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Update: I wouldn’t worry about the changes, and would NOT apply for the card before the changes next week.
Chase is “updating” the Chase Sapphire Preferred (my affiliate link), which currently offers a 40,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 within 3 months, next week.
I have to remove my affiliate links by 10:00 am EST on Monday, August 20, 2012, but will have a new link once the update has been made.
I don’t know what the specific change will be, and often it is just a change to the marketing copy.
It is possible that the sign-up bonus may decrease (like it did earlier from 50,000 points to 40,000 points) or that the minimum spending required to get the bonus could increase. But I’d guess (just a guess, but do what’s right for you) that is unlikely to happen and that the change is likely positive rather than negative.
Because we’ve seen lots of new offers since June – Chase Southwest with a 50,000 point offer, the new Citi Hilton Reserve card with free Gold status and 2 free nights, the new Chase Ink Plus with a 50,000 point offer, the US Bank Flex Offers Travel card with a ~$600 value and the limited time increase to 30,000 or 35,000 points on the American Express Starwood credit card. And the Citi Thank You Premier still has a 50,000 point sign-up bonus.
Instead, I’d guess that the Chase Sapphire Preferred could get an EMV Chip in it, to make it more useful in countries where credit cards have a Chip in them – especially since the Citi Thank You Premier has a chip and many other Chase cards (like the Chase British Airways & Hyatt card) have a Chip.
Or the card could just a minor tweak to the marketing copy or an additional bonus category or a change in the spending requirement. Again, this is speculation, but I personally wouldn’t go out an apply for the card in anticipation of a decrease in the sign-up bonus next week. Of course that’s possible, but *I* don’t think it is likely.
Bottom Line: If the sign-up bonus increases, Chase will usually match you to the better offer, but in my observation, Chase usually does not match you to a better offer if the spending requirement or category bonuses change. I’m not expecting the offer to get worse in the current environment, but that’s just my opinion!