, because of the agent's evasive tone during the conversation, because I received no communication about what was happening, and because I've never heard of such a thing before. Having a real conversation with customer support has been difficult because of reduced hours due to the pandemic.

My question is, what's really going on here and how concerned should I be?

UPDATE: One week later, both cards work again. I have still received no communication from Chase about what was happening. My guess is that their automated system flagged me as potentially abusing rewards as discussed in Ben Voigt's answer, and that upon human review they realized I hadn't been, so they didn't eventually cancel the card, and that this process lasted long enough to notice because of Coronavirus-related closures.

  • Synchrony once froze all 4 of my credit cards that I had with them and demanded that I prove my income. After sending a W2 they demanded a paystub, after I sent that they took a few more days and I told them to close all of them.... a day later they unfroze the accounts and asked if I wanted to reopen the ones that didn't have a balance.... And that's how I have 2 open credit cards that are listed as closed in my credit report
    – xyious
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 18:34

2 Answers 2


Most things that trigger an account freeze (e.g. suspected stolen card number) would only have affected one card (assuming the two are actually separate accounts and not e.g. an authorized user card).

Having all accounts in your name frozen sounds much more like they're deciding whether they want you as a customer at all. Possibly you've taken advantage of benefits in a way they find abusive.

If you've been following the rules and simply using benefits more heavily than they budgeted for, then any accumulated cashback or travel points should be withdrawn/transferred ASAP because if the account gets closed they could be forfeit.

If you've not been following the rules (for example referring pets or non-existent people to collect referral bonuses, referring people you don't know, using one-time promotions multiple times, or using promotions offered to other people) then the rewards probably never were yours to begin with according to the rules, and even if you do successfully spend them you could be sued for their value.

You can find a lot more information about the particular things that trigger this and what recourse you might have to beg for your accounts back, start with a Google search for "(your bank name) shutdown", e.g. Chase shutdown


I have never heard of suspending credit cards for "random credit bureau reviews". Most likely the customer service rep pulled that out of nowhere to give a reason because they didn't know the real one.

Generally they would suspend a credit card because:

  1. You're in default (missed payments, less than minimum payments for multiple months).
  2. You're not using the account ($0 balance and no charges for multiple months).
  3. Severe drop in credit reliability (100+ point drop in score, no longer eligible for the card with current credit report).
  4. Charges on the account that their algorithms determined were most likely fraud.

From your question 1 and 2 are not the issue, and 3 is not likely. That leaves suspicious charges. If this was the case then the CS rep should have been able to tell you. I would check your online account to see if there is any indication of "your account had suspicious charges" or the like, and try your best you can to talk to a real person (who is hopefully competent) over the phone again. If they really think there are fraudulent charges they aren't going to open the account back up just because a couple days passed.

Review your statements/charges for any fraudulent charges (there might actually be some), just to be sure. If there are, you can dispute them through your online account.

Anecdotally, I once had my USAA credit card locked because of a subscription service charge. The charge only happens every three months and there had been several charges before that point, but for whatever reason USAA thought it was fraud. I had no notification, email, letter, phone call, and my online account gave no indication that there was a problem. I could even "lock" and "unlock" the card at will. Ended up calling them and they explained that there were suspicious charges, I confirmed they were legitimate and they opened the card back up. Frustrating, but the occasional burp is just a product of having the automated fraud detection.

  • "If this [potentially suspicious or fraudulent transactions] was the case then the CS rep should have been able to tell you". Not necessarily. From other Q&As here and reports elsewhere, and one personal experience where a falsely-ordered card was used fraudulently, CC companies can be quite tight-lipped about details, especially before investigations are complete. I could easily believe CS reps saying no more than "periodic review" (and quite likely not being able to see any more than that themselves).
    – TripeHound
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 15:04

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