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- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: (Review)
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card: (Review)
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card currently has its best-ever public offer of 50,000 points as a signup bonus (after $4000 spend within 3 months of account opening). For the most part we haven’t seen an offer like this for the card since March 2012. (And that was without the 5000 extra points.)
I’ve been a fan of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card as an important tool for frequent flyers since 2011 because:
- It earns one of the most valuable points currencies, which transfer to a variety of airlines (including in all 3 major airline alliances) and hotels.
- It earns points quickly, with double points on both travel and dining (what travelers tend to spend on most).
Singapore Airlines is a Sapphire Preferred Transfer Partner
The signup offer is even open to people who have had the card in the past provided you don’t currently have the card and it’s been 24 months since you last received the bonus.
However in many cases Chase seems only to want to approve people for this card if they haven’t applied for 5 new cards in the past two years. There are enough anecdotes from card applicants who have had this explained to them by Chase representatives to believe this is pretty solid, although there are certainly reports from odd readers that have gotten approved for the card despite having more new card accounts than this.
- Cards where you’re an authorized user on someone else’s account seems to count towards the limit.
- Some people seem to be approved with 5 or more new cards in the past two years
So the does not seem to be a hard and fast rule that applies to everyone, just a general guideline that anecdotally seems to apply to most.
Southwest Airlines is a Sapphire Preferred Transfer Partner
The advice then is to prioritize getting a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card before you apply for other cards.
But what about other Chase cards?
This unwillingness of Chase to approve customers for new cards if they’ve had 5 or more new cards from any bank within the past 24 months is referred to as the ‘5/24’ rule. It initially applied to Chase’s own-branded rewards cards, those that earn ‘Ultimate Rewards’ points like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
The rumor was that Chase would start applying this approach to these co-brand airline and hotel cards in April. However we’re now in May and most reports seem to be that it hasn’t gone into effect.
Chase won’t directly confirm the rule exists at all, so they aren’t saying which cards it does and does not apply to (or when they may change their approval criteria).
They aren’t going to want to encourage people who wouldn’t apply under criteria they’re planning to roll out to ‘sneak under the wire’. And at the same time they aren’t going to want people they would want to approve to be discouraged from applying based on broad sweeping statements. As I said, some people have reported approvals even for Sapphire Preferred despite having 5 or more new credit card accounts in the past two years.
Lots of things go into card approval such as credit score, income, existing credit outstanding, to name a few. (Here’s how signing up for credit cards affects your credit score and what credit scores generally get approved for rewards cards.)
Points from Chase Sapphire Preferred – or the British Airways Visa – Can Be Used to Redeem For (or Upgrade Into) British Airways First Class
Since Chase could clamp down on approvals for hotel and airline rewards cards the way they appear to have with their own Ultimate Rewards cards at any time — as they’ve been rumored too — my approach would be this.
- If you do not already have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and haven’t had 5 or more new open cards within the past 24 months, I would get that first. I consider it one of the best cards out there. And roughly speaking, getting other cards first can make it tougher to get a Sapphire Preferred Card while getting Sapphire Preferred first is unlikely to make it tougher to get other cards.
- If you already have Chase Sapphire Preferred, and haven’t had 5 or more new cards within the past 24 months, I’d get Chase Freedom Unlimited. That’ll allow you to earn 1.5 points per dollar on all your spend and transfer those points to your Sapphire Preferred and from there onto airline miles and hotel points. Earning a minimum of 1.5 points per dollar on all your spend is huge. (The information related to Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card has been collected by View from the Wing and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.)
- If you have had over 5 new cards within 24 months, consider getting a Chase airline or hotel card — and getting it right away, given the rumors that approval criteria could become more restrictive soon.
(HT: Million Mile Secrets)