The product is not available to either current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.
This essentially means that if you hold the Sapphire Preferred card, you are not eligible to open the Sapphire Reserve card and vice versa. Further, it means that if you earned a new cardmember sign-up bonus in the last 24 months on either card, you would also not be eligible.
As was first reported by US Credit Card Guide, Chase is updating the terms of their Sapphire cards to extend the eligibility period to every 48 months, instead of 24 months.
Who Does This Affect?
This affects only those who have received a sign-up bonus on either the Sapphire Reserve or the Sapphire Preferred between 24 and 48 months ago and were hoping to open another Sapphire card soon. You would also need to be eligible for the cards under Chase's 5/24 restriction.
At the end of the day, this should affect very few people, and I think it is a smart move on Chase's part as it essentially forces you to keep a Sapphire card once you open it.
As of writing this article, the affiliate links on Thrifty Traveler still reflect the 24-month language on both the Sapphire Preferred and the Sapphire Reserve. However, I am sure it is only a matter of time before all application links are updated.
Chase first launched the Sapphire Reserve card back in September of 2016 with a 100,000 point sign up bonus. It was so popular that the bank actually ran out of the metal used to create the cards.
Being that September 2018 would mark 24 months from the initial launch, my guess is that Chase is updating the eligibility terms to deter those who opened the card in September 2016 from canceling the card and reapplying, assuming they qualified under the 5/24 rule.
Chase continues making it harder for those they deem to not be profitable customers to get their card products. I wouldn't be surprised to see this 48-month restriction applied to more Chase card products in the future.