Chase Sapphire Downgrade Options | Tips, Strategies & Considerations When Downgrading

Hey, it’s Ernest from Trip Astute. In this
video, we’re gonna cover credit card downgrade strategies and considerations,
especially for those of you with a Chase Sapphire card. (light chiming music) A few weeks ago I posted a
video on deciding between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve card. In
that video, I mentioned that you can always upgrade or downgrade between the
Preferred and Reserve card. Though a few people chimed in that there was another
option which is potentially more lucrative. However, before we get started,
if you’re new here, I want to welcome you to our channel. Trip Astute is a travel
channel that is focused on sharing ways to make travel easier, affordable, and
more enjoyable. Traveling can be stressful and expensive, so we’re looking
for ways to help you maximize your experience through travel tips, points
and miles, and innovative gear. If that sounds interesting to you, then consider
subscribing to our channel. Getting back to downgrades and upgrades, in my
previous video, I suggested downgrading or upgrading from one of the premium
Chase credit cards as a strategy when deciding to keep a certain. Though
as some of our community members pointed out, there is potentially a more
lucrative way of doing it. Big thanks to Steven and Justin for
sharing their approach with us. Rather than just upgrading and downgrading
between the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred card, you can actually
downgrade the card to either a Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card, then reapply for
the other premium card. This allows you to earn the bonus again for the new card.
If you were to upgrade or downgrade from the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred
or vice versa, you would lose the ability to earn the
opening bonus which makes this approach so much more lucrative. So, for example, if
you had the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for a few years but decided that
you wanted the Sapphire Reserve, you could downgrade your Sapphire Preferred
to a Freedom Card and then reapply for the Reserve card, assuming that you don’t
already have the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited card. So this sounds great,
right? Well, it’s complicated. There are definitely some things to keep in mind
with this approach. Number 1: 5/24 rule. Chase has one of the strictest rules
when it comes to the number of credit card applications that you’ve had in the
past 24 months. If you’ve opened five or more credit cards from any issuer in the
last two years, then you could be disqualified from getting another credit
card from Chase until the time has passed. For more information on
the famous 5/24 rule, check out our video on the topic. We run through how to check
your 5/24 status on Credit Karma. Number 2: Re-earning a bonus. If you’ve had a
Chase Sapphire card in the past but cancelled it, you can’t get a bonus if
it’s been less than 24 months since you received your bonus. Keep in mind that
the bonus date and the approval date are different. It’s the bonus date that
actually counts. Also, it doesn’t matter if it was a different Sapphire card. To
qualify for the signup bonus on a Sapphire card, you cannot have earned an
opening bonus on any version of the Sapphire card within the past 24 months. For
example, if you applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred in January 2017 and
received your bonus on March 15 2017, then you wouldn’t be able to get a bonus
on any Chase Sapphire card, even if it’s a Reserve card, until March 16,
2019. Number 3: You can only have one Sapphire card account open at a time.
This means that you can have both the Sapphire Preferred and Reserve card at
the same time. I would also be careful with your timing if you’re planning to
cancel a card and reapply. Sometimes it can take a while for a card to close out
and cancel on the issuer side, so if you’re planning to be apply for another
Sapphire card, I would wait a month or more just to be safe. That way you know
that the account is fully cleared out and closed on the issuer’s side before they
consider your application. Number 4: Your downgrade options are limited. For
the Chase Sapphire cards, there are basically three options: The Freedom,
Freedom Unlimited, and Sapphire card. The Sapphire card is not publicly available
and is unavailable to new customers. It’s apparently still available as a
product change option for current Sapphire Preferred and Reserve card
members. It’s basically a no annual fee version but with a lot less benefits. In
fact, I think it’s a bad deal for most people since it would count against you
because of the previous one Sapphire card rule. For most people, the Freedom
and Freedom Unlimited cards are the best option for a downgrade. Both have no
annual fee and can earn Ultimate Rewards points that can be pooled with a premium
Chase card. Lastly, you can’t downgrade to one of Chase’s co-branded cards like the
Hyatt or United card. The Ink Business cards
are also not valid options for a downgrade from a Sapphire card. Number
5: Ask for an annual fee waiver. If you’ve decided that you want to
downgrade or cancel, it doesn’t hurt to ask whether Chase would consider waiving
the annual fee. It used to be common for the issuers to waive annual fees or
provide retention bonuses. Though I don’t think they’re as common nowadays,
especially when it comes to Chase. But it doesn’t hurt to ask and see if they
would honor it. Of course, this only applies if you like your current
Sapphire card but have issues with the annual fee. If you’re trying to downgrade
so you can apply for another Chase Sapphire card to get the bonus, then the
waiver on the annual fee is not going to be useful to you. In summary, downgrading
your current Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve to a Freedom or Freedom
Unlimited so you can apply for another Chase Sapphire card is a great way to
earn another large opening bonus. But there are a ton of factors to consider.
It’s not a good option if you’ve picked up your current Chase Sapphire Preferred
or Reserve card less than two years ago, and also not an option if you already
have a Freedom and Freedom Unlimited card. I personally did something similar
in 2016 when I got my Sapphire Reserve card. Back then, you could have multiple
Sapphire cards. So at the time, I had both a Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire
Preferred card. Since I didn’t need both, I converted the Sapphire Preferred to a
Freedom Unlimited card rather than closing the account. Of course, this was
2016 and things have changed a lot since then. You definitely wouldn’t be able to
do the same nowadays with all the new rules and restrictions from Chase. Have
any of you downgraded your Chase cards or even reapplied for a Sapphire card in
order to get the opening bonus? Please share your experience below. Also, I know
this is a complicated topic, so let us know if you have any questions. If you’re
interested in getting a new credit card and want to help support the channel,
visit our credit card offers page on our website. It’s an easy way to help us out
and get that awesome new credit card. If you enjoyed this video or found it
useful, please give us a thumbs up and consider sharing our video with others
who might benefit from our content. Until next time, travel safe and travel smart.

21 thoughts on “Chase Sapphire Downgrade Options | Tips, Strategies & Considerations When Downgrading

  • Quick note: I learned today on Reddit that some people have been able to open a Sapphire Preferred and Reserve account at the same time. It's called "double-dipping", and it requires you to follow a precise sequence of steps in order to pull it off. While it seems to be working for folks, I would strongly caution against it. Chase is pretty strict about their rules, and I would be concerned that your account would eventually get closed or your credit limit adjusted (which would likely result in a decrease in your credit score). Also, it may affect your ability to get future cards with the issuer.

    Anyway, your mileage may vary — but I wanted to let you know in case you encounter the "double-dipping" strategy online!

  • Thank you for this video. I was one of the people looking to upgrade from the CSP to CSR. I now know to downgrade to a freedom and then apply for the CSR separately.
    Does the 24 month bonus rule still apply if I didn’t close the CSP?

  • Looks like I will be going to the Middle East for a year starting next month and I am considering cancelling our CSR cards for the duration. Well, after watching this video I will now try to get the AF waived first, and then downgrade to the preferred if necessary. I know the CSR cards will not be used much while I am away so I will try to save paying the fee again. Thanks again for the good, and definitely usable information and strategies.

  • Great video and thanks for the shout out! Just one thing I'd point out and that is there is no rule that says you can't have 2 Chase Freedom cards. So if you have the Freedom and a CSR for instance and you want to downgrade to something else you can get a second Freedom card and then you have doubled the amount of money you can earn every quarter for the 5% categories. Great way to make more money.

  • Going to have to do this soon! Great take on it! Helpful tip about the minimum spend bonus's! Didn't realize that before.

  • I believe in owning one credit card : it’s so much stress keeping up with paying a bunch of them … that money does not belong to you unless you pay it off monthly ….

  • Question…I'm an AU on my Wife's CSP. Is it possible for me to app for the CSR or is being an AU the same as having 1 Sapphire account? Love your Channel!! Thanks for the Great content!

  • What are your thoughts regarding the WF propel amex card? Thinking of applying for this card to use for a trip I'm taking in dec. I've been told to also consider CSP but I want a no AF card. I travel twice a year at most so an AF card may not be worth it. Thanks in advance

  • Ugh — it looks like as of late August 2018, Chase is doubling the time period that it takes in order to earn another Sapphire bonus. It used to be 24 months (like I mentioned in this video), but it's now 48 months! See our video on the updated rules:

  • Hi Trip astute to me i'm not a fan of the Freedom or Freedom unlimited cards the day before Thanks giving I went into Chase bank and tried to apply for the basic Sapphire they said it's no longer for public application I think it's a shame if the only reason is 1,000 spend and get 10,000 points they can change it to 20,000 points Capitol1 has both cards that you can apply to the Venture and Venture1 card while Chase only has 1 card. I will not try for the bonus sign up as i'm not wasting my money 4,000 I would rather spend 1,000 i'm very upset that Chase isn't accepting new applications for this card.
    To me the Freedom cards are more for mommy's and daddy's while the Sapphires are for important big business travelers? can you imagiane your eating at California Pizza Kitchen or your buying Lakers/Kings Merchandise or your getting your car oiled lubed and they bring your bill over and you hand them a Sapphire and it has 0 annual fee? yes I do have cash back cards Discover More and American Express basic blue cash card but I also have 1 travel card Venture1. I just think it's a shame people can't get a sign up bonus with the basic Sapphire it's such a nice card. I like the Sapphire much better than the Freedoms.

    I was telling somebody the other day on YouTube I like the basic Sapphire much much better than either Freedom card.
    yes you don't get airport lounge acess , no 4th night free , no double miles no airline credit and No annual fee.

    so let's look at both cards
    Chase Sapphire preferred 2x on dining 2x on travel, trip cancelation Ur portal 25% value 50,000 points = 625 in travel 0 foreign trans action fee annual fee waved the first year after that 95.00 annual fee transfer partners.

    Basic Sapphire 2x on dining 1 point on all other purchases does have Ur portal but obviously since this is a no annual it's a 1 point meaning 50,000 points equals 500.00 in travel. NOT 625.00. it does charge a 3% foreign trans action fee no transfer partners with this card annual fee 0. no trip cancelation.

    so looking at both Sapphires which card do you like better after year 1? the Preferred or the basic? assuming my 2x on dining is correct?
    which do you like better the basic Sapphire or Freedom unlimited?

  • I have the freedom unlimited and I want to upgrade to the freedom since it would be more of a benefit. Will Chase do a hard pull and would it go towards the 5/24 rule?? I'm currently at 1/24 with the freedom unlimited being the last card I got. April 2019 would make it two years. Ultimately My goal is to get the CSR but I'm afraid of applying for both the freedom and the CSR since it will bring my credit history down.

  • Hey Ernest, if I wanted to try out the Chase Sapphire Preferred and end up not liking it, is downgrading after the first year before the annual fee hits to the freedom unlimited still an option without looking sketchy to Chase?

  • If i downgrade Preferred to Freedom Unlimited after 2 years. Will the UR points accumulated will still be available after I downgrade??

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