Doctor Of Credit writes about a memo that apparently went out today highlighting changes to the approval process for Chase Sapphire cardmembers. This has some pretty major implications. Let me first say that I haven’t received any communication about this directly, so I can’t personally verify this is accurate, though it does seem to be an official memo. So I’m just passing on what I’ve read.
Chase has three types of Sapphire products — the Sapphire, Sapphire Preferred, and Sapphire Reserve. According to this memo, as of August 27, 2017, Chase will no longer approve you for one of those cards if you already have another version of the Sapphire Card. In other words, if you have the Sapphire Preferred you can no longer be approved for the Sapphire Reserve.
However, you can continue to be able to product change between cards, and if you cancel all your Sapphire branded products, you’ll be eligible for a bonus on one of the cards after 24 months. This shouldn’t impact existing cardmembers who have more than one Sapphire product.
Here’s the memo that Doctor Of Credit shares:
Beginning August 27 our same-product eligibility requirements have been updated for all Sapphire Credit Card products, which include Chase Sapphire, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Here’s a look at what’s new:
- Going forward, a customer may no longer have more than one Sapphire-branded credit card. For example, if a customer has a Sapphire Preferred card, they are no longer eligible for a Sapphire Reserve card.
- While this change impacts all new and existing customers (including CPC clients), there is no impact to existing customers who presently have more than one Sapphire product. These customers continue to retain their Sapphire products as usual.
- If existing Sapphire customers wish to upgrade or downgrade their product, they made so if eligible. However, no bonus points will be available with this upgrade or downgrade. The customer may call the number on the back of their card OR you may contact Banker Support with customers who are in the brand or already on the phone.
- If an account is closed, a customer will not be eligible for any Sapphire-branded credit card if they have earned a cardmember bonus on a Sapphire-branded product within the last 24 months.
As of now it doesn’t look like the terms of the applications have been updated to reflect this new rule. For example, the Sapphire Preferred application still says the following, without referencing whether having another Sapphire product would make you ineligible for this one:
This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. To qualify and receive your bonus, you must make Purchases totaling $4,000 or more during the first 3 months from account opening. (“Purchases” do not include balance transfers, cash advances, travelers checks, foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers or similar cash-like transactions, lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, race track wagers or similar betting transactions, any checks that access your account, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, and fees of any kind, including an annual fee, if applicable.) After qualifying, please allow 6 to 8 weeks for bonus points to post to your account. To be eligible for this bonus offer, account must be open and not in default at the time of fulfillment.
I guess Chase thought that the benefits between the Preferred and Reserve overlapped so much, and that it made sense for cardmembers to decide between the two. I certainly can’t blame them for the change, given that if you have the Sapphire Reserve, there’s no reason to have the Sapphire Preferred (the inverse isn’t necessarily true — I’d instead say that if you have the Sapphire Preferred, it could instead make sense to upgrade to the Sapphire Reserve).
This partly reminds me of Citi’s 24 month rule. For many of their products, Citi won’t approve you if you’ve opened or closed a card in the same “family” in the past 24 months. Really Chase is being even stricter here, as they won’t approve you even if you have one card open for more than 24 months, and want to apply for the other type of card.
This is certainly something to be aware of if you’re considering picking up a Sapphire product anytime soon.