Aw Shucks! New 4 Year Waiting Period Between Earning Sapphire Bonuses

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Aw Shucks! New 4 Year Waiting Period Between Earning Sapphire Bonuses

KeithAw Shucks! New 4 Year Waiting Period Between Earning Sapphire BonusesMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Without notice, Chase seems to have changed the terms & conditions of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.  The small print now says you’re NOT eligible to earn the card’s sign-up bonus if you’ve received a new cardmember bonus on ANY Sapphire credit card within the last 48 months.  The prior restriction was 24 months, so this is a painful change.

And word on the street is the 48-month waiting period also applies to applications for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  Although, the offer terms through our link (Chase Sapphire Preferred) still shows 24 months in the terms & conditions.  But it’s likely just a matter of time before the new restriction appears on all Sapphire Preferred application pages.

A 48-Month Waiting Period Is a Huge Bummer Because It Means More Time Between Earning Valuable Sign-Up Bonuses, Which Is the Quickest Way to Get Big Travel.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is our top card pick for beginners.  If you’re new to miles & points, the new 48-month waiting period restriction isn’t as big of a deal.  We still recommend applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.  You can earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth at least $625 in travel) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

But the new rule has more of an impact on folks who got the Sapphire Preferred within the past couple of years and were hoping to scoop up the Sapphire Reserve in the near term, or vice versa.  If you’re in this category, you’ll have to wait awhile to become eligible.

With the new restriction, you can likely still product change (upgrade or downgrade) your Sapphire card.  But you won’t earn a bonus when you do this.  For example, Sapphire Preferred cardholders might consider upgrading to the Sapphire Reserve just to get access to card’s $300 annual travel credit.

The new restriction is on top of already tough Chase application rules.  Keep in mind, you’re not eligible for most Chase cards if you’ve opened 5+ new credit cards from any bank within the past 24 months.  Remember, this does NOT count small business cards from AMEX, Bank of America, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo.

Are you impacted by the new restriction?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

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So I guess it’s clear there will be no better signup bonus for the CSR. May as well just go for it. And if I’m going to be having to wait for another sapphire bonus then definitely may as well go for the Reserve…Seems the better of the two.


haha – thanks guys. Card companies were clamping down on Plastiq long before CNBC picked up the post about the Tesla purchase. Just look at recent changes to the charges coding as a cash advance. But I’ll take the blame.

@Andy – I also used to work for a bank. I’m not sure how you’re calculating the net loss. Banks make an absolute ton of money on securitized credit revolvers, which offsets any sign-up bonuses. If they weren’t making money, they likely wouldn’t be in the business.


Signup bonus, less transaction fee revenue on min spend, plus internal charges (systems, call support, compliance, marketing). I didn’t factor the referral commissions paid to the blogs so the actual loss is higher (I’m guessing ~$100). There is nothing else in the equation for someone who meets the minimum and cancels before the annual fee.

Card companies do have considerable RORAP because of the interest and fees but the readers of MMS are not contributing significantly to that (avoid late fees and interest). Us hobbyists extract value from programs designed for mass market. We are effectively subsidized by those customers who pay fees and interest or spend. With the advent of big data, companies are improving their analytics and decision making. They will continue to revise the reward programs to address known “abuses” so they can make more money.

I think there will be some silver lining. Companies will always compete for customers so they may repurpose the money saved. Citi increased its bonus for ThankYou – we may see more restrictions on frequency but larger bonuses in the future (pure speculation). Also, like airlines who caught onto the mileage run game and have since revised programs to align with spend, the miles and points and hobby will continue to change (likely to drive spending). Great example is Mileslife which acts similar to the shopping portals but includes its own bonuses.

I don’t blame Keith (I would probably taken the interview too). Chase is an MMS advertising partner and likely read the site before. In fairness, Keith is a model customer because even though he takes advantage of bonuses, his Tesla and sewing machines generate revenue for the card companies. I imagine small business cards will be the most resilient to program changes.

Bottom line: There will always be signup offers out there to entice new customers but those who aggressively churn signup bonuses are operating on borrowed time. This doesn’t mean the hobby is dead, just need to have an open mind and keep looking for the next opportunity!

Is this calculated from the time you received the previous bonus or approved? Does your previous card need to be closed?


This is actually good news hopefully Chase hurts their own business by doing this and has to relent sooner or later, meanwhile other credit card companies business will increase

Time for customers to start boycotting Chase as it is the only way we can protest and perhaps turn around the constantly tightening of every rule.

Clearly they don’t want us as customers!

It is really sad. I’m guessing this is in response to all the money they lost on the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100k bonus offer awhile back, trying to cut expenses and all.

Yikes, yes this is unfortunate. I think the only other bank with even more strict rules is AMEX with their one intro bonus per product per lifetime policy.

Agree wholeheartedly

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