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When searching the web for the top travel credit cards available, you’ll often find two cards included in those results — the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Both cards are extremely popular with consumers, even during the coronavirus pandemic. Along with the standard ability to earn extra points for travel and dining worldwide (including on takeout and delivery services), Chase has added more ways for cardholders to earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points.

There are also new redemption bonuses (like this Chase Ultimate Rewards for Apple purchases) and major signup bonus (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s ability to earn 60k bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months).

With perks like the ability to transfer points to Chase’s major travel partners, it’s easy to see why these cards are so favored. And side note, they are both metal credit cards that are free of foreign transaction fees, making them excellent companions that won’t get easily damaged when you’re ready to travel again.

However, Chase has implemented a couple of restrictive rules regarding their cards. For the best chances of Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card approval, here are the Chase Sapphire application rules to look out for.

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Contents

Why should you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is a popular starter card. The Ultimate Rewards points it earns are some of the most coveted in the travel community. Cardholders earn:

  • 2x points on travel and dining (including takeout and delivery)
  • 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022

Additional Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits include unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DoorDash DashPass subscription. Activate your card by December 31, 2021.

Through April 30, 2021, cardholders automatically earn 2x points per $1 spent at grocery stores, up to $1,000 per month.

Additionally, cardholders can earn up to $60 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021. Points are worth 25% more now through April 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 25% more when redeemed through the new Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through April 30, 2021.

You can book travel at 1.25 cents per point or they can be cashed out at 1 cent per point. If you prefer to use points for travel, you can transfer to one of 13 airline and hotel transfer partners. This is a solid card with a $95 annual fee.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card now comes with a bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. Read the full solo Chase Sapphire Preferred review here.

Related: Does it Make Sense to Get for the Chase Sapphire Reserve over the Sapphire Preferred?

Why should you get the Chase Sapphire Reserve?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the big brother to the Sapphire Preferred card. It earns 3x points on travel (once you earn the $300 travel credit) and dining rewards worldwide. Ultimate Rewards points are 50% more valuable with the Reserve because they are worth 1.5 cents per point for travel. You can also cash out the points at 1 cent per point or transfer them to the same 13 travel partners as the Preferred.

The Reserve offers many other benefits to justify its $550 annual fee. First, there is a $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. This essentially reduces the net annual fee to $250. Cardholders also receive a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck reimbursement every 4 years.

Gas station and grocery store purchases will also count towards earning the annual $300 travel credit, through June 30th, 2021. Additionally, through April 30, 2021, cardholders automatically earn 3x points per $1 spent at grocery stores, up to $1,000 per month. 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 April 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 April 30, 2021.

If you reserve rental cars when you travel, you’ll appreciate the Primary Rental Car Insurance. Other benefits include Priority Pass Select lounge membership, trip cancellation & interruption insurance, extended warranty protection, and purchase protection.

Check out our in-depth Chase Sapphire Reserve review to see more about why this card is so special.

Chase Sapphire Application Rules

A couple of years ago, Chase took a $300 million charge to its corporate earnings due to “credit card superusers” maximizing credit card rewards. When travel credit cards and our behaviors start impacting the bottom line of a bank, bank management will take notice.

Chase has taken a couple of steps to restrict applications for some of its credit cards. These application rules won’t affect most consumers.

Chase 5/24 Rule

A couple of years ago, Chase implemented the “5/24 Rule.” If you have more than five new credit cards on your credit report in the last two years, you will be declined for many of Chase’s most popular credit cards.

This rule is more restrictive than others because it includes any new credit cards you’ve opened from other banks. Unfortunately, if you are added as an authorized user on someone else’s credit cards, that also counted towards your five new cards. Most people don’t realize that Home Equity Lines of Credit also count for this total.

I was over 5/24 so I couldn’t get the Chase Sapphire Reserve® until more than 2 years after it was released. Ok, part of the delay had to do with refinancing a couple of rental properties I own. But applying for a lot of credit cards over a short period of time also put me on the Chase 5/24 list. At long last, I finally have my own Sapphire Reserve credit card.

One Bonus Per Sapphire Family of Credit Cards

With most Chase credit cards, you can receive the bonus even if you have had another version of the card. In 2017, Chase updated its application rules on the Chase Sapphire cards to be more like Citibank. Now, if you’ve received the signup bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred in the last 2 years, you cannot receive the bonus from the Chase Sapphire Reserve® (and vice versa).

Chase 48-Month Rule

Until recently, consumers were eligible to receive another bonus from the Chase Sapphire family of credit cards if they have not received that bonus in the last 2 years. The clock started ticking when the bonus was earned, not when a cardholder was approved for the credit card.

In September 2018, the Chase Sapphire application rules became even more restrictive. The waiting period was increased to at least 48 months since the Sapphire credit card bonus was received.

Other Bank Application and Bonus Rules

I won’t go into detail on these rules, but other banks also have rules that restrict the welcome bonuses on their credit cards. Here’s a quick summary:

  • American Express – “once per lifetime” rule means that you cannot receive the bonus from the same credit card twice. Some cardholders have reported receiving another bonus after waiting 7 years or more between applications. Your mileage may vary.
  • Bank of America – “2/3/4” rule restricts cardholders from applying for no more than two BofA credit cards every 2 months, a total of 3 cards within a year, and 4 within two years.
  • Citibank – “one bonus per family” rule limits you to only one bonus per family of credit cards every two years. For example, if you received the bonus from the Citi Prestige® card a year ago, you are ineligible for the Citi Premier® Card bonus until you’ve owned the Prestige card for two years. These credit cards are linked because they both earn ThankYou points. Be careful though because the 2-year clock resets if you close one of the cards.

These are all important to consider when reviewing the Chase Sapphire application rules.

What To Do If You Can’t Get Either Card

If you aren’t currently eligible to get either of the Chase Sapphire credit cards, you have some options.

#1) Wait until you become eligible.

If you are having trouble with the Chase Sapphire application rules, there are alternatives. Try to see what you can possibly do to prepare for future applications. If you can wait and build up your credit score, you might have more success.

#2) Try for credit cards from other banks.

As great as Chase’s card lineup is, there are still plenty of other great credit cards out there from other banks. I’d suggest The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Citi Premier® Card.

#3) Focus on business credit cards.

Business credit cards are gaining in popularity. This is because most of them do not report to the credit bureaus as long as your account is in good standing. The inquiry will still show up on your credit report when you try for them, but most business cards do not. Plus, many business credit cards have great category bonuses for your business spending. I really like the American Express® Business Gold Card or the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®.

Going for business credit cards is a strategy to earn points while waiting to get under Chase 5/24. Of course, before trying, make sure you have an eligible business. Also, be careful because some business credit cards like Capital One Spark and Discover credit cards have been known to report to the credit bureaus. This is even when your account is in good standing.

Q: Can You Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Again?

A: Yes, but it depends.

I have received many emails from readers asking if they could get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card again if they’ve already held the card. According to Chase’s website, you can earn the bonus if you currently do not have any Sapphire card and you have not received a new cardmember bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 48 months.

This is good news for consumers who previously held the card and would like to get it again. For example, I had the Sapphire Preferred a few years ago, but downgraded to a no-fee card because that best fit my needs at the time. However, it’s been over 24 months since I last received a bonus on the Sapphire Preferred. So, I would be eligible for the card and bonus again. Score.

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and want to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve (or vice versa), there are some rules to know. In regards to the bonus, Chase’s rules are as follows:

The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 48 months. If you are an existing Sapphire customer and would like this product, please call the number on the back of your card to see if you are eligible for a product change. You will not receive the new cardmember bonus if you change products.

If you’ve read the blog before, then you know that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best personal rewards credit cards out there (I think it’s the best). It comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Other perks of the card include no foreign transaction fees, chip & sign technology, 2x points per $1 on dining and travel purchases, trip cancellation insurance, and primary car insurance.

Related Posts: 

Lee Huffman
Advertisement

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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APPLY NOW
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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.

51 Comments On "Guide To Chase Sapphire Reserve & Preferred Application Rules"
  1. BillW|

    Can u close some of the 5 cards opened in past 24mo to qualify for the chase sapphire or do those closed cards still get counted?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Closing cards won’t have an impact. It will depend on when you applied for the credit card. Hope this helps!

  2. Barry V|

    Does the on-line approval screen tell you if you are eligible for the bonus? I do not remember seeing it.

    I had a Chase Slate and Freedom a few years back and hope it doesn’t impact the bonus.

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      If you’re approved for the card you’re eligible for the bonus. The Slate and Freedom won’t have an impact on your Sapphire application.

  3. Mark|

    I currently have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card that was opened back in 2016. Can I downgrade that card to a Chase Freedom Unlimited card, and then apply for a Chase Sapphire Reserve and get a sign up bonus for the Reserve? Would I lose the points I currently have? It seems like I should be able to get the sign up bonus since I haven’t gotten one since 2016.

    1. Lee Huffman|

      You won’t lose your points if you downgrade to either Freedom card, but you will lose the ability to transfer to airline and hotel partners or receive 1.25 cents in value per point when booking travel.

      The current rules state that you will not be approved for the CSR or CSP if you’ve received a Sapphire signup bonus in the last 48 months. Check your records to see when the bonus hit your account. If you applied in 2016, it seems that you are really close to being eligible again.

      Keep in mind that you won’t be approved for the CSR if you hold the CSP, so you will either need to close that account or downgrade it to one of the Freedoms.

  4. Fred|

    I have a sapphire reserve that I opened I believe over 2 years ago, and I HAD a sapphire preferred that I believe I closed over 2 years ago. Can I open a preferred card now and get the 60k points?

    1. Lee Huffman|

      No. The current rules for the CSR and CSP state that you will not be approved for those cards if you’ve received the bonus within the last 48 months. If you click on the “Offer Details” link on the application page for either product, you will find these terms in bold in one of the first paragraphs.

  5. Ashley|

    If I apply for a CSR and I am not eligible, will I be able to apply for the Preferred?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      It depends on why you weren’t eligible. Did they give you a reason? Most likely applying for the Sapphire Prefered would be the same results though.

  6. Jim|

    Pretty sure that your info is wrong. If you already have one Sapphire card open, you cannot open another one. Might want to doublecheck that.

  7. Diane|

    We have had a Chase Sapphire Preferred card for at least 9 years. We are tired of paying the $95 annual fee, which Chase will not waive (I tried talking to several reps and supervisors about waiving the fee but got nowhere). We have recently used up all of our Ultimate Rewards points on travel and are thinking about downgrading to the no fee Chase Freedom, which is currently offering 3% Ultimate rewards on up to $20,000 ($600) the first year. I have two questions: first, if we reapplied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred in a year or so, would we be eligible for the signup bonus; and second, would the Ultimate Rewards points we accumulate with the Freedom card be eligible for the extra 25% value if we switched back to the Sapphire Preferred?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Yes, once you have a CSP, CSR, or Ink P you can then combine your Freedom points with those accounts. Yes, you would be able to get the CSP again in the future as long as you met the criteria, 5/24 rule, etc.

  8. a friend|

    Chase is telling me I need to cancel my Reserve before applying for the Preferred but with no guarantee I will be approved. (I have a very high credit score….) Is there any other way to do this, to ensure I dont end up without a Chase credit card and to not hurt my credit score by closing the account?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      As long as it’s not your oldest credit card canceling a credit card shouldn’t have a major negative impact on your credit score, as long as your credit utilization isn’t significantly changed.

  9. Ajlm|

    If I am an authorized user CSP, would the 48 month rule still apply to me if I were to apply for the CSR?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Good question. You should remove yourself as an authorized user on the CSP before applying for the CSR.

  10. Jenny|

    Hi, I have had the CSR card since Jan. 2017. If I wait out the 4 years, could I cancel and immediately apply for the CSR card again for the sign up bonus? What is the waiting period to sign up for the bonus after closing the card?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Yes, you should be good to go as long as you meet all the criteria.

  11. Clarissa|

    I currntly have a chase preferred for about 3 yrs and want to get the reserve. Can I close the preferred and not lose the points and apply for a reserve?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Hi Clarissa, you would need to transfer your points out to a travel partner or combine to them another UR earning account to keep your points.

  12. Tom|

    I just downgraded my CSP to the Freedom, but when I applied for the Reserve, Chase said I still had a Sapphire card and auto-rejected(no Hard check on the credit)…How long do I need to wait before applying for the CSR???

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      There have been conflicting reports, but you should at least wait a week. Hope this helps!

  13. SallyD|

    Thanks for the great article and helpful advice! Do you know if the personal and business cards are linked? Aka, does the 5/24 or 48 month rule hold true for applying for the ink card? Thanks for your help and keep it coming!

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Thanks for reading the blog! Yes, the Ink approvals are subjected to the 5/24 rule, but they won’t count towards the 5/24 because their activity will not be on your personal credit score.

  14. James|

    On the $300 travel credit for CSR, do you know how long it takes to get that back? Customer support didn’t know the answer. End of the year, 6 billing cycles, etc?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      The Sapphire Reserve statement credit should automatically post to your Reserve account on the day the purchase posts, but it could take a billing cycle for it to appear on a billing statement.

  15. Lindsay|

    I opened the Chase Sapphire Preferred card in March, not knowing about the rule with opening a new Reserve card. I was rejected from getting a Reserve card because of the rule. I do not care about getting the bonus points, I just want to get the Reserve as I will be travelling for work and want the increased travel bonuses. Is there any solution? If I cancel my Preferred card (I also have a Freedom card), will my Reserve application be approved? If I wait until 12 months since I opened, will I be able to upgrade (and not receive the points but get the card)?

  16. Sharon|

    My husband and I have CSR. We’re both 1/24. We’re not authorized users on each accounts. I wanted to product change or downgrade my CSR to CFU or CF, so it doesn’t have the annual fee. Is this the best move? Should I transfer my UR Points to him before I do this?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Yes, I would transfer your points over to his CSR before you cancel/downgrade. Just to be safe.

  17. Hanna|

    I have a CSP and my husband is an authorized user. We’d both like to get separate CSRs. Should we remove him as an authorized user before I request to upgrade?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Being an authorized user won’t hinder him from getting his own card, but you can remove him just to be safe.

  18. Daniel|

    Thanks for such a thorough article! I have a super detailed question on timing… I got my first sapphire card in December 2015, but the new cardmember bonus points were awarded on the 2/5/2016 statement date. I have a trip coming up in the spring that I’d love these points for… when is the soonest I can apply? 2/6/20? Or since the clock started ticking from the February statement, would it be better to wait until March?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      You should be good to go in March just to be safe since it’s been 48 months from the time you received the bonus. Thanks for tuning in to the blog!

  19. Fernando|

    I opened the chase sapphire preferred 12/17/2017 before I knew about sign up bonuses and points and whatnot. I actually opened up the account just because I had 70,000 ultimate rewards points saved up that I wanted to use. I figured I would get the card to make my points worth 87,500 with this card and redeemed them for a couple flights. So I figured there was no point in keeping it open. Not to mention since I used up all my points it’s not like it would help me stretch the rest of my points 25% more. My question is since I DID NOT get the sign up bonus on this card if I were to apply for it again would I be eligible for the sign up bonus? Please advise,

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      It might be best to reach out to Chase directly in your account online, since you have an unusual situation where you applied for the card but didn’t receive the bonus.

  20. Mandy|

    My husband is authorized user on my CSP, as others have mentioned, and he would like to get his own CSR soon. I will remove him from my CSP before he does that, but would he still be eligible for the CSR bonus stuff if I have received the bonus from CSP?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Yes, as long as he meets all the other eligibility rules. Being an authorized user won’t disqualify you for getting your own Sapphire Preferred.

  21. Tyler L|

    I received the bonus for the CSP in early 2017. I want to upgrade to the CSR as soon as possible but I know that I need to wait at least 48 months in order to get the signup bonus.

    Typically, I would downgrade to CF or CFU and apply for the CSR but I know that I wouldn’t get the sign up bonus at this time.

    Question is: can I upgrade to CSR for now, then downgrade to CF in one year and re-apply for the CSR to get the bonus?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Hey Tyler, thanks for reading the blog! I don’t believe you would eligible for the CSR bonus in that last scenario.

  22. NBN|

    Do you know if you are able to get a second sign up bonus with a Chase Ink Preferred card?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      As long as it’s for another business, you meet the 5/24 rule, and other credit requirements you should be eligible for approval.

  23. lauxe|

    I just opened a Chase sapphire last may 28 2020, am i eligible to apply on world of hyatt if i apply today or how long should i wait? TIA

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      If that is your only application in that time span, and your credit score is in good condition you should be a prime candidate. There’s no way to 100% guarantee an approval though.

  24. Daniela|

    To get the bonus you should spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. What kind of purchases are counted? Do they count grocery, dining out, buying product and etc.

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Yes, those are all eligible purchases.

  25. Rosa|

    I have had (and still have and use) the Sapphire Reserve for many years (received bonus on it more than 2 years ago). Will I be eligible to apply for and receive bonus for a Sapphire Preferred card?

  26. Mike|

    If i have a sapphire reserve card, can my wife (who is not on my account) sign up for the Sapphire Preferred and receive the bonus? If yes, can we then transfer the points to my account (since there is a higher redemption value)?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Yes, she can receive her own Sapphire and you would be able to transfer points between the accounts since you’re in the same household.

  27. Brian|

    Hi Johnny, I got my CSR bonus on 11/15/2016 and have since cancelled the card. I’m currently 4/24. Would I be able to get the 80k bonus if I applied on the 11/7? Will Chase approve me and NOT give me the bonus after all the spending requirement is met?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      There’s no way to guarantee approval w/out knowing all your details credit score, etc. I believe you meet the criteria, but you can secure message Chase online in your account to be safe.

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