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What Credit Score Do You Need to Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

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If you’ve ever gone out to dinner with friends, you’re probably familiar with this scene: When the bill comes, everyone pulls out their wallets and throws down the same blue metal card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has become the go-to travel rewards card for many and it’s easy to understand why. As a stepping stone into the travel rewards world, the card offers many perks that appeal to those who want to earn points for travel: A substantial welcome bonus, generous spending category bonuses, and travel perks galore.

While seemingly everyone carries a Sapphire Preferred in their wallets, Chase has standards around who qualifies for a card. If you have your eye on this card, you might be wondering what credit score you need for approval. We have the answer to that and the details you need to know about the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 60,000 Points
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-5X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.

Sign-Up Bonus: New applicants can earn 60,000 bonus points after using their card to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. That’s $750 when redeeming points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who are beginning with travel rewards cards.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred actually works like having over a dozen different rewards credit cards. That’s because this credit card allows you to transfer your rewards points into miles with 11 airlines and points with three hotel programs.

Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred might not be ideal for the most frequent travelers and highest spenders, it’s part of a family of Chase cards that has a built-in upgrade path. So when it comes time to take your travel rewards game to the next level, you won’t have to start from scratch with an entirely different credit card and rewards program.

The card has a $95 annual fee, but the $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit effectively reduces that fee to $45. Plus, the credit card allows you to continue earning points through bonus categories and a 10% anniversary points boost. But when it comes time to redeem your rewards for travel, this card really shines. You can take advantage of some really strong transfer partners such as United, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Hyatt. Similarly, you can just book any reservation you want through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel center.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Overview

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee and currently offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. The bonus is worth $750 toward travel bookings made with Ultimate Rewards. If you transfer them to one of 13 travel partners, these points can be worth around $1,320. The card also offers a competitive earn rate in common spending categories:

  • 5X points on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants and eligible delivery services
  • 2X points on all other travel purchases
  • 1 point per $1 on all other spending

The card also provides insurance for your purchases and travel bookings in case of a loss. If you can’t travel due to illness or you lose an item you purchased with the card, Chase will reimburse you up to the full value. Not having to pay extra for benefits like these is a huge plus. 

What Score Do You Need For a Chase Sapphire Preferred?

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Chase doesn’t publicly disclose credit score requirements for the Sapphire Preferred. However, reports indicate you need “good” credit, which is a minimum 700 score. Chase primarily pulls credit from Experian, though depending on your state they might pull from other bureaus.

It’s worth noting that Chase considers a variety of other factors when evaluating your application. Your relationship with Chase and the number of credit cards you’ve opened can impact whether you get approved. 

Rules That Impact Approval For a Sapphire Preferred Card

Chase has several credit card application rules that may affect approval for a Sapphire Preferred card. The most well-known is the Chase 5/24 rule. If you’ve opened five or more accounts at any bank in the last 24 months, Chase won’t approve you for a new card. 

Chase also limits the number of times you can receive the welcome bonus on a specific card. If you’ve had a Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve® in the past 48 months, you won’t be eligible for another one. So if you’ve had the card in the past, you’ll want to wait 48 months between applications. You can find your open date on your credit report, which you can get free through TransUnion.

What To Do If Your Application Is Rejected

If you’re not approved for a Sapphire Preferred, you’ll get a letter citing the reason. Depending on what it is, you can try to appeal the decision. You can appeal a rejection within 30 days of submitting your application. It’s certainly worth exploring since you don’t want to let a credit inquiry go to waste. Here’s a look at common reasons you might be rejected for a Sapphire Preferred and what you can do about it: 

You Don’t Qualify Based on Limited Credit History

If you don’t qualify for a Sapphire Preferred based on limited credit history, you can try asking for a card with a lower credit score requirement. Chase might approve you for a Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom Flex℠, without an additional credit pull. Students might fare better opting for a Chase Freedom® Student credit card.

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: Extra 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent) in the first year
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Intro Rewards Rate: 3%-6.5% Cash Back
Standard Rewards Rate: 1.5%-5% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: This card allows new cardholders to save money with an introductory 0% interest rate on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months of account opening.

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Bonus: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000) in the first year of account opening. This bonus is valued at up to $300 in cash back, and increases rewards rates to: 6.5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 4.5% back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and drugstore purchases and 3% back on all other purchases.

Rewards Rate: After the bonus 1.5% cash back intro offer period concludes, earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% back at drugstores and on dining purchases and 1.5% back on everything else.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households that prioritize cash-back rewards for everyday spending and Chase loyalists who are looking to maximize Ultimate Rewards earnings.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

You don’t need excellent credit to get the Chase Freedom Unlimited. In fact, many cardholders report getting approved with good credit. We like that the card offers a high flat rewards rate but also provides accelerated rewards on some common everyday spending categories. You’ll also get access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, which allows you to use your cash-back earnings for travel rewards, gift cards and more.

And that sign-up bonus? Adding extra value to everyday spending categories like dining and travel help elevate this card above its competitors. Add the fact that there’s a 0% introductory APR for 15 months, an extra 1.5% cash back bonus during the first year of account holding and no annual fee, and you’ll see why the Chase Freedom Unlimited is among our favorite flat-rate cards.

These cards earn cash back instead of points, but they come with decent welcome bonuses and present an excellent way to establish a relationship with Chase. After a year of steady card use and on-time payments, you might qualify for the Sapphire Preferred, assuming you’re still under 5/24.

You Don’t Qualify Based on Credit Limit

Chase has a base limit of $5,000 for the Sapphire Preferred. If Chase is unwilling to issue you a card with a limit of at least $5,000 you probably won’t get approved. 

Similarly, Chase might reject you because you’ve reached the maximum amount of credit Chase is willing to extend across multiple cards. If that’s the case, you can ask them to move credit from an existing card over to the new account. If that doesn’t work, ask if they’ll approve you for a downgraded version of the card you applied for (see above). 

Negative Reports In Your Credit History

If you are rejected for erroneous adverse reports on your credit history, you can try having them removed and ask Chase to reconsider. Sometimes negative marks appear on your credit in error or because of negligence. It happens – if you forgot to pay a small credit card balance for several months or a missed car payment makes it into your credit report, all is not lost. 

Simply reach out to the merchant and ask them to retract the negative inquiry in exchange for a payment. Merchants realize that errors happen and will cooperate if it means they get paid quickly. 

If you’re disputing a negative item that you’re not responsible for, write a letter to the credit bureau to get it removed. Be sure to gather any supporting documentation to increase your chances of approval.

Other

Sometimes Chase might give a vague reason why your application has been rejected. These rejections might just come down to a lack of relationship with Chase. You can improve your chances of future approvals by opening a Chase checking account and keeping some money in it. 

By establishing a banking relationship, Chase will be more willing to extend credit to you. In fact, you might get targeted offers in the mail for card offers that are higher than publicly available ones. 

Get a Similar Card From Another Bank

You can apply for a similar card with another bank if all else fails. The Citi Premier® Card, from our partner Citi, has some of the same features as the Sapphire Preferred. The card earns 3X points on grocery spending, dining, gas, and travel. It also has an 80,000-point welcome bonus after you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. The $95 annual fee is on par with the Sapphire Preferred. 

Citi’s ThankYou program has many of the same transfer partners as Chase Ultimate Rewards, including Flying Blue, Emirates Skywards, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Krisflyer, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

If you prefer a card with travel insurance and purchase protection, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a great choice. Cardholders get travel accident insurance and a primary auto rental collision damage waiver. The card earns 2X miles on all spending, plus 5X on Capital One Travel bookings. The welcome bonus is 75,000 points after $4,000 spent within three months of account opening, which is close to the Sapphire Preferred’s bonus. 

The $95 annual fee is a bargain, considering the card comes with a $100 Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit every four years and two annual lounge visits. Capital One pulls your credit from all three credit bureaus, but it’s worth it for a long-term keeper.

Is It Worth It?

If you meet the credit score criteria for the Sapphire Preferred, this is one of the best cards you can get for $95 per year. Whether you want a card for long-term use or just the welcome bonus, getting a Sapphire Preferred is worth it. The card’s benefits are competitive and its rewards program is straightforward enough for a novice to understand. 

If you don’t have an immediate use for it, consider holding out for a higher bonus. In the past, we’ve seen offers of 80,000 points and more. With Chase restricting the number of times you can qualify within 48 months, you should decide whether waiting for a higher offer is worth it (and how long you should hold out for one).

Having this card can ultimately benefit your credit score if you use it in moderation and pay it off every month. Banks like to see a utilization rate under 30%. On a $5,000 credit limit, that’s $1,500 in spending. This signals to banks that you’re a low credit risk and unlikely to default on your payments. If you practice good credit habits, you’ll be more likely to get approved for other cards in the future. 

While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Ariana Arghandewal
Ariana Arghandewalhttps://www.pointchaser.com/
Ariana Arghandewal is a rewards travel expert and founder of Pointchaser. She has covered all things points, miles and credit cards for over a decade and served as an editor at The Points Guy, NerdWallet, and FlyerTalk. Her work has also appeared in Forbes, Fodor's Travel, and U.S. News Weekly.

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