Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
If you’re unable to get approved for the new Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you might consider a Sapphire Reserve Upgrade from an existing Chase card.
You will NOT earn the 100,000 point sign-up bonus, but you’ll still get the card’s other great perks. For example, the $300 annual credit on travel purchases, 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel & dining, and the Priority Pass Select membership.
And you’ll be able to get 1.5 cents each for any existing Chase Ultimate Rewards points you have when you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.
I’ll explain how you can upgrade!
Which Perks Will You Get by Upgrading to the Chase Sapphire Reserve?
Link: Chase Sapphire Reserve
When you do a Sapphire Reserve Upgrade, you’ll get:
- 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel & dining
- 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all other purchases
- $300 annual credit for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels
- $100 statement credit for Global Entry
- Priority Pass Select for access to airport lounges
- No foreign transaction fees
- Visa Infinite benefits like $25 food and beverage credit at the Luxury Hotel Collection and complimentary car rental elite status with Silvercar
You’ll also have to pay a $450 annual fee, which is NOT waived for the first year. But the annual travel credit, Global Entry credit, and airport lounge access can more than offset the annual fee. And you won’t get the 100,000 point sign-on bonus.
And you’ll get a 50% bonus for travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. To get more Big Travel, you can combine points from other cards like the Chase Freedom or Chase Ink Plus (no longer available).
Sapphire Reserve Upgrade Cards
Only certain Chase cards can be upgraded to the Sapphire Reserve, including:
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Sapphire (no longer available to new applicants)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
You can NOT upgrade other airlines, hotel, and small business credit cards issued by Chase.
And you must have had the eligible card open for 1 year to upgrade.
You’ll also need to qualify for a $10,000 credit limit with Chase because the Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite card. For example, if your Chase Freedom Unlimited has a $5,000 credit limit, Chase will need to review your info to make sure you’re creditworthy to get a higher limit.
Sapphire Reserve Upgrade
If you want to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can contact Chase at the phone number on the back of your current credit card.
Because you’re upgrading, the process will be similar to applying for a new credit card.
You’ll have to tell the Chase representative your income to make sure you qualify for the credit limit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Note: If you upgrade from the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can get a prorated refund of your annual fee. For example, if you paid your annual fee 6 months ago, you’ll get 50% of the annual fee refunded when you upgrade to the Sapphire Reserve.
Should You Upgrade?
If you upgrade, you’ll be missing out on the 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus. But, upgrading might be the only option for some folks who are impacted by Chase’s stricter application rules. You also won’t have to meet a minimum spending requirement to get the card’s other perks.
It could be worth upgrading if you spend a lot on travel and dining. Because the 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points you’ll earn on these categories can go toward Big Travel on Chase transfer partners like Southwest and Hyatt!
You’ll also get the $300 annual travel credit on purchases like airfare and hotels. And if you upgrade this year, you could earn the credit by the end of 2016 and again in early 2017 before your second annual fee is charged.
By upgrading, you’ll get perks like 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points and the $300 annual travel credit. But, a Sapphire Reserve Upgrade won’t get you the incredible 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus.
You are eligible to upgrade if you’ve had the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Sapphire (no longer available for new sign-ups), or Chase Sapphire Preferred for more than 1 year. Just call the Chase number on the back of your current credit card to upgrade.
Are you thinking of upgrading to the Chase Sapphire Reserve?
* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 20,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!