Update: Due to new rules announced by Chase, you cannot get approved for more than one Sapphire card at a time.
The two top Chase personal credit cards are probably the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Each card can net you 50,000 Ultimate Rewards for a total of 100,000, which at a valuation of 2.1 cents per point, comes out out to $2,100 worth of travel. For that reason, a lot of people ask if they can apply for both of the Sapphire cards at the same time to capitalize on their earnings. Here’s what you should consider before doing so.
Can you apply for both Sapphire cards at once?
The short answer is yes. NO — see update above!
Chase will often allow you to be approved for a maximum of two cards within a 30 day window (known as the Chase 30 Day Rule). Note: this does not reset after the beginning of a new calendar month.
Some applicants get denied for more than one card in a 30 day period for whatever reason but it seems like those applicants are in the minority. Also, some get away with three cards in a 30 day window but those applicants are extreme outliers, and I don’t recommend you trying.
Should I apply for both in branch?
There are targeted in-branch offers that have been going around for some Chase cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check in-branch if you’re pre-approved for a higher offer. If you are pre-approved, then you’d likely have to apply in branch to receive that offer.
However, when it comes to your second card, you may just want to apply online. This is because in-branch bank reps sometimes give applicants a hard time about applying for two cards at once and they don’t always go to bat for you if your second application goes to pending. They may tell you to “check back next week” or even tell you that it’s not possible to get approved for a second card at the same time.
But if you take things into your own hands and apply for your two cards online you can handle your application process from start to finish and call into reconsideration as soon as your application goes to to pending (assuming that’s that case).
So I recommend to stop by a Chase branch and check for pre-approved targeted offers first and then if you don’t have any, just do the apps online to avoid any potential resistance from bankers.
Combine the inquiries
In addition to receiving the sign-up bonus one of the benefits of applying for these cards at the same time is that the credit bureaus will typically knock off or combine the two inquiries. By combining hard inquiries, you’re better able to reduce the damage done to your credit score.
I’ve witnessed this in real time several times. I’ve pulled up someone’s credit report (with them present of course) and after submitting the first app, witnessed the first ding from the hard inquiry instantly. Then a few minutes later, after the second app goes through, there’s no additional hard inquiry and thus no additional drop in the score.
How long can you wait for the Chase hard inquiries to be combined?
This is a an area where YMMV. I always recommend to apply within minutes of each application (i.e., apply back to back). However, the hard pulls will probably still be combined if you do it within a matter of hours. There’s even been reports of some waiting until the next day and the inquiries still only counting as one (I don’t recommend trying that).
Try to avoid applying near midnight for any US time zone since that could potentially trip things up, depending on where you’re located.
One last note
About two years ago, I researched a lot of data points on Chase approvals and rejections. I thought I spotted a trend where rejections seemed to be more prevalent when people applied for two Chase house cards. By house cards I mean cards like the Sapphire Preferred, Reserve, Freedom — any card that’s not co-branded like the Southwest, United, Marriott, etc.
Thus, I concluded that while possible, it was more difficult to get approved for two Chase branded cards than it was for one co-branded card and one Chase house card. In other words, it would be easier to get approved for the Sapphire Reserve and United MileagePlus Explorer card than it would be to get approved for the Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred when applying for two cards at the same time.
However, since then, I’ve seen so many data points of applicants getting approved for two Chase house cards that I don’t think that trend holds true any more. Still, for someone who like to play things very conservatively, you may want to think about applying for one Chase house card and one co-branded card at the same just in case there is still some validity to that trend.
Make sure you’re aware of the Chase 5/24 rule, which states that you can’t be approved for certain Chase credit cards if you’ve opened five or more accounts in the past 24 months. Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred are subject to this rule (which is one reason why it’s great to pursue these cards right off the bat).
And finally, if you only want to apply for one of the Sapphire cards but you’re not sure which one to apply for then read my article here.
It’s definitely possible to get approved for two Chase Sapphire credit cards on the same day. I just recommend applying online to avoid any potential issues or uncomfortable situations with a banker and making sure to get that second app in ASAP to combine the inquiries.