Ever since this card was released, I wanted it. However, I was certain that my credit scores weren't worthy of its premier benefits. After weeks and weeks of research, reading reviews, and getting myself excited about the card's stellar sign-on bonus and benefits, I bit the bullet and applied online. Before doing so, I used the preapproval tool on the Chase website and was only preapproved for the Sapphire Preferred, Freedom Unlimited, and Slate. I thought, eh, whatever. If I get declined, I can stop lusting over the Reserve and move on. But to my surprise, I received an instant approval for $10,000.
Back in the early 2000s, I destroyed my credit by making some not-so-smart decisions. I was so irresponsible with my accounts, and my score dipped into the low 500s. However, In 2006, I purchased a used car with a 5-year loan...my interest rate was super high but I dug that grave, so I made sure that I made all of the payments on time, and before I knew it the car was paid off. Since paying off this car, I used cash for everything and sort of just ignored my credit profile. Fast forward to this year: In May 2016, I decided it was finally time to become "credit healthy." In June 2016, I applied for the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer card and was instantly approved for $5,000. I was stoked, because I only applied for it after seeing a promo offer for a 70k sign-on bonus (and United is my preferred airline). Then in August 2016, after researching cards made for consumers who are rebuilding credit, I applied for an unsecured Capital One Platinum card and received an instant approval for $3,000.
Since opening my United MileagePlus Explorer account, I made at least two payments per month - making sure I paid more than the minimum due. At the end of September 2016, I saw that my limit on this card increased from $5,000 to $9,500. On the Capital One card, I pay off the balance in full each month since I only use it for smaller purchases (those late night fast food cravings!). Currently, my limit is still set at $3,000.
So the more important stuff... My CK scores are currently: TU:684, EQ:652. I have zero derogatory accounts, one student loan account with a $33k balance, one personal loan with a $4,700 balance, and my paid-off car is still showing on my report. My payment history on 100% on TU and 99% on EQ. My annual salary is $44k. CK stated my approval odds for this card as "Very Good," if that matters to anyone (I always take these with a grain of salt). I have one hard inquiry on both TU and EQ (at the time of applying for the Reserve card) and two new credit accounts in the past 24 months. My current utilization is at 46%.
I think I was approved not so much for my credit scores, but moreso for my history with Chase. I've been banking with Chase for over 10 years (I started with WaMu). And I think it also helped that I showed positive credit activity with their United MileagePlus Explorer card, despite the fact that I've only had the card for four months. I feel like I'm an outlier as far as credit score approvals for the Reserve card goes, but I also feel blessed to have this opportunity to continue strengthening my credit and take advantage of those awesome benefits! I apologize for my long story, but I figured it might help those of you out there who are considering this card but don't have what CK would consdier "Good" credit or above. I hope this review helps. Good luck, everyone!