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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers great benefits for occasional to frequent travelers, including a generous welcome bonus and rich rewards on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards as well as eligible catering and food delivery services .
It is recommended that applicants have a good to excellent credit rating before applying for this card. Many factors are considered by the bank when applying for a credit card, and no score will guarantee approval.
What credit score do you need to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?
Chase does not offer recommendations on its website for minimum credit scores, but they do recommend applicants have good to exceptional credit scores for the rewards and benefits-rich Chase Sapphire Preferred® card.
FICO ranks “good” credit as 670-739, “very good” as 740-799, and “outstanding” as 800 and above. Those looking to get the card will likely have a better chance with a credit score closer to the very good range or better. Keep in mind that there are several versions of credit scores available and the score you are checking may not be the score used by Chase.
Note that the Sapphire Preferred card is the little brother of the $550 Chase Sapphire Reserve® annual bonus, which may make the Preferred a more attractive card to apply for, as the higher end cards tend to be recommended for those with excellent credit.
Card issuers look at other factors in an applicant’s credit history to determine their qualification. Payment history, number of recent applications, amount of debt you carry, and annual income are all important aspects of a card application.
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What factors do card issuers consider?
An applicant’s credit score is the first indication of credit status, but card issuers also assess several other factors:
- On-time payment history: Although they don’t weigh as much as other factors, too many late payments count toward a credit score and show up on a credit report for up to seven years.
- Credit utilization rate: A credit utilization rate is the percentage of credit a cardholder has out of the total credit they have on all accounts. Large balances carried over from month to month can quickly snowball into high credit utilization. It is generally recommended, if possible, to keep your credit utilization rate below 30%.
- Number of accounts opened (including age of accounts): Card issuers want to know how many credit or loan accounts an applicant currently has open, including how many have been opened in the last 12 to 24 months. Too many accounts opened in a short period of time is a major red flag for issuers. It tells a lender that an applicant can “mix and burn” credit cards to gain access to sign-up rewards or bonuses.
- Income and monthly bills: Card issuers also analyze the applicant’s annual gross income and monthly bill payments such as rent, mortgages or loans. Lenders want to know that the applicant will be able to make regular and punctual payments.
- Age: Cardholders between the ages of 18 and 22 may find it difficult to qualify for an ultra-premium rewards card like the Sapphire Reserve card due to a short credit history. Issuers want to ensure that the applicant has a sufficient credit history.
Chase can also determine if the applicant already has a relationship with the institution, such as another credit card, loan, or checking account. Another financial account in good standing is a major positive indicator for an issuer.
What to do if your Chase Sapphire Preferred card application is rejected
When a claim is denied, you can inquire about the denial and request approval by contacting the Chase Reconsideration Line or by calling the number listed in the denial letter. By law, card issuers are required to inform rejected applicants of the reasons why an application was refused. Applicants may respond to this information and present their case to a Chase representative using any valid evidence they can provide.
It has been widely reported that Chase has a strict policy against too many accounts opened in a short period of time (sometimes called the 5/24 rule). Under this rule, if an applicant has opened five or more accounts in the past 24 months, a card application will likely be rejected. To avoid being declined for the Sapphire Preferred card for having too much activity on your credit profile, make sure you have opened fewer than five accounts in the last two years before submitting a new application. This information is readily available on a free credit report from any of the major credit bureaus (Experian, Transunion or Equifax).
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great option for frequent travelers looking for a high-value card, but applicants must have a good to excellent credit score if they plan to apply. A score of 700 or higher is recommended. It may be slightly easier to be approved for the Sapphire Preferred card than for the Sapphire Reserve card, but Sapphire Preferred cardholders may request a product upgrade as their credit profile improves. If your request is denied and you think it shouldn’t have been, contact a Chase representative to request a reconsideration.