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At some point you might consider downgrading, product-changing, or cancelling your Chase Sapphire Preferred. There are a number of factors that you want to consider before deciding which route to take, however. Here’s everything you need to know about how to downgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
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How to downgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred
It’s very easy to downgrade or product change your Sapphire Preferred card.
Simply call the number on the back of your credit card and tell them that you want to downgrade or product change your credit card. You should have no issues as long as you abide by all of the guidelines below.
You can also send in a secured message and request the change as well.
Downgrade and product change options
With the Sapphire Preferred, you have a number of options to downgrade or product change your card to.
No co-branded cards
Chase only allows you to product change your Sapphire Preferred to other Chase “house” cards. This means that you can’t product change a Sapphire Preferred to a co-branded credit card like the Chase Southwest card or the chase Hyatt card, for example.
All of the Chase house cards are subject to the 5/24 Rule, so if you have opened up 5 or more accounts in the past 24 months, you won’t be able to get them (subject to some exceptions).
This is why product changing is so important because it’s often the only way to get some of these very valuable credit cards (for those who already hold Chase credit cards).
Downgrade to a no-annual fee Sapphire
You can downgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred to the no-annual fee version of the Sapphire. This is the one Sapphire card you can’t apply for online or even in-branch and can only get via a downgrade/product change.
This card will still earn 2X on dining and travel but you won’t get the full set of benefits and you’ll be subject to foreign transaction fees. Also, one of the biggest perk that you lose is the ability to transfer your Ultimate Rewards to travel partners, so keep that in mind.
There should be no minimum time period you have to wait to downgrade your Sapphire Preferred to this card. However, occasionally reps might tell you that you must wait 12 months to downgrade. If that happens, you may want to call back again and speak with another rep.
Product change to a Freedom card
You can product change (essentially downgrade) your Sapphire Preferred card to the Chase Freedom or the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
The Chase Freedom earns 5X the points on rotating quarterly categories, such as groceries, gas, and dining, while the Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5X on all purchases. You can read about which Freedom is better for you here.
Both of the Freedom cards come with no annual fee but you will once again lose your ability to transfer your points to travel partners. Also, note that you will be required to wait one year to product change the Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom Card. (You can get around this by first downgrading your Sapphire Preferred to the no annual fee version and then product changing to a Freedom card.
(As an aside, these 12-month restrictions are a result of The Credit CARD Act of 2009 and not specific to Chase.)
Multiple Freedom cards?
It’s worth noting that Chase will allow you to hold multiple Freedom cards (even the same type of Freedom).
So if you already have a Chase Freedom, you could still product change your Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom so that you end up with two Freedom cards in your wallet.
Product change to a Slate
You could also product change to the Chase Slate, though if you’re trying to earn rewards, that’s probably not a great option since it doesn’t earn Ultimate Rewards.
The main perks of the Slate are its 0% interest and no fee balance transfer perks. If you product change to it, you’ll still receive balance transfer offers but they won’t be as lucrative as the sign-up offer with no balance transfer fee.
Upgrade Sapphire Preferred to the Sapphire Reserve
You can also upgrade your Sapphire Preferred to the Sapphire Reserve. Since the Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite card, Chase might require you to have at least a $10,000 balance to convert. Also, you’ll usually be required to wait one year before your can upgrade from the Sapphire Preferred to the Sapphire Reserve.
- Click here to read about whether the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve is better for you based on your spending habits.
Can you get the sign-up bonus when product changing?
No. Chase will not allow you to earn the sign-up bonus when you decide to product change a card.
Does Chase pull your credit when product changing?
No. Chase should not pull your credit whenever you product change or downgrade a new credit card, so your credit score should not feel the effect of any hard pull.
Does product changing count as a new account?
No, when you product change, you’ll keep the same card number, account opening date, and your credit limits should remain unchanged. Thus, changing from a card like the Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom should have no affect on your credit score.
Can you product change the Sapphire Preferred to a business card?
No. Chase will now allow you to product change from a personal credit card to a business credit card.
Annual fees and product changes
If you product change your card within 60 days of paying the annual fee, you’ll be refunded 100%. If you product change after 60 days, you’ll receive a prorated refund.
Note that this is different from cancelling a Chase card. If you cancel a Chase card within 30 days of the annual fee hitting you’ll be refunded but if you wait longer than 30 days, you won’t get a prorated refund.
When you should cancel your Sapphire card
Because there are so many options for product changes and downgrades, you rarely need to cancel a Sapphire credit card. However, there is at least one situation when it would make sense.
Chase recently implemented a new rule which does not allow you to receive two Sapphire products at once. In addition, you must wait 24 months from the time of receiving a bonus on a Sapphire card in order to earn an additional bonus from another Sapphire card.
This means that you will need to cancel your Sapphire card or product change it to a Freedom if you were going to try earn an additional sign-up bonus with another Sapphire card.
Final word on how to downgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred
Downgrading or product changing the Chase Sapphire Preferred can be a smart move depending on your goals. Always think about how these moves will affect your ability to transfer points to travel partners since that’s one of the main perks you can lose.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.