Having a good credit card, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, can pay for itself in terms of rewards and benefits. Discover if you need a good credit score for this card and what else to know about it.
Yes, you typically need a very good credit score for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Most approved applicants have a credit score of 720 or higher. You may still be approved with a score under 700, but it is not a given, and it won't be instant.
Continue reading to learn what else you should know before applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, what to do if you are rejected, and some alternatives.
The Credit Score You Need and Everything Else to Know About Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase Sapphire Reserve is a credit card offered by Chase specifically designed to appeal to people who travel a lot, although it will also appeal to others. This card offers impressive rewards and benefits, and as such, it has a high credit score requirement.
What Credit Score Do You Need?
There is no official requirement for your credit score to open a Chase Sapphire Reserve card. However, the typical applicant who gets immediate approval has a score of 720 or even higher. The average credit score of approved applicants is higher than this.
With that in mind, there are also successful applicants with scores of under 700. The caveat is that you are highly unlikely to get instant approval if your score is at this level.
Importantly, Chase considers more than just your credit score when deciding whether to approve you for this credit card. Chase will also look at factors such as:
- The age of your credit accounts
- Your income
- Your past relationship with Chase
The last of these is important. If you have a long history of banking with Chase, including on-time payments and sizable balances, you may be approved even with a lower credit score.
You may also have a higher chance of approval if you apply for the card in person instead of online.
How Many Credit Cards Can You Have Open?
The number of credit cards you have open does not affect your approval for Chase Sapphire Reserve. Of course, this is other than its impact on your credit score and credit report overall.
However, the number of credit cards you opened recently matters. Chase credit cards must follow the 5/24 rule, and that includes Chase Sapphire Reserve. This rule means that if you have already opened at least five personal credit cards in the past 24 months, you will not be approved. This applies regardless of which company issues the credit card.
So, if you have opened more than five cards in the last two years, skip your application. You will not be approved.
Chase also has a 2/30 rule, meaning they will only approve two credit cards in a 30-day rolling period. If you have already opened two Chase cards in the last 30 days, wait until that 30-day rolling period is over to apply for Chase Sapphire Reserve.
You also cannot have both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve card. If you already have the former, your application for the latter will be rejected. However, you can request a product change.
Additional reading: 680 Credit Score: Is 680 a Bad Credit Score?
What to Do If You're Rejected?
If you are rejected for Chase Sapphire Reserve, you have a few options.
For those set on this particular card, you can contact Chase's reconsideration line.
Before doing this, look at the reason(s) you were rejected. Chase is legally required to explain your rejection to you, either in writing or via electronic communication.
This method is not guaranteed to work, but it can increase your chances. It essentially gives you the opportunity to convince the Chase representative that the positive points on your credit report overcome the negatives.
Be sure to have a plan in place before calling. You can highlight the following:
- Yes, there were missed payments, but they were a very long time ago.
- You have not missed a payment for a number of years.
- Yes, your credit history is short, but it also shows on-time payments.
- You have a low debt-to-income ratio.
- You have banked with Chase for a long time.
It is particularly worth contacting Chase for reconsideration if your finances recently improved or there was an error on your report that has since been corrected. Otherwise, at the very least, you will not waste much time trying to get a decision reversal.
Choose an Alternative
One option is to just accept that you don't currently meet the financial requirements for this credit card. In this case, you can look at one of the alternatives outlined below. You may even consider boosting your credit score or other factors and reapplying in a year or two.
Start With Chase Sapphire Preferred
Another option is to apply for the similar Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Importantly, this card has a lower credit score requirement, making it easier to be approved.
You can then either stay with this card and get some excellent benefits or contact Chase for a product change. You may have a higher chance of approval for Chase Sapphire Reserve if you are already approved for Chase Sapphire Preferred. Just keep in mind that you cannot have both of these credit cards at the same time, so you will need to change your card, not add an additional one.
You should also keep in mind that you cannot get the welcome bonus for both cards unless you wait at least 48 months.
Further Reading: A Roundup of Levelcredit Reviews, What Is It And More
Benefits of Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase Sapphire Reserve is so popular because of its numerous benefits, including many travel-related perks.
The following are the benefits you get with this card. Keep in mind that some, such as the Peloton and DashPass offers, are time-sensitive.
- Welcome bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 within three months
- 10x points on any car rentals and hotels purchased via Chase
- 5x points on any flights purchased via Chase
- 10x points on Chase Dining (Prepaid restaurant reservations or takeout)
- 3x points on restaurant dining around the world
- $300 travel credit per year
- $100 TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit
- 3x points on travel
- Priority Pass Select membership for access to travel lounges worldwide
- Worldwide travel assistance
- Trip cancellation or interruption service
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
- 1x point on all other purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
- Redeeming points for travel via Chase gives you 50% more value
- Redeeming points for statement credits gives you 50% more value
- Ability to book prepaid reservations at the best restaurants
- Access to private dining events
- $10,000 credit line minimum
- Visa Infinite Concierge Service
- $120 statement credit with Peloton purchase
- 10x points on equipment from Peloton
- Complimentary subscription to DashPass from DoorDash
- 24/7 customer service
Excellent for Travelers
Based on the benefits that come with Chase Sapphire Reserve, this is an excellent card for travelers. The annual fee is seemingly high at $550, but you can more than make up for that in just a trip or two. Even the travel benefits, such as travel insurance and rental car coverage, can easily pay the card's fee.
Excellent for Diners
Even if you don't currently travel often, a few trips will help make the credit card worth it. On top of that, it can also pay for itself after several meals dining out.
Alternatives to Chase Sapphire Reserve
While the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is incredibly popular because of its long list of travel and dining benefits, there may be situations where you want to consider an alternative.
Perhaps you weren't approved for this card. Or maybe you don't want to pay the $550 annual fee or 16.99% to 23.99% variable APR. The following are some alternatives worth considering. Keep in mind that some will also have similar annual fees and interest rates. Plus, the travel benefits can vary greatly.
- American Express Green Card: This card has a much lower fee. You also get credits for Clear (instead of PreCheck and Global Entry) and airport lounges. You also get extra points for restaurants and travel.
- American Express Platinum Card: This card comes with a higher fee, but it has even more benefits. These include AmEx Offers as well as Fine Hotels & Resorts. The latter can include free breakfast, room upgrades, complimentary nights, resort credits, and more. You also automatically get Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: This card has a lower annual fee and credit requirement. It also has similar benefits to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but on a smaller scale. For example, you get 25% more value when you use points instead of the 50% with Chase Sapphire Reserve. There is also a higher welcome bonus at the time of writing.
If none of those alternatives seem like a good fit, you may also want to consider the following:
- American Express Gold Card
- Citi Premier
- Citi Prestige
- Capital One Venture Rewards Card
- U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve
If you travel a lot, then the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card can be an excellent way to save money by taking advantage of various benefits. The only caveat is that you need a good credit score to be approved. On average, cardholders have a score of 720 or higher. That said, you may still be approved with a lower score. If you aren't approved, you can contact Chase for reconsideration, try the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for a year before switching, or consider another alternative.
Related post: Bed Bath & Beyond Credit Card Reviews: What To Know
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.