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I’ve been asked many, many times! What’s a good starter card? My answer is plain and simple….in our family, you will see that we carry the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and there is no better time to get one of these cards than now. The 80K bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the highest offer we’ve seen
I decided to write up a set of 15 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. I will cover:
– what’s behind the 100,000 and 60,000 bonus offers
– can you get both cards?
– my personal examples of ways we’ve used 100,000 points
– is the annual fee  worth it
– who is and who is not eligible to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card
– can you get the new Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card if you are an Authorized User on someone else’s Sapphire account (Reserve or Preferred)
– What if you currently have a Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, or had these cards in the past, are you still eligible?
– What is your Chase 5/24 status (this is KEY)
– How to check when you last received your Sapphire bonus
– What does Product Change mean, and what credit cards to get with Product Change
– What if this card does not work out for me? What’s the back-up plan?

1. What’s the 100,000 bonus offer – Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • LIMITED TIME OFFER: 100,000 Bonus Points (former offer was 80,000, prior to that it was only 60,000)
  • Annual Fee: $95 (breathe, it gets better)
  • Statement Credit: Earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year from account opening.
  • Minimum spend requirement: $4,000 within 3 months
  • NO Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Value of points using Chase Portal = 1.25 cents = $1,000 for airfare/hotels when you redeem using Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, or as cashback =$800 
  • Product Availability:
    • This product is available to you if you do not have any Sapphire card and have not received a new card member bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 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 card member bonus if you change products.
    • Make sure you NOT to do product change to another Sapphire product.
  • DEADLINE TO APPLY – End date of this latest increased bonus offer is May 22, 2021 (according to DoC)
  • Earning rewards potential
    • 2x in travel/dining
    • 1x on all other purchase
  • Travel Benefits and other features 
Image courtesy of Chase

*Primary” means that within your country of residence, this benefit will pay for covered theft or damage to your rental car, without the need to go through your own auto insurance provider

2. What’s the 60,000 bonus offer Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

  • LIMITED TIME OFFER: 60,000 Bonus Points (former offer was 50,000)
  • Annual Fee: $550 (breathe, it gets better)
  • Travel credit: Earn up to $300 credit, reimbursement for travel purchases
  • Minimum spend requirement: $4,000 within 3 months
  • NO Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Value of points using Chase Portal = 1.25 cents = $1,000 for airfare/hotels when you redeem using Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, or as cashback =$800 
  • Product availability:
    • This product is available to you if you do not have any Sapphire card and have not received a new card member bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 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 card member bonus if you change products.
    • Make sure you NOT to do product change to another Sapphire product.
  • DEADLINE TO APPLY – End date of this latest increased bonus offer is May 22, 2021 (according to DoC)
Earning rewards potential
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit.
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.
  • 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions — as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • With Pay Yourself Back, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Doordash benefits – Earn up to $60 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases through 2021. Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees
  • Peloton credit – Get up to $120 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre
  • Priority Pass Select for airport lounge access
  • Earn a total of 10x points on Lyft rides through March 2022.

3.  What are examples of where 100,000 points have taken me and my family

Click on the destination to get the details how I booked, this will show you various examples what 80K bonus points could do for you:

  • Philippines – depending on the timeframe, 80,000 could get one roundtrip ticket to the Philippines. In 2019, is 7 members of my family flew to the Philippines for free and used roughly 60K points per person  from LAX to Manila round trip, that was during the high season (holidays). I did a similar booking for my sister in law a year prior, she only used 51,000 points during the low season, and she went from Los Angeles, visited her son in Japan, and then went to the Philippines, and the back to the US, all for 51,000 points.
  • Japan – 12 members of my family flew to Japan for FREE in Spring 2019, and we used roughly 40,000+ Chase Ultimate Rewards per person
  • Hawaii – we’ve gone to Hawaii many times and have transferred 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways (a travel partner), and booked flights with American Airlines to Hawaii. 80,000 could get you up to 3 tickets to Hawaii. During low season, I’ve seen these fares go below 20K roundtrip.
  • Costa Rica – I found a low airfare from Los Angeles to Costa Rica and used an average of 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards per person, so with the right deal and timing, 80K could get you 2-3 tickets to Costa Rica round trip.
  • Barcelona/Amsterdam– using points with Chase Sapphire Preferred, this would’ve meant using around 30K points per person roundtrip from Los Angeles to Amsterdam to Barcelona (round trip).
  • Business class from HK to Taipei on Cathay Pacific– we transferred points from Chase to British Airways and booked seats with Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Taipei. On the return we flew coach – total for 2 = 27,000 points

I could go on and on….I didn’t even factor in the many times I transferred our Ultimate Rewards to get hotel stays or booked vacation condos.

By no means am I guaranteeing that that you will get the exact same deal, it will all be based on the going airfare rate when using the Chase Portal or when transferring to a Chase Travel Partner – and that’s where I’ve been basing my experience! It’s all about flexibility.

4. Is the Annual Fee of $95 worth it for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?

Given the examples I used above, I say it is worth it. We have gone on many more trips and these are the ones that stood out for me. So, is the annual fee worth it? Yes,  the annual fee of $95 is a no brainer when you use these points wisely…..we have found great ways to stretch the points!

5. Is the annual fee of $550 worth it for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card?

With the $550, we’ve been able to easily use the the following

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • $60 Doordash credit
  • $100 Global Entry TSA Precheck
  • Priority Pass access airport lounges worldwide
  • up to $120 Peloton statement credits through 2021

And looking at the above examples of where where these points have taken us, it has been so worth it for us to keep this card.

6. Can you get both cards?

NO. in the past, we were allowed to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, But Chase has since restricted cardholders to get more than one Sapphire card. So if you’re new to getting a Chase Sapphire card, you have to pick one that works best for you.

7. Which one should you get?

There are 2 key differences at-a-glance:

  • Annual Fee = $95 vs $550
  • Bonus offer = 60,000 vs 80,000

You have to factor everything. Read all of the benefits I mentioned up above. There’s more to in than meets the eye. In my experience, the 20,000 bonus points difference could be an additional round trip airfare, it could also mean 1-2 or even 3 nights of accommodations (depending on category or pricing). Also, for me, if there’s an offer of 100K vs 60K, I’d lock in the bigger offer of 100K for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, keep it for at least a year, and if the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card benefits are attractive to you, you could do a product change a year from now, and get the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (you will not earn a sign-up bonus) but you get the benefits tied with Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

8. Who is and isn’t eligible

  • You cannot have a current Sapphire credit card
    • If you do, you will need to do a product change (covered below)
  • Previous card members of any Sapphire credit card who received a new card member bonus within the last 48 months are ineligible
  • You must be under Chase 5/24 – Read it as five twenty four, it’s not a date (not May 24th), nor is it a fraction (five over twenty four). Simply put, it refers to the number of personal credit cards that you’ve opened in the last two years (or 24 months). The Chase 5/24 Rule is for those who apply for new Chase credit cards accounts. When it comes time for Chase to review your application, if you’ve opened five or more new personal credit cards (with Chase and other institutions), your application will be denied by Chase. This applies to both business and personal credit card accounts. For more details, read this detailed entry on what you need to know about Chase 5/24.

9. End date of the current offer – TBD(subject to change)

10. I’m an authorized user on another Sapphire account, am I eligible to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred for the 100K bonus?

One of our readers asked this very good question. Her husband is:

Eligibility is based on being a PRIMARY cardholder, so that tells me that her husband should be able to apply. I also told her, “if you want to make sure, it won’t hurt to call Chase first before he applies.”

READ THIS ONLY IF YOU CURRENTLY HAVE A CHASE SAPPHIRE CARD OR IF YOU RECEIVED A CHASE SAPPHIRE BONUS LESS THAN 48 MONTHS AGO

11. What if you had already closed a Chase Sapphire card?

If this is you and you are under 5/24 (huh, what is that? – CLICK HERE), and haven’t received a bonus on any Sapphire product in the last 48 months, great news, you’re eligible to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

12. How do I check when I received my last Sapphire bonus

Remember, you can’t get a new sign up onus until 48 months have passed from either your last Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve Card bonus being earned. This is key. You need to know exactly when your bonus was given to you (not the date you got approved the card).

I’ll give you an example. In my case, I had a Chase Sapphire Reserve that I got in Jan 2017, and I remember easily meeting the min spend. I have since downgraded (not closed) my Chase Sapphire Reserve down to a Chase Freedom. My current Chase Freedom account was linked to my Chase Sapphire Reserve’s history of statements. So all I did was go back to my Chase Freedom account, go to Statements, go to 2017, and pulled up my Feb 2017 Statement (I easily met the $4K spend), voila, my Feb 2017 showed that I got my bonus then. The closing date of this statement was Feb 21, 2017. This means that I am eligible to get another Sapphire bonus 48 months after Feb 21, 2017…..so we are talking that I should be able to apply for another Sapphire sometime after Feb 21, 2021. 

My 100K bonus appeared ton my statement in Feb 2017 after I got my Chase Sapphire Reserve
*TIP: you can try calling Chase to see if they could tell when you last received your Chase Sapphire bonus.

13. I have a current Sapphire card, what do I do? It has been 48 months or greater since I got the Sapphire bonus

You CANNOT have more than 1 Sapphire account.  According to the offer details:
 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.
Once you’ve product changed to a non-Sapphire account, then yes, you’ve become eligible to apply. I would wait  for a few days, let it cycle through system before applying for a new Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

14. What do you mean Product change?

Product Change means changing your existing Chase Sapphire card (Preferred or Reserve), and change it to one of the following cards:

Just remember, going with a product change DOES not entitle you to get a new sign-up bonus. This is NOT a new application.

15. What card should you get with the product change?

If the Chase Freedom is available for product change during the time that you call Chase, I suggest getting the Chase Freedom, no annual fee, and opportunity to get 5% cash back quarterly bonus.

Why not the other two? You are better off applying for the Chase Freedom Flex Card and/or Chase Freedom Unlimited Card to get the sign up bonus. (read here). Why again? Chase indicated that  going with a product change DOES not entitle you to get a new sign-up bonus.

Applying for a new Chase Freedom Flex Card or Chase Freedom Unlimited Card will allow you to get the $200 signup bonus (worth 20,000 Ultimate Rewards) and more! I wrote a detailed write up on these FREEDOM cards – these are definite keepers in our wallet.

Once you determine that you are eligible to apply, I would prioritize this in order:

a few months down the line, if you are still under 5/24 consider applying for the

Those would be my next top picks.

16. So you got the card, and things didn’t work out, now what? Did you lose? Or did you still make the right move?

What if you realize, this is not the card for you? You will still be ahead of the game. You might think that you’ve paid  annual fee for this card. True. But, once you’ve met the minimum spend, and received your 60,000 or 100,000 bonus points, if you don’t have any planned travels, at the very least, you could use that to Pay Yourself Back. Your 100,000 points could be redeemed for cash back at 1.25 cents = $1,000. Your 60,000 bonus points from the Chase Sapphire Reserve gets you 1.5x value = $900 value. That more than pays for the $95 or $550 annual fee.

You could also, at the end of the 1st year of owning the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, do a product change to the one of the many cards I listed above, and opt for a card with no Annual Fee. I suggest NOT closing the card, but instead, if the annual fee is not for you, consider doing a product change. It’s better than closing your account.

Final thoughts

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card was my family’s gateway to learning how to travel nearly free. It’s not our only card, but it was the card that paved way to learning many different ways that helped us travel around the world. It has been a very good card for us, and especially during this pandemic, this 80,000 offer is deemed lucrative, with a very low annual fee that is easily offset by travel redemption or cash back.

We also value the perks we get from our Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, the redemption value, the Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit, access to airport lounges, and the $300 travel credit made it so much easier for us to travel comfortably.

I highly recommend these cards to anyone who is eligible to apply. Any questions, feel free to ask and post over on my Facebook Travel Group page.

For more deals, follow me on my travel page on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter

Editorial Disclosure – The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

By Jason

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