How to get approved for the Sapphire Reserve

Updated 3/15/2017

If you’re interested in applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, or really any Chase card, what follows is a step by step guide designed to help ensure approval…

1) Check your credit score

There are many ways to check your credit score for free.  Here are a few easy options:

Get approved Sapphire Reserve

If your credit score is below 700 then you are probably better off working towards improving your credit score rather than signing up for new cards.

Continue to next step if your score is Very Good or Excellent:

2) Determine your 5/24 status

If you sign up for lots of credit cards, you may be subject to Chase’s dreaded “5/24 Rule”.  Chase will frequently deny applications when an applicant’s credit report shows 5 or more new cards in the past 24 months.  This total includes accounts in which you are an authorized user and includes accounts from other banks.

You can determine your 5/24 status by viewing your credit report (I use the free website Credit Karma to do this) and counting all credit cards that show an open date of two years ago or less.  You should include cancelled cards in your count as well.  Note that inquiries are not part of the 5/24 calculation.

For detailed instructions see: How to count your 5/24 status.

Get approved Sapphire Reserve

If you have 4 or fewer new cards on your credit report, then you should be good to go!  There is no need to read further.  You can signup online or in-branch.  Either way, your chance of success should be pretty high.

Please click the “Credit Card Offers” tab on the Frequent Miler menu bar to view credit card offers.

If you have 4 or fewer new cards after subtracting out cards in which you are an authorized user, then you have a good chance of success after calling for reconsideration.  In other words, you are likely to get denied initially, but you can then call reconsideration at 1-888-270-2127.  If the agent tells you that your application was denied due to too many accounts in the past 24 months, then point out the accounts in which you are an authorized user and ask that those not be considered. You may have to call a few times (and/or ask for a supervisor) to find a person willing to help.

Continue to next step if you have opened 5 or more accounts in the past 24 months:

3) Try to get pre-approved

Many readers have reported getting approved for the Sapphire Reserve card despite being far over 5/24.  Most of these readers reported that they went in person to Chase and learned that they were pre-approved.

Here’s how to learn if you are pre-approved:

Visit a Chase bank.  Tell the banker that you are interested in applying for the Sapphire Reserve card but you want to check first to see if you are pre-approved.  If so, apply!
NOTE:
A banker who knows you may be willing to check your pre-approval status over the phone.

Via a personal conversation with Doctor of Credit I learned that online approvals may not help circumvent 5/24 rules.  However, if you want to take a chance and look for online approval anyway, here’s how:

  1. Check online with Chase.  Chase has a website (here) where you can check to see if you are pre-qualified for any offers.  Unfortunately, this site rarely shows anything worthwhile.  It’s important to note that the online tool may not show that you are pre-qualified, but a banker may see that you are.
  2. Try the CardMatch Tool to see if you are pre-qualified for any Chase offers. Like the Chase site mentioned above, if you don’t find that you are pre-qualified through this site, you might still find that you are pre-qualified if you talk to a Chase banker.  Disclosure: The CardMatch Tool link is an affiliate link. If you click through that link and apply and are approved for any cards on the CardMatch Tool site, I will be paid a commission.

Continue to next step if you are over 5/24 and you are not pre-approved for the Sapphire Reserve card:

4) Join Chase Private Client

UPDATE 12/15/2016: Private Client status can help with approvals, but it is no longer a silver bullet for getting around 5/24.

This is one of those “easier said than done” kind of things.  Chase Private Client status is great in lots of ways (details here), but getting that status may or may not be an option for you.  Here are a few options:

  1. Have $250,000 on deposit with Chase. This includes checking accounts, savings accounts, and investment accounts. While I haven’t tried it, it should be possible to switch an un-managed retirement fund to Chase in order to qualify.
    OR:
  2. Convince a Private Client banker that you plan to deposit $250,000 or more with Chase.
    OR:
  3. Open a joint account with a current Private Client member.  This should automatically give you Private Client status.

Private Client members seem to be mostly immune to 5/24.  I write “mostly” because most readers with Private Client status have reported success with Chase applications despite being over 5/24, but a few have reported otherwise.  Once you get Private Client status, you can apply online or in-branch.  Even if you’re not immediately approved, it should now be possible to get approved by calling Chase’s reconsideration line: 1-888-270-2127.

Please click the “Credit Card Offers” tab on the Frequent Miler menu bar to view credit card offers.

Continue to next step if you are over 5/24, you are not pre-approved for the Sapphire Reserve card, and you cannot get Private Client status:

5) Wait to dip under 5/24

If you stop applying for new cards for a while, your “new” accounts will eventually become old (as in, older than 24 months).  While you’re waiting, you can still rack up lots of points by signing up for a bunch of business cards that don’t show up on your personal credit report.  Please see: Curing 5/24.

Don’t call until denied

Most people who apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card have reported getting a pending decision.  For example, they may be told that a decision will be made in 7 to 10 days.  While many people like to call the reconsideration line (1-888-270-2127) to speed up the process, I recommend waiting.

When you apply for a card, you essentially have three chances for approval: 1) automated instant decision; 2) automated decision after application goes pending; and 3) reconsideration.

Those who call for reconsideration before step 2 is complete force Chase to bypass that step. It is possible that a recon agent will deny an application that would have been approved by the the automated process in step 2.

If you wait, you have an extra chance of approval.  If that process results in a denial, you can still then call 1-888-270-2127 to try to overturn the decision.  In fact, I recommend calling several times if the first time isn’t successful.

No Guarantee

The suggestions listed above are suggestions that I think will help you get approved for the Sapphire Reserve card (or any Chase card, for that matter).  That said, I am not in any way affiliated with Chase.  I have no inside knowledge of their processes.  And, it is my understanding that many factors beyond your credit score and 5/24 status are considered when evaluating a credit card application.

In other words, while I believe that the suggestions shown above will help, I can’t guarantee success.  Not even close.

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About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. Hey Greg,

    Great post, just two little notes:

    1). Online pre-approval doesn’t help with 5/24 (same with CardMatch).
    2). Bankers can check if you’re pre-approved over the phone, but to do so the banker must click yes to the “are they in branch” checkbox and they shouldn’t be doing that.

  2. I just became CPC last week, and am already over 5/24. I checked in branch, I was not Pre-Approved for any card, including the CSR. I still applied in branch. Got denied, however banker did go to bat for me being CPC. It definitely seems upon denial, to call them and mention CPC and that got me approved. Excellent credit, income at least $300K plus. This stupid 5/24 and automatically being denied by the system is just ridiculous considering a lot of folks got denied online for that reason but then go to the branch and are “PRE APPROVED” and then apply again and getting approved. Wish Chase had a better way of screening rather than auto denial due to 5/24.

    • what do you suggest they do?
      i’m sure based on data they have (probably more than you have) they determined that everyone who opens more than 5 cards in 2 years is either a churner or a credit risk (i’m guessing 99% of the time this is true). and they simply don’t want these individuals as customers because they are not profitable.

      this works against you or me but i totally understand where they are coming from… and after all, you did receive special consideration and eventually got approved.

      • I would agree. Average Joe consumer isn’t impacted by 5/24. If you are over 5/24 you are either a churner/unprofitable or a credit risk. Not saying it’s good or bad but just reality. You aren’t going to make Chase any money. You just want points. Which is fine, but they have every right to clamp down on it.

        I think moving thousands of dollars into Chase just to maybe qualify for a card is overkill but it’s up to the individual.

        • I disagree. Banks make a fortune on credit card users, including churners. They need to make theirs the card, or one of the few, we USE. As long as we are using it, they’re making $$$. (I know b/c I’m one of the businesses that is paying them 3-5% for every cc payment I accept.)

      • Except they want this card in the hands of those who will spend $100k+ a year on it, similar to Amex with the Platinum card. Offering a large signup bonus and restricting who gets approved for it makes a lot of business sense for them. Frustrating for churners, but they’re effectively handing out $1500 on the hope that you’ll charge enough to the card to actually make them money (if they earn 1% on each swipe, $150k is the breakeven for them!).

  3. I believe I have read quite a few DP of people getting “pre-approved” mailers but then still being denied for too many new accounts. They always bitterly cite the irony of the mailers.

  4. I’m CPC and from my experience applying to Chaee cards online, I never get instantly approved (I’m over 5/24) but eventually approved. My guess is that by applying in branch the banker is simply able to get the review process started quicker than waiting for it to work its way through the system

  5. Great article. Well thought out. Thanks for the tips and suggestions. Will try to become CPC and try this route. I went to a branch on Monday and was not pre-approved. I am 7/24 including 1 as an AU. I was denied being over the 5/24 rule. Keeping in mind that I already applied and did not call the reconsideration number, should I try going about the CPC route and try that way and then have a banker call the reconsideration line on my behalf?

    • Yep. If you get CPC status soon it would be interesting to have the CPC banker call recon on your behalf for the application you already submitted. See Dave’s comment below where he says he’s going to try the same. If that doesn’t work you can always apply again.

    • I had over the 5/24 rule as well as my husband. We went to the branch and ended up getting letters of denial. After a LOT of research I used a tip to call the reconsideration line and ask if my authorized user accounts could be eliminated. Prior to this I had them send me my trans union credit report so I knew which ones were mine and which ones I was just an authorized user for my husband. It seemed critical for me to already know this information. They were not able to tell me but I could tell them. I was completely ready to go into the branch again and reapply and try to see if I was pre approved by chance but the closest branch is 2 hrs from me. I didn’t have to though! Once she took them off I was under the 5/24 rule and told me she would send a recommendation to be approved. She said it still needed sent through 1 more person but there was a good chance. I called later that day to find out that my husband and I BOTH got approved! Can’t wait to start planning our 10 year anniversary!

    • I’m curious about this myself. I have the Ink+ so I know Chase can see that, and with it I’m at 5/24, but if it doesn’t count then of course I’ll be below and have a great chance of getting the CSR approved.

    • I’ve seen evidence that goes either way. Maybe Chase includes a count of their own business cards and maybe not. Ideally we’ll hear from someone who was told their count by Chase and compared that count to their credit report count. Anyone?

      • I didn’t get my “count” from Chase (didn’t know you could do that), but can confirm anecdotally that I have opened 4 personal cards plus 1 Chase Ink business card in the last 24 months. I was instantly approved for the CSR card yesterday.

  6. Great article Greg! I had a slightly different experience when my application went into pending status. I called the reconsideration line and heard that my application was pending because I had a large credit line. I offered to split the credit line on my Sapphire Preferred card, answered a few questions about income and was approved.

  7. @ajs5034,
    The 5/24 rule applies if the business card in question is a Chase card (as Chase can see you took out that account, but cannot see if the business account was taken out by another issuer).. and yes, you are correct those business cards will not pull up when checking your individual credit report as above detailed.

      • Here’s my experience, others might have a different experience. Last month I was at 4/24 for personal cards and applied for the Freedom Unlimited. I was denied for too many new accounts in last 24 months. I opened an Ink Plus card back in March and when I called recon three times they all told me that I had opened 5 cards in the last 24 months. YMMV, but I struck out three times!

  8. Hi Greg, Quick question – if one is pre-qualified for Sapphire but Not Sapphire Reserve on the Card Match tool, does it mean that Sapphire Reserve is not available?

    thanks

  9. “counting all credit cards that show an open date of two years ago or less.”

    – I was also wondering if you should count Amex credit cards that you’ve opened within 2 years, but have a date from your first Amex open year (Amex does that sometimes right?). For e.g. you might have opened it in Dec 2015, but your credit report might be showing Dec 2006.

    • Amex used to pre-date new cards to the earliest date of any of your Amex cards, but they no longer do that. If you have some on your report that are like that you shouldn’t count them towards 5/24. Go by the date reported in your credit report.

  10. I applied in branch on MOnday, got rejected due to <5/24. Out of desperation, I went to a branch yesterday and was lucky enough to be accepted as CPC. I asked the banker to call Chase to see if he can get me approved, and he said it may work as part of "special reconsideration" (something like that). It was end of the day so he said he would call next business day. I haven't seen any DP on joining CPC after being rejected, so I'll try to remember to update this post.

    • That would be great Dave! I think I fall in the same category as you. Hopefully your banker really fights for you as a ‘special reconsideration’. what does DP mean?

    • I was in this exact situation yesterday and the special reconsideration submitted by my CPC banker turned the 20+/24 rejection into an approval. Hope it also works for you.

      • I didn’t apply for CPC prior to applying for CSR because I don’t meet the $250K qualification. But fortunately, the CPC banker I went to the next day felt I had potential. I really wish I signed up for CPC first, then applied. At least my wife now has CPC; I’ll have her apply in branch.

    • Update– my CPC banker called recon today and then told me that Chase has a new policy of not allowing bankers to call in for special consideration. I’ve heard mixed things about this. Apparently, Darren’s CPC banker was able to get him approved. Maybe my banker did fight hard enough for me. Instead, he said Chase asked ME to call 888-609-7805 (slightly different number than the one I’ve used in the past) and answer some questions. When I called, the agent said that a decision of rejection had already been made, so I mentioned that my CPC banker told me that CPC members get special consideration. The banker then asked me some questions regarding income and occupation, put me on hold for about 5-10 minutes, then came back and said that I would get a decision in the mail in 1-2 wks. I again emphasized being CPC, and he said that’s the only reason I’m even getting a second look at this point.
      I really found it odd that my banker (who seems kind of new) said that Chase wanted me to call. What did Darren’s banker do that mine didn’t do? Is there an actual special consideration form he can fill out? Or is this just the term they use for picking up the phone and going to bat for their clients?

      • One more thing– since my CPC banker didn’t really seem to have a lot of experience, will a CPC banker at another chase (1 mile away) be able to help me? Or am I just assigned to 1 CPC banker?

      • Just tried this today, applying in branch under my week-old CPC status. Banker told me that the special reconsideration that they used to be allowed to do was pulled just prior to CSR being released. Therefore, whatever happens after the application gets submitted is on my own. She also was very explicit about the 5/24 rule stating that it was a hard restriction even for CPC customers. Doesn’t inspire much confidence.

        • I know for sure it’s not a hard rule. With my new CPC status, my wife applies I branch and was rejected due to 5/24. She called in, claiming that the banker told us CPC get special treatment. The person on the phone approved her after asking several questions.

  11. I am like 20/24 and more than 8 accounts with chase alone. I do make 600k a year(small gift card business in New York – buy low sell high), and just calling the recon line was enough for me. They did mention that I have had many cards but they eventually spoke to someone in the back office that approved the app for me.

  12. Gregg. Your article is best I have read on Chase Reserve card. Per your advice called number you published re my wife’s application which was going to be denied re 5/24 rule. After explaining she was only authorized user on many of cards they reversed and approved. Thanks

  13. Which card offers best lounge access in terms of number of lounges worldwide and the people traveling with you?

    Chase Ritz, Citi Prestige or the Chase Sapphire Reserve?

    Thanks

    • We don’t yet know how many guests CSR will allow for free. Once Prestige drops AA Admirals Club access next year, all 3 will offer Priority Pass Select, so at that point, all 3 will offer the exact same lounges. The only differences at that point will be how many guests can get in free, and the cost of adding AUs (and whether they will get Priority Pass Select membership themselves)

    • Hugh? Isn’t the $300 on calendar year? So if you apply now, you would get the credit this year and next year. You wouldn’t pay AF again until Aug or Sep next year. So that is two credits for one AF.

  14. I applied two days ago and got pending. 5/24 exactly, all personal cards. Just now got automatic approval. Thanks for your post which hold my call to Chase!

  15. I went to a branch two days ago and was pre-approved for the CSR. Applied in branch and got a pending, 7-10 days. I’m at 8/24. I should’ve taken your advice to wait but I called recon. They said I was denied due to too many accounts opened in 24 months. Ugh. But when I call the automated account status line it still says pending. Is there any hope left?? If not I plan to remove my wife as AU on CSP for her to dip below 5/24 and have her apply for CSP using my referral for the 10k bonus. Then upgrade my CSP to CSR for the extra earnings and credits. Then next year when I’m below 5/24, I’ll downgrade CSR to CFU and apply for CSR to hopefully get the bonus.

  16. Hi Greg, question about pre-qualify at branch.
    I am over 5/24 so I went to two different branches at different day to check on pre-approval. No dice on either day. I did not apply yet thinking chances are pretty slim.
    But I do see some DP saying they are way over 5/24 and still see pre-approval at branch.
    Is there a way to increase the possibilities of getting pre-approval at branch?
    Or i’ll just have to sadly wait it out?
    By the way, those DPs did not say they are CPC (me, either).

  17. Have 12/24 with three as authorized user and credit score at 835. Spoke to banker yesterday and he could not say if I was pre-approved. I Had him ask the manager and she said same. Told me I had to apply to find out. NO THANKS, Thanked them and went into larger branch today. Banker immediately could see I was pre-approved so filed application. Got a $35,000 limit. YEA. So WOTA (walk out, try again) if banker can’t find if you are pre-approved.

    Also, if you are pending, look online to see if card has been added to your account. Mine was there immediately. You could find out quicker this way.

    Good luck and a big thanks to Greg for writing the most informative post about it. I only wish I could have given you the affiliate commission. 🙂

    • Thanks Lyn, for sharing your DP.
      May I ask a silly question? Is there a way to check online to know if one branch is a “larger” branch? (I went to one with CPC service, one without)

  18. Hello Greg –

    How much time between apply+pending and “automated decision after application goes pending” ? I guess I am just thinking I would rather call before denied, because it might just be I need to move credit around: How long should I wait?

    Thanks!

  19. Any data points of smaller income being approved. Thinking of my kids who are all at 40 to 50K with high 700’s CR and under 5/24.

    • I saw a DP on Reddit for someone with 40K. I don’t think it was autoapproved, but it went to pending and eventually went through.

      • Thanks Daughter In Law just applied for CSR and was auto approved! The income she put in was in the 30’s. She also applied same day for Freedom card and was auto approved for that as well. These and the IHG and CSP from 4 months ago are her only new cards in the last 2 years. Now deciding if she should get the Flexperks card before the Olympic offer expires, or wait a couple of months for a 5th Chase card.

  20. I just got approved for reserve. Would you recommend i get one for my wife now? Or wait til i downgrade mine and then get hers? Any insight if 100k bonus is temporary or will stay around?

  21. went to one branch, not pre approved. next day to another branch to open total checking for the $300 bonus and asked about pre approval. told none but I have invitation to apply. today I decided to just apply for B of A and Citi card so now I have 4 HP within 6 months. Should I walk to a different branch to see if I am pre approved for the Reserved card? I also have a meeting with CPC this coming week.

  22. I went to a smaller branch,which is my primary bank,and they found I was pre approved. I applied and was instantly approved. The card showed up right away on my chase app. Been with them for over 10 years but around 10/24 with 3 new chase cards in that mix. Credit scores 780-800. I think having a standing relationship with Chase is the key here not so much the size of the branch.

  23. Both me& my buddy walked into Chase and some to a personal banker about the sapphire reserve card. He checked the system to set of we pre-approved and born of us were, even though we are both over 5/24 easily. My approval came right away after he entered some info on his computer. My buddy had a pending and it took literally 2 mins for him to call and get it approved. Applied on Monday and received card on Thursday via UPS urgent delivery.

  24. I am happy that I am able to get the card approved for my dad. He only opened one card within the past 24 months. 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points on my way. Yeah!

  25. Great post, Greg! I realize there is not a way to positively know how long the 100,000 point offer will stay around, but do you have a “best guess” on how long it might last? There are six of us planning a trip to Italy in Sept/Oct 2017 and it would be wonderful to still have the Priority Pass Select available without having to renew the card (which most probably won’t do). My friends are not travel hackers, so I’m in charge of making recommendations on earning points. Should we jump now or is it safe to wait? If we do wait, does Chase usually give notice of when it is pulling the offer? Thanks so much for your advice!

    • I think we’re likely to get some warning. Affiliate blogs are usually told that something will change on a given date, but they aren’t told what exactly. So, at that point I’m sure there will be many posts saying something like “This may be the last chance for 100,000…”
      In other words, I believe you can safely wait it out a bit.

  26. Called reconsideration. They said I had over 20 cards open in the last two years. Knew I shouldn’t apply but couldn’t help myself. I am out of the country but will check with a Chase banker when I get back.

  27. I applied with a banker last week. Got the denial letter today for 5/24 rule. I’m at 4/24 with out AU card and asked the lady to look at my credit report again. She said I had 7 cards. 2 of them were more than 2 years old, I was AU, and I even removed them from my report before applying. I pointed out that it was more than 2 years but then she pointed to the other 5 cards. I told her that I’m an AU on one of those and it shouldn’t count. I had even removed myself as AU 2 months ago for this. She said, “we consider all accounts on your credit.” She was incredibly unhelpful and wouldn’t budge. I’m waiting to hear back from my banker to see if she will have better luck. She was even the one that encouraged me to apply and said the AU shouldn’t count.

  28. Got denied with exactly 5/24 excluding AU. Tried to discuss it with the rep but wouldn’t budge. Bummer that even being on the cusp does not help.

    Was told 5/24 does not apply, they just thought too many cards were applied, which is 5 in 24 months.

    Data Point more than anything

  29. If denied for the 5/24 rule, how soon can you apply once the fifth account is out of the 5/24 window? Example, if the oldest account was opened on Dec 1st, 2014, are you already 4/24 in the system on December 2nd or you should wait longer? Even waiting until you have 3/24?

  30. Folks,
    CSR appl. denied 8/20/16 because I was beyond 5/24.
    Waited til 12/28/16 and until I was below 5/24.
    Applied online.
    Approved after 36 hours with 25K initial limit.
    Credit Score: 750, annual income 120K, no late payments on other cards (CSP, United Mileage Plus, and Freedom), credit history less than 2 years (!!; lived in Europe for many years), home owner in CA.
    Thought you might like to know.
    Good luck everyone.

  31. Applied for CSR, 1/10/17, got pending notice. Wait 7-10 days. Should i just wait for either an acceptance/denial letter before I call recon line? I know some have called before, while some have waited. Just thought i see if it has changed at all since this post, whether it matters calling right away versus waiting. Appreciate.

    • I applied on the 9th and I also got the pending notice so I waited until Saturday the 14th to call 888-270-2127 and after being put on hold a couple of times after answering what seemed like the same questions I put on the application I was approved. Just had to move 25k credit line off my 57k IHG card….

      Happy Happy Happy 🙂

  32. Applied 1/10/17 and got the pending 7-10 days note. It has been 14 days and no notification from Chase. I am under the 5/24 rule. Any thoughts on call the recon line at this point? I have pretty high limits with my other Chase cards that could be lowered for this card.

  33. Great post¡ thank you.
    I applied for the RESERVE. I called today and they told me that I would be getting a letter from Chase asking for a proof of address. Is that a good sign?

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