[Originally posted in 2017. Update 6/2/20: Milestomemories has verified with some data points that you can upgrade to a Sapphire card (e.g. Freedom/Slate to Sapphire Reserve) even if you currently are a Sapphire cardholder (e.g. you have a Sapphire Reserve card). You just can’t apply for a second Sapphire card.]
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 Reserve, you won’t be able to apply for the Preferred or the Plain.
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 (now 48 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 (now 48 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 (now 48 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 (now 48 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 (now 48 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.