Chase Sapphire Preferred approval tips – What to know before you apply

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When it comes to getting the most from a travel credit card it’s always a balance of ease of use versus value. Generally, the harder it is to book an award the more valuable it is and sometimes your travel needs can’t be met by these difficult-to-book awards.

Enter the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

You can use the rewards you earn with it to pay for travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. The Chase Travel Portal is powered by Expedia, so it’s super easy to use. And you can also use Chase points to transfer to 13 different travel partners to book expensive business-class flights and luxury hotel stays. This rewards credit card really is the best of both worlds.

But you’ll need to be approved for the card before you can take advantage of it, so let’s review a few tips for increasing your approval chances.

I recommended the Sapphire Preferred to my relatives and they’re using the points they earned to book flights to Hawaii and six nights in Honolulu. (Photo by emperorcosar/Shutterstock)

Chase Sapphire Preferred approval tips

The Chase Sapphire Preferred currently has a bonus offer of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. This is the biggest bonus for a personal Chase credit card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, so you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure a successful application.

Know Chase’s application rules

The biggest thing to be aware of is the Chase 5/24 rule. The way this rule works is simple, if you’ve opened five or more cards from any bank in the past 24 months you aren’t eligible for any Chase card. That’s harsh, but the one saving grace is that business credit cards (from most banks, but not Capital One or Discover) won’t appear on your personal credit report and so they don’t add to your 5/24 count.

Also, you can only have one Sapphire card at a time, so if you already have the Chase Sapphire Reserve® you won’t be eligible for a Sapphire Preferred card. Also, you’re not eligible for any Sapphire card if you’ve earned a welcome bonus from any Sapphire card in the past 48 months.

Know your credit score

While it’s possible to get approved for some Chase cards with a credit score that is under 700 we don’t recommend applying if that’s your situation. It’s better to improve your credit score and then apply after you’ve increased it to 700+.

If you aren’t sure what your credit score is you can check it with a free service like myBankrate.

Know how to handle a reconsideration call

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had an application denied or go into pending status and been able to call the Chase reconsideration line to get the application approved. This doesn’t work every time and if you’re over 5/24 you’re not going to be able to get anyone to reconsider your situation, but there are other times that you can.

My wife recently applied for an Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card and called the reconsideration line after her application was pending. She verified her identity and answered a few questions about her business. After a few minutes the phone representative explained that Chase would need to take some of the credit line available on my wife’s existing Chase business card accounts and apply it to the new card in order to approve the application. That was all it took and if we hadn’t called in it’s likely the application would have been denied because Chase didn’t want to extend her business anymore credit.

If you’re denied you should give the Chase reconsideration line a call, even if you can’t get an approval you’ll at least have a better understanding why you were denied. Before you call make sure you can explain why you want the card (travel perks, rewards earning rate, etc.) and if you’ve applied for a decent number of cards recently, you might get asked why you have so many hard inquires on your account or why you want this card in particular.

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a can’t miss rewards credit card, especially if you’re just starting out. So it makes sense that you’d want to apply for it. Before you pull the trigger be sure you understand Chase’s application rules, know your credit score and are prepared to call the Chase reconsideration line, if need be.

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Jason Stauffer is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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