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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the most popular travel rewards cards on the market, even during the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to exciting benefits and reward categories like earning for grocery purchases, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has continued to be an asset to your wallet. Plus, new Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Even if you aren’t planning on traveling anytime soon, you can always use the points you earn for an upgrade on future travel. It’s worth mentioning the Chase Sapphire Preferred also has a new bonus of 80,000 points. See Sapphire Preferred review. 

With exciting benefits like a $300 travel credit, which can be used on gas station and grocery store purchases through Dec. 31, 2021, $120 in statement credits for a Peloton digital membership (through Dec. 31, 2021), 3x points on dining worldwide (including takeout and delivery), 3x points on global travel immediately after earning the $300 travel credit, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit, and complimentary Priority Pass membership, there are plenty of reasons why this card is considered one of the best.

Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for the Chase Sapphire Reserve due to not having the right credit score needed. There is also the Chase 5/24 rule to be aware of (more on that below). If you’re unsure about your credit score, you can check your credit for free before trying.

Lyft benefits are some of the perks select Chase cards have to offer. Credit: Lyft

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Score Needed for Approval

Chase doesn’t publish a specific minimum credit score requirement to be approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. However, we do know you will need to have excellent credit.

Reports from Successful Applicants

Editor’s Note: The reviews below may no longer be applicable as Chase has increased the credit score needed for the Chase Sapphire Reserve. 

“At the time of my approval, my credit karma scores were; 663 T/U and 678 EQ. I was NOT approved right away as I got the screen that stated my application needed to be reviewed and I’d hear back from them within 7-10 days with a decision. This was on Friday (6/16/17)…My card arrived on Wednesday (6/21/17) via UPS Express.

The welcome letter provided me with my Transunion FICO score, which at the time was 629.”

SoThankful215

“My TU and EQ scores were both around 750 when I applied for both CSP and CSR. The CSR credit limit increased my credit score to 760. About 90k yearly income and less than 4 yr total credit history.”

ihearthummus

“My FICO score at the time was 733. This card is a VISA Infinite card so the minimum credit limit you will get is $10K, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a VISA Signature card and the minimum credit limit you will get is $5K. As soon as I hit the $4K spend, the 100,000 points showed up on the Chase online portal.”

Toasty1221

Other Factors

A high credit score alone will not guarantee that Chase will approve your Sapphire application. They also look at several other factors, although, their exact selection algorithm is a closely guarded secret.

Chase 5/24 Rule

The Chase policy that declines the application of many applicants with excellent credit is the 5/24 policy. If you have been approved for at least five credit cards, even as an authorized user, within the most recent 24 months, your application to the Chase Sapphire Reserve will automatically be declined.

While you do not find anything referring to the 5/24 rule on Chase’s website, it exists. It applies to many of the Chase native and co-branded cards including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Southwest Airlines personal and business credit cards.

If you fall under this rule, save yourself the hard pull for when you can get approved for the Sapphire Reserve. Or, go for another premium travel rewards card that doesn’t have this rule like The Platinum Card® from American Express. You can learn more about this benefit-rich alternative option in our in-depth Amex Platinum review.

Other Credit Accounts

In addition to the recent credit card applications, Chase will also look at your other open credit accounts. This includes the length you have owned your oldest credit cards or your loans. A high debt-to-income ratio can affect your approval chances and even your credit limit if you’re approved.

Being a current Chase customer can also help improve your approval odds if the 5/24 rule doesn’t apply. Being a Chase banking or credit card customer allows Chase a peek into your financial habits and can help them determine if you will be a reliable cardholder.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Income

Chase also considers your income in the selection process. A higher-income can boost your approval chances, especially if your credit score is on the low-end of the approval spectrum.

Chase Pre-approval

Another way to see if you automatically qualify for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is by checking your Chase Pre-Qualified Offers. Do not despair if you do not see the Chase Sapphire Reserve on the list.

Enjoy the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Many travelers love the Chase Sapphire Reserve and often considered it one of the best, if not the best, travel rewards card in the industry. Of course, this largely depends on your travel preferences and how you plan to use your credit card.

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you earn 3x points per $1 on dining purchases. You’ll also earn 3x points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. Very few rewards cards offer higher purchase reward rates on these categories.

There is a $550 annual fee, but, it can be easily offset by the numerous perks.

Redemption Options

In addition to the purchase rewards, the Sapphire Reserve also has a robust redemption program. Points are worth 1.5 cents each when you book award travel directly through Chase. Most credit card rewards programs have a maximum value of 1.0 cents per point. The difference adds up quickly. Every 10,000 points are worth $150 with the Sapphire Reserve and $100 with other rewards cards. Unless you earn more in purchase rewards (i.e. greater than three points per dollar), it’s hard to beat the Sapphire Reserve.

A second flexible redemption option with the Sapphire Reserve is the option to transfer your points on a 1:1 ratio to Chase Ultimate Rewards partners. This can be a great way to secure discounted partner flights, top off your current award balance with a partner loyalty program, or book award travel for a lower price than the Chase travel portal offers.

These Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits are in addition to the $300 annual travel credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement, and complimentary airport lounge access.

Bonus Benefits in 2021

Gas station and grocery store purchases will also count towards earning the annual $300 travel credit, through Dec. 31, 2021. Cardholders can also earn up to $120 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021.

This is in addition to the complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription that lets cardholders get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees. They also earn up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases ($60 in statement credits through 2020 and another $60 in statement credits through 2021).

Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn 10x points on Lyft rides, including bikes and scooters. Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership is also available when activated by March 21, 2022.

Points are worth 50% more through Sept. 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature. Points are also worth 50% more when redeemed through the Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through Sept. 30, 2021.

Summary

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a high-class travel rewards card with a high annual fee. Having an excellent credit score greatly increases your instant approval chances. Your approval chances can increase if you have an existing relationship with Chase or a responsible track record with another credit card with a high credit limit. If you currently don’t qualify, don’t be afraid to try again in the future.

You may also consider the lower annual fee ($95) sister card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and the credit score needed for the Preferred. Check out our comparison of the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred for more details.

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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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