How Long Should You Wait To Apply For A Chase Card After Product Changing?

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My single favorite credit card combination involves having several popular Chase cards that can be combined to earn an unbeatable number of Ultimate Rewards points. In this post I wanted to address one of the common questions I get regarding the best strategy for acquiring this combination of cards.

Combining Ultimate Rewards cards to maximize your points earning

The following cards earn Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed as cash towards the cost of a travel purchase, or can be transferred to one of the Ultimate Rewards airline or hotel partners:

Meanwhile the following no annual fee cards can be used to complement them (in conjunction with one of the above cards, points can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners):

For example, as I’ve explained, I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve® CardInk Business Cash℠ Credit CardChase Freedom® Card, and Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Between those cards I pay a single annual fee, but I end up earning:

  • 5x points in rotating quarterly categories with the Freedom
  • 5x points on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services; 2x points on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants, with the Ink Cash
  • 3x points on dining and travel with the Sapphire Reserve
  • 1.5x points on everyday purchases with the Freedom Unlimited

Strategies for acquiring these cards

If you want to acquire a combination of these cards, sometimes your best bet is product changing from one card to another, rather than applying outright. All of these cards are subjected to the 5/24 rule, so you typically won’t be approved for them if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months. In terms of applying for these cards, there are a few things to be aware of:

How long should you wait between product changing and applying?

This brings us to the question I get asked by readers all the time. It was most recently asked yesterday by reader Mike on a post about how much Ultimate Rewards points are worth:

I am finally under the 5/24 rule. If I downgrade my Sapphire to a Freedom Unlimited card in order to apply for the Sapphire Reserve, does anyone know if there is a minimum wait time to apply for the Reserve? Should I give it a week or two? And I got my Sapphire bonus three years ago so I should qualify for the signup bonus for the Reserve.

What Mike is suggesting is a popular strategy. Say you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and want to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® (which is a killer combination), but want to limit your total number of inquiries. You could:

  • Product change from the Sapphire Preferred to the Sapphire Reserve and apply outright for the Freedom Unlimited
  • Product change from the Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom Unlimited and apply outright for the Sapphire Reserve
  • Cancel the Sapphire Preferred and then apply for both the Sapphire Reserve and Freedom Unlimited

Assuming you want to keep your inquiries to a minimum, I think the second option is the best. You could earn the welcome bonus on the Sapphire Reserve, and end up with two excellent cards. This is exactly the strategy my dad used recently when revamping his credit card portfolio.

Since you can’t get the Sapphire Reserve while you also have the Sapphire Preferred, how long do you have to wait from when you downgrade your card until you’re eligible for the Sapphire Reserve (in this scenario)? The bad news is that there are many conflicting data points on this. Some say:

  • They were able to get approved right after product changing
  • They had to wait until the statement closed before they could get approved

However, the most common theory seems to be that you should wait about a week between the time you product change and when you apply for a new card that you were previously ineligible for. As far as I’m concerned that’s the best advice out there, and it’s what I’d go off of. In my dad’s case, waiting only four days did the trick, though:

While I unfortunately don’t have a definitive answer, hopefully this gives people a good general timeline.

If you’ve been in the above situation, what was your experience like?

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Comments

  1. Would this be a similar approach for cancelling my current Chase Marriott then applying new to the Chase Marriott Premier Plus? It’s been more than 24 months since I opened my current Marriott card, so I think I’m ok? Waiting a week is good as long as I’m under 5/24?

  2. @Lucky

    I believe I read somewhere that some people had issues applying for Sapphire Reserve after downgrading their Sapphire Preferred card to a Freedom card because the Chase system still saw the Freedom card as a Sapphire Preferred card.

    can you verify whether or not there’s any truth to this? it does sound like your dad was able to complete this process though.

  3. Can you get anohter Chase Sapphire Preferred if you have a Chase Sapphire that was downgraded to the Chase Sapphire card?

  4. @ BFD — If you have any Sapphire Card then you’re not eligible to apply for another Sapphire Card. You could product change a Sapphire to a Freedom or Freedom Unlimited and then be eligible, however.

  5. @ Andy — I suspect this may be for people who applied too quickly after downgrading? It should definitely be possible in general, it’s just a question of how long you should wait.

  6. I just called in to product change my Sapphire Preferred and the official wait time according to Chase customer service was that “you need to wait at least 30 days after the change” to apply for the Reserve.

  7. I am way over 5/24 so there is no hope of being approved for these cards anytime soon. Does anyone know if Chase will product change from non-5/24 cards to 5/24 cards? For example, from British Airways to Chase Sapphire Reserve?

  8. @ David — There are limits to what they’ll allow product changes for. You’ll have to call to be 100% certain, but in my experience for Ultimate Rewards cards they’ll only let you switch within a given “family.”

  9. @ Chris — Interesting. Can’t say I’ve ever heard that, and also can’t say that reflects my experience.

  10. @Lucky – so I actually posted this question in the forum and unfortunately did get any responses. However, I just wanted to let everyone know I just went through this. I downgraded my CSP on 05/05/2018 to a Chase Unlimited and was told by the chase represented that I needed to wait at least 45 days to apply for the CSR as he stated it takes about 45 days for the system to update that I didn’t have a sapphire product. However, I was reading around other forums/blogs and I wanted a week and applied for the CSR on 05/12/2018. I got the 30 day message, and yesterday I checked my chase account and found out I was approved. I hope this help others. Thanks

  11. 1. Starting with a great question.
    2. 3 Paragraphs of barely related BS.
    3. Answering the question.

  12. Regarding applying for the Chase Ink Cash card, you might find this interesting. I just did so, as a sole proprietor, called to check the status, and was told I must submit documentation to verify the business name, IRS docs, state license , etc. In 10 years of this points/miles endeavor, Chase no anyone else has ever requested such. The Chase agent said this was new at the beginning of this year. I would certainly like to know if others have had this experience. I’ve not seen any mention of such. Myself and other members of the household have had numerous biz cards in the past, Chase and others; never a prior problem.

  13. if i downgrade the preferred, I would then have two freedom unlimited cards. can I do this? or do I need to close the freedom unlimited account i already have opened? thanks! this information came at a great time.

  14. @Rich-I received the Chase Marriott business in March and they did not ask me for any of that information. However I do have an old Chase Ink Plus which may have mitigated the issue.

  15. Could be the difference between a cobranded card and a “pure” Chase card. Do not know but, the agent did say “it” began at the first of the year.

  16. Here’s my data point: cancelled sapphire preferred on 4/29/18. Applied for reserve on 5/2/18, got letter dated 5/3/18 that I wasn’t approved due to already having sapphire branded card. Called reconsideration line, stating my preferred account is closed. She stated they didn’t run a credit check so I would have to reapply. Called again a few days later, the rep said the same thing, he can’t approve the application and I would need to reapply. When asked about timeline, he said he would recommend waiting 30 days because I have 30 days to reconsider reopening my preferred account. I checked my credit report and it doesn’t appear they did a credit check.

  17. Does the “3xs” the points on dining and travel justify the $450 price tag for the Saphire Reserve? (For the average person, not for Lucky…)

  18. @ Andrea — I’ll let others chime in on that, but I do think it’s worth pointing out that the card offers a $300 annual travel credit that should be worth face value to just about anyone. So the real “out of pocket” on the card is $150 per year, which is $55 per year more than the Sapphire Reserve. More on that here:
    https://onemileatatime.com/2018/03/15/chase-sapphire-reserve-150-cost/

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

  19. When I am given coupons for free money I end up buying more than I need and more than I had planned.

    Relate this to your life, the travel credits and the annual fee.

  20. I recently closed my Chase Marriott card and applied for the Chase Marriott Premier Plus card. For the first time in my life I was denied credit, despite a credit score of 830 and a 1% utilization of available credit. Their argument was that I had already opened 5 accounts in 2 years. Interestingly, they do not care that I have closed 3 accounts during the same period, and on one of the accounts I am an authorized user on my wife’s account.

  21. For me: Called to product change for sapphire preferred to freedom on 04/19/2018 and asked representative after finished product change that how long do I have to wait before apply for sapphire reserve. She told me that I have to wait about 45 days so the system can update that I don’t have any sapphire card. (same as Gordon)
    Until now, every time I am login to my account online, when I go to check on my offers it still show that I have the offer to finance home with Chase and get bonus 50,000 ultimate rewards as I am chase sapphire preferred card member. So, I still not sure that I should apply now or wait little more since a lot of people here have to wait about a week only.

    Also jon: yes you can have 2 freedom unlimited account since I already have freedom card and still can product change my sapphire preferred to another freedom.

  22. I have a CSP for just over a year. If i do the change to a Freedom card am I eligible for getting the CSR since it has not been 2 years yet?

  23. Prissy: Sorry to tell you that No. You will be eligible to apply for CSR after 24 month from you receive signing bonus (not when you open) and currently don’t have any CSP or CSR product.

  24. @Rich – I got approved for the Ink Business Cash card as a sole proprietor without any trouble, though it was not immediate (it took three weeks). However, before that I had applied for the Ink Business Preferred and received a letter asking me to send balance sheets for the past two years of my business, even though I stated in my application that I had only been in business for less than one year.

  25. @Lucky – I have all of the above Chase cards (“quadfecta”), except I have the Ink Business Cash (which best suits my needs) instead of the Ink Business Preferred. I think they are a fantastic combo for earning points. You state in the article that “All of these cards are subject to the 5/24 rule,” however, I have read on some Miles & Points websites that the Ink Business Cash is not subject to 5/24 (and many Miles & Points gurus say the same thing). In fact, I applied for the Ink Business Cash when I was at 5/24 because I had read it was not subject to that “rule” and I got approved. I have also read of others who have been approved at 5/24, so that is one card that I think may actually depend on other factors than “5/24.”

  26. Lucky,
    Will we not lose our UR points during all that?
    Also, will Chase still allow us to downgrade to old Sapphire (no-fee) card that doesn’t exist? I seem to remember it was OK at some point.

  27. @JW – That was one of the questions I asked when I called in to product change my Sapphire Preferred earlier this week. The customer service agent said that a product change from a Preferred to a Freedom unlimited would retain the account history and the points (as would an upgrade from Preferred to Reserve).

    However, the way I understand it, you would then need to apply (and get approved) for another product to be able to use those points as UR points.

  28. clarification: apply and get approved for another UR product that can take advantage of the points transfers or 1.5 cent redemption

  29. @PM I disagree. I thought the three paragraphs were actually very helpful and informative. Not everybody is informed about all the information that was communicated in those paragraphs.

  30. I downgraded my CSP to a Freedom Unlimited card on Monday. I applied Wednesday for a CSR and was instantly approved.

    More details:
    The downgraded card showed up as a Freedom Unlimited in my account at chase.com almost immediately.
    I was at the end of the billing cycle…might have actually been a day into the next cycle.
    It had been more than 2 years since I got the CSP card.

    I’ll post again if for some reason I don’t get the sign-up bonus.

  31. Well I was just approved for CSP at $24k limit after realizing I should’ve went for the CSR cause I’m new to Chase. Then I applied for Ink cash card and was declined for “Too Many Inquiries”. Now I’m told I should get a Freedom Unlimited to pair with my CSP. Should or can I apply for a Freedom Unlimited card and then upgrade my CSP to CSR or should I wait so I don’t get declined again? Thanks.

  32. I downgraded the CSP on 7/21/18 to the Chase Freedom Unlimited. My account reflected the product change immediately online (My billing period also happened to end on 7/24/18). I applied for CSR on 7/27/18 and was immediately approved.

  33. For me: Downgraded the CSP on 7/27/18 to the Chase Freedom while I was at the beginning of billing cycle. On 7/30 my offers stopped showing activities related to CSP; I applied for CSR thru referral link that day and was approved right away.

  34. I called Chase to downgrade my CSP to a Freedom Unlimited. They stated I cannot do this until I have had the card for at least 1 year. I have had the CSP since Oct 2017. They stated I can downgrade at that time and doing so, I would not have to pay the $95 annual fee.

  35. Data point: Downgraded CSP to freedom unlimited 7/26/2018, applied for CSR 8/8/2018 and instantly approved. Billing cycle for old CSP ended 7/19/2018. Have had CSP for 2yrs + 2 mos and received bonus 25 mo prior.

  36. Data point: I did a product change from Sapphire preferred to freedom unlimited on 8/1/2018. I applied for the Sapphire reserve card on 8/3/2018 and got the 30 day notice. I called the recon line and they explained to me that I was rejected due to already having a Sapphire product. The lending rep told me to wait at least 30 days from the date of the product change. My statement closed on 8/21/2018. Since I’m an eager person, I threw a prayer and just applied for the Sapphire reserve card again on 8/22/2018. I was instantly approved! I think I had applied too quickly the first time around. Maybe should have waited at least a week or until statement close.

  37. I downgraded my CSP which I had for about 4 years to Freedom Unlimited on 8/23. I was told by the rep that I should wait at least 30 days to apply for CSR. My billing cycle ended on 8/22. I took a chance and applied today (9/19) after reading some of the comments here and was approved instantly.

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