The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a premium travel rewards card. If you don’t yet have good credit, you can pick a strategy to improve your score before applying.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the most popular travel rewards credit cards on the market today, and it’s easy to see why. This Chase credit card lets users earn Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to airline and hotel partners or redeemed directly for travel reservations. And with a generous sign-up bonus of 60,000 points (after, of course, spending $4,000 in your first three months) for just a $95 annual fee, it’s a card that appeals to anyone who wants to earn valuable travel rewards.
In addition to the sign-up bonus, this card also doles out:
- 3X points on dining (including eligible delivery services), select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs)
- 5X points Chase Ultimate Rewards travel
- 5X points on Lyft Rides (through March 2025)
- 2X points on other travel
- 1X points on other purchases
On top of its solid rewards rate, Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits include valuable travel coverage, such as trip cancellation and interruption insurance, an auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance and trip delay reimbursement. With all these rewards and benefits for a competitive annual fee, this card is definitely hard to beat.
That said, it’s important to know the credit score needed for the Chase Sapphire Preferred prior to applying — as well as additional rules that might come into play — to ensure you’ll be approved.
What credit score is needed for the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a premium travel rewards card, and, as such, you can expect an instant denial if you have a credit score that’s considered fair or bad. Meanwhile, those who have credit scores in the good or excellent range will have a much greater chance of being approved.
According to FICO, one of the leading producers of credit scores, a good FICO credit score is 670 to 739, while a very good score is 740 or above. Therefore, you almost certainly need a credit score of 670 to meet the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s minimum credit score requirements. If your score is 740 or higher, that’s even better.
Chase, like most lenders, will typically take into account other factors beyond your credit score. For example, you may have a greater chance of being approved for the Sapphire Preferred if you already have a relationship with Chase, such as a deposit account or a home mortgage. You may also be able to increase your chances of being approved if you have low outstanding balances on your other Chase cards.
Your income and debt-to-income ratio will also be considered alongside your credit score for the Chase Sapphire Preferred. If all your stats look good, you have a fairly solid chance at approval.
But not so fast — you also need to take into account the Chase 5/24 rule. This unpublished rule states that you cannot get approved for a new credit card with Chase if you’ve opened five or more cards from any issuer in the prior 24 months.
If you have had five or more new cards in the two years before you began considering the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’re better off waiting until that is no longer the case.
What if my application is denied?
Having your application for a credit card denied can be surprising and confusing. By law, the card issuer is required to explain why you were denied, but the language used may not be clear.
If you don’t clearly understand a denial, you can contact the card issuer and inquire about your application. Sometimes the denial can be reversed, a process known as credit card reconsideration. To speak with a Chase representative about your personal credit card application, call 1-888-270-2127.
Once you reach a Chase representative, you’ll be told why your application wasn’t approved. Often, there are simple explanations, including the issuer’s inability to verify your address or other personal details. If this is the case, once Chase receives the correct information, it may be able to approve your application over the phone, despite an earlier denial.
In other situations, you may be denied for more significant reasons, which you also may be able to resolve. For example, Chase may determine that it has already extended as much credit as it is willing to you. However, if you want to move some of your available credit from one of your existing cards, then Chase might approve your application.
Additionally, you may not have originally included all available sources of income, which you can correct. Legally, you’re entitled to include all available sources of income, including alimony, child support, disability payments and disbursements from retirement savings accounts. You can even include income from your spouse or domestic partner, as long as you have a reasonable expectation of access to that person’s income to repay a loan.
Another reason for denial could be the Chase 5/24 rule, as noted above, in which case all you can do now is wait.
Finally, you may have a bad credit score or credit history that prompted the denial, and all you can do in that case is work to fix your past mistakes.
Once you’ve exhausted the reconsideration process, the only alternative you have is to reapply in the future if you really want the card. If you were denied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred because of a low credit score, work on improving your score before you consider reapplying. Chase will accept a new application 30 days after your original application, so you don’t have to wait long once you’re ready to try again.
How can I improve my score to get this card?
If you were denied due to not meeting Chase Sapphire Preferred credit score requirements, there are several things that you can do to quickly improve it before reapplying.
First off, you can work on paying off debts you have, since the amount you owe on revolving accounts makes up 30 percent of your FICO credit score. Pay off as much of your outstanding balances as possible, and your credit score can quickly improve. In the meantime, you can also make sure all your bills are paid early or on time. Since this factor makes up 35 percent of your FICO score, late payments can dramatically hurt your score — and on-time payments can help it.
You can also obtain copies of your credit reports to look for errors. Inaccurate information related to missed payments can hurt your credit score, and if you successfully dispute these errors, then your credit scores will improve. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus once every 12 months through AnnualCreditReport.com, but if you own other credit cards, free services may also be available through those issuers.
Finally, consider free tools that can help you increase your score using nontraditional bills like subscriptions and utilities. An example is Experian Boost, which helps you increase your credit score with a few clicks and is entirely free to use.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a fantastic travel rewards credit card, but not everyone can qualify right away. By understanding the credit score necessary for approval and how to improve your score should you need to, you can decide if this is the best card for you.
In the meantime, it never hurts to learn everything about this card you possibly can. Start by reading over our Chase Sapphire Preferred Card review. From there, you can decide if this card is worth it, or if you should consider a different card altogether.