UPDATES:
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card now offers a high 80,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points online. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card is among the best travel and dining reward credit cards. The card's annual fee is low and comes with a high sign-up of 80,000 bonus points right now for an online application. 

If you are looking to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card, there are a few application rules and sign-up bonus eligibility information that you should know before applying for the card. I hope to help answer some frequently asked questions below through this post.

Photo Credit: Chase
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    Does Chase 5/24 rule apply to the Sapphire Preferred card?

    Yes. Chase will not approve your Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card application if you've opened five or more credit cards (including Amex charge cards) with any banks in the past 24 months or two years. This is known as the Chase 5/24 Rule

    The best way to count how many credit cards you've opened in the past 24 months is to sign up for a free credit report such as Credit Karma and Credit Sesame. Once you join the service, you can view your credit report for free and start counting cards you've opened in the past 24 months. 

    Does the authorized user card count towards Chase 5/24?

    Yes. If you are an authorized user on a card, that card is also shown on your credit report. Therefore, Chase can see and count that card towards its 5/24 rule. However, if your application's denial is due to the 5/24 rule, you can call in the reconsideration line to explain that card is an authorized user's card, and Chase will not count that card.

    If you were an authorized user on a Chase card and were removed afterward, the card may still appear on your credit report as a closed account, and thus it is still counted against the Chase 5/24 Rule. You can request Chase to remove that account from your credit report. See the post below:

    Does Chase 2/30 rule apply to the Sapphire Preferred card?

    Yes. Chase will not approve you if you have already opened and been approved for two Chase credit cards in a month. 

    Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 48 Months Sign-Up Bonus Rules

    According to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card sign-up bonus offer terms: 

    The product is not available to either:
    • Current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or 
    • Previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 48 months. 
      • 48 months starts from when you last received the card's sign-up bonus, not when you open or close the card.
    • 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. 

    Can I apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card if I have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card? 

    No, you cannot. If you are currently a card member of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, your application for the Sapphire Preferred card will not be approved. Chase only allows you to have one Sapphire-branded card at a time. Chase's card application system automatically detects that you are already a Saphire card member, and therefore it will not approve you for another Sapphire-branded card. The denial reason states that: You already have a Sapphire-branded card account with us. The good news is Chase does not pull your credit report when that happens. 

    Should I close or downgrade the Sapphire Reserve card and apply for the Sapphire Preferred card? 

    Yes, that's the way to do it! 

    Downgrading your Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card can be better than closing it because you will retain all your credit history. The recommended Chase card to downgrade your Reserve card to is one of the Chase Freedom credit cards below:

    The Freedom cards are cashback cards, but they complement well with a Sapphire card because they all earn Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points that can be combined and redeemed for more rewards than just cashback. 

    Moreover, while you can downgrade or product change the Reserve card, you may not be eligible for the sign-up bonus on the Sapphire Preferred card due to the 48 months term. Therefore, it is very important to know the date when you last received the sign-up bonus on the Reserve card and not the time that you opened the Reserve card. The easiest way to figure that out is to look through your Reserve card's statements and see when you received the card's sign-up bonus points. 

    Can I downgrade my Sapphire Preferred card and apply for a new Sapphire Preferred card? 

    Yes, you can. See above. 

    How long do you have to wait after downgrading your Chase Sapphire Reserve card before applying for the Sapphire Preferred card? 

    It's worth reminding again that Chase only allows you to have one Sapphire-branded card account at a time. 

    There's no written rule on how many days you must wait to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card after you close or downgrade the Reserve card, known as product change. 

    You first need to ensure the date you will be eligible again for the Sapphire Preferred card's new sign-up bonus. If you qualify immediately, it's recommended that after you product change your Reserve card, you do not apply within the first couple of days as the Chase system may still think you are a Sapphire card member. Unless it is the last minute that you must sign up for the Sapphire card, after waiting three business days may work. Otherwise, it's better to wait for a week or two (up to 30 days) before applying for the Sapphire card after you product change the Reserve card. 

    Can a Sapphire Reserve card's authorized user apply for the Sapphire Preferred card?

    Yes. While Chase limits you to only one Sapphire-branded card at a time, it does not consider you as the Sapphire Reserve card's account holder if you are just an authorized user on that card. Similarly, anyone authorized on your Sapphire Reserve card can apply for the Sapphire Preferred card independently and get the sign-up bonus if s/he meets all the offer's eligibility. See the checklist below. 

    Can a Sapphire Preferred card's authorized user apply for the Sapphire Preferred card and earn the sign-up bonus? 

    Yes. Being an authorized user (AU) is not the same as being the primary cardholder. Although you have a Sapphire Preferred credit card with your name on it as an authorized user, you are not the account holder, and therefore you do not have the Sapphire Preferred card's account as far as Chase is concerned. 

    If you are an authorized user on a Sapphire Preferred card, you can apply for the Preferred card on your own and be the primary cardholder of that account. In other words, an authorized user of the Sapphire Preferred card can apply for the Sapphire Preferred card. Authorized users are also eligible for the Sapphire Preferred card's sign-up bonus if they meet all the offer's eligibility. See the checklist below. 

    Chase Sapphire Preferred Card's Application and Sign-up Bonus Eligibility Checklists

    • Your credit report does not show you've opened at least five credit cards with any bank in the past 24 months in your credit report. 
      • If you are an authorized user on a credit card, Chase's computer system automatically counts that card towards its 5/24 rule. See the above section, "Does the authorized user card count towards Chase 5/24?" on how to overturn this. 
    • You have not applied and been approved for two Chase credit cards within 30 days. 
    • You are not currently a card member of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
      • Being an authorized user (AU) of the card is not considered a current card member. 
    • If you currently have a Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card and you really want Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card, you can close or downgrade the Reserve card to one of the Chase Freedom credit cards first, then apply for the Sapphire Preferred card under the following conditions: 
      • The date you received the Reserve card's sign-up bonus was 48 months ago. 
      • You've waited at least a week or two (up to 30 days) after product-changing your Reserve card before applying for the Sapphire Preferred card. 

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