When should I apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

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Folks have been emailing me to ask if the 50,000 point sign-up bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred is going to be reduced.  I like Jared’s approach to this question which is to grab the sign-up bonus when it makes sense for you to do so.

I don’t like answering these types of questions for 3 reasons.

1.   Information is not accurate.  Recent predictions of credit card sign-up bonuses decreasing haven’t been very accurate.

Over the past few months,  reports that the 50,000 point sign-up bonus for the  Chase Ink Bold, and Chase Southwest, were going to disappear (which I didn’t pass along) weren’t true.  All these cards are still listed on the Hot Deals tab with a 50,000 point bonus!

The 50,000 point sign-up bonus with the Chase Southwest card has been available since November – which was when folks predicted that it would disappear.  I’ve written about this on multiple occasions since November, because this is the best credit card for domestic travel.

Not only do you get $833 worth of free travel on Southwest, but the 50,000 sign-up bonus is currently counting towards the 110,000 points needed for the Companion Pass which lets a companion fly with you for free.

The Chase Ink Bold introduced category bonuses, but the 50,000 point sign-up bonus didn’t change.  And there’s still a link available to the Citi Thank You Premier for 50,000 points.  Granted, the link to the Citi Thank You Premier is not a publicly promoted link, but folks are still receiving the 50,000 point sign up bonus which is another great card for domestic US travel.

2.  I’m biased.  I get a referral if you apply and are approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred via links on the blog.  Emily and I are very grateful to everyone who has applied for the card using our link!

But if I make a prediction or pass along information – which hasn’t been very accurate in the past – and that information again turns out to be incorrect, I still benefit.

I benefit because folks will apply for the card in the belief that the sign-up bonus is disappearing.  I don’t want to tell folks that the bonus will decrease (and drive an increase in card applications) when recent history suggests that such information is incorrect.

So I prefer not to pass along information on sign-up bonuses decreasing – especially if I earn a referral commission from that credit card and past history suggests that the information of the sign-up bonus decreasing is not correct.

Am I over-thinking this?  Probably.

3.  50,000 point sign-up bonuses reappear.  Off late, 50,000 mile and point sign-up bonuses appear and disappear frequently, so if a sign-up bonus decreases, it is just a matter of time before it reappears.

On the other hand, 100,000 mile sign-up bonuses tend to reappear after much longer (one year or longer) so it is best to grab a 100,000 sign-up bonus when it is active.  And I’ve also noticed that predictions of a 100,000 mile sign-up bonus disappearing are usually accurate.

So I would pass along information of a 100,000 mile offer disappearing.

So why am I writing about the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

Because the ad materials which affiliates like me get access to indicates that the sign-up bonus is for a “limited time only.”  Marketeers often use this phrase to get people’s attention and to steer them towards making a purchase which they may not otherwise have made.

But “limited time only” could describe almost anything!

I’ve also heard that the bonus offer will decrease in late February or early March, but I also heard that previous sign-up bonuses for the Southwest, Ink Bold, and Citi Thank You Premier were decreasing (which ended up not happening).

But if there was a new mega credit-card sign-up bonus in the works, it could make sense to reduce the sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred to build some buzz around the new offer.

Also, the American Express Premier Rewards Gold (the AMEX competitor to the Chase Sapphire Preferred) offers only a 25,000 point bonus, so Chase may feel that it no longer needs to offer a 50,000 point sign-up bonus.

Chase Website

However, the ad copy from the official Chase website on the Chase Sapphire Preferred does NOT mention that the 50,000 sign-up bonus is for a limited time only.

So this could mean that the sign-up bonus is going to decrease only for cards in the affiliate channel, but not directly through Chase.

But I don’t know for sure.

Bottom Line:  As always, grab the sign-up bonus on credit cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred, when it makes sense for you to do so.

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31 responses to “When should I apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

  1. There is this guy who has about 50 credit cards, he already has about 10 chase cards alone, he says he applies about 10 cards a month and still has excellent score of 780, i asked him how, he says the point is to avoid the unneccesery hard credit pulls, i told him how can you get approved for a card if your credit is not pulled? he says he always faxes his credit reports and scores to bank and card companies to ask them to see his credit reports and decide.

  2. thanks as always for your great info.

    my question below is a drop off topic, but not really as I’m sure it will be useful to some of your readers applying for the sapphire card.

    Is your info in this prior blog re: amazon payments still current? I put in an applic for Ink Bold, and “IF” I’m approved, I’ll have to meet a $5k spend requirement….

  3. @emly, that sounds pretty suspect. I recently went through a pain the a$$ ordeal with Citi to get approved for the Thank You card, at one point they told me to fax in a copy of my credit report so they could look over it and not pull my credit. I sent in the credit report and they pulled my credit anyway.

    @Kathy, I’m using AP up to $1,000 a month to meet minimum spends without a fee.

    Daraius, thanks for adding a dose of common sense to the blogger/affiliate link universe. I’m always very skeptical of the motives of other blogs when they start posting rumors about cards, the Ink Bold being a prime example. I appreciate your integrity on the issue.

  4. I agree with the other Scott. Not only do you have the most thorough CC information, but you’re also one of the least suspect bloggers. Thanks for staying honest.

  5. What is your opinion of the anecdotal evidence of targeted offers of a 75k bonus? Also, how long would you recommend waiting between Chase apps?

  6. Mr. Daraius: Is it true that the “New” Chase Ink Bold with the spend category bonuses is a new product? I have the “Original” Ink Bold for which I received 50k after initial purchase (targeted). I recently called Chase requesting the new earning regime and I was told that I would need to apply again as it was considered a new card. I’ll gladly take another 50k, but I want to make sure that I dont waste an app and pull for nothing. Do you have any knowledge about this issue?

  7. Daraius, Since lots of us got the sapphire preferred card for the 50K bonus, could you someday write a column on options for avoiding the annual fee? I heard you can downgrade to regular sapphire. Can you later upgrade back to preferred when wanting to transfer points out? Thanks

  8. fyi I had applied for and was approved for Chase Sapphire Preferred at the end of November. After reading about those 75k offers lately I wrote them a secure message re-iterating what good customer I was, etc. However, it didn’t matter. They came back at me (twice) indicating that the 75k Sapphire Preferred was a targeted offer, and unless I could provide them with an invitation number they would not extend to me. Cant hurt to try, though.

    • @Francisco C – I’ll put that in my list of future posts. In short, you can transfer your Sapphire Preferred points to the Chase Freedom or other card which has Ultimate Rewards points, but you won’t be able to transfer to airlines. But you can transfer to airlines or hotels if you get the Chase SP, Ink Bold, or JP Morgan card. I suspect that you may be able to upgrade the regular Sapphire to the Sapphire Preferred when you want to transfer your points out.

      @BothofUs2 – That’s too bad, but you’re right that it doesn’t hurt to try!

  9. he says he faxes his credit report first to companies. after they pull your credit, he calls card companies to reverse the hard pull and see his report he faxed. he says he easily got approved 10 chase cards in last 30 days.

  10. @ Emly – I just used the same trick to get 100 chase cards in a single day. Lots of people say lots of things. If he’s willing to show you some kind of proof, perhaps the welcome packets for all the cards dated around the same time, or something like that, maybe then you believe it. You could always try the trick yourself as well. I guess you’ve got nothing to lose. If they don’t reverse the hard pull, you’re in the same position that the rest of us are in anyway, i.e., having to take a hard pull to get a new card. But I’d be surprised if this guy isn’t stretching the truth.

  11. I agree that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card but I’m wondering why no ones talks about the gameplan my wife and I (along with some relatives) did to maximize UR points. About everyone I know with good credit received a targeted offer in the mail for the regular Case Sapphire card. The sign on bonus ranged from 50k to 100k UR points with anything from $500 spend to a one purchase spend. Around 30 to 35 days after receiving our Chase Sapphire card we applied for the Preferred card. No problems. Then we transferred the regular card UR points into the Preferred card UR account. Maybe we just got lucky!

  12. Is it better to apply in person or online for the Sapphire?

  13. @ tso i would apply online only!! The bankers in the branches typically have lower bonus offers. You will be much better off finding a link with the specific offer you want. I wouldnt want to take any chances even if you specify the offer you want they might not be able to code the account with that offer.

  14. Heres one for ya. Might be stupid, but dont know…
    I got a buddy whos working at a Chase branch. He makes a small commission on every checking, savings, direct deposit, credit card…ect. that his customers open. If I open an an account with him for a chase card at say 25k points while it could of been had at 50k points, will chase credit me the additional 25k? I assume not. But what if I have a mailer targeting me at the higher offer. Would they then? I’m all for helping out friends.

  15. @Troy and @TSO I applied at a branch with a helpful rep, I wasnt going to but he twisted my arm enough. He actually had a view that let him see the different offers out there at the moment on his system. He said it shows him ‘all’ the offers but I cant prove. It’s worth a shot going through a branch in case they find a better offer out there. Plus you have someone to go back to if signup bonus doesnt post.

  16. Hello! Im new to this. My husband is planning to apply for the chase sapphire and I do have an existing Chase Freedom card. Once he gets approved and I get an extension of his card, can I transfer my UR to the Sapphire so that we can collect more points for travel?

    Thanks Much!!

    • @Troy – Thanks for helping out!

      @Tommyboy – Chase will usually credit you the difference between an offer and the best publicly available version within 3 months of applying. However, I haven’t seen this documented anywhere, so you wouldn’t have anything to back up your case. Check with your buddy about which version of the offer is available and ask him if it is possible to get the better version.

      @BothofUs2 – Interesting. I’d love to see the “offer” screen from his computer!

      @carmen – Welcome! You should be able to transfer your Freedom points to your husband’s Chase Sapphire Preferred account, and from there to different airlines or hotels. The Chase Sapphire offers only a 25K sign-up bonus, and the points can’t be transferred to airlines or hotels. The Sapphire Preferred offers a 50K sign up bonus after spending $3K and the points can be transferred to various hotels and airlines. The Sapphire also doesn’t have an annual fee versus the $95 after the first year for the Sapphire Preferred. Good luck!

  17. Also what’s the big difference between Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Regular Chase Sapphire?

    Thanks Again. By the way this will be the first time my husband and I are doing this so we are pretty excited. Here is to our first travel using points = )

  18. Can somebody please help me out or answer my question. I recently applied for a Sapphire Preferred at a local Chase bank and just got approved. Well I also found out that I only get 10000 points! The only offer I have ever seen for the Preferred card is 50000 points so when I went to the Chase bank to apply i assumed that’s what I would get upon approval. I was totally wrong as I have just found out. It was my first time applying for a card and had no idea that the offer would be different. Now my question is: Is there any way that I can get credited the difference of 40000 points if I talk to somebody? I don’t know how this works or if it is possible. Please help . Thank you.

  19. By the way this is an awesome site. I just came across this today. I searched for a forum or blog to find out if anyone has went through the same thing I did, and ended up here. Hope someone can help this newbie!

    • @Elliott – Welcome! What you can do is send Chase a secure message from your account or call them up and explain that the best public bonus is 50K, but you got only 10K, and is there a way they could give you the 40K difference? Chase usually matches you to the highest publicly available bonus as long as you applied in the past 3 months. Good luck!

      @carmen – Actually, there are 2 American Airline cards which I feel are better than the Chase offers, because you can apply for both the AA cards for 50K miles each (100K miles total) at the same time (as long as you don’t have an existing AA card that’s less than 18 months old).

      I’d suggest dropping the Chase Sapphire Preferred for now (unless you can meet the minimum spending), and apply for the Citi AMEX and Visa for 50K miles at the same time. That’s 100K miles each or a business class trip to Europe. There are links to the 50K offer in the Hot Deals tab.

  20. Pingback: Chase Sapphire Preferred 50000 | Million Mile Secrets | Krispy Hut

  21. Thanks so much!! We will be applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred through your website then = )!! Second, This will be the first time we will be traveling to Europe and we are looking into the 1st quarter of 2013. I was looking into your blogs and Chase seems to be the most lucrative and next is AA Advantage but the points right now is only 40,000 miles but they have so many partner airlines, retailers etc i guess its worth it. Citi has stopped offering the 50,000 too. Since you are the expert what should our 2nd card be. We can only afford getting 2 cards ( chase and ….) and we wouldn’t want to jeopardize our good scores. Also, we want to fulfill the $$$ spent to get those points without having any problems. Any advice pls ? = ) Thanks Again!!

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  23. Hi daraius!im planning to get the sapphire preferred since im going from LAX to Philippines this april for 3wks.just wondering if thats a good idea basically i just wanna maximize in earning points and miles since i also have a plan on travelling to hawaii sometime in september?

    i have chase freedom(8 months old) and the southwest card(2 months old)

    • @daniel – You’ll earn double points on the Sapphire Preferred for travel and dining expenses and get a 50K sign up bonus. However, you could apply for 2 Citi AA cards (if you haven’t had them in the last ~18 months) and get 50K miles each or 100K miles, which should be easier to use to Hawaii. Or you could get 2 Citi Thank You Preferred cards (One MC & One Visa) which offer 50K points or $665 in airfare on any airline with no blackout dates.

      The Sapphire is better for regular spending, but the AA cards are better for the sign-up bonus.

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