Chase Adds New Restrictions To Sapphire Applications

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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Over the years we’ve seen card issuers add more restrictions to qualifying for welcome bonuses on cards. This is done to encourage profitable behavior. For example, from Chase we’ve seen the following new restrictions over the past few years:

Chase now seems to have added yet another restrictions, and it’s interesting that this comes exactly a year after they added the previous restriction. With the new terms, you can no longer get a Sapphire Card if you’re a current cardmember, or if you’ve received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the last 48 months (as opposed to the old rule of 24 months).

Previously the terms on both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card said the following:

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 24 months.

Meanwhile the new terms look 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.

This is a major change, though as such the rule doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me.

As of now it’s only the Sapphire Cards that have this language, and not other Chase cards, though I imagine that could change soon.

What do you make of these new restrictions to Sapphire Card approvals?

(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)

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  1. Unable to get the card, or unable to get the sign up bonus? It seems short sighted to keep people from getting the card just because they’ve had it in the last 4 years.

    Sign up bonus I totally get.

  2. Id imagine this wouldnt effect someone who pc’d to a Sapphire card from a Freedom and received that bonus w/in 4 years but not a sapphire bonus?

  3. It is basically an incentive for current cardholders to keep the card if they like it since they can’t get it for 4 more years if they cancel. I don’t like it, but a potentially effective deterrent.

  4. I’ve been perfectly happy with Chase Saphire Reserve for a couple of years. But today there was a major disappointment. Two months ago I booked a direct flight to California on American through Chase Ultimate Rewards.l for my family of five. The price was not that great, but I wanted a major airline and direct flight and American had good availability in mane economy cabin. They let me choose the seats, and at that time I had plenty of options available and I chose the seats in rows 20-21. Fast forward to today, I get a message from Chase telling me that it is time to check in. The message includes my itinerary with originally booked seats. I immediately go online and legalize that AA changed our seats to row 35 (second to last). My conversation with Chase goes nowhere. According to them, airlines can change the seats at any time. They could not explain why the change was not reflected in their system though they told them that they have another system that would reflect the changes but that system is not available to consumers. They did not know why no one notified me of the change either. What if it was a change in departure time, would anyone notify me? They did not know. Anyway, terrible experience, I’m rethinking my Saphire membership and would stay away from AA

  5. Jene, Unfortunately this could happen with any airline, your seat while normally safe is never guaranteed. There can be aircraft swaps, schedule changes, accommodation of a federal air marshall, accommodation of a disability, or any number of other operational circumstances where you could be tossed out of your preassigned seats. Also the airline isn’t going to tell you in many cases why they tossed you out of the assigned seat. It is a risk of booking flights especially when you book way in advance. Try to find Gary Leff’s View from the Wing posts on “gardening your reservation.” Essentialy, you need to watch your reservations for irregularities like this. Nobody is going to do it for you, unless you say hire a traiditonal travel agent like in a mom and pop shop that offers personalized service. They exist, but its not at all the norm. You might be able to recover faster if you saw the seat changes closer to departure. I’m sorry for your troubles, but I hope its a good lesson learned about the need for constant vigillence around your reservations, and to realize nobody will look out for you except yourself or unless you’ve hired a really old school travel agent.

  6. @Gene I think your first mistake was not taking the itinerary number you received after booking the flight thru the Chase portal and logging into the AA site to verify your selected seats actually relayed to their system. I’ve never had success with OTA’s like Expedia and Priceline actually relay my seat selections correctly so it’s always best to go to the airline directly and make your selection there. The second mistake was not actively keeping tabs on your booking with AA.

  7. Having and especially keeping the SR makes sense, only if you´re not hunting after all sorts of other signup bonuses all the time because then you really dont make use of the SR and just pay the fees…

  8. I’m with Hotcrab. It seems incredibly dumb to prevent people from getting the card when you can just deny them a signup bonus.

  9. Hi everyone,

    I have a CSR, Unlimited, Unlimited Freedom, Hyatt (old one), and IHG (old one). These are the only 5 credit card’s I’ve ever opened and had CSR since January of 2016.

    I applied for United Explorer and was rejected due to 5/24. What the?!?!

    Anyone else had this experience?

  10. @Ryan

    You said you have the CSR as in Chase Sapphire Reserve since Jan 2016?????
    Either you are getting your dates wrong, or you are a demi-god who is the 1st being alive in this world to carry the card.
    I believe most of us mortals had the card as earliest as August 2016

  11. It looks like Chase needs those annual fees to come in for a few years in order to make money on the Reserve. They don’t want people cancelling at all, and this will likely scare those that are most likely to cancel and reapply again (readers of blogs like this).

    The real test will come after the next major devaluation of the program, which seems inevitable at this point. A lot of people will then wonder if it is worth it to keep their cards.

  12. Guess I won’t be getting the CSR after cancelling my CSP which I opened 3 years ago.

    Not too concerned as the program lost a lot of value for me by dumping Korean. United and Hyatt are the only UR partners I value and they both have their own cards. Good news for amex as I’ll be keeping my Platinum for at least another year as i like having at least one premium card.

  13. Had 600,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards hacked from my account ….. took 2 weeks and numerous calls to even speak with someone , Everyone at Chase was ” Thats not the banks fault ” Not our department ” Need to call Chase Ultimate Rewards , who intern said , you need to speak with the fraud department a the bank who then tell me they will send me a letter in 1-2 weeks ….. seems like horrible service for a premium card….. note , 3 weeks later points re appear in my account but Chase then closes and re opens with different numbers all my card accounts …. awesome waste of time.

  14. The 48 month requirement, is that counting from the application date of the previous card? or the cancellation date?

  15. Based on the wording, does it mean one is unable to get the card, or unable to get the sign up bonus?

  16. @Jim, from the language of the terms it’s from the date when the bonus was awarded, which could be up to a few months after the application date, depending on how quickly the bonus was earned and posted.

  17. @Anthony – I think you are spot on, unfortunately. Korean Air gone. Replaced with JetBlue which is a net loss (unless you take advantage of a redemption through tomorrow).

    Wait til the next recession too when default rates on the rest of their cc portfolios starts to rise too.

  18. If chase extended this to all their cards on top of only allowing obe card per family and 5/24 i may be inclined to spend my money elsewhere especially in the light ofc recent devaluations.

  19. As a current cardholder, you can get either card within a 48 month period by requesting a product change of a Sapphire Preferred to Reserve and vice versa. However, you are not eligible for a welcome bonus on a new application until after that period. So for the Reddit “double-dippers” that loophole is now dead.

  20. Gene – ALWAYS check your seats on the website if you book on a third party website. We frequently have problems with our corporate booking system (american express) as well, but it takes two seconds to double check it on, or I usually check it the same day and about a week before departure and of course the day of. It’s very easy to do with the apps these days.

  21. Question. Have both Sapphire’s. What if I product changed the Preferred to a Freedom? Could I pick up another Preferred as long as all the other conditions met? What length of time must I wait to apply after product change?

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