Chase ends ability to double up Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred bonuses

Doctor of Credit has published a memo that Chase sent out to their employees which stated that, as of yesterday, customers can no longer sign up for a second Sapphire card.  Previously it was possible to sign up for both the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cards in order to get both signup bonuses.

With the new rules, if you already have multiple Sapphire cards, you can keep them.  But if you have one Sapphire, Sapphire Preferred, or Sapphire Reserve card, then you can’t get another.  That alone isn’t a big deal.  The problem is for those hoping to get a signup bonus for the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve when the got the bonus for the other card within the past 24 months…

The last bullet in the memo is the killer.  It says “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 past 24 months.”

A possible loophole?

Let’s say you signed up for the Sapphire Reserve last year and were hoping to soon sign up for the Sapphire Preferred to get a second signup bonus.  You would now have to close or product change the Sapphire Reserve before applying for the Sapphire Preferred.  The last bullet in the memo says you can’t get the Preferred if your account is closed (since you got the bonus within the past 24 months), but it is mum about product changes.  Usually product changes are not treated as closed accounts.

So, it may be possible to product change your Sapphire Reserve to a Freedom card (you probably have to change it first to a no-fee Sapphire and then to Freedom), and then apply for the Sapphire Preferred.  I seriously doubt that would work, but at least the memo doesn’t appear to explicitly disallow it.

To get a second bonus, your best bet is to wait until 24 months have passed after the last bonus, then cancel or product change your Sapphire to a Freedom card.  Then apply for your new Sapphire card.

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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Grand Army
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Grand Army

Well it seems that making $50,000 a year as a churned is gone.
Time for a new career.

Larry Abramson
Guest
Larry Abramson

Plenty of us would upgrade to a Reserve, but would like to see even a modest bonus (e.g 15,000 miles). See whether Chase can show a little love.

Randall
Guest
Randall

This is a bit wack…I got my CSP one month before rumors of the CSR surfaced. I was waiting until Jan 2018 to apply for CSR( due to 5/24)…now looks like I’ll have to wait until like Oct. 2018.

Nick
Guest
Nick

I’m hoping this means they will bring back the 100K bonuses.

Jack
Guest
Jack

I applied and was approved for CSP yesterday. I saw this, checked reddit, DOC and gave it a shot and was approved today for CSR. Both automatic approval online. I hadn’t applied for any personal card in 1.5 years, FICO ~800. I had 3 open chase cards prior to these.

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[…] Frequent Miler, Chase released a memo saying that effective yesterday, August 27, 2017, customers would NO longer […]

Joe W
Guest
Joe W

I was about to downgrade my CSP(had it for years and this will be my first PC) by the end of this month to CF and wait a month or two to apply for CSP again. Does this mean my situation fall under the newly change policy and need to wait for god-awful 24 months??

Tom
Guest
Tom

I got CSP a couple years ago and just upgraded it to CSR last week. My hope was to downgrade it sometime in the future and then apply for CSR with a bonus when I’m below 5/24. So is that plan now toast?

Randall
Guest
Randall

Hey Tom, did they offer you anything for upgrading your card? (points, statement credit, etc)

Tom
Guest
Tom

Nothing. They did allow me to pay $355 more per year for the annual fee, though, so that’s cool. Just got the card today.

Randall
Guest
Randall

Dang it! Thanks man!

P
Guest
P

I don’t need a CSP or CSR at the moment because I have less than 10k UR. Anyone know if product changing is the same as canceling with regards to annual fee refund if done within 30 days after annual fee posted? I need my CSP for the travel benefits until after my flight in mid-January and annual fee is due in mid-January. Planning to downgrade it after that.

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

I downgraded my CSP directly to Freedom UL mid-year, and I got a prorated refund of my AF. I was going to wait until AF was due, but I read someone else getting this refund for remaining months of card being CSP.

P
Guest
P

Good to know. Thanks

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

I downgraded my CSP directly to Freedom UL mid-year, and I got a prorated refund of my AF. I was way past 30 days paying the $95.

Beck
Guest
Beck

Cr@p. I was waiting till 9/1 when I drop to 4/24 to apply for the CSP. Got the CSR last year.

trackback

[…] on the 2 premium Sapphire card from Doctor of Credit, One Mile at a Time, Miles to Memories, Frequent Miler, reddit and I’m sure most other blogs and miles and points news and blog sites.  The basic […]

BigMac
Guest
BigMac

Hi Greg:
I got SP in June 2015 and the bonus August 2015. I applied for and got SR in Oct 2016. I transferred all my SP UR’s to my SR. account almost immediately and called chase to cancel SP in Nov 2016. They persuaded me to downgrade to FU which I did. My plan was to reapply for SP this October, transfer my UR points back to the SP account and cancel SR this Nov but that won’t work now. I have a bunch of UR points in SR which I don’t want to lose or use just yet. Can I transfer them to FU for now, cancel SR as planned, apply for SP, get the bonus and then transfer the UR points from FU to SP?

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[…] Chase ends ability to double up Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred bonuses […]

Bobby Frank
Guest
Bobby Frank

BigMac, yes, u can store your UR points in CF, and then transfer them back when u get a CSR or CSP cc.

Marko
Guest
Marko

I have had the preferred for three years. Can I downgrade, and then get the reserve and the bonus. My last bonus was 3 years ago

Tom Le
Guest
Tom Le

I downgraded my Preferred (received bonus 3 years ago) to the Freedom Unlimited. Applied for the Reserve a few days later. Received a letter in the mail declining my application as I “already have a sapphire-branded product” (even though I technically don’t, and my Chase account reflects that). I spoke with the reconsideration line today, they stated I could not have the Reserve, apparently ever. I feel like he didn’t have a good grasp on what was up, and spoke with someone else who reiterated that. Makes no sense.

Marko
Guest
Marko

Maybe they just pull up the credit report and on there the sapphire is still there?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Any update to this? Am interested in doing this exact thing (product change CSP to FU, then apply for CSR).

Should I straight out cancel the CSP instead?

jp
Guest
jp

i did the exact same thing and had the exact same notice sent to me. spoke to several different folks at recon, all of whom told me wildly different things about the policy now in place.

–first rep repeated msg that tom le got (“you can never have it ever ever ever”)
-second rep said “you have to downgrade to non-sapphire card” (even though i already had)
-third said “you can’t just downgrade, you have to cancel the downgraded card completely” bc it’s in our files as once having been an SP (i’m pretty sure this was bogus info, *but* i cancelled anyway bc i had been on the phone for an hr at this point.
-after cancelling, the FOURTH guy i spoke to, who seemed the most knowledgeable, said that all the above was bs. he pinpointed the actual problem with my original application as the fact that the official date of my product change was *well after* I called in to request the change. the process takes a while to “close out” in their system, more than a week in my case, so even though i technically downgraded before i applied for the reserve, it hadn’t been completed in the system.

waited a month, reapplied and instant approval. yeesh.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Thanks for sharing this. I went ahead and did a product change of my sapphire preferred to freedom unlimited after EXTENSIVELY asking the phone rep over and over about applying for the reserve and bring eligible. Aside from receiving my last bonus years ago, she said that I should wait at least 30 days before applying for the reserve as it takes a bit for the product change to process in their system. She also gave me a hint to start counting the 30 days from when I see the card name change in my online account. It happened to change the icon to “freedom unlimited” like a day after I called, but still days sapphire preferred in the same box…gonna apply in about 3 weeks – fingers crossed

Bryan Paul Bedico
Guest
Bryan Paul Bedico

Hello, I just downgraded my CP today to Freedom Unlimited. It’s been more than 24 months now since I received my bonus points for the CP. Should I wait couple weeks to apply for the CR or do you think I can try to apply for one Now?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I would wait at least 30 days. The change needs to clear in their system, or else if you apply sooner it may auto-decline due to the 1 sapphire product rule.

Robert
Guest
Robert

This may be a dumb question, but has Chase ever allowed anyone to apply for a second sign-up bonus (after 24 months have passed) without actually having to cancel their current card and reapply? It seems to me that if Chase knows that’s what some people are doing, and you are speaking openly with the reps about it, they simply create more hassle for themselves (and us) by forcing all these product changes and reapplications when all they really need to do is say “Oh, it’s been 2 years since you got the card and you want to apply for another bonus? Ok, cool. Spend $4k in 3 months and we’ll give you another 50K points.” I have to assume it would simplify the customer service reps lives as well as ours. I won’t hold my breath, but anyone ever try this?

Nick Reyes
Editor

You can’t apply again for a card that you already have with Chase. You can get what’s called a retention bonus to keep the card. We’ve written here about retention bonuses before. They are usually nothing like spend $4K and get 50K points, but you can often get something by saying you’re considering cancelling and wondering if there are any offers available to keep your business. The thing to know on retention offers is that there is often more than one available, so if the first one doesn’t entice you, don’t be afraid to ask if there are any other offers. The rep doesn’t make the offers up, the computer does — so it’s not something negotiable apart from asking if there are any other offers.

All that said, Chase isn’t known for generous retention offers and particularly not known for it on the Sapphire Reserve. Here’s a Flyertalk thread on Sapphire Reserve retention offers:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chase-ultimate-rewards/1859044-chase-sapphire-reserve-renewal-retention.html

Edward
Guest
Edward

I was actually wondering the exact same thing. I’m just a couple months shy of my 24-month anniversary from opening my CSP and would like to switch to CSR. It would be so much simpler if I could just ask for the signup bonus if I spend $4k in 3 months instead of having to close my CSP down entirely, wait a month for it to clear, and then open a CSR.

Can anyone else shed some light on this?

Nick Reyes
Editor

You can’t do that. If you want a signup bonus, you need a new application. You don’t need to close your CSP – you can product change it. See my response to your other comment below.

Susan B
Guest
Susan B

I have a Sapphire Preferred for over 24 months and want the Reserve with the bonus. Since I cannot have both cards Open I plan on downgrading to the Freedom and then apply for the reserve.

I have 200,000 UR points. Will I lose them if I downgrade to the Freedom?

Should I wait 30 days before applying for the Reseeve?

trackback

[…] Chase instituted similar language with the Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred last year (See: Chase ends ability to double up Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred bonuses). […]

trackback

[…] in mind that Chase will now only allow you to have one Sapphire product at a time (See: Chase ends ability to double up Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred bonuses). Additionally, you are not eligible for the signup bonus if you have received a signup bonus on […]

Kashif
Guest
Kashif

Hey Greg, thanks for the valuable info (as always). I have a quick question. I’ve had the saphire preferred card for about 3 years now, if I close this account , will I be able to apply and get the bonus for the reserve ? Or the 24months waiting period AFTER one account is closed? Hope you understand the question.

Nick Reyes
Editor

24 months from when you received the signup bonus with Chase. You’re good to go. I might suggest waiting a week or two after you cancel the CSP to be sure it has cleared out of the computer system.

Edward
Guest
Edward

I’m in a similar situation, only I’ve had my CSP card for just shy of two years (anniversary is in June).

I’d like to switch to Reserve but also benefit from the 50,000 point signup bonus. Can you confirm that if I cancel my CSP, my UR will stay in my account until I open the Reserve? I understand they’ll be worthless and non-transferrable to partners until then if they stay, but has anyone gone through this process and verified that the UR points do stay intact? I’m just checking because I’m sitting on about 50,000 UR and would hate to lose them.

Also a little concerned about closing my 2-year old CSP altogether since I’m 27 and that would be a loss of 2 years of credit history. I do have several non-AF retail store credit cards I’ve had for 5+ years and which I never use (only keep them for the credit lines and history), so maybe the CSP history loss isn’t a big deal.

Thanks in advance!

Nick Reyes
Editor

First, you need to have a card open that earns Ultimate Rewards or you will lose them. If your CSP is the only card you have with Ultimate Rewards, you do not want to close the account. You want to product change it to a no-annual-fee card like the Freedom, Freedom Unlimtied, or the no-fee Sapphire card (non-Preferred version). That will keep your URs intact. You should wait a week or two after product changing before applying for the CSR. If you already have a Freedom / Freedom Unlimited / Ink Business Preferred / Ink Cash (all cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points), you could first combine your points (move them to your Freedom or whatever) before closing your CSP to keep your points.

Second, even if you closed your CSP (which, again, you do not want to do if it’s your only UR card), you would not “lose” the credit history on it. Positive credit history stays on your report for 10 years. Of course, that account won’t continue to age — which is why you shouldn’t close it but rather product change it to a no-fee card. Then it keeps the continuity of credit history for the account. No sense in closing it when you can keep the account open for no fee. Not only that, the earning structure on the Freedom and Freedom Unlimtied are better than the CSP / CSR, so you’re better off spending on one of the Freedom cards and moving those points to your new CSR anyway (Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5x everywhere and the Freedom has rotating 5x categories).

Hope that helps!

trackback

[…] be a reality. If true, the Freedom cards would join the Sapphire cards in this restriction (See: Chase ends ability to double up Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred bonuses) and it would certainly be a blow to those who don’t currently have both Freedom […]

sandy
Guest
sandy

Hi! I’m about 2-3 months away from my 24 month anniversary mark for my CSP card and am interested in upgrading to the CSR. So I got my CSP in July 2016. If I wait until after July and upgrade to the CSR, will I qualify for the sign-up bonus? Or will it still be counted as a Sapphire product and I would have to downgrade or close the card in order to qualify for the bonus?

hbr
Guest
hbr

My husband is an authorized user on my Sapphire preferred card. He now wants to apply for his own Sapphire preferred card. Will the fact that he is currently an authorized user on my card prevent him from getting the bonus? He has two other cards with Chase — IHG and Freedom (which was a product change from a previous SP card, but the bonus was received more than 24 months ago). Thanks!