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Why I'm Not Applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve This Year

Dec. 05, 2016
4 min read
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here - Chase Sapphire Reserve

When the new Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card came out a few months ago I did everything I reasonably could to get the card and its 100,000 sign-up bonus points worth $1,500 (or more) towards travel, but I was hit with an unrelenting and unwavering "no" because I had opened more five or more new credit card accounts in the previous 24 months - otherwise known as the Chase 5/24 rule. Of course all rules have exceptions, but I didn't have a Chase Private Client banker who might have been able to help push through an approval, and applying in the Chase branch didn't help my cause, though some certainly can take advantage of their pre-approval offers there. My husband was just under 5/24, so he applied online and was instantly approved and that success was enough to hold me over a few months while I waited my turn.

The week has finally arrived when I will drop below five new credit card accounts in the last 24 months. I actually have two accounts falling off on the same day, so I will be two under the magic number. I originally was going to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve the second that happened to try and make use of the $300 annual travel credit in 2016 and then again when we roll to 2017. However, that is no longer my plan.

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Why I'm Waiting to Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve

We have since learned that the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit doesn't run on a calendar year schedule, but instead it is tied to your individual statement dates. The 2016 travel credit must be used by the close of your last statement of 2016, which most likely is not on December 31, 2016. In fact, your last statement of 2016 might have already closed. If the statement period has any 2017 dates included then you are now into your first 2017 statement, and the chance to use your Chase Sapphire Reserve 2016 travel credit has passed.

Since applying at some point this week when I go under 5/24 would mean that my first statement would already go into 2017 dates it makes more sense for me to wait a bit to apply in order to not only make it easy on myself to use the 2017 $300 travel credit, but make it easier to use the 2018 travel credit in the first 12 months of having the card without having to time things on a razor thin schedule. Since the card carries a $450 annual fee I want to be certain I am getting as much value out of the card in the first year as possible, and giving myself ample time to use both the 2017 and 2018 travel credits is one way to do just that.

Plus, frankly this is just a very busy time of year around here and I have a little Chase account shifting around that I should do before applying for a new card to increase my chances of getting an automatic approval. Waiting until the holidays are over will give me a better opportunity to devote the appropriate time and energy to that type of financial housekeeping.

I wanted to update on this shift in my application strategy for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card in case it helps you select the optimal time for your own applications....and to remind you to use your 2016 travel credits ASAP, if if isn't already too late. Conversely, many will begin to have their 2017 travel credits available in the coming days, if they don't already have them at their disposal.