Updated Terms for Approvals & Signup Bonuses with Sapphire Credit Cards

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Chase has made several rounds of changes to the application rules for the Sapphire family of rewards cards. Here's a quick recap of the rules:

If you currently are a primary cardmember of any card in the Sapphire product family (Chase Sapphire, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®) or have received a signup bonus from any of these cards in the past 48 months, you're not eligible to be approved for another Sapphire family card. If you currently hold a Sapphire credit card, you may be eligible to change the Sapphire card you have to a different card, but you will not receive a new cardmember bonus if you change cards.

Key Updates to the Terms

Let's break down the latest updates to the terms:

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.

The availability change covers two things:

  1. If you currently have any of these cards: Chase Sapphire, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® the other two are not available for you to open as a new cardmember. If you're not familiar with the Chase Sapphire, it is the no-fee card in the Sapphire family and not available for new card applications. That said, if you have the Chase Sapphire, the Sapphire Preferred, or Sapphire Reserve are not available to you as a new/additional account.
  2. Even if you don't currently have any open Sapphire family cards, if you've received a new cardmember bonus on any of them in the past 48 months, a new Sapphire card is not available to you. You can always contact Chase to confirm whether or not you meet these criteria based on past card history.

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.

If in the case that you currently have a Sapphire card and you want a different Sapphire card you may be eligible to convert your card to one of the other two Sapphire cards. Converting your card is not a sure thing; you need to call the number on the back of your card and inquire to see if you're eligible. We've covered converting or downgrading a card product, but in this case, you may want to upgrade your card to have access to additional card benefits if a new card isn't available to you. Keep in mind, if you convert your card you will not receive a new cardmember bonus, however, all other card benefits will apply.

Our Take

Both the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve have their own set of benefits and perks that suit different people with differing spend and travel patterns. While the Sapphire Preferred is the perfect card for beginners in the travel rewards market, the Sapphire Reserve is a perfect card for big spenders and heavy travelers in the premium card market segment. Both of these cards are designed for a different target customer, with little overlap.

Ultimately this move makes perfect sense for Chase. The company develops products to fit a particular type of client. Chase wants clients best suited for a Chase Sapphire Reserve® card to have one, and those best fitting the profile for a Sapphire Preferred to have one. What Chase does not want is for people to be using the cards just for the new cardmember bonus, taking advantage of their generous offer to maximize their gain at Chase’s expense; after all, they spent a ton of money on the Sapphire Reserve. Be a smart consumer; find the right product for you, and learn how to maximize every dollar you spend and every rewards point you earn!

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