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A 3-week approval: My experience applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Aug. 28, 2021
6 min read
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It's no secret that we love credit cards here at The Points Guy and we've likely reviewed nearly every, if not every, travel rewards credit card you can think of.

Thanks to my parents' loyalty to Southwest Airlines and father's refusal to fly anywhere Southwest doesn't, I've only ever held one airline-specific card — and it was of course The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card. Since I anticipate traveling quite a bit for TPG, I decided to expand my wings beyond Southwest Airlines and obtain a new card.

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Why I chose the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

When I started at TPG in June, I sought advice from my new colleagues regarding a good travel card for me to start with as a beginner, new to the points and miles space. Although I received a few suggestions, including a hotel co-branded card, a card with lounge access or American Express® Gold Card or The Platinum card® from American Express cards, I decided to take it slow like the risk-averse person I am and start with just one — the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Named year after year as the Best All-Around Travel Rewards Card in our annual TPG Awards, the CSP as those in the know call it seemed to be the obvious choice. Not to mention the 60,000 intro bonus points offer if you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of card opening. Additionally, cardholders earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and 2x points on all other travel purchases and 3x points on dining, plus more. Another attractive feature for me was that the CSP boasts a relatively low annual fee of $95.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is "best for award travel beginners who want an introduction into the world of points and miles" and the Ultimate Rewards program is "a favorite across the board thanks to just how many ways there are to redeem points, including for travel, statement credits, and by transferring to airline and hotel partners."

Related: 60,000-point bonus for a top travel card: Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card review

Application

The online application took all of five minutes and consisted of basic identifying questions, in addition to income verification.

(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

You will also have to select and consent to communication preferences, along with pricing and terms, before certifying the information you provided in the application is correct. From there, just hit "submit."

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(Screenshot courtesy of Chase)

Read more: Should the Chase Sapphire Preferred be your next card?

Post-application process

Although you may be automatically approved on the spot, you might receive a message, as I did, informing me that Chase needed some more time to process my application. This is not an indication that anything is amiss with your application or reason to think you will be rejected. However, I did grow a bit concerned when I still hadn't heard anything about my application two weeks later.

I called Chase on July 26 and was told by a representative that "they're currently reviewing the information" and that they would contact me if they need additional info. When I asked if I could do anything to help speed it along, the representative told me there was no issue and that the application delay was due to nothing more than it still being reviewed.

Nearly a week later, I head to London to cover the reopening of the United Kingdom to vaccinated Americans for TPG and return home the following Sunday, Aug. 8, to find a letter from Chase sitting in my mailbox conveniently dated July 26.

Read more: Here’s what it’s like to fly to London as an American right now

(Photo by Caroline Tanner/The Points Guy)

Unfortunate for me, it was after 6:00 p.m. Aug. 9 by the time I opened this letter, which meant I was left to call Chase outside of the stated 14-day call window. In what I hoped would not end in having to resubmit my application, I verified my application the next day via phone, after waiting on hold for nearly two hours.

(Screenshot by Caroline Tanner/The Points Guy)

Receiving the card

Ten days later, I saw an email from Chase with the subject line: "Welcome, Caroline! Explore all your new card benefits!"

(Screenshots courtesy of Chase)

Related: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier credit card review: A good value for the cost
At this point, I assumed I had in fact been approved, but it wasn't until Aug. 27 that I obtained my actual card in the mail, along with a welcome packet, cardmember agreement and two administrative documents related to sharing of your personal information and rates and fees.

(Photos by Caroline Tanner/The Points Guy)

Once you have your physical card, you simply activate it as instructed in your welcome packet and the card is ready to use.

Bottom line

I am excited about joining the modern world and finally having a Tap to Pay credit card. Although I am personally pausing travel for the time being due to COVID-19, I am looking forward to earning points on dining for now, along with future travel. If you are like me and seeking a starter travel card, I would recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card — even if you have to wait out the approval process.

Read more: The best starter travel credit cards of 2021

Featured image by (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023