We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Since the launch of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, we’ve learned a lot about how folks can increase their chances of an approval.
There’s no guaranteed formula. But with certain credit scores, credit history, and income, you’re more likely to get the card.
We know Chase’s tougher application rules apply to the Sapphire Reserve. But there are exceptions to get approved, even if you’ve had lots of cards. And that’s great news for folks looking to get Big Travel with Small Money!
We don’t receive a commission for this offer but I still want to increase your odds of getting the Sapphire Reserve card!
Why Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve?
The 100,000 point sign-up bonus offer is the highest public sign-up bonus I’ve ever seen on a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points! And Chase Ultimate Rewards points are my favorite kind of points! Because they’re very flexible and valuable with airline and hotel transfer partners.
With the card, you also 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
The card has a $450 annual fee, which is NOT waived for the first year. But you can earn the $300 annual credit each calendar year. This means you’ll essentially get a $150 profit by just paying 1 annual fee.
Sapphire Reserve Approval Tips
Chase doesn’t publish a list of requirements to get the Sapphire Reserve card. But our terrific Million Mile Secrets readers and users on Reddit have given us thousands of data points about folks who have been successful getting the card.
With that said, Chase will review each application on its own merits. So I can’t promise you’ll be approved.
And remember to be honest when filling out your application!
Here’s what we know.
1. Credit Score and Credit History
Most folks who have been approved for the Sapphire Reserve say their credit scores are above 700. I read comments from a few folks who were approved with a credit score around 685.
Keep in mind there are 3 main credit bureaus that provide credit scores in the US – Equifax, TransUnion & Experian. Chase will pull your credit score from one of the providers based on the state you live.
Besides your score, Chase will analyze your credit history. They’ll look to see if you’ve made payments as required on other credit card accounts and loans in the past. And assess your credit utilization rate, or how much credit you use each month with your existing credit cards.
Some folks were approved without extensive credit history. For example, one person had their first credit card 11 months ago. So you don’t necessarily need to have years of history to get approved.
2. Income and Housing Expenses
Your income is a very important part of your credit application because it shows Chase your ability to pay back debt. We know the minimum credit line on the Sapphire Reserve is $10,000. So your application will have to support that credit limit.
There’s also a cap on the total amount of credit Chase will extend to you. So if you already have a few cards with Chase, you might have to call to adjust your credit limits to get approved.
That said, I read about 2 graduate students getting approved with an annual income of $20,000. But the majority of folks approved reported annual incomes above $60,000.
Keep in mind you can include your total household income on your credit application. So if you’re married, you can list income for you AND your spouse.
Along with your income, Chase will assess your housing expense. Because they want to make sure you have enough cash flow after your rent or mortgage payment to pay your credit card statement.
This means a graduate student with lower income and no housing payment could get approved. While someone with more income and a higher housing expense might not get approved.
3. Better Approval Chances for Folks Without Lots of Credit Cards
Chase confirmed the Sapphire Reserve is impacted by the “5/24” rule. So folks who have had FEWER than 5 credit cards from any bank (not counting these business cards) in the past 24 months have a much better chance of getting approved.
In many cases, folks without many recent cards who have good credit scores and sufficient income are instantly approved online or in-branch.
And readers have said the Sapphire Reserve is their first Chase credit card. So having a previous Chase card is NOT a requirement.
4. Apply In-Branch If You’re Impacted by 5/24 Rule
There are still exceptions for folks getting approved for the Sapphire Reserve even if they’ve had more than 5 cards in the past 24 months.
Emily learned from her banker that you could be pre-approved for the Sapphire Reserve when your apply in-branch. This will increase your probability of getting approved instead of applying online.
Or you can inquire with a Chase banker about getting Private Client status. Because we know that you can get special consideration with this upgraded banking status.
Chase will review your credit score, credit history, and income when you apply for the Sapphire Reserve. Folks have reported approvals with credit scores in the 700 range and annual incomes above $60,000. But I also saw 2 graduate students were approved with $20,000 of income.
Folks without lots of new cards who have sufficient incomes and good credit scores can get approved instantly online or in-branch.
If you’ve had more than 5 credit cards from any bank in the past 24 months, you’ll want to see if you’re pre-approved and apply in-branch.
We don’t receive a commission for this offer. But we want you to experience Big Travel with Small Money so we’ll always tell you how to get approved for the best cards!
If you don’t qualify for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you want to explore my review of the 100,000 point offer on the American Express Business Platinum instead.