Chase just released a major rule change to picking up its valuable Sapphire credit cards. These changes comes as no surprise based on Chase’s prior statement of admitting to needed cuts of up to $200 million.
The biggest change to the new rule is that you are not allowed to pick up more than one Chase Sapphire card.
For those of you who don’t know, there are three Sapphire credits:
- Chase Sapphire
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
This is a major change because it will prevent newcomers from picking up two substantial Ultimate Rewards bonuses at the same time. It was not uncommon for people to apply for both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve at the same time — this will no longer be possible and you’ll have to choose just one.
Also, after you receive one Sapphire bonus, you will not be eligible for another Sapphire bonus for another 24 months, so Chase is adopting a rule for these cards similar to the rule that Citi follows (although the clock will not be reset by closing your card like Citi does.
Finally, if you currently hold two of the cards you should not be affected by the change.
The new terms are already found on the credit cards:
“This product is available to you if you do not have any Sapphire card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 24 months. If you are an existing Sapphire customer and would like this product, please call the number on the back of your card to see if you are eligible for a product change. You will not receive the new cardmember bonus if you change products.”
This is a major negative change to Chase cards. One great thing about the Sapphire Reserve is that it offered people another route to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards. Unlike American Express which offers many ways to earn Membership Rewards through various cards, Chase does not have as many options. Now those options are even fewer. Thus, from a sign-up bonus perspective, this hurts.
The slightly good news is that there’s never been a reason to hold on to more than one Sapphire Reserve card. Unlike card duos like the Citi Prestige® Card and Citi® ThankYou® Premier Card which earn different bonus rates and have different redemption rates, the Sapphire cards overlap so that it doesn’t make sense to keep more than one. Thus, the major loss here is with the sign-up bonus.
I’ve got a feeling that we’re going to continue to see some cutbacks from Chase with respect to the Sapphire Reserve Card. While I knew changes would be on the way, I didn’t think Chase would go this route with the changes, so it’s anyone’s guess on what they’ll do next. But that’s all part of the game, you never know what to expect or when to expect it.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC.