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Approved For The Chase Sapphire Reserve 100K Offer (Unexpectedly)

I was just approved for the Chase Sapphire RESERVE and am way over 5/24 (will explain). I normally don’t blog about specific credit cards as I believe the best credit cards depend on a person’s individual goals.

However, last week I walked into a Chase branch to close my Chase Total Business Checking account which I signed up for when they were offering a $500 sign-up bonus. The banker was able to complete the transaction efficiently but before I got up to walk away, I asked her if she could check if I was pre-qualified for any credit card offers as I was just simply curious with no initial intention of applying for a card in-branch. A few months ago I tried but I wasn’t pre-approved or pre-qualified. She input my SS# and a few seconds later, a pre-approval offer for the Chase Sapphire Reserve populated!

I held in the excitement and asked her to please proceed with the application. A few minutes later, I was instantly approved despite applying for much more than 5 new credit cards in the past 24 months!

For those that know Chase’s 5/24 rule, you can bypass this section. For those that don’t, listen up.

Chase usually doesn’t approve consumers for new cards if they’ve opened more than five cards in the past 24 months. While that doesn’t impact a vast majority of consumers, it does impact those of us who rely heavily on credit card sign-ups to cushion our points and miles balances. Chase is strict on this 5/24 policy and the following are the rules:

  • The 5 cards in 24 months rule includes ALL bank credit cards not just Chase (Amex, Barclay, Citibank, etc)
  • Being an authorized user on many cards, including Chase cards, counts towards that limit
  • There’s no easy way to tell whether or not this rule will prevent you from being approved, other than risking a hard pull on your credit

As you see, Chase has made it tough on people like myself who love their credit card products and put a lot of spend on them but also like to diversify my spend with other banks as well.

For those that know Chase’s 5/24 rule, listen up again. To maximize your chances at approval, try the following:

1. Go to a Chase Branch to Check for Pre-Approval

Generally you’ll need to visit a Chase branch to check if you’re pre-approved for the Sapphire Reserve. Check specifically for a PRE-APPROVAL not a PRE-QUALIFIED offer as FT data points seem to indicate the former has a higher probability of approval.

2. Check at a Different Chase Branch in a Few Days

Some people have initially been told at one Chase branch that they had no pre-approvals for the Sapphire Reserve, only to go to a different Chase branch a day or two later and find they were pre-approved. I was told no pre-approvals 3 months ago at a branch and visited a new branch last week and was approved so make sure you check often. Either way, don’t give up after a first visit; wait a few weeks and try checking at another Chase branch.

3. Use your Chase credit cards and if you can afford it, sign up for a Chase Private Client account. Too rich for my blood.

 

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If you’re casually interested in points and miles and want to hit one out of the ballpark with your first big time rewards credit card, this is what you need to know about the pegged “best credit card in the world” Chase Sapphire Reserve, not to be confused with the popular Chase Sapphire Preferred. 

Earning rates — You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on all travel and dining purchases. That’s an improvement from the 2x points on travel and dining that you’ll get with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, meaning this new card is an even better pick for these purchases.

Sign-up bonus — 100,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. I value 100,000 points a bit over $2,000 in travel so the annual fee that I’ll mention next ABSOLUTELY is worth it for the first year at least.

$300 annual travel credit — Each year, you’ll receive a credit for $300 of eligible travel purchases. Chase’s definition of what counts as travel is generous — including everything from airfare to Disney annual passes — and the credits are applied automatically to your account as soon as the purchase clears. You’ll get $300 this year and $300 at the start of January 2017, so that’s a whopping $600 of travel credit before you even pay your annual fee again.

Annual fee — $450 per year. Ok, so I know it sounds like a lot and it is BUT here is why it’s totally worth it. The other two heavy hitter credit cards, American Express Platinum and Citi Prestige also have $450 annual fees but the CSR accrues Chase UR points (the best) and the sign-up bonus of 100,000 UR points and the $600 in travel credit for the first year makes the $450 look like chump change. It’s a much better “value” overall in most instances than the other 2 premium competitors in my opinion.

Other  — Perks such as Priority Pass lounge membership to over 900+ lounges worldwide, $100 global entry credit, hotel and car rental benefits plus many more are just some extras that sweeten the deal and make the $450 easier to justify.

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Final Thoughts: The Chase Sapphire Reserve is an amazing card (arguably best out there) and I absolutely think the $450 annual fee is a no-brainer for the 100,000 points and $600 in travel credit the first year alone, not to mention all the other valuable perks the card possesses.

If you’re looking to get your first big travel rewards credit card and can manage the $450 annual fee at least the first year, then I think the CSR may be right for you. Conservatively speaking, you’ll get over $1500 worth of points and $600 in travel credit in year one which more than justifies the annual fee. If you’re a vet in the points and miles world and want the card, check in-branch every couple weeks or so for a pre-approval offer. 

 

Are you waiting to get this bad boy or annual fee scare you away?

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