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Interested in applying for both Chase travel cards? You may be out of luck

If you want to open both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve credit cards, eligibility rules from Chase might restrict you.

Source: Chase

Chase Sapphire cards are popular among travelers who are looking for lucrative rewards programs — so popular, in fact, that many Chase enthusiasts look into adding more than one Sapphire card to their wallets.

Known for high welcome bonuses and easy tools for redeeming rewards at 25% or 50% more value (when eligible), both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card stand out as some of the top travel cards, and certainly favorites among Chase credit cards in particular.

But unfortunately, it's not always possible to sign up for both. Chase has strict eligibility requirements on who can open a new Chase travel card, be it the Sapphire Preferred or the Reserve. Most of the time, cardholders can't have both at once; they have to choose one or the other.

There is one exception, which we dive into below. Here's what you need to know about who can open a Chase Sapphire credit card — plus some alternatives you may want to check out.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Sapphire Preferred®
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

    60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening — worth up to $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • 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.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    10X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 3X points on travel worldwide (immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit), 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out, 1X point per $1 on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening — worth up to $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

  • Annual fee

    $550

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    16.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

Terms apply.

 

Who can open a Chase Sapphire card?

Chase doesn’t allow you to be the primary account holder on both the Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards. So if you already have one Sapphire card, you can’t apply for the other. 

This eligibility rule is listed in the terms for Sapphire cards:

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.

Normally, this is no big deal. When you signed up for either the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve, you probably picked the best option for your lifestyle. The Sapphire Reserve has more bells and whistles and a higher annual fee while the Preferred is more affordable and has great value.

But however happy you may be with the perks of your particular Sapphire card, you may want to apply for the other one to earn a welcome bonus.

Luckily, there is one option you could try: While you can't be a primary account holder on two Sapphire cards, a Chase spokesperson confirmed you can be an authorized user on one card and a primary account holder on another card.

So if a family member added you as an authorized user on their Sapphire Preferred card, but you want to apply for the Sapphire Reserve, you could.

Alternative Chase credit cards

While you can't apply for two Sapphire cards, you can have better chances being approved for multiple Chase cash-back cards. The card issuer allows consumers to have all three Chase Freedom cash-back cards: Chase Freedom Flex℠, Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom® (no longer open to new applicants).

If you want to take advantage of relatively easy-to-earn welcome bonuses, the Freedom Flex and Unlimited cards are both offering $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.

These cards also provide 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. Plus there's no annual fee, unlike the Sapphire cards that charge $95 (Preferred) or $550 (Reserve).

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠
On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, 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 3 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.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining (including takeout) and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 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 on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

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

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Terms apply.

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