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The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card gets the headlines, but what most people don’t tell you is that it can be really hard to get. I’ve heard numerous stories from readers with good credit, who ‘don’t get declined for credit cards’ who get rejected for this one.
Chase has shared stats on card approvals, and cardmembers have an average 785 credit score and $180,000 annual income. However that’s historical data, my sense is they’ve tightened up on approvals even since then.
Chase Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite card, too, which requires getting approved with more credit than many of their other cards. My advice if you want this card is to get Chase Sapphire Preferred and then product change after a year.
- They have the same initial bonus (50,000 points after $4000 spend within 3 months)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred has a lower annual fee ($0 the first year then $95, vs. $450)
- Points transfer to the same airlines (United, Singapore, JetBlue, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air France KLM, Iberia, Aer Lingus) and hotels (Hyatt, Marriott, IHG)
United Polaris Business Class
Normally the easiest rewards cards to get approved for are ones with no annual fee. However Chase’s co-brand credit cards generally come with an annual fee yet some can be easier to get approved for than the no annual fee Chase Freedom – thanks to 5/24. Chase will only approve people for some of their cards if they’ve had fewer than 5 new card accounts in the past 24 months. And it applies to all of their own-branded rewards cards like Freedom and Sapphire products.
While Chase has talked about expanding use of 5/24 to include all of their products that hasn’t happened yet. And there’s good reason why.
I’ve been told that it’s tough to expand, for instance, to the World of Hyatt Credit Card because — though it’s one of my favorite cards that’s been getting a lot of my spending the past few months — there’s a limited market for Hyatt. A Hyatt card isn’t likely to be the only one in someone’s wallet. So 5/24 would really make cardmember acquisition difficult.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card has a limited-time offer of up to 60,000 points with this card. You earn 40,000 points after $3000 in spend on purchases in the first 3 months from account open and an additional 20,000 points if you spend $6000 total within the first 6 months.
And 60,000 points is enough for 2 free nights at any Hyatt hotel except for all-inclusive Miraval. (Or 12 nights at category 1 properties.)
You get both a free category 1-4 night each year at card renewal and an additional free night at a category 1-4 Hyatt property after spending $15,000 in a cardmember anniversary year. That makes putting $15,000 annual spend on the card attractive. I keep spending on the card for the elite nights credit (5 for being a cardmember, 2 additional nights each $5000 spend) and hitting each of the top two elite tiers earns a free night apiece too as well.
Chase’s 5/24 limits don’t apply to the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card either. The initial offer is to earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
You’ll receive a free night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. One of the best features is that cardholders receive a free reward night each time they redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights.
Cardmembers receive platinum status for as long as they remain a cardmember. There’s a Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit (up to $100 every 4 years) as well.
The market for the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is people staying at IHG hotel properties. And while IHG has a number of lxuury hotels, their bread and butter is also Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. The guest profile may require easier approvals for this card. And it’s also the only Mastercard I know of that Chase offers.
Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur
Where a customer segment may require easier approvals, or a segment is narrow, it’s not surprising I’d find card approvals to be easier. That logic applies to the foreign airline cards Chase issues. For instance the British Airways Visa Signature® Card, with its initial bonus offer of up to 100,000 Avios, doesn’t face 5/24 restrictions.
British Airways First Class