Who’s eligible for the 80,000-point Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus?

Mar 25, 2021

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Chase just launched the highest-ever public sign-up bonus for one of its top travel credit cards — the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. New cardholders will now earn 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening, plus up to $50 in statement credits for grocery store purchases made in the first year of account opening. TPG values Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, which means this bonus is worth $1,650.

With one of the most lucrative sign-up bonuses on the market right now, many Chase cardholders — both new and existing — might be wondering how they can score these points for themselves. Here’s a quick rundown of who is eligible for the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus.

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Who’s eligible to apply?

This is what Chase states on its website regarding Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus eligibility:

The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 48 months. If you are an existing Sapphire customer and would like this product, please call the number on the back of your card to see if you are eligible for a product change. You will not receive the new cardmember bonus if you change products.

If you’ve never held a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’re in the clear to apply and be able to qualify for the bonus if you get an account and meet the spending requirement. However, things get a little more complicated if you are a current Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmember … or have had one in the past.

Photo by The Points Guy
(Photo by The Points Guy)

Chase has a 48-month rule on receiving new cardmember bonuses within the Chase Sapphire card family.

This means, if you’ve earned a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve welcome bonus in the past four years, you’re out of luck to earn this bonus until you’ve passed the 48-month mark on the last bonus. And keep in mind that the 48-month rule applies to when you received the bonus, not necessarily when you applied for the card.

Additionally, you can only have one Sapphire credit card at a time, which means those who are current cardmembers of either the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or the no-annual-fee Chase Sapphire Card (not currently open to new applications) cannot apply for this card or receive the bonus.

Related: What credit score do you need to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

Don’t forget 5/24

Something else to consider when thinking about whether to apply for the Sapphire Preferred is Chase’s 5/24 rule. Even if you meet the above requirements to be eligible for this bonus, you’ll still need to fall under Chase’s infamous (though unpublished) 5/24 rule. If you’ve opened five or more new personal credit card accounts (including authorized user accounts and some business accounts) across all issuers in the past two years, Chase is almost certainly going to deny your application.

You may be able to have Chase not count authorized user accounts against your max of five new accounts in the last two years if you call in after you are denied, but it’s not going to be an automatic approval.

Related: How to calculate your 5/24 standing

Canceling to reapply

Chase recommends current cardholders looking to make a switch to request to change products, but that will exempt you from earning this amazing 80,000-point bonus. However, there is another option for some cardholders — you can theoretically cancel your current Chase Sapphire card and reapply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

But know that Chase frowns on this behavior of chasing bonuses, and you do risk taking a small hit to your credit when you cancel a card, especially if it’s one that you’ve had for a long time.

If you go that route, you’ll need to make sure that you can earn the bonus otherwise (meaning you’ll need to be under 5/24, and it needs to have been at least 48 months since your most recent Sapphire sign-up bonus hit your account). For example, I currently have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which I applied for almost three years ago. Even if I canceled my card tomorrow to re-apply for this larger bonus, I’d be ineligible because it’s not been 48 months since I earned my original Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus.

Keep in mind that just because you hold the card (or a different Sapphire card) now, does not mean Chase would automatically approve your application should you cancel and try to reapply. A number of factors go into an approval, and those can change at Chase’s discretion. Going this route is a risk, but for some, the potential reward may be worth it.

Related: Don’t let Chase’s shutdown pattern bite you

Bottom line

Elevated sign-up bonuses this high on the Chase Sapphire cards are rare, so those who are able should definitely seriously consider applying for Chase’s current 80,000-point sign-up bonus with the $50 grocery statement credit.

Even if you know you’ll eventually want to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve (which currently also has an elevated sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening), the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers the much larger welcome bonus. If you’re eligible, it would make a lot of sense to sign up for the Preferred now and then upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve after a year of card membership if you want those additional perks.

Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred with its 80,000-point sign-up bonus or check out TPG’s Chase Sapphire Preferred review for more details. 

Featured image by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy. 

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