Are you thinking about upgrading from Chase Sapphire Preferred to Chase Sapphire Reserve? Yes, It’s possible! However, here’s what you need to know before making a switch.
Chase recently announced some temporary benefits for Chase Sapphire Preferred & Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders.
Most readers won’t be eligible to sign up for either card due to the 5/24 rule, but some will have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and might want to consider upgrading to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Reserve
|Rewards rates||2x points on dining and travel; 1x point on all other purchases||3x points on dining and travel; 1x point on all other purchases|
|Credits||None||$300 travel statement credits and $100 Global Entry/TSA Precheck membership credit|
|Lounge access||None||Priority Pass Select|
|Travel rewards redemption rate||1.25||1.5|
|Travel loyalty program transfers||Yes||Yes|
|Authorized user fee||$0||$75|
Why Choose the Chase Sapphire Reserve?
If you’re happy with your, you may feel there’s no need to upgrade to Sapphire Reserve. But don’t immediately dismiss the idea of a switch.
It’s important to understand how the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card can offer the biggest bang for your buck travel-wise.
The card comes with a similarly lucrative sign-up bonus. Additionally, you’ll earn 3X points on travel purchases.
This card comes with a $300 annual travel credit. Cardholders can also gain complimentary access to 1000+ VIP airport lounges worldwide. Plus enjoy the elite hotel and special car rental privileges.
Points are worth 50% more when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This is where the outshines the Sapphire Preferred.
Keep in mind that these added benefits aren’t without cost. One downside to upgrading to the Sapphire Reserve is the $550 annual fee.
Before you upgrade, consider how likely you are to use the extra benefits.
How to Upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase will no longer approve customers for more than one Sapphire credit card at a time. With that being said, here’s what you can do if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card but feel the Sapphire Reserve card is a better fit for your wallet.
Request an upgrade to Sapphire Reserve
Contact customer service by phone to get an upgrade. Or, sign in to your Chase account and submit your request through secure online messaging.
In most cases, you’ll get a response in a few hours. Approvals aren’t guaranteed. But the odds are in your favor if you’ve maintained a high credit score and you have a history of managing credit responsibly.
Be mindful of the fact that you must have your Chase Sapphire Preferred account for at least 13 months prior to requesting an upgrade.
While the Sapphire Reserve offers a sign-up bonus, you don’t qualify for these bonus points when upgrading from the Preferred card. These cards are in the same family and considered the same product.
You will, however, gain immediate access to better benefits after the switch, namely a higher point value. This can make up for not getting the bonus points.
Apply as a New Cardmember
The good news is that there is a way to switch from the Sapphire Preferred to the Sapphire Reserve and get the bonus points. This involves skipping the upgrade and applying for the Reserve card.
First, you need to cancel your Sapphire Preferred credit card. Once you’ve closed this account, apply for the Sapphire Reserve credit card.
Keep in mind that this approach will only work if it’s been at least 24 months since you received your initial bonus points from the Preferred card.
If you close and apply for a new Sapphire account any sooner, you will be ineligible for the bonus. Make sure you understand the possible repercussions of closing a credit card account.
If you have other cards with high balances, closing your Sapphire Preferred card could cause a spike in your credit utilization ratio.
This can lower your credit score and make it harder to qualify for the Sapphire Reserve card.
Also, if the Sapphire Preferred is your oldest credit account, closing the card can make your credit history appear shorter. This can also cause slight damage to your credit score.
How to Handle Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Only you can decide whether to cancel your Sapphire Preferred and apply for the — or request an upgrade. In either case, it’s important that you don’t lose your Chase Ultimate Reward points.
- The phone number for Chase Sapphire Preferred customers: 1-800-493-3319
Redeem remaining points
Unfortunately, closing your Chase Sapphire Preferred can mean forfeiting unused Ultimate Reward Points. If you’re considering getting rid of the card, redeem any remaining points before closing the account.
Transfer unused points
If you’re unable to redeem your points—and you have another Chase credit card — one workaround is transferring unused points to this card account.
You can also transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to airline or hotel partners before closing the account.
Does your spouse have a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards? If so, transfer your points to their card before closing the account to still enjoy the rewards.
Downgrade to another Chase card
Another option is downgrading your Sapphire Preferred to a Chase card that has no annual fees. Perhaps to the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card.
Chase doesn’t approve customers for more than one Sapphire card. But you can get a Sapphire card and another card in the Chase family.
Understand that while you’re able to transfer points when downgrading from a Sapphire Preferred to a card in the freedom line, points will not have the same value as before. Still, losing value is better than forfeiting all of your points.
Upgrade and keep your points
The good news about upgrading is that you don’t lose or forfeit reward points. Your Ultimate Reward points will transfer over once you upgrade your account.
If you’re thinking about an upgrade, hold off on redeeming points until you complete the transfer. This way, you’ll get more value for your points.
Remember, you’re eligible for a 50% bonus when booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards with the Sapphire Reserve. You only get a 25% bonus when booking travel with your Sapphire Preferred.
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Is it Worth Having the Sapphire Preferred and the Sapphire Reserve?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been taking up prime real estate in my wallet for years, and I know I’m not alone in that regard.
The card’s double points on dining and travel, great rental car and travel coverage, no foreign transaction fees, etc., have made this card a keeper.
So, long term is it worth holding onto both cards? I’m still waiting to make my final decision, but I feel like long term the Sapphire Reserve will replace the Sapphire Preferred in my wallet.
As far as I know, the Reserve offers all the same benefits as the Preferred, plus more, including triple points on dining and travel. In so long term I view this card as a replacement rather than as a compliment.
The Sapphire Reserve is a keeper, for the long-term benefits and return on everyday spend that it offers. The 100,000 points welcome bonus is the icing on the cake, so ideally you’ll want to take advantage of that as well.
However, for those who don’t want to (or can’t) apply for another card, long term it’s certainly worth considering upgrading to this card, given the great return on spending that it offers.
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