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The Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve are two of the most popular travel rewards cards on the market. They offer generous sign-up bonuses, as well as a variety of other benefits.
If you’re thinking about applying for one of these cards, there are some things you should know first.
In this blog post, we will go over the Chase Sapphire application rules and eligibility requirements so that you can increase your chances of being approved.
What are the Sapphire Cards?
Chase Sapphire Preferred
|The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card|
|Annual Fee: $95|
|Sign-Up Bonus (SUB): 60,000 – 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points|
|Minimum Spend Requirement (MSR): $4,000 in 3 months|
|Earn: 5X points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal|
|Earn: 3X points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs). Note this also excludes in-store grocery purchases.|
|Earn: 2X points on all other travel purchases outside of the Chase Travel Portal and 1X Ultimate Rewards points on all other spending.|
|Earn: 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.|
|Annual Bonus: 10% Ultimate Rewards point bonus annually based on your card spending, earned after you renew and pay your annual fee.|
|Hotel Credit: $50 hotel credit for reservations booked through the Chase travel portal each year|
|Foreign Transaction Fees: $0|
Chase Sapphire Reserve
|The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card|
|Annual Fee: $550|
|Sign-Up Bonus (SUB): 60,000 – 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points|
|Travel Credit: $300 each year|
|Earn: 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through the Chase travel portal|
|Earn: 10x total points on Chase Dining purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards when you make prepaid restaurant reservations, order takeout or join our virtual cooking events.|
|Earn: 5X total points on air travel when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.|
|Earn: 3x points on other travel worldwide, after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.|
|Earn: 3X points on dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out.|
|Earn: 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases|
Chase Sapphire Eligibility Rules
According to Chase, Sapphire products are available to you if you currently do not have a Sapphire card and have not received a new card member bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 48 months.
Who is Eligible to Apply for Sapphire Cards?
Chase has strict application rules when it comes to their Sapphire cards.
Let us review the five most critical eligibility rules that can impact your application. If you meet all the application requirements, your chances of being approved are excellent!
- You are eligible if you have not received a Sapphire welcome bonus in the past 48 months.
- You are eligible if you currently do not have a Sapphire Card open.
- You are eligible if you are below 5/24, meaning you have not opened five or more personal credit cards from all banks within the past 2 years.
- You are eligible if you have never had a Sapphire card.
- You are eligible if you had a Sapphire card but never received a bonus, such as when you did not meet the minimum spending requirement.
Let’s expound on each of these.
Rule #1: Chase Will Only Give The Sapphire Bonus Once Every 48 Months
Prospective cardmembers must follow Chase’s strict requirements to qualify for the lucrative Sapphire bonuses.
One of these rules is that anyone can only earn the Sapphire bonus once every 4 years.
Therefore, your application will be rejected if you have received the Sapphire bonus in the past 48 months.
If you are unsure when you last received your Sapphire bonus, please look at my recommended steps below.
Steps on How to Determine When You Last Received Your Sapphire Bonus By Sending Chase a Secure Message
Step 1: Log in to your Chase Profile using your computer.
Step 2: Click the three horizontal lines on the upper left-hand corner of your profile. See the image below.
Step 3: Navigate down to Secure Message
Step 4: Tap “New Message”
Step 5: Select “I have a question about one of my accounts.”
Step 6: Select your Chase Sapphire Card account.
Step 7: You can use the following script:
“Hello, I am wondering if you can help me figure out when I last received the bonus for my Sapphire card. Thank you very much.”
Step 8: Chase will tell you a specific date. Calculate whether the bonus was received over 48 months ago.
If you earned the bonus over 48 months ago, you can apply and potentially earn the bonus again.
If your bonus was earned less than four years ago, note when it will reach the 4-year mark and set an alert on your phone when to apply again.
Read the rest of this post to learn more about the other eligibility requirements.
Rule #2: You Should Not Have a Sapphire Card Open at the Time of Application
One of the most critical requirements in getting approved for a Sapphire Card is that Chase will only approve if you currently do not have an active Sapphire card.
If you currently hold a Sapphire card but want to apply for another Sapphire, continue reading.
Steps On How to Apply for a Sapphire Card When You Currently Have One Open
Step 1: Determine when you last received your last Sapphire bonus (please see the previous section for specific steps).
Step 2: If you have confirmed receiving the last Sapphire bonus over 48 months ago, proceed to step 3.
If your sign-up bonus was earned less than 48 months ago, set up an alert on your phone when it is expected to reach that date. Please return to this section once it has been over four years.
Step 3: Call Chase to product change your current Sapphire to a Freedom Visa card.
Pro-Tip: Do not cancel or close your existing Sapphire, as that account will stay active on your records for another 30 days after account closure. It will also extinguish your credit history for that particular card and lower your total credit line, impacting your overall credit utilization rate.
Pro-Tip: There are three Chase Freedom Cards to choose from. The FAQ Section will go over each Freedom card, so you can make a decision suitable to your needs.
The number to call is at the back of your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card or 1-800-493-3319. Use the script below. The agent will then review your request and confirm that your Chase Sapphire card will be changed to Chase Freedom.
Script: “Hello, I am calling because I wanted to do a product change. I want to change my Chase Sapphire Preferred / Chase Sapphire Reserve to a Chase Freedom card.”
Step 4: Wait for the conversion to be completed. I recommend waiting a whole week before applying again for a Chase Sapphire product.
Pro-Tip: Check your Chase profile to see if the image of your Chase Sapphire card has been changed to a Chase Freedom before you apply for your new Chase Sapphire card.
Step 5: Once you have verified that your old Sapphire card is now a Chase Freedom, apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Step 6: Wait for the Chase Sapphire card to arrive in the mail and complete the minimum spend requirement within 90 days.
Rule #3: You Are Eligible if You Are Below 5/24
Applicants will only be approved for a Chase personal or business card if they have not opened five or more personal credit cards from any bank within the past 2 years. This rule is called the Chase 5/24 rule.
For a deep dive into this topic, please look at the 5/24 article below.
Rule #4: You Are Eligible If You Have Never Had a Sapphire Card
You can apply for the Sapphire card if you have not had it in the past.
If you have applied for a Sapphire card in the past and were not approved, you may still be eligible to apply again.
Rule #5: You Are Eligible If You Had a Sapphire Card Before But Never Received a Bonus
If you were approved for a Sapphire card in the past but did not receive the bonus for various reasons, such as when you failed to meet the minimum spending requirement, you can apply again as you are deemed eligible to receive the welcome bonus.
Other Variables That Can Increase the Likelihood of Approval
- Good to excellent credit.
- Low credit utilization ratio.
What Is the Minimum Credit Score Required?
Having a good or excellent credit score increases your chances of approval. To be approved for either of the Sapphire cards from Chase, you must have a good to excellent credit score.
Your creditworthiness is determined by using a model called FICO scores. If your FICO score falls below 640, it’s unlikely that you’ll be approved.
Although the Sapphire Preferred requires a minimum credit score of 640 and the Reserve requires a minimum score of 700, we recommend aiming for a credit score of 750 or higher to improve your chances of approval.
Checking your credit score is easy and free on websites like Credit Karma or Credit Sesame.
Credit Utilization Ratio
What is the Minimum Income Required?
Chase is known for approving applicants with a wide range of incomes and credit scores. No minimum income is required to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve.
However, Chase does look at your debt-to-income ratio (credit utilization ratio) when considering applications. Your debt-to-income ratio is your monthly debts divided by your monthly income.
For example, if you have $500 in monthly debts and a $2000 monthly income, your debt-to-income ratio would be 25%. Chase prefers to see a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less. Make sure to pay off some debt first before applying for the Sapphires.
Pro-Tip: if you have any outstanding balances on other credit cards, we recommend paying them off before applying. This will give you the best chance at being approved for a Sapphire card and getting a high credit limit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I Lose My Points When I Product Change My Sapphire To a Freedom Card?
No, your points will automatically transfer to your new Chase Freedom Card.
Do I Get the Sign-up Bonus (SUB) When I Product Change My Sapphire to a Freedom Card?
No, sign-up bonuses are only offered to new applications, not product changes.
Do I Get A Prorated Refund of My Annual Fee When I Product Change?
Yes, by law, Chase must refund a prorated amount of your annual fee.
Will I Be Able to Transfer to Travel Partners When I Product Change my Sapphire Card to the Chase Freedom Card?
No, you can only transfer your points to travel partners through the following Chase premium cards:
If you need to transfer points to a travel partner such as Hyatt or United, make sure you transfer your points first before you downgrade to a Chase Freedom Card.
There Are Three Freedom Products, Which One Do I Product Change To?
There are three Chase Freedom products, two of which are available for new applications.
- Chase Freedom Flex – Mastercard (available for new applications and product changes)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited – Visa (available for new applications and product changes)
- Chase Freedom – Visa (available via product change only)
I recommend product changing to the Freedom Visa card. This card is no longer available to new applicants but is still accessible through product changes.
If you prefer a Mastercard, product change your Sapphire Card to a Chase Freedom Flex.
What if I Was Not Approved for a Sapphire Card, Can I Reverse The Product Change?
Yes, you have a month to reverse any product change requests. In this case, you will have to call Chase again and use the following script:
“Hi, I recently changed my Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom Visa card. I changed my mind and would like to reverse this product change request. Can I change my Freedom card back to my Sapphire card again? Thank you very much.”
Am I Eligible to Get the Bonus for the Sapphire Preferred if I Currently Have the Chase Sapphire Reserve?
No, you can only get a bonus from any of the Sapphire cards once every 48 months.
What Do I Do if I Want to Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve Currently Open?
Please refer to the steps under the section “Steps On How to Apply for a Sapphire Card When You Currently Have One Open.”
What if I Am Not Eligible for the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
There are a lot of other travel rewards credit cards that you can apply for in the interim. You can apply for another Chase credit card or explore offers from other banks such as Citi, American Express, or Capital One.
If you need guidance on what card to apply for next, we encourage our readers to join our Free Travel Miles and Facebook group, where you can post credit card-related questions anytime. Members there offer free advice. We will see you there.
I know I am Eligible For A Sapphire Bonus, But My Application Was Denied. What Are My Next Steps?
If you are 100% sure you are eligible for a Sapphire bonus, but your application was denied, then I would call the Chase Reconsideration Line.
We have an entire blog post that will walk you through the process, including scripts on what to say.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve have many perks and benefits, including travel and purchase protections, trip delay/cancellation insurance, and more.
If you’re a frequent traveler or just looking for a great all-around credit card, either of these cards could be a good fit.
If you’re considering applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve, do your research first, as Chase has unique application rules for their Sapphire Cards.
Make sure you know the application rules and eligibility requirements to increase your chances of being approved!
Also, ensure that you have a strong credit score and low credit utilization ratio to increase your chances of being approved for your next Sapphire card. Good luck!
Do you have any experience with the Chase Sapphire cards? Let us know in the comments below!
EDITORIAL DISCLOSURE – Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. The content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.