Denied for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Even with a “Pre-Approval” Offer

I know I’ve posted a lot about the Chase Sapphire Reserve over the past week and while I thought I was done talking about the card, I have one more post about the card and unfortunately it contains a negative data point. As many of you know, the only current known 5/24 workarounds to get this card are if you are Chase Private Chase member or have a pre-approval offer in branch. My wife and I are not Chase Private Clients members but luckily my wife had a pre-approval offer (or so we thought) for the Sapphire Reserve (I did not). She went to the branch and ultimately was denied for the card after her application went to pending. Here is a complete timeline of the events and I’ll share some further thoughts at the end.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • On Thursday, I went to a Chase branch in NYC and the banker confirmed that I had no pre-approval offers. I asked if he would look up the same for my wife and when I gave him my wife’s Freedom card, he specifically confirmed she was pre-approved for the Sapphire Reserve card.
  • My wife obviously couldn’t apply then since she wasn’t there so on Saturday we visited our local Chase branch on Long Island. The banker also confirmed she was pre-approved for the Sapphire Reserve as well as the Slate card and a United card (he didn’t specify which one). I again had no pre-approvals.
  • With two bankers apparently confirming the pre-approvals, my wife pulled the trigger on the application in branch and the banker informed her she had a pending decision.
  • Knowing what this meant, I asked the banker to call to see if maybe there was an outside shot of any additional information needed but sadly after getting reconsideration on the phone, he came back and said she was denied for “having over 5 recent accounts”.

The best explanation I can think for this is that my wife wasn’t truly pre-approved despite what the bankers stated. On Reddit, a helpful user suggested looking at the APR section of the printout the banker provides when you sign to apply for the card. It should have a fixed APR % not a range – anything other than a fixed APR % indicates you truly are not pre-approved for the card. You might be invited to apply or pre-qualified but these will not work to get past 5/24 – sadly this is apparently what happened to my wife.

So what do I recommend to do? In short, challenge your local banker to make sure you are actually pre-approved and request a copy of the full printout before signing the application (that was another issue I later learned – I only saw the first two pages and not the pages with the APR on them). There are some Chase bankers out there who don’t know this product or process well enough and if you run into my local banker on Long Island, you will end up wasting a hard pull for nothing. I wish I had known this about 3 hours ago but c’est la vie….


19 thoughts on “Denied for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Even with a “Pre-Approval” Offer

  1. Alexander Wolfson


    Your emails are awesome. Thank you.

    There is away for your and/or you wife to get the Reserve card. Just sign up to be a Chase Private Client and then downgrade in a month or so. There would be no fees and no penalties. Just a thought.



  2. I had the same situation. Went into branch. CSR said I was pre-approved. Well, I was not approved because Lending said I had to many open accounts in the past 24 months. One wasted pull and one missed opportunity with a card that I would have used.


  3. Hey Ralph…

    Where on Long Island are you? I’m on the South Shore in Nassau.


  4. Thanks for the heads-up!

    I checked at two branches in Hicksville, but was told (and shown) that I am not pre-approved for any cards.


  5. Is it possible that since the pre-approval trick was widely written about that they just recently changed their algorithms?


  6. My wife and I drove from Savannah to Orlando Saturday for our Global Entry Interview. While there, stopped at Chase branch. I took a different approach this time and we let my wife apply since she has less cards than I do. Much to my surprise, she got approved. She has taken out 9 cards this past 18 months. I applied for the Ink 70K Business Card and that went pending. I guess it’s true, YMMV.


  7. There is another thread somewhere that says it’s because you called you should have not called computer may have approved. Once you call it goes to human review and computer review is bypassed


    • Possibly though I’ve read datapoints of people calling after getting pending in branch with a pre approval and still getting an approval usually by shifting credit lines around.


  8. I was pre-approved in the branch and the banker showed me a screen which asked me if I wanted to accept the offer. I said yes. Then the banker printed the offer terms and the pricing page. I didn’t pay attention to the APR when I applied for the card. My app went to pending, and the banker called the lending dept. After a short hold the lending dept asked to talk to me, verified my SSN, DOB and income, and approved me with 21k CL. My banker told me I was the first client who applied and got approved for the card. I live in eastern WA.

    Now I take a look at the APR and it is 16.24% fixed rate.


  9. I had a “fake” pre-approval and wasted a hard pull. I came home and thought about applying for the Fairmont or Ritz card, then just realized I might be jumping into somethin gI would regret so didn’t apply for anything. Ticked I wasted the HP.


  10. Just went in branch too yesterday. I got approved but only had 3 chase cards. I was told I was pre-approved but am slightly suspicious about it — the bankers are super aware of this being the new hot thing (she said from 20-25 credit cards a month to over 25 chase sapphire reserves being applied for in a DAY) and wonder if they are telling people they’re preapproved when they’re just pre qualified etc. To get more commission. No idea, just a theory.


    • Wouldn’t shock to be honest. But I do also believe a lot of bank employees are not properly trained on this so they are giving out false information unintentionally.


  11. […] Denied for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Even with a “Pre-Approval” Offer – A reminder that a preapproval isn’t a guaranteed approval. […]


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