After months of contemplation, I finally upgraded to the Chase Sapphire Reserve with a 10-minute phone call

The author is not pictured. Dan Kenyon/Getty

I recently upgraded my go-to rewards credit card from the Chase Sapphire Preferred to the Sapphire Reserve.

The Reserve commands a $US450 annual fee – more than I ever anticipated paying for a credit card – but from the annual travel statement credit to 3x the points on dining and travel purchases, the perks and benefits more than soften the blow.

I spent more than three years using the Sapphire Preferred – and recommending it to everyone I talked to – but I could no longer resist the higher-tier option.

The Sapphire Preferred was a phenomenal credit card to start with as a recent college grad, but I’ve begun spending more on travel lately (weddings galore) and I want to maximise those purchases. It’s not the right time for me to open a new credit card entirely, so I decided that upgrading my current go-to was the next best thing.

Thankfully, the process to upgrade couldn’t be simpler.

Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.

When you’re working to earn credit card rewards, it’s important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically,

treat your credit card like a debit card


Read more:
Preferred vs. Reserve – how the Chase Sapphire credit cards stack up

How to upgrade from the Sapphire Preferred to Sapphire Reserve

1. Call the number on the back of the card

The number on the back of my Sapphire Preferred card sent me to an automated list of options, but I opted to stay on the line and connect with a real person. I figured I would have to talk to a customer service agent to request the upgrade, so why go through a maze of menus first. I waited about five minutes until someone came on the line.

2. Ask to upgrade

I told the woman my name and asked if I could upgrade my current Sapphire Preferred card to the Sapphire Reserve. She asked one or two questions to verify my identity and pulled up my account.

3. Move credit or increase your limit, if necessary

After looking at my account, the agent told me I would need to increase my credit limit to qualify for the upgrade. She said the Sapphire Reserve requires that cardholders have a $US10,000 line of credit, at minimum, and mine was $US8,400.

I hesitated for a moment because I just requested a credit limit increase on another card a few months ago, and I know this type of thing requires a hard inquiry on your credit report. But the agent told me it was actually possible to shuffle some of the credit line from my other Chase card to this account to make the minimum and it wouldn’t require a hard inquiry. I agreed and she transferred $US1,600 over from my other card.

Read more:
Chase Sapphire Reserve card review

4. Approve the disclosures

The agent then read me a list of disclosures and asked me to verbally approve.

Aside from your run-of-the-mill banking disclosures, she also clarified that I would not be eligible to earn the 50,000-point, new member spending bonus on the Reserve. Sapphire Preferred cardholders who upgrade aren’t eligible, for one. But even if I cancelled my card and then applied for the Reserve, I still wouldn’t be able to earn the spending bonus. The agent said you can only earn one spending bonus every four years on Chase products and I had already earned my 50,000-point bonus back in 2017.

5. Wait for the card to arrive

By the time I got off the phone, my account had already been updated with the Reserve dashboard. From that point forward, all purchases qualified for the Reserve’s higher rewards point earnings. I was even able to earn the $US300 travel statement credit before the new card arrived at my doorstep a few days later.

Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve.