Chase Adds Limited Time Perks To Sapphire Cards

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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Update: Chase is adding even more benefits to Sapphire cards as of July 1, including Instacart credits, and bonus points with Instacart, gas stations, and streaming services.

Given how much consumer behavior has changed in the past several weeks, many of the credit card benefits that members used to appreciate most aren’t as valuable anymore. Therefore we’re seeing card issuers get creative with perks, so that members have an incentive to keep their cards.

Recently Amex revealed a variety of temporary perks they’re adding to cards, including valuable cell phone and streaming credits.

Now Chase has revealed some additional new temporary perks for two of their most popular premium cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Let’s take a look at the new perks.

New temporary Chase Sapphire Reserve perks

The Chase Sapphire Reserve (review) is one of Chase’s most popular premium cards, and ordinarily has a $550 annual fee. The following perks are temporarily being added to the card:

  • Between May 31 and September 30, 2020, redeem Ultimate Rewards points for 1.5 cents each towards a statement credit that offsets purchases at dining establishments, grocery stores, and home improvement stores; ordinarily points can only be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards travel purchases
  • Between June 1 and December 31, 2020, the $300 annual travel credit will be expanded to automatically be applied to purchases at gas stations and grocery stores
  • The $550 annual fee will be lowered to $450 for renewals between July 1 and December 31, 2020; between April 1 and July 1, Chase has been offering a $100 statement credit on renewals, so this will replace that

These new benefits are in addition to the other limited time perks that Chase has recently added to the Sapphire Reserve (both before and during the current pandemic):

The Sapphire Reserve has great DoorDash perks

New temporary Chase Sapphire Preferred perks

The Chase Sapphire Preferred (review) is one of Chase’s mid-range cards, and ordinarily has a $95 annual fee. The following perk is temporarily being added to the card:

  • Between May 31 and September 30, 2020, redeem Ultimate Rewards points for 1.25 cents each towards a statement credit that offsets purchases at dining establishments, grocery stores, and home improvement stores; ordinarily points can only be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards travel purchases

This new benefit is in addition to the other limited time perks that Chase has recently added to the Sapphire Preferred (both before and during the current pandemic):

  • Between May 1 and June 30, earn 3x points on the first $1,500 spent on groceries per month
  • Receive a DoorDash DashPass for at least one year, offering discounted delivery fees
  • Through May 31, 2020, earn 3x points on the first $500 spent with DoorDash and Tock
  • Receive 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022

Chase is making redemptions for non-travel purchases more valuable

How do limited time Amex & Chase perks compare?

These temporary Chase benefits are quite good, though personally I think the temporary Amex benefits are significantly more valuable. For example, with the Amex Platinum we’re getting an additional $40 per month between the cell phone and streaming credits through the end of the year, worth up to $320.

While I do think the temporary Amex benefits are better, I also think that these Chase cards are more compelling to begin with in these times. For example, the Amex Platinum is so heavily travel focused, while there’s a lot of value to be had right now with the Sapphire Reserve as well, between the DoorDash perks, 5x points on groceries, and more.

For example, I have the Sapphire Reserve, and looking at the temporary benefits:

  • I’ve already used by $300 travel credit
  • I don’t plan on redeeming points for 1.5 cents each towards purchases, since I’d rather transfer them to Ultimate Rewards airline & hotel partners
  • I do appreciate the $100 reduction in annual fee, however

In many ways some Amex cards are more travel focused

Bottom line

Chase is adding temporary benefits to the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred, in order to reflect the times.

Being able to redeem points for maximum value towards dining and groceries is great, and is something that many will likely get value out of. On top of that, it’s nice to see Chase lower the annual fee on the Sapphire Reserve by $100 for the rest of the year.

Ultimately the temporary benefits aren’t as robust as on Amex cards, but to me that’s quite fair, since I think these two Chase cards aren’t quite as travel centric as some premium Amex cards.

What do you make of these temporary Chase Sapphire benefits?

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Comments
  1. Assume the $300 travel credit used toward grocery purchases will not earn 5X UR points? Just as you no longer earn UR points when spending down the $300 credit for regular travel transactions.

  2. No worries about grocery credit, I have used my travel credit long time ago.
    The real question which transfer hotel and airline partners would make sense today?
    Any suggestions, Lucky? Or just seat tight till the countries would open up?

  3. Chase Sapphire Preferred incentives not very valuable, prefer AMEX ones by far.

    Now, is Citi Prestige planning on doing anything? I imagine most card holders not being able to use the fourth night hotel perk, shouldn’t they come up with some incentive?

  4. Useless. I already used my $300 credit, I definitely get more value than 1.5x by redeeming with Hyatt, my renewal fee’s timing was such that this year I only paid $450 total anyways.

  5. I am using my CSR to buy gift cards at the grocery store for other things I need, so Amazon, iTunes, etc., and grocery store gift cards, so I can buy it all and get 5x points, and redeem the grocery store gift cards later when I’d only get 1x points, and use the Amazon and iTunes gift cards to get 5x on those purchases when normally it’d only be 1x. It’s money I’d spend this year anyways so I’m stocking up now with the extra points and living off it for the rest of the year.

  6. $100 AF discount for CSR will keep it in my pocket another year…if that’s worth anything.

  7. Only the fee going back to $450 is useful for me. I don’t want to use my travel credits on groceries; I save them for actual travel reimbursement. The doordash credit/deal is a joke as well, especially seeing that it’s a temporary benefit. And that is coming from someone who lives in NYC and orders in regularly.

    If they are going to introduce perks, how about something actually useful like Amex has done…

  8. Will the $300 CSR credit continue to *also* cover travel expenses, in the event that business travel picks up a bit sometime in the fall?

  9. Well so come June 1st to June 30 no more using the Chase Card for grocery as I earn more from other cards during that time.

    Seriously how goddamn stupid, give me a 5x benefit and then take it away by using it for the $300 credit, so basically if I use my remaining $250 credit in June. For grocery I forgo 1250 points, but if i use them in July. I forgo 250 points…. So answer is to use another card all of June that is offering an expanded grocery points.

    Who the fuck thinks this shit up and how do they have a job?

  10. Well my renewal is in January, so obviously the travel credit is long gone and none of these changes do anything for me.

  11. So the Sapphire Reserve basically becomes a Freedom since the Freedom 2Q bonus is grocery stores. Wish they were a bit more creative like AMEX offering a cell phone or streaming credit.

  12. Would have been nice to add in a 1.5X transfer bonus to all travel partners for Reserve card holders.

  13. It’s funny – I wish there was a way to turn off the travel credit for everyday purchases – which for me include Uber/Lyft, and now groceries. This disincentivizes the use of CSR for groceries if you have an active travel credit (I do as of May). Same with Lyft at 10x. I wish there was a way to designate the travel credit for use only on airlines. The way this year is going, I may actually buy a Metrocard to use my travel credit and discontinue my monthly MTA pass given it doesn’t seem I will be on the subway all that much for a few months…

  14. As noted above, keeping the AF at $450 keeps this card of the guillotine for one more year at least.

  15. @Anthony couldn’t agree more. Been saying that for years. Especially since once it’s been used, they can’t reverse it (which also doesn’t make sense to me. Amex accidentally debited my Airline credit a couple of years ago and they had no issue giving it back when I called).

  16. @Anthony – why does it matter at all if the $300 credit is expanded to other categories? That’s unequivocally a good thing. The credit is applied to your account as a credit, dollar for dollar. If you spend $300 on groceries and $300 on air travel in a month, who cares what purchase the $300 credit you receive technically applies to?

  17. Personally i find the AmEx credits combined with Amex Offers more compelling. Also with United MP devaluation, UR and MR are now pretty much the same value.

  18. A little off-topic but yesterday I was instantly approved for the Chase Amazon Prime card while sitting at 5/24. I had read previously that this card was subject to the rule but decided to test the waters. Could they be relaxing their policy during the pandemic?

  19. I wish they would have just kept the 5x earnings on groceries until the end of the year.

    My renewal is in January, so I have used up my travel credit long before the shutdown. When they announced the annual fee increase, I thought I was one of the last people to renew at $450; now I will be one of the first to actually pay $550 (unless I cancel/downgrade). And I definitely won’t use UR points to pay for groceries. I feel like this is an attempt to get press for offering incentives, while the overall cost to Chase is probably low. They reported that usage of Chase credit cards was down 40% in late March/early April, though none of these things will drive me to use their cards (beyond the end of June).

  20. @Reed It’s about the bonus categories. Currently groceries earn 5x points, so most would prefer to use that credit toward travel expenses that only earn at a 3x rate. That’s essentially 600 points lost to accounting now that Chase no longer credits bonus points to charges which the $300 credit is applied to.

  21. I was initially disappointed, but combined with the previous improvements, the card definitely stays in my wallet. If they extend 5X groceries through EOY, I think it’s a slam dunk.

  22. I’m confused by the outrage expressed by @Anthony and @Scott and others. OMAT should have provided links to the source materials like DoC did.

    If you go to the CSR website, you will see that grocery purchases that qualify for the $300 credit will still get 5x points. And, the first $300 of travel purchases will not qualify for UR points, regardless of whether the $300 credit was applied to offset those purchases. So I don’t see how anyone is worse off.

    Source: https://www.chase.com/personal/credit-cards/sapphire-reserve-benefits

    Relevant footnote:

    “Starting June 1, in addition to eligible purchases made in the Travel category, purchases posted by December 31, 2020 in the Gas Stations and Grocery Store categories will also count toward the $300 Annual Travel Credit. Annually, the first $300 in travel purchases will not earn rewards points, regardless of whether the Annual Credit was earned on purchases for Travel, or for promotional offers on other categories, for example at Gas Stations, or Grocery Stores.”

  23. @Nate nate That footnote specifically states that Chase will not credit rewards points to the $300 travel credit, whether it’s used for travel or other categories, where it specifically states grocery stores and gas stations.

  24. Love it. I have already used my travel credit, but my card renews this year so I will be able to use it straight away on gas, etc. before the end of 2020.

  25. @MattR…you are correct. If one can use the $300 travel credit towards a 3x point travel category that is ideal to not lose the $600. Overall I personally with have a net positive with a lot of grocery store and gas purchases.

  26. Cool, I guess, if I wanted to just delete my UR points and redeem all for groceries.

    I probably won’t do that.

  27. Seriously, wth is with the complaining??

    These are awesome, USEFUL and extremely welcome perks, given the situation as it is today. If you’re one of these strange people who only find a First Class flight on ANA to be “worth it”, then, I guess, but if you’re a person who buys groceries, then these changes are unequivocally good.

    I really have to scratch my head all the time at all of you complaining the CSR isn’t worth it. Like…what are you DOING? I realize my case is extreme, but the CSR pays for itself at least 10 times over for me a year, it’s the single best card in my portfolio…but, for anyone, it’s really not that hard to come out on top with it.

  28. @Robin

    “If you’re one of these strange people who only find a First Class flight on ANA to be “worth it””

    Yep, it’s this community who thinks just like that. Just as they think redeeming for F/J is the only way to use miles/points

  29. @nate yes they made it so you can use the credit for groceries, and that could be a good thing for some people, but you lose 5x points, so let’s say you value points at 2c a piece. The $300 credit was a loss of $18 in points, now through June 30, the loss is $30 in points, so theoretically they are taking $12 from you in June if you used the entire amount in groceries.

    So for me I’m going to use my grocery purchases on another card that gives the bonus through June 30, then I’ll use the Chase card when the earn is at 1x and now $300 credit in groceries is equal to 300 points or $6 and then I’m positive on the move…

    Ie Chase took away ALL incentive to use the card on Groceries in June if you still have a travel credit to burn.

  30. From the Chase website: “Now enjoy more flexibility with your annual $300 Travel Credit. From June 1 through December 31, 2020, gas station and grocery store purchases will also count toward earning your Travel Credit. You’ll also earn points on these purchases (and, as always, after your first $300 in travel purchases, you’ll immediately start earning 3x points on travel).”

    It sounds to me that you will still earn points on grocery stores and gas stations even if you receive the credit. Your first $300 in travel spend do not earn points regardless if you are earning the credit or not. So you if you spend your entire $300 credit at the grocery store you will get 5x the points but your first $300 in travel spend after that will still not earn any points, even though its not part of the credit.

  31. I am with @Nate on this one. I interpret the language as saying that first $300 of “travel purchases” won’t earn UR points – not first $300 in “eligible” purchases.

    Request for public service – could someone with

    1. statement closing date in early June
    2. groceries transaction in June on that statement
    3. travel credit for groceries on June statement

    please check how this works in practice and let us know?

    Thanks!

  32. @Tiffany

    How about one of those colorful pdf checklist like AMEX, please. And possibly for every major card, or at least the ones you advertise?

  33. I’ll let you guys know if I can remember it… I have $20 left in my CSR travel credit and thus will lose not too much if what you guys fear is true

  34. I also interpret the fine print as saying that you will still earn 5x on all grocery purchases thru the end of June, even if they are offset by the $300 credit. It is when you later in the year do something classed as travel that you will not get 3x bonus points on the first $300 dollars in spending. In effect you can call this a net win as you are gaining “free” 5x on $300 and only losing the standard 3x on $300, same as always. They basically have to do this because many people may have already used up the credit and thus would not lose out on any of the 5x temp bonus, while those unable to use the travel credit already would have been punished and justifiably unhappy over losing out on 5x instead of only 3x.
    Basically Chase is doing something to all but guarantee you still get the $300 in credits, even if you don’t “travel” at all this year, which for many is very possible.

  35. Seriously, this is a lot of heart burn over $12. If you want, call Chase and refuse the 5% on groceries.

    @Scott laid out the math on how this came to $12. He must also live a very sad life to lose sleep over these things.

    Frankly, I think Chase went out of its way to design a very fair system.

  36. For me the break point will be when I have to pay $100 more per year for the Saphire Reserve. The new “perks” are of no interest to me as I’m just interested in the travel side of things. I have too many other no cost or low cost cards that already do a lot outside of travel. And for those who complain about others “complaining”, how else are changes ever effected if a supplier thinks you’re happily riding unicorns into the sunset?

  37. @Jerry H

    …because people complain about every change card issuers make. In this case, you all are complaining about literal free money.

    At some point, that just makes me say WTF!? Do you people just get your kicks from complaining all god damn day??

  38. It would be a lot more useful if I were sheltering in a place that had DoorDash, Tock or Lyft. I’m in the camp that the $450 instead of $550 will keep me for one more year and then I’m out of here.

  39. Anyone have an idea of what types of home improvement stores will trigger this? I am seriously considering a hot tub, and this might just be an easy way to afford it. If I can’t travel for a couple years, I’d be ok soaking in a hot tub while I build back up my UR balance. BUT… I don’t know if a hot tub specific store will trigger this. Turns out HD and Lowes don’t really sell them in California.

  40. Has any Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder had problems activating their free DashPass. I have spent three weeks with their support people and they keep sending me the same instructions that don’t work.

  41. I had to downgrade Citi Prestige last week because of Citi’s refusal to lower the AF even during COVID-19. Citi and the Prestige card are no longer competitive. That card is going into the drawer as a backup card going forward. I love the fact that I can get the 5x UR points ts for buying Amazon gift cards at my local Safeway which saves me a trip to Staples.

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