What Should You Do With Your Sapphire Preferred Card After Getting A Sapphire Reserve Card?

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Related posts (Read these first!):
Chase’s Highest Ultimate Rewards Signup Bonus Ever: Sapphire Reserve 100,000 Point Bonus Is Now Live; Get $2,100 In Travel!
-Chase Sapphire Reserve Additional User Benefits And Lounge Guesting Policy Are Awesome, Plus Application And Spending Strategies!

Chase took the mileage world by storm last week with the launch of the Sapphire Reserve card.

With an unprecedented 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points signup bonus, $300 in automatic annual credits and triple points at an extremely broad swath of travel categories, a lounge membership that allows for unlimited free guests, free Global Entry/PreCheck, primary car rental insurance for every country in the world, no foreign transaction fees, and a redemption system that allows all Chase points to be used as real airline/hotel miles or as a travel credit with a generous 50% bonus, the Sapphire Reserve really can be called the ultimate travel credit card.

Of course many people previously had a $95/year Sapphire Preferred card. That card becomes redundant once you have a Sapphire Reserve card. Sapphire Reserve costs an extra $55/year after the $300 annual travel credit, but the benefits are worth far more than that.

Many people have asked if they should be cancelling their Sapphire Preferred card.

A better idea is to downgrade the card to a no annual fee Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card. You can downgrade it once you have had it for 12 months. You don’t get a signup bonus when you upgrade or downgrade a card, but you’re better off applying for cards that have higher signup bonuses anyway.

-With Freedom Unlimited you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. You can then transfer points earned on that card to Sapphire Reserve in order to transfer those points into real airline/hotel miles or to use with Sapphire Reserve’s 50% bonus for redeeming points for travel. In fact all of your everyday purchases should be made on Freedom Unlimited and only dining/travel purchases or purchases made outside of the USA should be made on Sapphire Reserve. By doing that you’ll earn at least 2.25% off everyday purchases and at least 4.5% off dining/travel purchases.

You can pay your taxes for a 1.87% fee and still come out ahead thanks to the guaranteed minimum value of 2.25% due to earning 1.5 points per dollar on Freedom Unlimited multiplied by the minimum travel redemption value of 1.5 cents per point for Sapphire Reserve cardholders.

-With Freedom you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on rotating categories on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter. Maxing out those $6,000 in category bonuses will net 30,000 points per year. This year those categories included:
Q1: Gas stations and local commuter transportation
Q2: Grocery stores and wholesale clubs like BJs, Costco, and Sams Club.
Q3: Restaurants and wholesale clubs.
Q4: Wholesale clubs, Holiday shopping (Likely Amazon.com) and more to be announced.

In July there was even a bonus 10 points per dollar category for Freedom and Freedom Unlimited.

Last year there was also a “Q5” bonus that earned 10 points per dollar on Freedom.

If you have multiple Freedom cards you can earn the 5x bonus for spending $1,500 per quarter on each of them.

Which Freedom card should you downgrade to?

It really depends on how much you spend on everyday purchases and how likely you are to maximize the Freedom’s rotating category spending.

The true advantage of Freedom over Freedom Unlimited is the extra 3.5 points per dollar on those rotating categories. In other words spending $6,000 on Freedom bonus categories per year would net 30K points on Freedom versus 9K points on Freedom Unlimited or a potential 21K bonus points. You would have to spend more than $42,000 per year for Freedom Unlimited to come out ahead of Freedom.

However not everyone will max out their Freedom bonus category spending, which makes the math much cloudier. Limited time 10 points per dollar bonuses also cloud the math. Tax payments that will make sense on Freedom Unlimited won’t make sense on Freedom.

I downgraded my Sapphire Preferred to Freedom Unlimited. That wasn’t a major decision for me though as I already have 3 Freedom cards.

Have you been approved for Sapphire Reserve? What will you do with your Sapphire Preferred card?

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120 Comments On "What Should You Do With Your Sapphire Preferred Card After Getting A Sapphire Reserve Card?"

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Can all your UR points from ink be transferred over to the csr card and then be worth the 1.5cpp? If you wanted to cash out your points do you get 1.5cpp in cash or the regular 1:1?

Yankee Fan

Spend, Spend, Spend 🙂


Does an NYC metrocard count as travel for the travel credit.





I guess that means the answer is yes. YEAH!!!


With the regular freedom will I also be able to combine the points into the reserve?



@MRS k:
Yes, see comment 2.
I transferred all of my points from my consumer and business cards into Sapphire Reserve and they all became worth 50% more for travel redemptions.


@Dan: You only posted that to show of your UR balance lol!


What’s the easiest way to go about downgrading the card? Can this be done online, or must it be done by calling them?


Lol, I’ve said it many times but nobody seems to believe until they see.

Can be done via SM or over the phone.
Should only take 2 minutes.


if i already have the freedom and freedom unlimited, what should i do with the sapphire preferred now that i have the Reserve?


@dan could I downgrade to the no-fee regular sapphire? And this way still be eligible for signup bonus on freedom unlimited?


at 4/24. think reserve & ink would work 2BM?


Get another Freedom to earn 5x on up to $3K per quarter.

Once you’re signing up for cards it might as well be for cards with a larger signup bonus than Freedom.

If you’re under 5/24 I’d do a 3BM, sure.


@zee get another freedom


@dan where do you get an interface like that in chase? From comment 2


How does the Amex Everyday Preferred match up with Chase Freedom Unlimited, for everyday spending?


@Dan: better online than in-branch?


@Dan: That’s it??? from all your chase cards combined?? Why do i remember seeing a significantly higher number in the past…. Did you burn a lot lately?


Click on Ultimate Rewards.

Same for everyday spending, but EDP required 30 transaction per month, has an annual fee, and also has gas/grocery bonus categories.

Also depends which currency you prefer.

Better for 3BM, sure.

There’s no mitzvah to save points.
I use more than 1 million points every year.


Never mind i see it


Lol, I’ve earned more than that in 12 months. 6 Inks (x375k) FTW.


@Dan: Why 3?? No chnace on getting 4?


Yup, not terribly difficult.

Go for 4 if you want.


@Dan: I know that i can try. My question was why did you suggest 3 instead of any other number, do you think 3 is the sweet spot?


If I was never a primary chase credit card holder is it recommended to do a 3BM


I use my CC mostly for groceries, what’s my best option to downgrade?

And, are the freedom points transferable to the Reserve as well(or only the Freedom unlimited)?


2 qs-
1) how do you earn 1 mil points a year- what am I doing wrong????
2) I already have both freedom and freedom unlimited- should I just close the sapphire preferred?


@Dan, do you still have a Chase United card (either Club or Explorer)? Is it worth having both even though they have annual fees?

I really like the expanded saver availability of having a United card and don’t want to lose that, but I’m thinking that this Reserve card (with the companion Freedom card) might be worth dumping it as my regular spender. Curious to know what you are doing.

(I have the Club card and love the 4 free checked bags I get when I travel with family and the club access for all…choices…).


They said I couldn’t downgrade to freedom, they gave me the no fee sapphire. I already have 2 freedom cards, so I didn’t really care, but I wonder why they told me that.


I was thinking of cashing in on my 100,000 points reserve card and using the money for the preferred one. What do you think


If I have Sapphire Preferred can I get the 100K signup bonus?


@Saadia: “how do you earn 1 mil points a year- what am I doing wrong????”

Very simple. You buy $200,000 of stuff (mostly gift cards presumably) from an office supply store using your Ink cards.


Dan, 2 Questions: 1) in order to downgrade my Sapphire Preferred, do I need to pay the first annual fee? I haven’t paid it yet…. 2) Could you explain the difference between the Freedom and the Freedom Unlimited? Thanks!


Can you convert a plain Sapphire (non preferred) to Freedom Unlimited?


@Dan: If your application will fall into manual review, 3BM and 4BM will have backfired. Everyone is a lot stricter these days than in the past.

Elephant Kugel Kishka

Is it better to cancel my chase sapphire preferred or should I just downgrade it?

Michel t

Does the $300 credit act against your 4K spend to get the bonus, effectively meaning you need to spend $4,300?

Dr. Ganse Oilum

Dan, what’s your advice for new CSR cardholders who already have Sapphire and also Freedom & CFU? And will Chase refund CSP annual fee pro-rated?

Jason Smith

Does purchasing a $300 Delta gift card on the Delta website count for the $300 travel credit?

donald clinton

how long dos it take to arrive after an instant approval?


If I haven’t booked my jet blue match trip, can I book a round-trip by the 31st and get the 75000 miles even if I don’t fly?


i was instantly approved last Tuesday and I got mine today


3 is doable by most. 4 is tougher.

I don’t think there’s anything to lose.

AMEX cards are best for groceries.
All Chase points can transfer to Sapphire Reserve.

1. Open cards, buy gift cards, etc.
2. Why not get another Freedom for another $1,500 in bonus spending per quarter?

I have a Club card, but I only pay $100 for it.
It’s definitely worth having a United card for the expanded availability and free bags.

I would have called again.

Not sure what you’re asking.


1. No.
2. Read this post again.


I don’t think it will harm you.

@Elephant Kugel Kishka:
Did you read this post?

@Michel t:
I’m not sure yet.

@Dr. Ganse Oilum:
-Get another Freedom.
-Chase annual fees are refundable for 180 days.

@Jason Smith:

@donald clinton:
A few days.

You need to fly.


When the Reserve finally came out, I noticed one detail in which the Reserve is actually worse than the Preferred: Car rental insurance. The Reserve has a cap of $75,000 while the Preferred has no cap. For US rentals this is largely irrelevant, but in Israel, cars are WAY more expensive. Plus, car rental agencies can charge for time lost, and if you total the car, that can be a while. Do you think the $75k cap will come into play for those that rent in Israel a lot? How would you even check the value of the car in advance? Would it be worth keeping the Preferred just for this?

Thanks as always!


Doesn’t the guaranteed 2.25% for everyday spend on the Freedom Unlimited transferred to the Sapphire Preferred assume that all your points are used for travel expenses?


Even at Israel’s inflated prices, I don’t think most rental cars cost more than $75K.

But you can use that for airfare, hotel, car rentals, activities, etc.


I think I’m misunderstanding something or just dense. In my case, most of my everyday use of my Chase cc will be on dining out(I eat out a lot). Wouldn’t I be better off canceling my Sapphire card and using my Chase Reserve card on 3x points for food than downgrading to Freedom/F-Unlimited?


From the post,
“In fact all of your everyday purchases should be made on Freedom Unlimited and only dining/travel purchases or purchases made outside of the USA should be made on Sapphire Reserve. By doing that you’ll earn at least 2.25% off everyday purchases and at least 4.5% off dining/travel purchases.”


Can you upgrade back to Preferred at any time?




What does 3BM 4BM mean ?


Dan, i currently have a united mileage plus explorer card which i no longer want to pay 95.00. To which card should i switch? (dosen’t have to be a united card)


I’m 6/24 now but will be 5/24 in October. Would my chances be better for approval of the Sapphire Reserve be better then than now?


United club. Once of Chase’s best cards, if you don’t have status. Although someone who appreciates it shouldn’t have such a hard time comping status…


@Mark: “What does 3BM 4BM mean ?”

Oy vey. Before you do anything, spend a few weeks reading the old posts about how to play this game.

3BM/4BM = use different browsers or different browser tabs to complete separate credit card applications at the same time.

[different] Mark


What do you gain by downgrading…you can always apply for the Freedom or Freedom Unlimited when they have a promotion?


If i spend allot on the Sapphpire prefered and take advantage of the 5X in office supplies stores i take it i got to keep that as the reserve does not offer this?


@Dan If i move over my credit from my preferred to my reserve and then close the preferred card will it still have an effect?


Do they do a pull when you downgrade?


I lost you on the last part. I thought it was very clear a few months ago that anyone with a Freedom card should “upgrade” for free to the “Freedom Unlimited” card and as such I did so when Chase asked if I was interested. Am I leaving points on the table with this new card versus my old one? It sounds like it depends on whether I will max out very specific spending categories but I recall a past post arguing it was a no brainer to upgrade to unlimited. Confused a little now.


I got declined for the card because I’ve had too many cards opened in the last two years. Is it worth attempting a call for reconsideration?


when is the requirement of paying the 450??


@djk:They told me in the first few months. But most likely in the first one.


i already posted this on the original thread about the card but im reposting for the benefit of anyone traveling before they receive the priority card.

I just received my card and i called up to confirm and activate. I asked the rep if there is any way to be able to utilize the priority pass benefit tomorrow even though I dont hace the pass yet. He told me that THEY ADDED A PERK A FEW DAYS AGO AND NOW YOU CAN PURCHASE THE LOUNGE ACCESS AND THEY WILL REIMBURSE THE CHARGES TO THE CARD AS LONG AS YOU ACTIVATED THE BENEFIT ON THE ACCOUNT.
I hope this is helpful to some of you out there


How are you only paying $100 for the club card?



Can’t change a United card away from United.
Do you not use the expanded award space? The free bags? The priority boarding?

Did you exclude business cards and AUs from those numbers?

Not worth using a card approval for cards with lower bonuses.

Sapphire Preferred does not offer any 5x or office supply categories.

Why not take advantage of Freedom or Freedom Unlimited benefits?

Card number stays the same.

It’s not a no-brainer. Each card has advantages and it depends on your spending patterns.

What do you have to lose?
Best thing to do is become CPC.

Within a month or 2.

Eh. That will probably come out of your $300 travel credit.

I’m a grandfathered lifetime Continental club member.


Only downside I see of converting a Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom is that you lose the no foreign currency fee benefit. I know the Reserve has it but I have several AUs currently using SP now and don’t want to pay for AUs with the Reserve.

Any suggestions there?


Does the freedom card include insurance for rentals in Israel?


Is it true that your credit score needs to be above 720 to obtain the sapphire reserve card?

Spouse has CSP; I got CSR

If I downgrade her CSP to F/FU, can her points still be transferred to my CSR?


With the $300 perk, is purchasing from expedia,priceline or orbitz included in this or it has to be booked directly with the airline or rentacar?


Dan – i was denied because I opened 5 cards within the past 24 months. one of the 5 was 23 months ago in Sept. 2014 and the other one 23 months ago in Oct. 2014. At what point should I reapply? at the end of September?



I wanted to know which Freedom card would be the best for groceries, Freedom or Freedom Unlimited? (I’m basically downgrading the Sapphire Preferred)


@Dan: Dan I just called to confirm again and was told the same thing the reimbursement for the priority pass will be in addition to the 300 perk. She said that they have added that for those that are traveling now before the passes arrive in the mail


Good point.
Do you not have other cards without forex fees? How much forex spending do you AUs make?

One option would be to request a plastic version or an extra primary card of the Sapphire Reserve and have an AU use that. But that won’t work if they ask for ID.

Yes, but it has forex fees and doesn’t earn triple points.


@Spouse has CSP; I got CSR: .

Can be from anywhere.

End of September should work.

Freedom would be better during the quarter that is bonuses for groceries and Freedom Unlimited would be better otherwise, so tough call.

You can use Freedom to buy grocery gift cards during that quarter though.

But the truth is for groceries you’ll be better with AMEX Blue Cash Preferred or Everyday Preferred.

Cool. Write an SM and get it in writing.


I have a Chase British Air card that I do not wish to renew. Can I transfer my points to my American Airlines account? Any other suggestions as to how best to use these points?


You don’t lose your BA points when you cancel the card.

You can’t transfer them to AA.


While we are talking about Sapphires and Freedoms, is there any reason to have a Sapphire (non-preferred)? I’ve had one for years and just realized I should probably convert that to a Freedom.



That 6/24 does exclude business cards and AUs. Are all business cards excluded from the 5/24 rule, including Chase Ink cards?

credit cards

do you have a blog/forum or breakdown on which credit cards are the most worth opening in order to maximize points in all categories and sign up bonuses? thanks


I did ask to get it writing and was told that they cant do it but after being told the same info by 2 different reps don’t you think chase is reliable to stand by?
btw she told me its a courtesy that chase is telling people that are calling about it
im pretty confident that it can be relied upon, whats your take?


What’s the best card to use for Gas ayr?
Btw speed pass at Exxon/Mobil will most of the time charge as cash prices


Online approved for Reserve – thanks.

I have a Chase Ink Visa Business card – what do you advise to do with that?


Dan, how in the world did you get the card having way over 5/24? Are you a CPC?


Is the 5/24 only for personal or does business cards also count towards the 5?

Yes, he's a CPC

Come on!


No advantage

Seems to be YMMV, but many reports are that it only counts consumer cards.

@credit cards:
I’ll have to make a new one.

Get it in writing 🙂

AMEX Everyday Preferred gives 3x.
Ink gives 2x.
Freedom gives 5x rotating.
Can buy Costco cash cards with Freedom 5x and buy gas there.

Use it for the bonus categories.


Likely just personal for most banks.

Dan is the Man


Just got card for wife and me….easy 200k….I have several ink cards…and at first they gave me a hard time…reduced some of the credit from my United card and got approved.


Any purpose in keeping a AA card with high credit limit if my lifetime gold account has been closed due to “inappropriate” miles usage?


@Dan is the Man:

Ask if it can be converted to something else?

credit card

thanks Dan!!
that would be amazing!


Ask if it can be converted to something else?

For what purpose? what would i rather use if I already have all chase (SR, FRDM, INK, etc..) and SPG? Is there a citi product I should care about? (it is a 45K limit that i’m thinking might be holding me back from increasing the limits on cards I currently use)


If you’re not concerned about the line then just close it.

Ronnie Shalam

@Dan: Since you have so many points, would you consider selling points/booking tickets for someone?


@Ronnie Shalam:
I don’t sell points. Not worth the risk.



Just to confirm, I should use my regular Freedom to buy Costco Cash Cards and I will still earn a full 5%.

Also, as someone does not fly so often, and when I do, I don’t really care about so many amenities, just a great price. Which card should be next on my list? I currently have Starwood, Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Southwest Premier.


If I downgraded my Chase Sapphire Preferred to a regular Chase Sapphire can I sign up for this Sapphire Reserve card?


As apposed to Ink, is there a limit on 3X travel points on the SR? Also, if you had a choice, and plenty of miles in both programs already as I’m sure you have (for accumulation purposes), would you take 2X points in SPG (using SPG at SPG) or 3X points on SR (using SR at SPG)?


Correct, just be sure to register for 5x points.

If you get a Sapphire Reserve those points will be worth 7.5% for travel.


No limit on the 3x.
Tough call there, slight advantage to CSR though.


FYI, got approved for sapphire reserve this past Friday. I have a credit score near 750, not a private client, and have over 20 credit cards. I have over 5 with chase and I believe received 5 or 6 in under 12 months from chase alone. I called the lending department and got it taken care of in under 10 minutes on second attempt. First attempt: rep told me it would be unfair to pass me through since there is a long line of people who’ve applied before me. also, I applied and receive the chase sapphire preferred about 4 months ago. Hoorah!

the $300 credit

If i’m not traveling and wanted to buy a “gift card” for an airline or hotel etc.. does that count?


Why does it makes sense, even with the 50%travel bonus to use chase points for travel rather than transferring to a partner airline?


What is I already have a Freedom Card?



Every once in awhile you post “Dan’s overall credit card strategy.” With the introduction of Chase sapphire reserved, could you please publish an updated strategy? Or at a minimum recommend whether I should keep the Amex Every Day Pref for groceries?



I booked two flights on Chase UR website, with using points and $, I got the 1.5 ratio for points and I have already received the $300 credit! Pretty cool


CHUTZPAH! My reserve card came UPS overnight today but its a cheap plastic card! According to TPG the card was so popular they ran out of metal cards!

Tali C

When adding an authorized user, It doesn’t mention a word about a fee, but in reality every used costs an additional $75 yearly. Any way to fight this? (especially being it doesn’t mention a word?)


So if we need to have the preferred for 12 months does that mean we need to pay for the yearly fee before downgrading?



In a year from now when the $450 annual fee on Reserve card kicks in again and the benefit of getting $300 per calendar year vs. $450 annual fee starts to erode will Chase let me downgrade the card to a Chase Ink or a card without an annual fee?


I currently do most of my spending on the Amex cash back preferred. I have a sapphire which I use for travel and dining and a freedom which I almost never use. I just got a sapphire reserve and I’m not sure how to proceed with my reg sapphire and general spending and I was hoping For some help. Also, should I order a second reserve for my wife for $75 in place of the reserve. Not sure where the break even points are. Any help is greatly appreciated.


Used my reserve card to add $300 to my ezpass account. Just got the $ credited back!


I have the chase freedom, just got the reserve and also have preferred. Get rid of the freedom card?


is it better to downgrade the sapphire preferred to the freedom or freedom unlimited? i live in israel–don’t know if that makes a difference


One question I have not seen asked or answered anywhere.

I have the Chase United Mileage Plus Club Card, which gives me 4 free bags when traveling (i do not have any united status).

But now it seems more efficient to purchase tickets with the Chase Ultimate Rewards points thru my new Sapphire Reserve Card.

The question is how do i still get the 4 free bags, as United seems to require you to pay for you ticket or reward redemption with that card to get the 4 bags free.



No, Freedom is a great card.

Both of those cards charge a forex fee, so they aren’t great for Israel.

You probably need to pay with the Club card for the free bags, though some agents may waive it if you show the card and explain the situation.


so since I live in Israel and I only need one card anyway (is there a chase sapphire no fee card to have as a backup?)


How do I get the lounge pass?


hi dan
if I live in israel what is the best thing to do with the saphire card if i have a reserve card?