What if You Can’t Get the Chase Sapphire Reserve?

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Card for Travel

It’s been just over a month since Chase introduced its extremely popular Chase Sapphire Reserve card. It’s also been a big topic of conversation for travelers interested in points and miles. A happy conversation for many, yet also a frustrating conversation for some.

While those approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve have been excitedly unboxing their shiny new cards and working on their $4,000 minimum spends, another whole camp of credit-loving points and miles travelers have been experiencing something they aren’t used to—rejection.

While it doesn’t appear to be published anywhere as an official Chase rule, in our understanding the “5/24 rule” introduced by Chase over a year ago limits applicants to the number of cards they can get in a two year period. If Chase thinks you’ve applied for more than 5 cards in 24 months (from any bank—not just Chase cards), there is a very good chance that they aren’t going to allow you to open any new Chase branded cards, including the newly coveted Chase Sapphire Reserve.

So, what to do if you get rejected? Or if you haven’t applied yet because you’re fearing rejection? Here are a few tips:

 

Go to the Bank

There is no guarantee that going to the bank and asking to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve from within a branch will help, but some readers have reported that having a banker on their side has made the difference. From our experience, don’t be surprised if you know more about the new card than your local Chase banker.

Wait out your 5/24

Most Cards for Travel readers who report back as having their Sapphire Reserve application declined have been declined due to Chase’s 5/24 rule. If you know you’re over 5/24 and don’t want the hard pull on your credit to confirm it, we advise getting a copy of your credit report, determining your number of cards in the past 24 months, then calculating when you’ll slip back under five. Wait out that time period out and apply again then (hoping the 100,000 point bonus will still be on offer).

 

Upgrade your Chase Sapphire Preferred

If you’re dying to have the Sapphire Reserve but can’t get approved, and you already have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, there is a good chance that Chase will upgrade your Sapphire Preferred to the Sapphire Reserve. What they will not do is give you that sweet 100,000 point bonus after meeting the $4,000 minimum spend in 3 months. Bummer.

 

Get the American Express Platinum

If you aren’t willing to put all your other credit card eligibility on hold to get the Chase card, we recommend The Platinum Card from American Express or the Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

The Platinum card is currently offering a 60,000 Membership Rewards signup bonus after a minimum spend of $5,000 in three months, and like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, offers Global Entry credits, Priority Pass access, and a $200 airline credit. This card also has a few good benefits that Chase doesn’t offer including a free Boingo account, and access to the exclusive American Express Centurion lounges.

If you have a small business, the Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN is also offering an increased bonus of 75,000 Membership Rewards points for new cardmembers. You’ll get 50,000 points after spending $5,000 and an additional 25,000 after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months.

If you’re anything like us, you may have been crushed to get that Chase Sapphire Reserve rejection letter in the mail—but with all these options, rejection may not be so bad after all. Keep calm and keep traveling.

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Image: Kirill