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If you’re someone who wants to travel more often, you may have considered a travel credit card that can help you offset any travel fees. One of the best options you will come across is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It comes with the ability to transfer points on a 1:1 basis with top travel brands. Points are also worth 25% more when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.
This metal card also has practical ways to earn points, comes with a $50 annual hotel statement credit, and a 10% points anniversary bonus.
Additionally, new Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
If you are interested, knowing the credit score needed for the best travel cards as well as knowing how hard is it to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred can give you a leg up. This article will tackle both to give you the best information. You can also review this post on how to check your Chase card application status.
Before we get into the credit score needed and how hard it is to get the Sapphire Preferred, let’s do a quick run-through of the Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits. It’s good to review these to know why this card might be worth it for you. Checking out credit card reviews can also help narrow down your options if you aren’t completely sure what you want.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns unlimited:
- 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit)
- 3x points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)
- 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart®, and wholesale clubs)
- Also 3x points on select streaming services
- 2x points on all other travel purchases
- 1x point per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases
This card has a $95 annual fee but no foreign transaction fee.
There is a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit. It comes in the form of a statement credit that will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for hotel accommodation purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards program, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $50.
Anniversary Points Bonus
Plus, on each account anniversary, you’ll earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year. So, if you spend $25,000 on purchases, you’ll get 2,500 bonus points.
Plus, Chase has added several new ways to earn rewards (more on that below). You may also want to visit our post on the best perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for a deeper look into the ways this card works for you.
How Hard Is It to Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
The Sapphire Preferred is a valuable travel credit card, and you have to have good credit to be approved. But, there are also Chase Sapphire application rules that one should also be aware of. This can make it somewhat tricky to be approved for the Sapphire Preferred or its premium sister card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® (which requires an excellent credit score). Don’t worry though.
As long as you have a good credit score and meet Chase’s eligibility rules, it shouldn’t be hard to get approval for the Sapphire Preferred.
Related: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred Review
Approval Factors for Chase Sapphire Preferred
There are a few factors that Chase looks at before approving the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. One of the most important factors is your credit score. You also need to be under Chase’s 5/24 rule. If you’ve applied for 5+ credit cards in the last 24 months, you will not be approved.
That’s why it’s important to understand the rules surrounding the Chase Sapphire Preferred first if you’re just getting started in travel rewards. It can be hard to be approved for the Sapphire Preferred, but it’s not impossible if you have a good credit score and are under Chase’s 5/24 rule. My wife and I were both instantly approved for the Sapphire Preferred when we applied.
The Sign-Up Bonus
New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Read the full solo Chase Sapphire Preferred card review to learn more about the advantages of this bonus.
Credit Score Factors for Chase Sapphire Preferred Approval
We’ve scoured the internet and done some research on just what credit score you need to be approved. There are three major factors that Chase will look at before approving or rejecting your application for the Chase Sapphire Preferred. While each factor plays a role in the decision process, not perfectly meeting one of the factors does not mean you’ll be automatically rejected.
The three factors looked at are credit reports, the total number of open credit cards, and credit utilization.
Related: Best Places To Get A Free Credit Score
Other Things To Consider Before Applying
Your credit report is obviously a very important factor when applying for a new credit card. This is especially true with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. There are three major companies that assess your spending and credit card history to create a credit report. Banks do not rely on just one of those companies’ reports but usually two or all three.
This rotates from time to time so there’s no way of knowing which of the credit reports will be used to evaluate your credit score when you try for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Total Open Credit Cards
Chase will also look at the total number of credit cards that you have open when you apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. There are a few reasons that Chase might not approve your application if you have too many credit cards open. Lots of credit cards could indicate poor financial decisions, but it can also be the sign of someone who is only signing up for credit cards for the bonus points and closing them a year later. Chase looks to avoid this situation. Also, if you’ve never had a credit card or just got your first one a few months ago, Chase may deem your credit history too short to take a risk on.
Chase is also known for being strict on their rule which has become known as the Chase 5/24 rule. If you’ve applied for more than 5 cards (easy to do when you’re building up points) in the last 24 months, you’re likely to be declined for this and any other Chase card.
If you’re looking into this card, be sure to double-check how many cards you’ve not only been approved for but how many you’ve also applied for. Also, take note of when you were approved for or applied for those cards. Chase may even deny those who’ve applied for a card in the last 90 days.
Utilization of Credit
The third factor that Chase will look at is your credit utilization. This can consist of a lot of small factors but basically means how you’re using the credit cards you have. They’ll look at factors such as:
- How many credit cards do you have?
- What is the credit limit on your current credit cards?
- How much credit are you currently using?
- Do you pay your monthly balance in full?
- Do you pay on time most of the time?
It is also important that your other cards have a mid to high credit limit, which is another factor that is looked at.
This brings up an important point for those who are applying for this credit card but may also be in a transitional stage in life. If you’ve recently bought a home, car, or other large purchase and are carrying around some debt, this may not be the right time to apply for any new credit card, let alone the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
This also applies if you’ve recently moved and therefore your rent will look a lot higher than your income. Maybe you moved into a nice, new neighborhood but haven’t gotten your annual raise at your company. Even this could affect your ability to be approved.
Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred & Ink Business Preferred: Can You Have Both?
Data Points From People Applying For The Chase Sapphire Preferred
Firstly, a credit score is not the only deciding factor, so don’t panic if yours isn’t quite where you’d like it to be. The average credit score of people who were approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred is 740, which sits squarely in the “excellent” rating category. Just because that’s the average doesn’t mean that you must have a credit score that high. Consider this story:
“I just got approved for a 15k CL, with credit score 708 on both Tu&Ex. I got declined 6 months ago when I only had a 1-year credit history and a 2k CL on Discover. Now I have an Amex account with CL of 10k, and Chase Amazon CL 4k, absolutely no late payment for all accounts and utilization under 7%. I got approved instantly. A credit score is definitely not the single deciding factor.”
Or, this story:
“Great sign up bonus! I was declined today with an 810 score because I opened too many cards in the last 24 months. Later I was approved for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. I got approved for $30K right away even though I think it’s not the best financial institution. I plan to make some travel plans so I want to take advantage of the bonus they offer.”
Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Capital One Venture
Credit Score of 700+
If you’re thinking of applying, we suggest looking at all of the above-listed factors and how you fit into those checkpoints. Unless the rest of your report is stellar, we recommend not applying unless your credit score is 700 or above. We think you have a much better chance if your score is above 720.
If you’re unsure, take a look at your credit score and find ways to improve it and your spending habits. Work to build a great financial portfolio. Then, when you’ve done that, you’ll have a higher chance of approval. Just don’t forget about the 5/24 rule.
Related: Best Credit Cards to Build Your Credit Score
How Hard Is It To Get The Chase Sapphire Preferred? If You’re Rejected, Try Again
As we mentioned above, a rejection is not the end-all, be-all decision on your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. If you do get the dreaded rejection letter, it will also include a phone number to contact a representative. This can be important for learning more about why you weren’t approved, but also to ask if you can be reconsidered. Just check out this story:
“Applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with Credit Karma Trans Union score 691, Equifax 693. Received message thanks for applying, need to review application will notify by mail decision in 30 days. Called verification department, text sent to my cell with a verification code. Code verified with a customer service representative, approved for $5,000 Cl. Will receive the card in 7-10 days…”
What To Do If You’re Rejected
Since the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best Chase credit cards, asking for reconsideration can be worthwhile. If you do decide to call and ask to be reconsidered, there are a few things to keep in mind. Call promptly, preferably within 30 days of receiving your rejection. It’s important to get all of your financial information handy when you call in. The representative may have some questions.
One of the questions that we’ve heard some chatter about and that has stumped a few people is “Why do you want this card?” For many of you, the answer is obvious, “I want points!” But that’s not quite what Chase is looking for.
Chase wants to build loyal customers and followers, not just point grubbers. They’re less likely to approve you if you seem like someone who will get the card, spend the money for the sign-up bonus, and then cancel the card before having to pay the annual membership fee in the second year. With that in mind, review the Chase credit card benefits and find one that’s important to you. Have a few sentences in your mind as to why that benefit is important to you.
You may also try and go for a no-annual-fee Chase card to help build your relationship with the bank.
Related: Can You Transfer Freedom Unlimited Points to Sapphire Preferred?
We shouldn’t have to remind you of this, but as with all employees, do be nice. When you call, be sure to ask how their day is going. Be kind and try not to be demanding or highly emotional, questioning angrily about why you were rejected. That’s no way to get a second chance at approval.
Let’s Earn Points!
Once you’re approved for your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, I’m sure you’ll be wondering how best to earn and spend your Chase Ultimate Rewards. It’s simple to earn and spend points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
Some of the best perks that you’ll get with the Chase Sapphire Preferred are the travel benefits, including travel insurance protections. Of course, there’s also the ability to earn points while you travel.
On top of all that, there are no foreign transaction fees on the Chase Sapphire Preferred. This makes it one of the best credit cards for international travel.
So you’ve earned tons of points and gotten the sign-up bonus. Now what? Spending points is almost as easy as earning points. You can get a great deal by spending your points through the Chase portal. You will get 1.25 cents per point bonus on Chase’s site. Through the portal, you can find flights that are well-priced for redeeming your points.
Overall, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a fantastic addition to any card that you’re already carrying. It’s important to know what Chase is looking for before applying. With our tips, we hope you have a better idea of what to expect.
60,000 Point Bonus Offer: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Any insight as to why, with a credit score of 804, 3 credit cards, a total CL of $30k (with 2% utilized), and a 16 year credit history, I was rejected?