A 3-week approval: My experience applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
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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.”
The online application took all of five minutes and consisted of basic identifying questions, in addition to income verification.
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.”
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.
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.
Receiving the card
Ten days later, I saw an email from Chase with the subject line: “Welcome, Caroline! Explore all your new card benefits!”
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.
Once you have your physical card, you simply activate it as instructed in your welcome packet and the card is ready to use.
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 photo by Ryan Patterson/The Points Guy
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