President Obama May Be Getting a New Credit Card, Better Than Sapphire Reserve

Information related to the Chase Palladium, JP Morgan Reserve, JP Morgan Select and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards has not been provided or reviewed by Chase. I've collected it independently. I do not have referral links to these cards. Any errors are mine.

President Obama carries the JP Morgan Select Card.

You cannot apply directly for this card any longer. When it was available it was basically a Chase Sapphire Preferred card without double miles on dining, or a signup bonus.

The card continued to be available to Palladium card cardholders.

The Palladium card has been a $595 annual fee product with laser-engraved signature into a heavy metal card, available to JP Morgan Private Client and Private Bank customers.

Here’s the card being unboxed.

JP Morgan Select became basically the ‘plastic version’ of the metal Palladium card with the same account number. Chase gave Palladium cardmembers a Select card on request, either in place of or in addition to their Palladium since some customers prefer the attractively designed but less flashy card avoiding the “thud” and cashier comments that come along with having a unique-looking and very heavy metal card.

The Palladium card earns Ultimate Rewards points and card benefits included:

  • United Club membership and Priority Pass Select with complimentary guest
  • one year of GHA Hotels Black status
  • what was once a highly regarded concierge service but that has apparently experienced slippage
  • 35,000 bonus points after $100,000 spend each year.
  • Double points on travel
  • A hidden trade line meaning it doesn’t report each month to the cardmember’s credit (use of credit line doesn’t increase utilization ratio and reduce credit score)

We do not know whether Obama is a legacy Select cardmember or a Palladium cardholder. However, I’ve previously heard that at least one Chase employee was fired for looking up Obama’s assets with the bank without authorization. He banks with Chase and would have been eligible for Palladium. Supposedly one benefit of Palladium is that in-person transactions shouldn’t ever be declined, and reportedly Obama’s card was declined once in 2014.

For some time there have been rumors that JP Morgan Select cards would be product-changed to Chase Sapphire Preferred, but that hasn’t (yet?) happened.

The Chase Palladium card, though, is apparently being discontinued for new applications and no longer appears under ‘credit cards’ on the Chase Private Client page.

Existing Palladium customers can convert their card to the JP Morgan Reserve Card, which is essentially the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card however:

  • Heavy metal like Palladium
  • Keeping the United Club benefit
  • Adding the Visa Infinite $100 discount on airfare purchased for 2 or more passengers (the new Ritz-Carlton Visa Infinite offers this, the Sapphire Reserve does not — I’ve been told this benefit will apply but am not certain of it)
  • With the lower Sapphire Reserve annual fee of $450, rather than the current $595 fee

At the same price point this card is both flashier and carries more benefits than Chase Sapphire Reserve!

By converting Palladium to JP Morgan Reserve, Palladium gets triple points on travel instead of double points, and picks up triple points on dining as well, and it becomes a Visa Infinite card. A product change to JP Morgan Reserve would not get that card’s 100,000 point signup bonus after $4000 in purchases within 3 months.

There’s conflicting information on whether or not existing Palladium cardmembers will be automatically converted to the JP Morgan Reserve Card. New applications for JP Morgan Reserve, apparently, are currently open only to Chase’s Private Bank customers and not Private Client customers. Years ago there was a period of time where anyone could apply for Palladium, a window that Chase shut. Now most people will be limited to the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

We know that President Obama would be eligible for the JP Morgan Reserve Card. And he may be automatically product-changed to it. If Chase doesn’t do it automatically for him, though, he’d be advised — once he’s out of office — to speak to his bank and make the switch.

Everyone else can just make their own metal credit cards.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Don’t sweat it Kevin! Hillary will take care of it with an executive order to raise the prices they charge for the Lincoln bedroom when they rel-list it on airbnb in February.

  2. @M. Akalani The sad thing about your comment is that it is not a joke. Hillary will leverage the White House to the max for her personal gain. And then lie about it.

  3. It’s a hidden TL? WTF? I’ve never heard of a bank that doesn’t report personal accounts. I’m surprised the CRAs and other lenders let Chase get away with that. Any other examples?

  4. President Obama definitely deserves the best since he is the best since Abraham Lincoln. He brought the country out of ashes, w/o any help from the GOP congress/senate (actually they in the way blockading), after 8 years of Bushism!

  5. So much bad information in this article..

    1. There’s no such thing as the “Chase Private Bank” or “JP Morgan Private Client”. There’s Chase Private Client for $250k+ relationships and the J.P. Morgan Private Bank for $10mm+ relationships.
    2. The JPM Reserve card, like the Chase Sappire Reserve card, doesn’t appear to get the $100 Visa Infinite airline benefit.
    3. The JPM Palladium and JPM Select cards are/were entirely different products. You can request a duplicate, plastic version of the Palladium card, which looks identical to the JPM Select card. So the card Obama is holding could belong to either a Palladium or Select card account.

  6. Chase Sapphire Reserve card is better. Visa Infinite And WAY Better Perks! We all know Obama doesn’t know anything!

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