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Here's who is eligible for Chase Sapphire Preferred's best-ever 100,000-point welcome bonus

Here's how to qualify for the Sapphire Preferred bonus, plus what cards to consider if you don't.

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We don't blame you if you're eager to jump on the new welcome bonus that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is now offering: 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

After all, this massive bonus is worth up to $1,250 on travel, groceries and dining — and hits the mark as one of the best bonuses we've ever seen on a credit card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining worldwide, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    15.99% to 22.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

 

Unfortunately, not everyone can qualify to earn the bonus. Here's the TLDR: If you are already the current primary account holder on a Sapphire card, whether it's the Preferred or its sister card the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you are not eligible for the 100,000-point bonus.

If you don't currently have a Sapphire card, make sure you haven't received a Sapphire welcome bonus before. You are ineligible for the 100,000-point bonus if you have received a new card member bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 48 months, or four years. (Chase refers to the date you received the bonus, not when you opened your account.)

Both Sapphire cards also reportedly fall under Chase's 5/24 rule, which means that you can't be approved for if you've opened five or more personal credit cards (from any card issuer) within the past 24 months. For instance, if you've opened two Citi cards and three Amex cards within the past 24 months, then you will likely be denied for a new Chase card until your 5/24 score decreases. There really aren't any workarounds to the 5/24 rule, beyond waiting for a new account to be over 24 months old.

Here is a snapshot of whether or not you qualify for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card welcome bonus:

You are eligible if:

  • You never had a Sapphire card
  • You previously had a Sapphire card and received the bonus more than 48 months ago
  • You previously had a Sapphire card and never received the bonus
  • You haven't opened five or more personal credit cards (from any card issuer) within the past 24 months

You are not eligible if:

  • You currently have a Sapphire card, regardless of whether you previously received the bonus
  • You previously had a Sapphire card and received the bonus within the past 48 months
  • You're an existing Chase Sapphire customer and want to request a product change
  • You have opened five or more personal credit cards (from any card issuer) within the past 24 months

These eligibility rules are listed in the terms for the Sapphire cards.

Chase disclaims the following eligibility requirements on its website:

The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 48 months. If you are an existing Sapphire customer and would like this product, please call the number on the back of your card to see if you are eligible for a product change. You will not receive the new cardmember bonus if you change products.

Not eligible for the Sapphire Preferred bonus?

Luckily for you, there are tons of other generous credit card welcome bonuses out there. While the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great choice for those looking to travel, not everyone wants a travel-specific credit card.

We scoured over 100 credit card offers and rounded up the best deals. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best cards.) Here are Select's picks of the best credit card sign-up bonuses outside of the Sapphire Preferred:

With the Chase Freedom Flex, our top pick, new cardholders can earn $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in their first three months from account opening. The Freedom Flex also comes with no annual fee and the opportunity to earn up to 5% cash back in select categories upon activation.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%), 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on dining and at drug stores, 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    14.99% to 23.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

Our methodology

To determine which cards offer the best value, Select analyzed 105 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. that are open to anyone and offer welcome bonuses. We compared each card on a range of features, including cash-back rewards, annual fee, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available.

Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company's data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

Esri's data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.

Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.

It's important to note the value of a point or mile varies from card to card and based on how you redeem them. When we calculated the estimated returns, we assumed that cardholders are redeeming cash back for a typical maximum value of 1 cent per point or mile. (Extreme optimizers might be able to achieve more value.)

Our final picks are weighted heavily toward the highest five-year returns, since it's generally wise to hold onto a credit card for years. This method also avoids giving an unfair advantage to cards with large welcome bonuses.

While the five-year estimates we've included are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.

Information about the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.