Chase Sapphire Card 48-Month Bonus Rule Explained

Chase Sapphire Card 48-Month Bonus Rule Explained

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Link: Apply now for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review) are two of the most popular travel rewards credit cards. They both have excellent welcome offers, great points earning structures, and valuable benefits. Which of the cards makes the most sense depends on the type of consumer you are.

For those considering applying for either of these cards, one major consideration is the 48-month rule, which you have to follow in order to earn the welcome bonus on either card. In this post I wanted to take a closer look at how that works. This is in addition to standard Chase application restrictions, including the 5/24 rule.

How the Chase Sapphire 48-month rule works

When you apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll see the following terms associated with earning the welcome bonus:

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.

There’s sometimes confusion about what exactly this means, so let me try to clarify. You’re not eligible for the welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve if:

  • You currently have any Chase Sapphire credit card (this includes the Preferred and the Reserve)
  • You are a previous cardmember who has received a bonus on a Chase Sapphire credit card in the past 48 months (this includes the Preferred and Reserve); the 48 months wouldn’t be from when you opened the card, but rather from when you earned the bonus

In other words, you are potentially eligible for either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve if you’ve had one of the Chase Sapphire cards in the past, you just can’t currently have one of the cards, and can’t have received a new cardmember bonus on one of the cards in the past 48 months.

Note that being an authorized user on someone else’s Chase Sapphire card (either currently or in the past) wouldn’t make you ineligible for earning the bonus on the card yourself.

Redeem Chase points for a stay at Alila Hinu Bay Oman

When are you considered a previous Chase Sapphire cardmember?

As you can see based on the terms, eligibility for the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve is based on not currently having either of these cards, and based on not being a previous cardmember who received a bonus on either card within the past 48 months.

Many wonder at what point you’re considered a previous cardmember based on having had the card in the past. Most data points suggest that you’re considered a previous cardmember within a few days of canceling an account. Personally I’d recommend waiting until the next calendar month, just to be on the safe side.

In other words, say you had the Chase Sapphire Preferred (and earned the bonus over 48 months ago), and then closed the account on November 15. You might then potentially be eligible for the Chase Sapphire Reserve within a few days, though personally I’d wait until December 1 to apply, just to be on the safe side.

Redeem Chase points for a flight in Qatar Airways Qsuites

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve are two of the most popular travel rewards credit cards. If you’re considering applying for a Chase Sapphire card but have had one in the past, the biggest restriction to be aware of is the 48-month rule, which impacts bonus eligibility.

This means you can’t earn the bonus on either card if you currently have a Chase Sapphire card, or are a previous cardmember who has received a bonus on a Chase Sapphire card in the past 48 months. Hopefully the above clarifies any questions you may have about this rule (and if it doesn’t, please let me know).

What has your experience been with Chase’s 48-month rule?

Conversations (9)
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  1. Jason Brandt Lewis Guest

    Getting a bonus is fine, BUT doesn't closing an account (just to get a new one) affect your credit history? The length of time you've had a credit account is a consideration re: your FICO score.

  2. Kitti Guest

    JohnMpls

    For bonus received, I recommend to looking past statements. Chase keeper statement up to 7 years. So, just looking for statement for first 3 months that you opened your sapphire card and looked for the month that bonus post.

  3. Jeff Guest

    I can offer a very recent data point on the amount of time that has to pass after canceling a Sapphire card before getting another. I just canceled my CSP on a Monday and was instantly approved for the CSR on the following Sunday. So just short of a week. Other blogs have suggested waiting a week.

  4. JohnMpls New Member

    I recently downgraded my Sapphire to a Freedom. I had the card a little over 4 years. Is there an easy way to look up the date when I received my bonus? I can’t seem to find one.

  5. Thomas Guest

    @Paul, I can answer half of this question. I did have the Reserve for 4 years. And I did downgrade to a Slate and shortly thereafter applied for the Sapphire Preferred and was approved. There was a 100k signup bonus to sweeten the deal. Don't know about the Reserve that way, but the math to keep the Reserve isn't there anymore IMO.

    1. Paul Guest

      Thanks Thomas. I had done that myself a short while ago. Tend to agree with you that the math on the Reserve is a bit harder to justify, but I'm looking at cashing out a considerable amount of points at 1.5 cents, so would be helpful to keep it as that would save me a good amount of points.

  6. Paul Guest

    Curious if anyone knows the answer to this. Let's say you have the Chase Reserve and it's already been 48 months since your last bonus. Can you downgrade the Reserve to a Freedom card, wait one month, then apply for the Reserve again and get the new cardmember bonus? Would you only be eligible if you applied for the Preferred or would the Reserve qualify also?

    1. John Guest

      The short answer is YES. However, just make sure it has been 48 months from the time that you received the sign up bonus; not from the date you opened the previous card.

  7. Chris Hutchins Guest

    Do you know if it's possible to downgrade a Chase Sapphire card to a freedom card, then later apply for a new Chase Sapphire and not lose any points in the process (and still be able to transfer them after the new card is open).

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

John Guest

The short answer is YES. However, just make sure it has been 48 months from the time that you received the sign up bonus; not from the date you opened the previous card.

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Jason Brandt Lewis Guest

Getting a bonus is fine, BUT doesn't closing an account (just to get a new one) affect your credit history? The length of time you've had a credit account is a consideration re: your FICO score.

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Kitti Guest

JohnMpls For bonus received, I recommend to looking past statements. Chase keeper statement up to 7 years. So, just looking for statement for first 3 months that you opened your sapphire card and looked for the month that bonus post.

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