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What is a Chase Sapphire Reserve card? Do you need a good credit score for the Chase Sapphire Reserve approval? Let’s find out together.
Back in 2016, Chase Bank introduced its premium travel credit card – the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The move came as a huge competition to the already existing travel credit card issuers.
Since its launch, the card’s popularity has grown by leaps and bounds to secure a spot among the best travel cards in the market. Now, everyone, from the affluent travelers to the savvy millennials, has flocked to acquire the card and enjoy its benefits.
However, while the approval process depends on several factors, one main question always pops up – do you need a good credit score for the Chase Sapphire Reserve?
And if yes, what credit score do you need to be approved for this Chase credit card?
Well, just like with many other credit cards for travel, a credit score is a major factor in their approval process. Things are not any different for the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel rewards credit card. A good credit score is almost an inevitable requirement.
- What is a Chase Sapphire Reserve?
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Approval Rating
- Factors Affecting Your Chase Reserve Approval
- 1. Having other Chase Credit Cards
- 2. Being a Long-Time Chase Customer
- 3. Too Many Card Accounts
- 4. Age
- 5. Annual Income
- Is it Hard to Get Chase Sapphire Reserve?
- How Can I Check My Credit Score?
- How Can I Redeem My Chase Sapphire Reserve Points?
- What are the Pros and Cons of Chase Sapphire Reserve?
- Is the Card’s Approval Process Instant?
- How Do You Achieve the Perfect Credit Score?
What is a Chase Sapphire Reserve?
Being a frequent traveler, you must know what travel credit cards are. Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of those. However, it is among the few premium cards that feature versatile reward programs fitted with top-class travel perks.
For instance, this premium travel card allows users to win bonus rewards for dining and travel purchases. And you can redeem your rewards via several redemption options.
Earning points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve is easy. You start accumulating reward points right from the time you sign up.
However, there is one thing you should note – the card is not cheap. Consequently, the card is ideal for a select few. If you are not a frequent traveler or you like overusing your credit limit, this card might not be ideal for you.
But for frequent travelers, Chase Sapphire Reserve will significantly ease your travel. Even with the huge annual fees, the card’s numerous travel perks make it worth it.
Some of the main benefits include:
- Annual travel credit
- Airport lounge access
- Trip protection – for instance, luggage protection
- Auto rental coverage – up to $75,000
- Pickup and drop-off services
With such alluring perks, the huge annual fees won’t feel too extreme.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Approval Rating
Generally, Chase hasn’t outrightly put a cap on how much credit score you need to get approved for its premium Sapphire Reserve card.
However, after a long research, we discovered that the average credit score falls around 750. According to Wallethub and one of the major scoring platforms, FICO.
But this doesn’t mean you are blocked out if you have a lower credit rating. Some people with a credit score below 700 have also been approved for the card. The only difference is that the process is not instant in such cases.
If you want to improve your Chase Sapphire Reserve approval odds, you should first work to attain this high credit score. If this is hard, you might as well opt for the lesser, stricter Chase card, their Chase Sapphire Preferred travel card.
The latter option has less strict approval requirements, making it easy to acquire. For instance, you don’t need the perfect credit rating of 750 and above to be approved.
The only thing you should note about your Chase Sapphire Preferred is that there is no travel credit.
Factors Affecting Your Chase Reserve Approval
A credit score is the first factor, but not the only one. For instance, things like your income range, the age of your credit account, and your relationship with the bank also matter.
Other factors that might affect your likelihood of getting approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card include:
1. Having other Chase Credit Cards
The fact that you have other credit cards with the bank might be a plus for you. However, those credit cards must prove your ability to clear your bills promptly and show that you don’t always exceed your credit limit.
2. Being a Long-Time Chase Customer
Having banked with the bank for a long might also act in your favor. First, they can ascertain that you are a loyal customer, and second, they have easy access to your credit history.
Therefore, despite your credit score not being so attractive, you might still have a chance to get approved for the travel card.
3. Too Many Card Accounts
Chase has a policy, dubbed the 5/24 rule, introduced in 2015. This policy indicates that your credit card application will be automatically rejected if you have acquired more than five personal credit cards within 24 months.
This means that, even with an ideal credit score, Chase will decline your Chase Sapphire Reserve application. This rule cannot be overridden manually, as it’s hardcoded into the bank’s system. If you exceed the set limit, it automatically rejects the application.
After you receive a sign-up bonus, you must wait for at least 48 months before getting another.
If you are below 18 years old, your application will certainly not go through. A state like Alabama has an even higher age limit of 19 years, while Puerto Rico requires you to be over 21.
Therefore, if you haven’t attained the legal adult age in your state, applying for this Chase travel card is unnecessary. Rejection will be imminent!
5. Annual Income
Generally, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card falls under the Visa Infinite cards category. This means it is accompanied by numerous amazing perks for cardholders from Visa. However, it also comes with a $10,000 minimum credit limit.
Your annual income must also be in the upper-income bracket to qualify for such a high minimum credit limit. For instance, studies show that those approved for this travel credit card earn around $117,438 annually.
Therefore, if your annual income falls way below this, getting that approval might be hard.
Is it Hard to Get Chase Sapphire Reserve?
The answer to this question varies. If you have an excellent credit score, then the answer is no! However, if you wish to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card with a poor credit score, the answer is yes.
As mentioned, getting approved for this travel credit card requires an excellent credit score. Your credit score should be above 700, with the best average being 750.
With a perfect credit score, the approval process is quite easy and almost instant. However, the score is not the only factor determining your Chase Sapphire Reserve approval. You should meet all the requirements before applying for the card.
How Can I Check My Credit Score?
Keeping tabs on your credit score is important as it helps you understand your financial status. Also, it might be essential to keep an eye on your credit history.
You can use a credit report to determine your credit health and whether the reported data is accurate.
Generally, three main credit bureaus provide these reports. These include Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. And they are obligated to offer you one free credit report annually.
You can access this free report online through CreditKarma. It is the only website authorized to offer those annual free reports, which won’t hurt your credit score.
However, you can also monitor your credit status every four months to ensure accuracy. Some of the best platforms to generate your credit report include:
These platforms allow you to monitor your credit throughout the year without hurting your credit score.
See related: Best Travel Credit Card Deals for Airline Points
How Can I Redeem My Chase Sapphire Reserve Points?
Every travel or dining purchase you make using the card earns you points and cash back. You can redeem those rewards later, any way you want, at a penny-per-point rate (one point = one penny).
However, there is an even better way to get the most from your rewards – redeeming your points for travel via the Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Here, instead of each point being equal to a penny, it appreciates 1.5 cents. That’s 50% more. Even better, the program doesn’t have blackout dates and restrictions.
What are the Pros and Cons of Chase Sapphire Reserve?
To better differentiate this Chase premium travel card from those issued by other credit card companies, it’s good to look at both its good and bad sides. This will help you determine the best travel card for you.
- It rewards you with travel points worth $750 when you use over $4,000 on your card during the initial three months of acquiring it.
- You will earn bonus points for all your travel and dining purchases
- The card allows you to transfer any points to your partner as you wish.
- When you redeem travel points via Chase Ultimate Rewards, you receive a 50% bonus on points.
- It offers premium perks such as airport lounge access, trip protections, etc.
- You can combine points from your no-annual-fee cards to enjoy more rewards.
- High annual fees of $550
- The card attracts a high (above average) APR
- Doesn’t have introductory APR on balance transfers or purchases
- Requires high credit score for approval
Is the Card’s Approval Process Instant?
Generally, when you apply for a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you might face any of these two outcomes:
In addition, there might be an instant outcome or a pending decision for each of these two possibilities
This way, you might be facing any of the following fates:
- Instant approval
- Instant rejection
- Pending decision which eventually gets approved
- Pending decision that gets denied.
As mentioned earlier, several factors might lead to any of these outcomes. For instance, a high credit score and a high annual income will likely lead to instant approval.
On the other hand, a poor credit score, plus a low credit utilization ratio, will lead to instant or decision-pending denial.
With a score of over 750, the approvals are almost always instant. However, around 50% of applicants with a credit score below 600 are immediately rejected.
The pending decision outcomes are generally affected by other factors such as income level, relationship with the bank, number of credit cards, etc. Some will be approved, while others will be rejected.
How Do You Achieve the Perfect Credit Score?
As we have already seen, a good credit score is a great boost to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card approval. But how do you get your credit score to the level they want?
Understanding how your credit score is calculated will help you change your financial habits and improve your score. FICO percentages are the most widely used ones, and here are the main factors they consider:
1. Payment History
This is the most important factor in calculating your credit score, accounting for 35% of the entire score. Therefore, improving your financial habits can help you get a better score.
2. Credit Utilization Ratio
This is the amount of credit you utilize on your credit card, against the allowed credit limit. Your credit utilization ratio should always be below 30%. It accounts for around 30% of your credit score.
3. Credit History Length
Longer credit history favors your credit score calculations. It shows the potential lenders that you have been borrowing and repaying your debts, rising your creditworthiness.
Your credit history length will accrue another 15% on your score.
4. Credit Mix
How many lines of credit do you have? Diversified credit accounts work in your favor.
For instance, you can have an auto loan, a student loan, a credit card, and a mortgage. The more diversified your credit mix is, the better. It accounts for about 10% of your credit score.
5. New Credit
Taking a loan without a plan or the means to repay is dangerous. It can even hurt your credit score if you default on installments.
However, taking a new loan and repaying it on time will have the opposite effect. It will improve your credit score by up to 10%.
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- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.