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….