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Via Doctor of Credit Chase has shared new rules for its Sapphire cards with their branch bankers.
There are (3) different Sapphire cards — the no annual fee Sapphire, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. Presently it’s been possible to have more than one of those. Going forward you won’t be able to apply for one of these cards if you already have one of the others.
Here’s the memo:
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.
Sapphire Preferred is the better card for the bonus. The $450 annual fee Sapphire Reserve has stronger benefits and even faster earn.
If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card you can product change to Chase Sapphire Reserve. But you cannot just apply for Chase Sapphire Reserve. And vice versa. Chase appears to be generally updating its terms to say,
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 24 months.
What’s interesting is that you can still cancel or downgrade your existing card, and then you should be eligible to apply for a new card (and receive its bonus). Don’t just cancel without spending your points, and the better strategy is to downgrade, for instance to the Chase Freedom Card, and then apply for the card you want (and move your points over from Freedom to your Sapphire so that the points transfer to airline miles and hotel points).
What I like about this — it’s clearly an attempt to limit Chase’s acquisition costs and improve the portfolio’s profitability by limiting signup bonuses for customers who already have one card in the family — is that unlike Citibank cancelling a card doesn’t restart the standard (Chase, Citi) 24 month clock to be eligible for a bonus.
These cards are generally subject to “5/24” meaning Chase doesn’t approve most customers who have opened 5 or more new card accounts in the last 24 months.
If you’re looking for Chase cards to apply to that aren’t subject to 5/24, consider:
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card was the first US credit card I’m aware of to ever offer a 100,000 point bonus in 2009. Their big bonus is back, and it’s structured as follows: 50,000 after $3,000 spend on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening; 25,000 after $10,000 total spend on purchases within your first year of account opening — for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios ($7000 additional spend on top of the first $3000 for 50,000 Avios.); an additional 25,000 after a total of $20,000 spend within your first year from account opening — for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios. (Offer expired)
- IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card lets you earn 80,000 bonus points after $1000 spend within 3 months. (Offer expired) There’s a free anniversary night each year valid at any participating IHG Rewards Club hotel, making it worth keeping the card.
The card comes with platinum status and a 10% rebate on redemptions up to 100,000 points back each year.