Big Changes for Chase Sapphire Family (And By Changes, I Mean Bad)


The Chase Sapphire Reserve is my go-to card for a lot of my non-bonus spending and I’ve always loved the Sapphire family of Chase cards.

I had a Preferred awhile ago, but after getting the initial 50k offer and being fresh out of college, I ended up downgrading it to a Chase Freedom card. With the Reserve, some of the benefits you get are:

  • 3x points on travel (and I believe OTA’s such as Expedia and Orbitz qualify)
  • $300 Travel Credit
    • I LOVE this travel credit. Where the Amex Plat and Citi Prestige differ, is that those are limited to incidentals, such as baggage fees and paying for upgrades.
    • Some report that you can buy gift cards, but YMMV.
    • I’ve actually used the credit from my Prestige card to pay for an AA Status Challenge
  • Primary rental car insurance, including status with Enterprise and Avis (I paid for a Midzie and got a Camaro SS as my rental this past weekend)

Well, today Doctor of Credit reports that, effective immediately, Chase internal memos are not longer allowing having BOTH Sapphire family cards. This only applies towards new accounts, so if you have both already, you’re good. Essentially, if you have a Preferred, you can’t have a Reserve and vice versa.

This is an unfortunate blow, but Chase needs to mitigate their losses as points and miles become more and more popular as travel currency. Chase already introduced the 5/24 rule (no more than 5 new accounts in the past 24 months). HOWEVER, there could be a potential workaround:

  1. Apply for a Sapphire Preferred (assuming you are approved and under 5/24)
  2. As you get closer to a year (or if you already have one of them), downgrade the card to a Freedom or Freedom Unlimited
  3. DO NOT close your account. According to the rules, if you’ve closed a Sapphire account recently, it applies the same (preventing churning)
  4. Once you’ve successfully downgraded, apply for the next Sapphire card.

freedombonus

There’s really no evidence to back up if this works. The Freedom series is definitely a strong contender (at least until Chase devalues lower tier UR points transfer to higher tier cards). With the Chase Freedom, you have rotating categories that earn you 5x points up to a certain cap. For example, this quarter, you get 5x points on dining and movie theater purchases. The Reserve only gives you 3x points, so this quarter alone, having a Freedom card will net you 67% more points on restaurant/movie theater purchases.

Are you planning on trying out the workaround? Let me know if it works out for you.

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Categories: Credit Cards, Points, TravelTags: ,

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