It seems to me that resetting could be complex. Sure, in month 1, if I return the item quickly it would make sense to reset. But suppose I spend $1500 on an item, and also, in the same quarter, spend another $1000 on other category items, and all purchases are in month 3.
Shortly after the quarter ends, I return the $1500 item. They remove the UR, but should they now give the 5xUR on the $1000 which were previously over the limit? My guess is that they wouldn't. Any volunteers to test!
This is part of my thinking too, and it's not far-fetched. It doesn't even have to be at the end of a quarter. You could buy something expensive, then go back to the store, return it and get something equally expensive. If you're over the $1,500 already, the replacement item would only earn 1x, but then the return is processed and you "should" get the extra bonus again, but I'm not sure you do. Maybe not for that item, but a subsequent purchase after the return clears?
Ohh, boy, I hesitate to type this and have the whole thing blown up. First, there might be a way that Chase claws back the bonus points that I am not seeing.
My last statement only has 2 charges in the Home Improvement category for Q2. If I add the numbers and multiply by 4, I get the same number of bonus points as what my bill says I earned. But I also had a return. So my total of earned points should have been about 32 less. My new statement should have been here today but I don't see it online yet. I want to make sure that the points on that statement are not less the 32 points from the return. The return was 6 days before the statement cut, and Chase does have the right to alter points on the next billing cycle.
From my quick observation, it does look like you keep the bonus points. I won't make any statement as to the ramifications of abusing this is though.
One of my partial returns just processed for $97.28. The pic below shows the points pulled back at 1x for 97 URs instead of the full 5x I got for the original purchase. I don’t know if they’ll take back the difference when the statement is generated. But once again, that wasn’t my initial concern with this post. This makes me suspect that if their system doesn’t recognize the bonus points and take them back immediately, the $1,500 quarterly limit doesn’t get restored either. 🤷🏻♂️
I wonder the same things about Discover? Pick a store with a 90 day return policy and buy near the end of the quarter, return 2 months later and see if the bonus sticks.
I can't find an example at present, but I can confirm by experience that with Freedom when buying something that earned you quarterly 5% and then *within that quarter* returning it, you'll lose the 5% and it will also reverse the amount you've spent of the bonus limit for the quarter. For example, if you had maxed out your bonus spending at $1,500 and returned $500 worth of stuff, then you'll be back to earning 5% on the next $500 of merchandise. But it doesn't retroactively affect previous spending over the limit. Again, with the previous example, if you had kept bonus spending after the $1,500 and thus had only earned 1% on that overage, then even when a later return will bring you back down below the $1,500, Chase won't adjust the bonus up on the purchases you had spent when over the $1,500 even though now the return has brought you below $1,500.
Now, once the quarter is over (excepting the rare occasions where a category persists from one quarter to the next), then returns will result in only 1% loss of rewards (and will not affect the $1,500 spending limit for the current quarter). You could exploit this, of course. Go out between now and the end of June and spend $1,500 at Home Depot or Lowes (obviously this exploit is more difficult with categories like grocery or gas), earning 7500 URP. Then on July 1, waltz back into the store and return the $1,500 of merchandise, losing 1500 URP. That's a nice $60 cash profit. To a smaller extent I've done this, not completely intentionally. Not sure exactly what I'd need, I've overbought, knowing that I'd be returning some stuff, and "procrastinate" on the return until the start of the next quarter. I suspect that if you really game this, the store and/or Chase will get wise and slap your wrist or worse. Buyer (and returner) beware.
It's been a while, but with Discover, I've found that even within the quarter, returns may only lose the base rewards. YMMV.
My newest statement is here. Like the previous one, I saw no reduction in bonus points for returns. I spent about $350, and returned $70. I still had a net gain of 1,400 points. There was also no sign of a reduction from the returns on the previous statement.
If they are not clawing back bonus points, then there is no way the $1500 limit would get adjusted for returns. Perhaps Chase could word it a little better. I believe it should read more like "Earn up to 6000 bonus points per quarter on eligible purchases" That seems to be a more accurate description of how the program works. The wording of the T&C does make it sound as though Chase can adjust your points balance if they need to.