Chase Sapphire Bonus Changes & Limitations
Chase used to be one of the most generous banks when it came to giving you a lot of cards. While I would still argue they are generous in many cases, over the years they have started to restrict bonuses. For example, their 5/24 rule came into effect which severely limited approvals for those who like to sign up for a lot of cards.
Now, Chase seems to be getting even more restrictive with their “Sapphire” branded products. Starting yesterday, a new rule went into place that limits customers to only one of the following products: Sapphire, Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve.
Here is the rule as shown in an employee memo:
Going forward a customer may no longer have more than one Sapphire-branded credit card. For example, if a customer has a Sapphire Preferred card, they are no longer eligible for a Sapphire Reserve card.
While this change impacts all new and existing customers (including CPC clients), there is no impact to existing customers who presently have more than one Sapphire product. These customers may continue to retain their Sapphire products as usual.
If existing Sapphire customers wish to upgrade or downgrade their product, they may do so if eligible. However, no bonus points will be available with this upgrade or downgrade. The customer may call the number on the back of their card or you may contact Banker Support with customers who are in the branch or already on the phone.
If an account is closed, a customer will not be eligible for any Sapphire-branded credit card if they have earned a cardmember bonus on a Sapphire-branded product within the last 24 months.
(HT: Doctor of Credit)
Make no mistake, this is a huge change and the timing here isn’t a coincidence. The first round of savvy Millennial Sapphire Reserve applicants will be getting charged with their annual fee very soon. I suspect Chase predicted many of these customers would apply for a Sapphire Preferred and transfer their points over before cancelling the Reserve. This rule is intended to drive them away from bonuses and towards a product conversion.
The other big change here is the grouping of all Sapphire products when it comes to bonuses. Previously you could receive a bonus on each of these cards once per 24 month period, but now that has changed and you can only receive a bonus on one of the cards within 24 months. This amounts to more tightening on bonuses, but of course it also means that all Sapphire Reserve customers who received a bonus 12 months ago won’t be able to get a Sapphire Preferred bonus today.
Thankfully eligible customers should still be able to convert their Sapphire card to a Freedom and get another Sapphire card with a bonus as long as it has been 24 months, but this still is a change that will bother some. Given Chase’s overall losses on the Sapphire Reserve, it is clear they need to both save money and retain customers. This seems to be their attempt at doing that.
Will it work? Do you have an issue with these changes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!