Posted by Chuck on August 28, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on August 28th, 2017 | by Chuck


Chase Memo: Customers Can Only Get One Sapphire Card (e.g. CSP Cardholders Can’t Get CSR) + 24 Month Wait for Bonus

A Chase insider sent over an important memo which Chase is sending out to their employees that as of August 27 it’s no longer possible to get more than one Sapphire card. (It’s now official on the Chase site.)

There are three Sapphire products: plain, Preferred, and Reserve. If you hold the Reserve or plain, you won’t be able to apply for a Preferred. If you hold the plain or Preferred, you won’t be able to apply for the Reserve. If you hold the Reser

No changes will take place at all for existing Sapphire cardholders. If you have two or three Sapphire cards, you’ll continue to hold them all.

The idea behind Chase’s Sapphire rule is somewhat similar to Citi’s 24-months rule, yet different. Citi allows us to hold multiple ThankYou cards and even earn the bonus on multiple ThankYou cards, it just requires a 24-month ThankYou-family break before getting a new bonus. Chase is going to the next level and disallowing us to get more than one Sapphire card at all. On the other hand, Chase’s rule is easier than Citi’s in the sense that closing or downgrading a card won’t reset the 24 months clock for the bonus.

Just be sure that: (1) you haven’t gotten any Sapphire bonus within 24 months, and (2) you don’t currently hold any Sapphire card, and then you’ll be able to both apply and get the bonus for a new Sapphire card. Out of caution, it might be worth waiting 24-months from the date bonus was received and not from the application date.

On a practical level that means if you have a Sapphire card or two and you haven’t gotten a Sapphire bonus in the past 24-months, you can product-change your Sapphires to become one of the Freedom cards and then apply right away. Might be smart to give a few day break to allow them to update their system.

The memo recommends product changing your current Sapphire card to the version you want (e.g. Preferred to Reserve or vice versa), but – assuming it’s been 24-months since your last Sapphire bonus – it could be smarter to downgrade to a Freedom card and then apply for the new Sapphire card directly to get the signup bonus (currently, 50,000 points on each).

It’s surprising to me that Chase has not updated the verbiage in the terms of the Sapphire cards to indicate that all Sapphires are considered one product.

I suspect that they first sent this out to bankers to make everyone aware of it, and soon they’ll make it clearer in the terms. For now, maybe they can claim that both are included in ‘current cardmembers of this credit card’, but it seems a bit of a stretch.

The bottom line here is two negative changes:

  • You can’t hold more than one Sapphire card (this change I think most of us can manage)
  • You have to wait 24 months from getting the bonus on either card before getting it again on another card (big negative change)

Huge thanks to reader D. for sending this our way.

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That puts a Black hole type dent in my plans :'(
Cant pc before year 1 is over, right? CSP to CSR that is.

I already got the CSP and CSR bonuses and PCed them to Freedoms and they are now >1yr old. Would PCing one of these back to CSR be forbidden by these rules? I want to be sure I can PC back to CSR in the future in case I want to redeem a ton of banked UR at 1.5x through the portal.


Damn… I was waiting to be out of 5/24 next month to get the CSP and transfer the UR point to my CSR…What a bad thing.

Same here :/

yep, same here, have 4 days more in this long wait to get below 5/24 and CSP was first off the block. ugh

This could be a minor problem for those who opened a Fairmont card that recently got converted to a Sapphire Preferred, as Chase will not let you PC that converted card to anything else within 1 year of when the Fairmont card was opened. I know because I tried to convert mine to a Freedom Unlimited and escalated my request to a supervisor w/o success.

It seems unfair that they can PC it w/o following their own rules, and the leaves you stuck with a Sapphire Preferred that you have to close if you want to open a Sapphire Reserve. I already had a Sapphire Reserve, so I am holding onto my useless Sapphire Preferred for another 5 months when I can finally convert it to a Freedom Unlimited.

why not downgrade the Sapphire Reserve to a freedom and then upgrade the Preferred to Reserve?

I cannot PC my Sapphire Preferred to anything until 12 months from the open date of the original Fairmont card it replaced. That was opened 1/15/2017. Your suggestion would result in me having no Sapphire Reserve until 1/15/2018. I would lose the Reserve’s 3x earning on travel & dining, as well as its better 1.5 vs. 1.25 UR redemption value in the interim. Having a Freedom Unlimited now and its 1.5x everywhere would not offset that for me.

Really? That sucks, I was planning to PC my Fairmont/Sapphire to regular Freedom. I have both FU and F now and was thinking to get second F to take the benefits of 5x rotating categories on two cards. So I basically need to wait for one year before PCing, will they waive the AF in this case?

A known method is go CSP -> CS -> FU/F. I tried to PC the newly-converted CSP to FU but was told I can only PC to CS, so I did, then next day I called and PCed the newly PCed CS to FU without problem.

CSR customer from last September. Does this mean if I downgrade to Freedom, I am ineligible for a signup bonus on Sapphire Preferred until September 2019? Plan was to downgrade and pick up CSP.


Where does it say that?

No, it isn’t correct. It says that you can’t have received a bonus in the last 24 months. Doesn’t have anything to do with opening, closing, or downgrading.

September 2018 (24 months from when you received the bonus–if it took you longer then base it on that) according to the memo.

I assume you mean 2018? You are ineligible for 24 months from receipt of a bonus.

I wonder how they will apply this to AUs and if we can get around it by removing an AU, having them get a card and then adding them back as an AU

I currently have the CSR, and my Fairmont card just got PC’d to a CSP, I was planning on downgrading the new CSP to a CS when the AF comes in a few days. Will they still allow me to do that?

The letter is clear, you can still do such PCs.

If your Fairmont card was opened less than 12 months ago, you will NOT be able to PC it to anything. I tried.

I just PCed my newly-converted CSP to CS then to FU all within a week after the fairmont-CSP conversion. Fairmont card only 6 mo old, so still very doable.

My Fairmont card was opened 24 month ago. I would have closed it when the first AF came up but I waited more than 30 days and between 30 and 90 days Chase changed the rule from 90 to 30 for a refund of the AF

I would think they would let you do that anyway (with AF refunded) since they changed the rules. Have you called and asked, or just assumed you will not get the refund?

there goes 50,000 points out the window

Yeah bummer, I was going to sign up for a CSP for 50k points in 5 months.

There goes 100k out the window for me after i already downgraded car last week.

Well then.

Can you please increase the CSR’s bonus so it’s actually better than the CSP’s? (50k vs 55k + first year free..)

Who are you talking to? Nobody here can increase any bonus levels. ??


Chuck can.

you mean chuck norris can. 5/24 doesnt apply to him. nor any T&C of any kind…


One thing that isn’t clear is if a product change from a Sapphire Product to a non-Sapphire product also triggers the 24 month lockout since it specifically states it is for closed accounts.

Read again, the 24 month starts when you earn the bonus.


“If an account is closed”

The sentence continues..


The sentence is perfectly clear–as written the 24 month lockout only occurs when an account is closed. What isn’t clear is if the actual policy as implemented will treat lockouts and product changes the same.


Product changes generally are not considered account closures–that’s my point.

I can’t interpret this in the way you do.

You are already not eligible to open a card when you had it’s bonus in the last 24 months. The new thing is that all Sapphires are treated as the same product now, like Citi does with TYP cards.

The “if closed” is there for CSRs to warn the customer not to close the account to work around this new only-one-Sapphire rule, because they might not open a new one.

I agree this is unclear. Especially with the application language not changing (yet?). If the 24-month applies across the board and makes it more similar to Citi’s new rule, then the “If an account is closed…” language just shouldn’t be there. Or it should state, “even if an account is closed, or downgraded, then….”

We’ll see.

We’ll see.

was about to travel to a branch and see if they will let me get a bite of the reserve.
but if they tell me that i am targeted for it, i am still applying.

I thought they discontinued the targeted/pre-approvals for the CSR months ago…

Please let us know, I wonder if in-branch pre-approval overrules this.

what do i know?! Once i try, meaning if the pre-approvals are going on and i am targeted, i will let you know. in about two weeks.

what do you mean? if you go to a branch now you can see right away if you’re targeted and then you can get an instant decision if you’re indeed approved.
why wait two weeks?

Sounds like he doesn’t live near a branch, but will be traveling near one in two weeks.

What Elmer said.

To ensure I understand correctly…if received a bonus on the CSR in the past 24 months, I cannot receive a bonus on the CSP even if I product change the CSR to a Freedom card first?

I’m glad I opened as many sapphire preferred and resrves as possible in my family.

Get it while you can, because you might not tomorrow.

I hope the more restrictive rules mean that the rest of the ur program will hold its value better.

Multiple DPs of people being denied yesterday and today. There is no get it while you can.

we got two csp’s and a csr….last year. we got it while we could. now you can’t.

Can I apply for both on the same day to get around this? I have no sapphires and have never had one.

I don’t see anything in the memo that suggests that the 24 month rule spans the three cards. Am I missing something? Or, is it just a guess that it will apply across Sapphire cards?

Nevermind, I see it in the last bullet now!

Last bullet point:

“If an account is closed, a customer will not be eligible for any Sapphire-branded credit card if they have earned a cardmember bonus on a Sapphire-branded product within the last 24 months”

I’m assuming that also means “if account is downgraded” – but maybe that’s a loophole?


That’s the point I am making above–I don’t expect it will end up being a loophole when this is implemented but it is some possible wiggle room.

I understand your point and think the wording leaves things open to interpretation as well.

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