Read This Before You Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve!

Written by Charlie

Today is the last day for the regular annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but before you apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, read this and figure what is best for you!

Today is the last day to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve at the current $450 annual fee rate. If you follow other blogs, I am sure you have seen several posts saying to get it today! This post is different because… I’m telling you that the best thing to do is to not get the Chase Sapphire Reserve today! Read on to analyze what may be best for you before you apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve is scheduled to go from $450 to $550 on January 12, 2020 which is what this article is referencing.

Read Before You Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Disclosure: Some links below may pay me an affiliate fee if you are approved or reward me with points if you apply and are approved – either way, thanks for supporting the site and my own trips! 🙂

First, Those Pesky Rules

Remember, Chase has a couple of rules about applying for their cards. The worst one is the 5/24 – or where you cannot have opened 5 or more new accounts in the last 24 months (with any banks) if you want to get a shiny new Chase card.

The second one is pretty bad also – namely that you cannot get any card in the Sapphire family if you have received a bonus on any Sapphire card in the prior 48 months. So, you cannot have had a bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the old Chase Sapphire, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve in the last 4 years if you want to get the card now.

What is the Best Option for the Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Unfortunately, Chase has frozen upgrades to the Chase Sapphire Reserve until after January 12 to prevent other cardholders from jumping the annual fee. But, this will still be a great path to go and this is why.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve currently is offering 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. You will also have the annual fee at the end of that first month, which will be $450 if you apply before January 12 or $550 after January 12.

On the flip side, the Chase Sapphire Preferred currently is offering 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. You also have to pay the annual fee but that is just $95 per year. So, this card gives you 10,000 more points as a sign-up bonus and a much lower annual fee.

So, a great method is get the Chase Sapphire Preferred at some point. After your first year, you can upgrade it to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You will pay the prorated annual fee (which will be $550 minus an amount for however many months you are into your cardmember year) and get all the features of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

What Does This Path Give You?

First of all, you are not rushing to get a card right now that will cost you $450 in an annual fee. If you are eligible for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and you have not gotten it yet, there is likely a reason for it! It is a fabulous travel card and is always on peoples’ top lists for a new card if they are eligible. So, if you haven’t applied yet, don’t rush right now.

Instead, a better option may be to wait and see if there is a better bonus that comes around on it or on the Sapphire Preferred. Even without a better bonus, the Sapphire Preferred bonus will give you a minimum of $125 more in points by applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and then upgrading after a year to the Reserve.

But, If You Must!

Still, I understand the appeal of getting the fabulous Chase Sapphire Reserve card before it costs more! I mean, if you are sitting on a boatload of Ultimate Reward points that you want to use to pay for travel directly, it could be a big reason to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve with its 1.5 cents per point redemption value.

But, don’t rush on it!  Consider if you really want the Reserve now or if there are other options you want to pursue. If you are under Chase 5/24, the Chase Ink Business Preferred will give you 80,000 points as a sign-up bonus! Then you could always get a Sapphire product down the road to mix with the Ultimate Reward points you earn from the business card.

Some of the links on Running with Miles are affiliate links that pay a commission if a purchase is made. Running with Miles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • I’m a bit confused. You suggest upgrading to the Reserve after a year, but before that you say you can’t get another card in the Sapphire family for 48 months after receiving a bonus. So if I sign up for the Preferred and get the bonus, how can I upgrade to the Reserve after only a year?

    • Thanks for the comment and sorry for the confusion! So, if you apply for the Sapphire Preferred, you will get the 60,000 points after meeting the spend. Then, you can upgrade after a year to the Reserve but it is just a product change so you can get it without the 48 month language applying. You just won’t get the bonus on the Reserve when you upgrade.
      Hope that makes sense! Let me know!

      • Ah, I see. You can upgrade after a year but if you want the Sapphire Reserve sign up bonus, you have to wait 48 months. Thank you for the clarification.

  • “Even without a better bonus, the Sapphire Preferred bonus will give you a minimum of $125 more in points by applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred”

    That negates the need for a rush to save $100. Good voice of reason.