Why Was President Obama’s Credit Card Declined? And Which Card Was It?

President Obama credit card declined!

@TomBruneDC reports that Obama’s credit card was declined at a restaurant in New York.

Obama: NY restaurant rejected his rarely used credit card when he was attending UN general assembly. “Fortunately, Michelle had hers.”

As regular readers know, the President has been known to carry a JP Morgan Select card.

The only way to get this card currently is to be a Palladium card cardholder. JP Morgan Select is issued for times when Palladium cardholders want to be ‘low profile’ and not use the heavy metal payment instrument with laser-engraved signature.

It used to be possible to apply for the JP Morgan Select card on its own, although this was exceedingly rare as it was an obscure product.

We do know that the President is a long-standing JP Morgan Chase client with assets sufficient for a JP Morgan Private Client relationship (indepedently of his status for which, no doubt, the bank would make an exception if he didn’t).

One benefit of the Palladium card, I’ve heard, is that it’s never supposed to be declined during normal use.

But since Chase isn’t commenting on whether the President’s data was compromised in the recent security breach at the bank. Perhaps the data breach, combined with infrequent use, as well as the fact that Obama was using the card away from ‘home’, led to the security alert on his account.

The President was able to laugh about it, and suggested it was ‘probably because he doesn’t use it enough’.

He presumably received an email or text from the bank asking him to confirm the charge, but responding to a Chase fraud alert was – quite reasonably – probably not at the top of his priorities list (Ebola and all…). I’m not sure I’d want to be the Chase security specialist who failed to own making sure the President’s card was always usable, however. Since I can imagine they wouldn’t want to lose his business to Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, or American Express.

(HT: @p_brady)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. ED, that makes no sense. If the CC company used that as a criterion, they never would have issued the card in the first place.

    But, given what your initials stand for, I must say that I am not surprised by your comment.

  2. Doubtless in an abundance of caution, JP Morgan Chase sent me a brand new official U.S. Government Mastercard earlier this week. Of course, I haven’t worked for the federal government in almost six years. We have met the enemy, and he is us.

  3. How do you ever know this is real? It’s not beyond any politician to pull stunts to appear closer to us plebeians.

  4. ” I’m not sure I’d want to be the Chase security specialist who failed to own making sure the President’s card was always usable, however.”

    On the flip side, how bad would it look for him and for the company if someone did clone the card using the info from the breach and successfully use it?

  5. @Brian: LOL, sadly not too shocking to us!

    BTW – hey, you’re not the guy at that old conference sitting in the bathtub toasting us with a glass of red, are you? 😉

  6. “anti-Obama rednecks” LOL ! You might just want to Google the term “ad hominem”.

    When someone is opposed to Obama’s far left ideology, it couldn’t be based on their deeply held and well reasoned political and philosophical principles. No it must be because they are rednecks. So tell me, do you consider Thomas Sowell a “redneck”?

    As for Tea Party members, check out Tea Party/Republican Party candidate for the United States House of Representatives in Utah’s 4th congressional district Mia Love. Best be sitting down when you do though, as she is indeed a Black Female Tea Party candidate from Utah. 🙂

    From Wikipedia: “In 2012 she ran on a fiscally conservative platform of limited government, and placed a heavy emphasis on personal responsibility during her campaign. She lost to six-term incumbent Jim Matheson by 768 votes out of 245,277 votes cast. She was also a speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention.”

  7. @Colleen. Could be. Maybe it was a hot tub, rather than a bathtub? Anyway, Right now I’m raising a glass of white. (Although Susan has a red.) Cheers!

  8. @sam. That means the tea party has one more black friend than you have! But I jest. As a good liberal I’m sure your surrounded by plenty of blacks there in the city. Oh wait, I forgot – you live in the suburbs because “that’s where the good public schools are” wink wink!

  9. I think what surprises me is if the card was declined from little use. We don’t know but that would mean that the President never even uses it to shop online which would surprise me.

    Oh and @Greg since you started the name calling that ruined this post like a typical blind Obama disciple, shame on you. Just because most of the country doesn’t support Obama anymore doesn’t make us all Rednecks.

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