How to Downgrade a Chase Card


With the increased sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, we are getting a lot of inquiries on downgrading it in order to re-apply. Let’s go over the basics of how to downgrade a Chase card and when it makes sense to do so.

When It Makes Sense

It makes sense to downgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card when it’s been at least 48 months since you received the welcome offer on that card. Why? To get a sign-up bonus again, of course! We are all over those SUBs, and Chase Ultimate Rewards are our favorite! (Remember that you can only have either the Sapphire Preferred or the Sapphire Reserve, not both.)

You could, of course, cancel the card and re-apply but only if you don’t have any points left! Ultimate Rewards don’t expire if you have a card that earns them, but you will lose them if you don’t have one. Here are the personal and business cards that earn Ultimate Rewards:







Make sure that you don’t outright cancel a card unless you have one of the cards above. If you don’t have one, plan to downgrade instead of cancel. Note that you won’t be able to get the sign-up bonus on the card that you downgrade to for a while.

Steps to Downgrade a Card

You can downgrade a CSP or CSR by calling the number on the back of your card.

  • Credit card number and limit will remain the same. So will the APR (although we don’t care about that since we pay off all our bills in full each month).
  • Your $95 annual fee may be refunded as a prorated amount depending on when you paid it.
  • You can use your old card until your new card arrives.
  • Unused points from CSP or CSR will now be worth 1 cent in the portal until you have another CSP or CSR.
  • Downgrades are a soft inquiry, not a hard inquiry, so they won’t show up on your credit report or affect your 5/24 status.


Hyatt Residence Club Maui

Getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred card again might make a stay in Maui at the Hyatt Residence Club a reality.


Bottom Line

Occasionally, you will want to cancel or downgrade a credit card. In my opinion, if it had been 48 months+ since I received the welcome offer on my Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card, I’d want to know how to downgrade it so that I could jump on the increased bonus on the Sapphire Preferred.


Screenshot of downgrade instructions

Waterfall into green pool of water

Share this post

  1. Lauren says:

    If you downgrade and reapply, does it count against 5/24 when you get the card that you reapplied for back again?

  2. Holly says:

    If you downgrade from CSR to original Chase Freedom are you sacrificing that welcome bonus in order to apply for a CSP 30 days later?

  3. Jenny says:

    Can you downgrade to a card you already have?

  4. Angela says:

    My husband and I both have CSP but it’s been over 48 months since his SUB. If he downgrades, can I get a referral bonus when he reapplies?

  5. Alex says:

    Just downgraded my CSR card to the Freedom Flex in order to apply for the CSP card and receive the SUB again! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  6. Mike says:

    If I downgrade from CSP to freedom flex to get the sign-up bonus again and I have a lot of points remaining, can I retransfer those points after I reapply for the CSP? And will it be the same value as CSP points?

    • Pam says:

      Yes you can. You could also transfer them to a Player 2 who has a CSP or CSR if that works too.

      • Michael Veitch says:

        After I do a product change from CSP to freedom flex. How long do I have to wait until I can reapply for the CSP sign up bonus? it has been longer than 48 months since i received my original bonus

        • Pam says:

          I’d give it a couple of weeks to make sure it takes effect.

          • Michael Veitch says:

            I called chase customer service and they said two credit statements is that typical or inaccurate?

          • Pam says:

            I’ve heard of many people doing it much sooner but am not going to swear on that. I’d downgrade, wait a couple of weeks, and call back and make sure it is off. Customer service people often give wrong advice but I’m not about to lead someone wrong either.😜

  7. Mike veitxh says:

    Hello replaying to my comment above on CSP, I’m curious if you have any insight on how I can maximize points. I have a trip to Europe planned 09/29 and don’t want to downgrade from CSP and risk not having my cars for the trip. Should I use my 100k + points towards hotels/flights or sign up for an Amex card? I booked my round trip flight with points but plan on traveling while I’m there and haven’t booked anything yet

    • Pam says:

      I usually just “earn” points by charging travel in Europe – trains and cheap flights on Ryan Air or Easy Jet. AMEX Rewards is how I pay for most of my international travel because I like to save my valuable UR’s for Hyatt stays. There is no “right” way to do it though so do it however you want. You can always earn more UR’s especially if you get Chase business cards.

      • Michael veitch says:

        Great thanks for all the help. What are you thoughts on having the CSP and the Amex green?

        • Pam says:

          Well you are talking to someone who gets a new card for the Sign Up Bonus every other month so I am all for getting more cards which means more rewards/points. If you just have one card and put all your spend on that, it will be a slow burn to earn enough for your travels. I’d go for it (and more).

  8. Pily Carper says:


    I had my CSP for almost 24 months
    it is ok to downgrade and still have the chance 48 months later to apply for CSP again right ?
    I do still have a few points and not sure the best place to transfer them to 🙁

    • Pam says:

      Your points will remain in your downgraded card (Freedom). You will just not have the ability to use them in the portal or with transfer partners until you have a CSP or CSR again. I’d transfer them to United, Hyatt, or Southwest depending on what you use most.

  9. Celina Schneider says:

    I have had a Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card for over 48 months. I just used most of my points for plane tickets and am working on the 5x bonus (expires in September)…at that point I’ll have less than 10K miles. Because this card has a $95 annual fee and I’ve earned and used the SUB, can I downgrade this card without losing my points? Is there a downgrade for a branded card? I’d like to apply for the Southwest Business card and try to get the companion pass. Not sure how to handle this…

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