credit card advice
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the consistently highest-rated travel rewards cards on the market. Between its generous sign-up offer and market-leading rewards rates – not to mention its sleek metal design – it’s no wonder the Chase Sapphire Preferred reigns supreme among those looking to maximize both value and flexibility in terms of travel.
So what does it take to get this card in your wallet? A good-to-excellent credit score, for one. Based on hundreds of user reviews, we’ve broken down some of the factors Chase looks at when deciding who’ll be approved for one of its most popular offers.
Average Credit Score for Approval: 741
An average credit score of 741 sits nicely in the “excellent” credit score range (720+), but don’t be discouraged – users with much lower credit scores say they’ve also been approved. MileCards.com reports that users with scores as low as 668 have been approved, and this Credit Karma reviewer says he was not only approved, but given a very high credit limit, despite his limited credit history:
“Apprehensive, but applied after being prequalified on their website. 703 TU (TransUnion) 693 EF (Equifax) on Credit Karma. I only have eight months of credit card history – Capital One QuicksilverOne with a credit line of $1,500. I was instantly approved for a $21K credit line.” — Credit Karma Review
Credit Karma also provides a chart of its members’ credit scores who carry the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. As you can see, the majority have a score above 750.
For the 6% of cardholders below 600 – and perhaps even the 11% below 650 – it’s likely their scores took a hit sometime after having already been approved for the card. Late payments and high credit utilization can cause a credit score to plummet, as they’re the most heavily weighted factors used to determine one’s credit score.
3 Things Chase May Take into Consideration When Applying
After scouring the web for reviews and learning everything we could about this particular card’s qualifying criteria, here are three commonly reported factors Chase takes into consideration when determining approval:
1. Equifax Credit Report
Multiple reviewers have reported that Chase pulled their Equifax credit report. It is common when applying for a credit card or any loan for that matter that one or two reports are evaluated rather than all three (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian). Not all lenders report to all three bureaus, and therefore each report may contain different information. Of course this isn’t a rule and you can ask each lender exactly which report they look at, but if you have a charge-off or any other such derogatory mark on your Equifax report, it could pose a problem when applying for this particular card.
2. Total Open Credit Cards
Another commonality we discovered when studying reviews is that too many open credit cards could be a reason for denial.
“I have three cards from Chase: Freedom, Amazon, Southwest, with a total credit of $37,500. I pay off the balances every month, and my CK score is 790+. With some upcoming dental work and insurance expenses totaling about $5,000, I applied for the Chase Sapphire card on 6/1/16 to take advantage of the sign up $500 bonus. Received a letter from Chase on 6/6/16 turning me down because I have too many cards (10) opened during the last 2 years.” – Credit Karma Review
This review leads us nicely to our next factor — credit utilization.
3. Credit Utilization
Your credit utilization is the balance you carry on your credit cards. This number should never exceed 30% of your available credit. For example, a credit card with a $1,000 limit should not keep a balance of over $300. People have reported being denied for having a high balance on other cards, but then being approved after paying the debt down.
“My scores got knocked back because a high utilization was reported one month. I got my only card, my Capital One QuicksilverOne card ($6,500 CL) to a zero balance and waited for a few days for the zero balance to post to the bureaus. Saw a major bump in scores (35+ points in each) when the utilization ding cleared. Applied with 799 Transunion, 759 Equifax Credit Karma scores. Instantly approved as soon as I hit the apply button with a $12,000 limit. I’ll never carry a balance there, but it’s nice to know that I can now purchase a pair of international business class tickets in one transaction.” — Credit Karma Review
Along with always making your payments on time, keeping your credit utilization low is one of the best things you can do to maintain a good credit score.
Ready to Apply?
Now that you have an idea of what Chase may look for when reviewing a Sapphire Preferred applicant, you can apply below by clicking the green button. The only way to truly know if you’ll be approved is to apply!
at Chase'ssecure website
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
What if I Didn’t Get Approved?
While it may be true the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the more difficult cards to be approved for, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other great offers available to you. Notorious for its travel and cash-back rewards, we’ve evaluated three comparable offers for you to consider.
- Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, equal to $400 in travel
- Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
- Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
- Travel when you want with no blackout dates
- Miles don't expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $59 after that
Excellent, Good Credit
- Our Take: "If you're looking for a card that gives you air miles, your search is over. This card helps you earn free flights with multiple airlines, awards very generous bonuses, and offers a low APR to boot.
- Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar spent
- Cover travel costs by redeeming the miles in any amount for a statement credit
- Fly any airline, any time
- No blackout dates
- At the end of your first year, the card automatically matches the miles you've earned (only for new cardmembers)"
11.49% - 23.49% Variable
- Our Take: "One of our favorite cards, with long 0% intro APRs, low ongoing APRs, awesome cash back rewards, and lots more.
- 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly, up to $1,500 per quarter when you sign up for the quarterly bonus
- 1% cash back on all your other purchases
- Matches the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers)
- No limit to the amount of cash back that can be matched"
11.49% - 23.49% Variable
What’s especially nice about these cards is that there’s no annual fee, something Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders don’t have the luxury of. Additionally, ValuePenguin says that if you don’t spend at least $10,000 annually on the card, it’s likely not worth it, making the above offers even more attractive.
If All Else Fails, Call the Reconsideration Line
Chase offers applicants a reconsideration hotline in the event an application is denied, and many have reported success by calling:
Representatives are available to assist you at this number between the hours of 7 a.m. — 10 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. EST Saturday, and 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday.
Note: The reconsideration number is not the same for business accounts, in which case you’ll need to call: 800-453-9719
“I applied for the Sapphire Preferred card about 7 days ago and got a rejection letter today. It said, “Too many requests for credit or opened accounts with us.” I’ve had 5 hard pulls since Jan. 1st & only have one Chase card currently. So I called the Chase reconsideration line a few minutes ago. The rep asked me the amount of my mortgage payment, put me on hold for 2 minutes, and approved me. My FICO is about 750 & I’ve had a long history with Chase so I expected them to approve me.” – Flyertalk.com Review
When calling to have an application reconsidered, have your financial information in order (income, debts, credit score, etc.), do so in a timely manner (within one month of applying), and be polite! The person on the other end of the phone didn’t personally deny your application, so don’t take your frustrations out on them – a little kindness can go a long way in these situations, and you may soon have the Chase Sapphire Preferred in your credit card repertoire.