Who’s eligible for the elevated Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus?

Sep 16, 2020

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Chase just announced an elevated sign-up bonus for one of its most popular 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. TPG values Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, which means this bonus is worth $1,600.

With one of the most lucrative sign-up bonuses on the market right now, many cardholders — both new and existing — might be wondering how they can score this points haul. Here’s a quick rundown to remind everyone 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 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. So long as you are approved, you shouldn’t have any problems with sign-up bonus eligibility. However, things get a little more complicated if you are a current CSP/CSR cardmember — or have been 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 family. So if you’ve earned a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus in the past four years, you’re out of luck to earn this bonus until you’ve passed the 48-month mark. And keep in mind that the 48-month rule applies to when you received the bonus, not necessarily when you applied for the card.

You can only have one Sapphire credit card at a time, which means those who are current cardmembers of 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 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.

Related: How to calculate your 5/24 standing

Canceling to re-apply

Chase recommends current cardholders looking to make a switch 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 cancel your current Chase Sapphire card and reapply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred. But know that Chase frowns on this behavior, and you risk taking a hit to your credit when you cancel a card, especially if it’s one that you’ve had for a long time.

Now, 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 around two and a half 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 CSP 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 Chase has certainly tightened those approval qualifications this year due to the economy and the coronavirus pandemic. 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 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. Even if you know you’ll eventually want to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the CSP offers almost double the sign-up bonus. If you’re eligible, it would make a lot of sense to sign up for the Preferred and then upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve after a year of card membership.

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 The Points Guy. 

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