Credit Cards

Why You Shouldn’t Rush to Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Written by Charlie

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is about to cost an extra $100 per year but here is why you shouldn’t rush to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve right away.

The news is here – the Chase Sapphire Reserve is going to cost you an extra $100 per year starting January 12, 2020. You may see several sites encouraging you to apply now before that extra $100 hits but here is a reason why you shouldn’t apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve right now.

Why You Should Hold Up on the Chase Sapphire Reserve

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! You have a few days still so 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.

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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.