The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) is one of the best mid-tier travel cards available. One of the questions people ask the most is, “can you get the Sapphire Preferred if you’re already an authorized user on someone else’s account?”. The short answer is: yes, it is possible.
However, there are several other factors you’ll need to consider before submitting your application.
Chase’s 5/24 Status
The main thing you need to consider before applying for the Sapphire Preferred—or any Chase card, for that matter—is your 5/24 status. Chase infamously limits its customers to five new consumer accounts per rolling 24 months. That means that if you’ve opened five or more personal credit cards in the last two years, Chase likely won’t approve you for a new card.
So, how does this apply to authorized users? Well…that’s a little complicated. To determine your 5/24 status, Chase checks your personal credit report. This report includes accounts that you’re an authorized user on—which can cause some issues in the application process. If your authorized user account(s) put you at or over 5/24, your application will probably be denied.
Thankfully, that’s not necessarily the end of the story. If you think your authorized user accounts caused a Chase application denial, you can call Chase’s reconsideration line at 1-888-270-2127. If you explain your situation to the customer service rep, they can reconsider your application using your real 5/24 status.
Sapphire Specific Approval Terms
Chase’s Sapphire cards have undergone several rounds of updates over the years. What’s left is a strict set of conditions determining an applicant’s eligibility for a new card and sign-up bonus.
One Sapphire Card Per Customer
The first significant update to the Sapphire family’s T’s & C’s came in 2017. At that time, Chase added verbiage prohibiting customers from opening more than one Sapphire product. Before this, customers could apply and receive sign-up bonuses for both the Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Now, if you have one of these cards, you can’t get the other.
If you hold a Sapphire Reserve, Chase won’t approve you for a Sapphire Preferred. You’ll need to downgrade your Sapphire Reserve to a non-Sapphire product first, then apply. That is, of course, provided you qualify under the next stipulation.
One New Sapphire Account Per 48 Months
The second major update came in 2018, much to the chagrin of Ultimate Rewards enthusiasts everywhere. At this point, Chase changed the terms limiting how often customers could receive signup bonuses for Sapphire products. Now, you’re ineligible for a new Sapphire credit card (and, thus, the signup bonus) if you’ve received a signup bonus for another Sapphire card within the previous 48 months.
It’s important to point out that this 48-month clock starts when you receive the signup bonus—not when you apply. So, let’s say you applied for a Sapphire Reserve in March 2018 and received the signup bonus on May 12, 2018. That means that you can’t apply for another Sapphire credit card until at least May 12, 2022.
When you combine these two conditions, you get Chase’s all-encompassing policy on Sapphire applications:
The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 48 months.
So, if you received a Sapphire signup bonus within the last 48 months, you can’t get a Sapphire Preferred now. That’s regardless if you’re a current Sapphire Preferred authorized user or not.
If you’re an authorized user on someone else’s Sapphire Preferred, it’s still possible to get your own. In fact, with its current 80,000-point sign-up bonus, now could be the perfect time to do so. Just make sure you qualify for the card under the rest of Chase’s terms and conditions.
Authorized user cards can provide a lot of value to both the primary cardholder and their authorized users. But these benefits don’t come without drawbacks. Specifically, you need to remember to factor these accounts into your 5/24 calculation. Then, if these accounts cause application denials, prepare to explain this to a reconsideration representative.