Is The Chase Sapphire Reserve Still Worth It? (2022)

Is The Chase Sapphire Reserve Still Worth It? (2022)

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review) is one of the most popular premium credit cards. Since the card was introduced over five years ago, it has been a no brainer for many. However, a lot has changed, both in absolute and relative terms — the card’s annual fee has increased, the pandemic changed a lot of consumer behavior, and in 2021 saw significant changes to both Sapphire cards.

With that in mind, I wanted to tackle the question of whether the Chase Sapphire Reserve is still worth it, both in absolute terms, and relative to other cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $550 annual fee, and offers the following major long term benefits:

Priority Pass lounge access is an awesome perk

In the past couple of years we’ve also seen several changes made to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, both for better and worse. Some of these have been permanent changes, while some have been temporary. These include the following:

The Sapphire Reserve travel credit is super valuable

How much is the Sapphire Reserve “costing” me?

On the most basic level, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $550 annual fee, and I receive a $300 “good cash” travel credit every cardmember year. For mental accounting purposes, I’d consider this card to really “cost” me $250 per year, since I spend $300 on travel every year anyway.

In terms of other value I can “cash out,” the card is offering a $5 monthly DoorDash credit through December 31, 2024. You can “bank” credits and use up to three for an order. I order from DoorDash at least once per quarter, so to me that’s like $60 worth of value per year.

That brings the real annual cost of the card down to $190, at least in my situation. Below I’ll do the math on what I’m getting for that.

The travel credit can be used toward virtually any travel purchase

Why I’m not spending much on the Sapphire Reserve

When the Chase Sapphire Reserve was first introduced, I loved the ability to earn 3x points on dining and travel, and used it for virtually all purchases in those categories. However, that’s no longer the competitive advantage that it once was:

My dining spending goes on the Citi Prestige

In other words, I’m no longer using the Sapphire Reserve for my dining and airfare purchases. At this point the only “bonused” spending going on my card is non-airfare travel purchases. For hotel spending it’s also breakeven, since I earn 3x points on the Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige.

In fairness, this is still a significant category, as it means I’m putting things like ridesharing, rental cars, trains, hotels, and more, on the card. The 10x points on Lyft is a big category for me, and that continues to be valid through March 2025.

Is the Sapphire Reserve still right for me?

All of this has me wondering whether the Chase Sapphire Reserve is still right for me, or if I should downgrade it to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) or maybe just keep the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review).

When considering these cards, let me share what perks of the Sapphire Reserve I do and don’t value at this point:

  • For the 3x points on dining and travel, at this point I only value 3x points on non-airfare travel purchases, since I’d rather put other purchases on the Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige
  • I value the $300 annual travel credit more or less at face value
  • I value the temporary up to $60 in annual DoorDash credits more or less at face value
  • I value the travel and rental car protection, as that really comes in handy for my travels
  • The Sapphire Reserve lets you redeem points for 1.5 cents each toward travel purchases (rather than 1.25 cents), though that’s not something I personally value, since I’d rather transfer Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners (and the transfer ratio is 1:1 for all three Ultimate Rewards “hub” cards)
  • A Priority Pass membership is valuable, but I also get this through several other cards, so incrementally I don’t think that’s worth much
I value the card’s rental car protection

Where does that leave me? Should I keep the Sapphire Reserve, should I downgrade to the Sapphire Preferred, or should I just keep the Ink Preferred?

I want to keep a premium Ultimate Rewards card

On the most basic level, the reason I want to keep one of those three cards is that they allow me to unlock the full value of the Ultimate Rewards program.

If I have one of those three cards, then I can transfer the points earned on the no annual fee Chase Freedom FlexSM (review), Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review), Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card (review), and Ink Business Cash® Credit Card (review), to Ultimate Rewards partners.

For me the value of the overall Ultimate Rewards ecosystem remains unchanged thanks to Chase’s great no annual fee cards.

If I were to consider not keeping the Sapphire Reserve, I’d have two options.

Option #1: downgrade to the Sapphire Preferred

One option is to downgrade the Sapphire Reserve to the Sapphire Preferred. With the changes made to the card in 2021, this is a really compelling option:

  • The Sapphire Preferred now offers 3x points on dining, so it’s on par with the Sapphire Reserve
  • The Sapphire Preferred now offers 10% anniversary bonus points, so it’s actually more compelling for dining and everyday spending than the Sapphire Reserve
  • The Sapphire Preferred now offers a $50 annual hotel credit, which many could get value from
  • The Sapphire Preferred also offers great travel protection
  • I’d essentially be giving up an incremental Priority Pass membership (not a big deal), the ability to redeem points for 1.5 cents each toward travel (which I don’t really value), and 3x points on my non-airfare travel purchases (which is the only real loss here)

To me the question comes down to whether it’s worth paying the higher annual fee (minus the annual travel credit), in order to earn some bonus points on travel purchases. I’m seriously considering this card downgrade option when my next annual fee comes due.

The Sapphire Preferred now also offers 3x points on dining

Option #2: cancel my Sapphire Reserve and stick to the Ink Preferred

The Ink Business Preferred is a $95 annual fee business card that offers 3x points on the first $150,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.

This is a phenomenal card given that it offers the same 3x points on travel as the Sapphire Reserve (though it’s capped).

If I canceled my Sapphire Reserve I’d save quite a bit in annual fees, I’d still be able to transfer points to partners, and I’d still earn 3x points on travel. Long term the loss would be fairly limited.

The Ink Preferred also offers 3x points on travel

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is an incredibly well rounded travel rewards card that has maintained its value well. Not only that, but having a card earning Ultimate Rewards points is still very much worth it. That’s especially true given that it opens up value with four fantastic no annual fee cards — the Chase Freedom FlexChase Freedom UnlimitedInk Business Unlimited, and Ink Business Cash.

However, with me having over time shifted my dining spending to the Citi Prestige and my airfare spending to the Amex Platinum, the Sapphire Reserve isn’t quite the slam dunk that it used to be. Now add in the major improvements we saw to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and there’s not that much incremental value for some of us to having the Reserve over the Preferred.

My annual fee is due in a few months, and at that point I’m going to have some serious thinking to do…

How are you feeling about the value proposition of the Sapphire Reserve nowadays?

Conversations (44)
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  1. Ivan X Guest

    First off, I think if you downgrade the card, they prorate you whatever's left of the annual fee, though my memory might be off about this. If I'm right, you can downgrade the card at whatever moment you decide you're not getting value from it.

    Second, I'm never giving up my Reserve if it keeps giving me what it does. My use cases are different than Lucky's -- most of my traveling is domestic, and...

    First off, I think if you downgrade the card, they prorate you whatever's left of the annual fee, though my memory might be off about this. If I'm right, you can downgrade the card at whatever moment you decide you're not getting value from it.

    Second, I'm never giving up my Reserve if it keeps giving me what it does. My use cases are different than Lucky's -- most of my traveling is domestic, and most of that transcon, and most of that on United (because I'm usually flying to a small airport which is only served by United, American, Alaska, and Southwest, and of those, only United connects to NYC via LAX and SFO, meaning much nicer aircraft and service compared to the others).

    The Reserve has a few benefits that I still highly value:

    Being able to get 1.5 cent per points when booking tickets is always a nice option to have for a variety of scenarios, including:
    - status earning
    - where you just have to take a flight somewhere on a non-transfer-partner airline when there are no award tickets on the dates you need, even on their partners
    - when you just don't have the time or energy to look through every award program (and find point.me lacking) to see if you can do better than the cash price, and, if you find one, going through the actual booking process, particularly if it's on a partner airline
    - I realize that a 2.25%-4.5% return on spending might not be good enough for some given the value that can be had from award tickets, but I find it acceptable, and I certainly enjoy the ease of having the option.

    The Chase points ecosystem allows for trivial family pooling, which is a huge upside.

    Getting 3X on not just airfare but travel of every sort, including transportation and lodging, is huge. Getting 10X on Lyft is significant too.

    Being able to transfer to United miles is sometimes great -- I actually just flew a unicorn 35K business class transcon award ticket, though usually 50-60K is the best you can hope to do, and that's still a nice alternative to have than when the cash price is $1,300 or more. (Awards are overall probably no longer much better than Delta, but the Excise Tax fee when transfering from Amex is painful, and Delta doesn't fly where I need.)

    Priority Pass that gives credit at restaurants can be super handy for domestic travel, especially with guests. Centurion lounges are often overrun, or not available in many airports, or in the wrong terminal.

    With that said, I actually collect Chase points primarily through business and my partner's spending; to diversify, and to do a little better when paying for cash tickets with points, I myself spend primarily on an Amex Blue Business Plus and Amex Gold, which gets me a minimum 3.08%-6.16% return when paying with points via my Business Platinum. (Yes, I know holding all those cards is expensive, but I do pretty well with making the credits work fo me.) This is better than the Prestige/Double Cash combo, which yields 2%-5%, with worse transfer options and a much worse web site and customer service.

    I realize the Prestige offers a better rate of return for spending on dining, and also has a Priority Pass that covers restaurants, but, well, not all of us have a Prestige any longer; that was where I had a hard time justifying $495 a year (which I count at face value, since I rarely pay cash for airfare at airlines). If they'd kept the transfer to American permanent, then the value proposition would have significantly improved, and I probably would have kept it. At any rate, it's water under the bridge now, since you can't get it any more. Also, I certainly don't miss the ThankYou Points website and booking experience. Dreadful.

    But sure, I can see how someone with different needs who is holding a Prestige could be on the fence whether to keep that versus a Reserve. For my use case, it was an easy call, since I feel that my Chase+Amex combo provides better value than Amex+Citi, and I didn't want to maintain three point ecosystems.

    For anyone who flies United on the regular, I still think the Sapphire Reserve/Freedom Unlimited combo, especially in a household with more than one account holder, can't be beat for ease, value, and flexibility.

    1. DCS Diamond

      I could have written that comment above by @ Ivan X because it pretty much reflects my own thinking. In fact, for the first time ever, I just took advantage of the CSR's 1.5cents/point redemption to book a revenue tickets with points through Ultimate Rewards because of the following considerations, especially the one about earning status miles on a ticket purchased with points:

      The Reserve has a few benefits that I still highly value:

      Being...

      I could have written that comment above by @ Ivan X because it pretty much reflects my own thinking. In fact, for the first time ever, I just took advantage of the CSR's 1.5cents/point redemption to book a revenue tickets with points through Ultimate Rewards because of the following considerations, especially the one about earning status miles on a ticket purchased with points:

      The Reserve has a few benefits that I still highly value:

      Being able to get 1.5 cent per points when booking tickets is always a nice option to have for a variety of scenarios, including:
      - status earning [DCS sez: I could have redeemed UA miles for an award ticket but I need PQPs to retain my 1K status - redemption at 1.5x through UR achieved that.]
      - where you just have to take a flight somewhere on a non-transfer-partner airline when there are no award tickets on the dates you need, even on their partners. [DCS sez: after a conference in GVA, I wanted to fly from BRU to Africa in J with SN, but everything was coming out just to expensive so I booked a "orphan" round trip through Ultimate Rewards -- problem solved!
      - when you just don't have the time or energy to look through every award program (and find point.me lacking) to see if you can do better than the cash price, and, if you find one, going through the actual booking process, particularly if it's on a partner airline
      - I realize that a 2.25%-4.5% return on spending might not be good enough for some given the value that can be had from award tickets, but I find it acceptable, and I certainly enjoy the ease of having the option.

      I also try to avoid points "currency dilution" by accumulating points in every denomination under the sun simply because certain cards award more points in certain categories than others. If taken to the extreme, it is possible to end up with points in many denominations, but not enough in a single denomination to be able to afford a decent redemption. Therefore, I have no cards that accumulate Citi ThankYou points. I collect Chase UR points with the CSR, Ink Business Cash, Chase Freedom Unlimited; and AMEX UR points with the AMEX Biz Gold and AMEX Plat. That is good enough for me.

  2. iamhere Guest

    You forgot that the pay yourself back feature also earns the bonus return and posts as a statement credit so that you still earn the points for the transaction. Also, I disagree with your monetary value system for points. I think it depends more on your redemption habits and the value of that. These days with the pandemic, using one of the credit card travel centers, while it may cost you more than the very...

    You forgot that the pay yourself back feature also earns the bonus return and posts as a statement credit so that you still earn the points for the transaction. Also, I disagree with your monetary value system for points. I think it depends more on your redemption habits and the value of that. These days with the pandemic, using one of the credit card travel centers, while it may cost you more than the very cheapest ticket (in dollars or points) could be useful in case you need to cancel or change. These card travel centers often have other numbers and resources to contact the airline. Some of the wait times to speak with airline representatives are hours long AND some of the non-primary big airlines are IMPOSSIBLE to get ahold of with contact information that does not work. This time savings which could cost hours on end should be considered. Consider the value of your spending against the remaining $250. Your strategy does not make sense if you are optimizing the other Chase cards to charge dining and travel elsewhere except for direct airline purchase or hotel with a branded credit card. A lot of your advice does not make sense because it contradicts other advice.

  3. Darren C Member

    This week I product changed to the Ritz-Carlton for the unlimited Priority Pass authorized users, guests, and Visa Infinite coverage.

    I am thinking about downgrading the CSR to the CSP to keep combining my wife's and my Fkex and Unlimited.

  4. Scudder Gold

    What ever happened to Tiffany? I appreciated her perspective.

  5. Aaron Guest

    Glad you wrote about this! I've been wondering the same thing recently – mostly because the Preferred has really become that much more compelling in the past year. The Reserve is fine, but with the other combo you have it probably makes more sense to downgrade to the Preferred, or cancel and use Ink (I'd probably downgrade). I've always used the Preferred + Freedom Unlimited on the Chase side, and the Amex Gold and Green on...

    Glad you wrote about this! I've been wondering the same thing recently – mostly because the Preferred has really become that much more compelling in the past year. The Reserve is fine, but with the other combo you have it probably makes more sense to downgrade to the Preferred, or cancel and use Ink (I'd probably downgrade). I've always used the Preferred + Freedom Unlimited on the Chase side, and the Amex Gold and Green on the Amex side – for flights, travel and food purchases between them. Personally, I think the Amex Plat is now such a mishmosh of credits (like...Walmart+ and Equinox on the same card?!) and the fee is too high. They threw the kitchen sink of credits at the card and the value for many people isn't there – except for a frequent flier who uses the lounge access regularly.

  6. Sean Guest

    IMO, Capital One Venture X has almost everything that's a benefit to most people for CSR:
    1. Offers Priority Pass and even free membership for spouse (CSR doesn't do that)
    2. Offers Visa Infinite (free rental car protection)
    3. Travel Delay Insurance

    The only reason for me to keep Chase (as CSP) is because I value the Hyatt transfer. Beyond that, you can get 3% at restaurants on both CSP & Freedom...

    IMO, Capital One Venture X has almost everything that's a benefit to most people for CSR:
    1. Offers Priority Pass and even free membership for spouse (CSR doesn't do that)
    2. Offers Visa Infinite (free rental car protection)
    3. Travel Delay Insurance

    The only reason for me to keep Chase (as CSP) is because I value the Hyatt transfer. Beyond that, you can get 3% at restaurants on both CSP & Freedom cards--which is absurd. CSR should be 5% just because of that.

    No way I'm renewing CSR in January unless they significantly increase benefits. 3% travel you can get a bunch of places, same with 3% restaurants. Priority Pass is offered by Venture X at a much lower annual fee. Doordash means nothing to me and while the 10% Lyft benefit is nice, you can still get 5% with CSP.

  7. Robert Guest

    My first $550 AF just posted and I called this AM asking if I have any retention offers - Nada. I'll likely cancel and sign up for the CSP for the 80k bonus. I do sometimes use the 1.5c redemption so may upgrade again to CSR in a year or two when my points are built back up.

    It seems silly to have the same 3X dining on CSR and the CFU

    1. o0o0o0o0o0o...Points! Guest

      You can't get the 80k (or any) CSP bonus for 48 months after receiving your CSR bonus, so that plan won't work.

    2. Robert Guest

      It's been more than 48 months, so yes it will.

  8. Trey Guest

    For me the 1.5c redemption is most valuable aspect of the CSR. If you tend to fly a lot of "good deal" premium economy flights or domestic first class tickets < $350 one-way, the 1.5c often comes out ahead of redeeming miles (plus availability is much better and you earn decent miles on these tickets). The $200+/- effective annual fee for the card is why I cancelled; they either need to lower back to $450 or add $100+ additional value.

  9. NK3 New Member

    I recently transferred all my points to Hyatt (which was the only Chase transfer partner I had used recently), then downgraded my card into another Freedom card. I will continue to accumulate Chase UR points and sign up for CSP once I get below 5/24.
    In terms of calculations, a couple things to consider:
    -You do not earn points on the $300 travel credit anymore. If you value UR points at 1.7 cents,...

    I recently transferred all my points to Hyatt (which was the only Chase transfer partner I had used recently), then downgraded my card into another Freedom card. I will continue to accumulate Chase UR points and sign up for CSP once I get below 5/24.
    In terms of calculations, a couple things to consider:
    -You do not earn points on the $300 travel credit anymore. If you value UR points at 1.7 cents, you are losing about 5% ($15).
    -Doordash gift cards are often available at a discount. Around the holidays they are often available with a 10-20% discount. Plus these would not come in the $5 increments, expiration, etc. Therefore, I would not value this at more than $50, probably less. That makes the effective annual fee at least $215.
    -For those of us who grabbed the Venture X, the rental car benefit and Priority Pass (with restaurants) are suddenly redundant.
    -If you are reading this blog & these comments, chances are good that you have cards with similar or better earnings for dining & flights. For the other travel category, there are options for similar/better returns. I have a couple no fee Citi Custom Cash cards, also currently have a bonus on travel on my United Gateway card (5x).
    For me, the numbers did not add up to keep the CSR.

    1. ECR Member

      I agree with most of your points.... but I don't understand what Doordash gift cards have to do with the benefits of this card? If you otherwise order food delivery at least a few times a year, the CSR benefit should be pretty close to face value. Having the CSR with this benefit doesnt stop you from buying more gift cards. If you don't order food delivery regularly, you might not value the CSR credit at $50, but that wouldnt have to do with gift cards.

    2. NK3 New Member

      Ben is saying that he values the Doordash benefit of this card at the face value of $60, which helps lower the effective annual fee to $190. Since I could pretty easily replace those $60 Doordash credit by buying discounted gift cards (paying $50 or less for a $60 card), I would not value that at face value.

  10. tipsyinmadras Gold

    CSR is still best premium card around. Ability to redeem for 50% more toward travel is phenomenal. The 3x on dining/travel becomes 4.5% - 10x on hotels/cars through UR is effectively 15%. That it also extends to Freedom/Freedom Ultd means those are earning 7.5% in many places too - including Travel through UR on the Unlimited.

  11. DCS Diamond

    The CSR is the 'busiest' card in my wallet when I am overseas because I use it almost exclusively to pay for all 'travel' and 'dining', both very broadly defined, at 3x.
    Therefore, forgive me if I find the question of whether the CSR is "still" worth it to be rather...er... silly. The card that started it all with a big boom, spooking the competition into being just like it, has never lost its...

    The CSR is the 'busiest' card in my wallet when I am overseas because I use it almost exclusively to pay for all 'travel' and 'dining', both very broadly defined, at 3x.
    Therefore, forgive me if I find the question of whether the CSR is "still" worth it to be rather...er... silly. The card that started it all with a big boom, spooking the competition into being just like it, has never lost its "worth". Its benefits remain solid and easy to claim because they come with very few restrictions.

    1. Sean M. Diamond

      I am in a similar situation - most of my spending is "foreign" and a huge chunk of that is in travel or dining category. Amex is useless for airfare purchases as I travel mainly in Africa where 90% of airlines cannot accept Amex, so a 3x kicker is among the best available options. I've also had the CSR since it first came out, and pay the $75/person authorised user fee for my dad and...

      I am in a similar situation - most of my spending is "foreign" and a huge chunk of that is in travel or dining category. Amex is useless for airfare purchases as I travel mainly in Africa where 90% of airlines cannot accept Amex, so a 3x kicker is among the best available options. I've also had the CSR since it first came out, and pay the $75/person authorised user fee for my dad and my wife. It is the first card that I was actually excited to apply for and I fondly remember staying up till 2am in my hotel room in Uganda on a Skype call with the Chase reconsideration line to move credit around for an approval. I never once thought about closing it or product changing until recently.

      The increase of annual fee from $450 to $550 made me reconsider the value. The increase of benefits on the CSP made the difference between the two cards a lot less obvious. The equation for me comes down to the fact that I see the Preferred offering "better" value now than the Reserve does, not that the Reserve has lost value. My cost for the two cards would basically be $45/year for the Preferred versus $400/year for the Reserve (inc. two AUs). The extra $355 gets me the Priority Pass memberships for the AUs (I already have my own from another card) and the additional one point per dollar spent on travel, less the 10% annual dividend on the CSP and the streaming spend bonus. Neither of the AUs have made any use of their PP cards since the pandemic started (they have always traveled with me in that period) and quite honestly are less likely to use them much at all in the foreseeable future, so the value of that is also diminished. Lyft and DoorDash are also useless for non-US spend, so those benefits are worth $0 in my case.

      My AF is due in a few months, so I too have a decision to make soon. I do love the CSR but maybe it is becoming a bit too millennial focused for my Gen-X spending habits.

    2. Steve Guest

      I would Downgrade that card

    3. Steve Guest

      Definitely no where close to Hilton Aspire Card

    4. relidtm Member

      i agree with this I went to Italy for the first time this February and I couldn't use my Amex gold in many places simply not accepted this is the biggest reason I keep this in my wallet.

  12. eponymous coward Guest

    I have a version of the same problem:

    - I used the AMEX Green a lot when I got it in 2020. Broad category card for travel = sweet, even if 2020 isn’t a heavy air travel year, for things like rental cars it worked well.
    - Got sweet offers for AMEX Platinums in 2021, also have 3x dining cards (SavorOne and Bilt)
    - Because Green’s credits overlap heavily with AMEX Platinum benefits,...

    I have a version of the same problem:

    - I used the AMEX Green a lot when I got it in 2020. Broad category card for travel = sweet, even if 2020 isn’t a heavy air travel year, for things like rental cars it worked well.
    - Got sweet offers for AMEX Platinums in 2021, also have 3x dining cards (SavorOne and Bilt)
    - Because Green’s credits overlap heavily with AMEX Platinum benefits, I’m basically paying $150 annual fee for a 3x general travel card. I need to be spending almost 9k (!) on that card in bonus categories to break even with my 2x VentureX- and given that I have two no annual fee dining cards that’s really almost 9k travel, MINUS airfare and stuff that goes on other cards (like Hilton spend, for instance).

    I do have heavy spend in non-airfare/non-chain hotel travel categories for 2022 and I basically punted the problem for a year (10k retention bonus for 1k spend cancels the AF for me), but Q2 2023 is probably when I can realistically start on new Citi/Chase cards, and whichever I probably pick (CSP/CSR/Citi Premier) will likely crowd out my Green for a decent chunk of travel spending.

    1. Anthony Diamond

      It's tough. I also have Amex Green in year 1 - getting a lot of points through dining and general travel (which for me includes a lot of Uber). As a heavy Uber user, 3x travel is critical (I can easily hit the 9K number annually you describe). The question is do I keep an Amex Green, which costs $150 with no effective offsets, or try to put such travel spend on a CSR, which...

      It's tough. I also have Amex Green in year 1 - getting a lot of points through dining and general travel (which for me includes a lot of Uber). As a heavy Uber user, 3x travel is critical (I can easily hit the 9K number annually you describe). The question is do I keep an Amex Green, which costs $150 with no effective offsets, or try to put such travel spend on a CSR, which costs a net $155 over the CSP (I ascribe $0 to benefits like CSR Priority Pass). I think I will ultimately upgrade my Amex Green to Amex Gold ($0 net fee for me due to the credits) and maybe reupgrade CSP to CSR. You also get extra 0.25 redemptions with CSR, Lyft at 10x, etc.

    2. eponymous coward Guest

      One factor is that AMEX Offers in travel are often better than Chase Offers, and putting those on a Green helps offset the annual fee.

      At last count my AMEX offers on my Green by themselves nuked 2 years of annual fee plus part of a third… and I still have a ways to go in year 3. I don’t know if that seats me to keeping it (I could also do some upgrade/downgrade switcheroos).

    3. Pam Guest

      Agree. In fact I earned so much on AMEX travel Offers with my Green I am reapplying for a new Green after double-upgrading my old one! I really miss that card..,

  13. guflyer Guest

    For the travel insurance, I greatly appreciate the way that Chase does not require a round trip completely booked with the card for coverage. I book a lot of one way tickets and with the many issues that airlines have had over the past year, I feel safer having Chase's trip delay and interruption insurance.

  14. Jerry Diamond

    Most every benefit with this card overlaps with the Amex Green, which I use for hotels outside of the USA since they can't try to pull forex BS on me. However, the CSR let's you make unlimited travel insurance claims. Being based in the middle of the USA and flying AA, the 2 per year that the Amex Plat offers isn't enough.

  15. CF Guest

    As someone who mostly uses the 1.5 cents per point, the numbers make sense for me to keep the Reserve. Being able to consolidate my wife's and my points from various Freedom cards and multiply by 1.5 vs 1.25, plus the added points that the Reserve gives for travel (I don't have AMEX Platinum or Citi Prestige) vs Preferred, the numbers make sense. This is without even factoring Priority Pass (Venture X gives me that)...

    As someone who mostly uses the 1.5 cents per point, the numbers make sense for me to keep the Reserve. Being able to consolidate my wife's and my points from various Freedom cards and multiply by 1.5 vs 1.25, plus the added points that the Reserve gives for travel (I don't have AMEX Platinum or Citi Prestige) vs Preferred, the numbers make sense. This is without even factoring Priority Pass (Venture X gives me that) or primary car insurance (Preferred would work there), both of which are valuable to me but I wouldn't need Reserve for them. I realize I'm not maximizing by transferring to airline partners etc, but it works for me. Just a data point, obviously depends on the individual.

  16. sb Guest

    what about downgrading Reserve to something else and then re-applying for a new CSP to get the 80K? I just did this...

  17. JulienWA Guest

    Meh, I'm keeping mine. 550 -300(travel credit) -45(2022 doordash credits) -50 (Nexus fee for this year) = 155.00 for the year. That's not terrible.

    I did just open a Platinum card this week but only because I have several trips thru LAX coming up and there were no lounges for me to use. The sub is only 6000.00 in six months which is easy for me to meet. I admit to also only opening an...

    Meh, I'm keeping mine. 550 -300(travel credit) -45(2022 doordash credits) -50 (Nexus fee for this year) = 155.00 for the year. That's not terrible.

    I did just open a Platinum card this week but only because I have several trips thru LAX coming up and there were no lounges for me to use. The sub is only 6000.00 in six months which is easy for me to meet. I admit to also only opening an Amex Plat to get that sweet 150,000 point offer /snicker. I had just emptied my Gold card's MR points with a round trip ticket to Phuket, Thailand in Biz on SQ for November, and I hated the idea of not having MR points in my bank.

    At this point; I have the Venture X, the Sapphire Reserve, the Amex Plat and the Amex Bonvoy Brilliant.
    The Venture X was only opened for its sub--but I feel like it's a pretty decent card otherwise, so I'm letting an authorized user use it for his work travel until he gets his own cards to help rack up some points.

    Only time will tell if I have real-use cases for all four. I do like each of them for different reasons and I think in my situation (someone who can buy travel on his own cards b/c his job allows him to)...it can work..for now.

    I'd really like to see Chase introduce some other credits on this card. I'm not sure why we didnt also get the online grocery thing or a 100.00 hotel credit??

    1. Pam Guest

      Ben, why would you not lose the high AF on the Prestige & product change to the $0 AF Custom Cash for the same 5x dining?

  18. RC Guest

    You are forgetting another benefit. It multiplies points earned by other Chase cards by 1.5. So the 5x earned on the rotating categories on the Freedom now effectively earn 7.5x
    And non-category spending goes from 1.5x to 2.25x

  19. Evan Guest

    Had planned on downgrading my Reserve to a 2nd Freedom card and reapplying for Sapphire Preferred for the bonus, but the Amex Hilton card offers from a few weeks ago pushed me back above 5/24 so the calculus gets a bit more interesting. When my annual fee comes up, will be weighing pros and cons of downgrading vs cancelling and waiting ~6 months to dip under 5/24 and get the Sapphire bonus points.

    Similiar...

    Had planned on downgrading my Reserve to a 2nd Freedom card and reapplying for Sapphire Preferred for the bonus, but the Amex Hilton card offers from a few weeks ago pushed me back above 5/24 so the calculus gets a bit more interesting. When my annual fee comes up, will be weighing pros and cons of downgrading vs cancelling and waiting ~6 months to dip under 5/24 and get the Sapphire bonus points.

    Similiar to your situation I dont generate Chase pts as quickly as I used to, but having to transfer all my points (likely to Hyatt) while I wait is also less than ideal since Hyatt devaluations are likely on the way.

  20. Khatl Gold

    Why not change to the preferred and the Amex Green? Preferred as you note (and as it also has a Lyft bonus, though 5.5x, not 10). And then Amex Green for all other travel, broader travel categories than Chase and a few other benefits? That said, evens out when looking at net cost, and more a Q of which points do you most want.

  21. Buzz Guest

    The Priority pass is worth it to me because I frequently travel through airports that have the restaurant benefit rather than a lounge. If I'm traveling with my wife, itS $28 per person. $56 a few times easily covers the extra $250. AMEX doesn't offer the restaurant benefit.

  22. David Guest

    Assuming you've had the CSR for 4 years, doesn't it make more sense to cancel it and apply for the CSP as a new card (in order to get the sign-up bonus) than to downgrade?

    1. Khatl Gold

      unfortunately chase doesn't let you do that without a gap period

    2. Thomas Guest

      I've cancelled my CSR to reapplied CSP this fall. The "gap" was a couple of weeks. And I got a 100k signup bonus to boot. The math was way too compelling to downgrade with that bonus.

  23. Jason Guest

    Not eligible for business credit cards and just dont generate enough spend to make it worth splitting between Chase and Amex or Chase and Citi. Living in Washington DC Chase just overall offers the best value, so I will absolutely keep my Reserve and all the other no fee cards I have. If Citi thank you points ever become transferrable permanently to American Airlines Aadvantage then I'd seriously consider moving to Citi given AA's big...

    Not eligible for business credit cards and just dont generate enough spend to make it worth splitting between Chase and Amex or Chase and Citi. Living in Washington DC Chase just overall offers the best value, so I will absolutely keep my Reserve and all the other no fee cards I have. If Citi thank you points ever become transferrable permanently to American Airlines Aadvantage then I'd seriously consider moving to Citi given AA's big DC presence, but as of now, not there.

    1. Khatl Gold

      Agreed. Citi would gain a great advantage if it allowed all transfers to AA

    2. askmrlee Guest

      Why are you not eligible for business cards? Just apply as a sole proprietor with your name as the business.

    3. Jason Guest

      Dont you need a tax identification number or some proof you actually own a business? I have enough credit cards as is, so it's just not something I need to do.

    4. Pam Guest

      You use Ford for high-end 4S etc res, so if you don’t use your URs on the travel portal there truly is not as much need. On the other hand, it might be worth keeping for the nominal net amt it’s costing you towards possible future benefits & rental car insurance claims (that might also be covered with your C1VX but then again not many DPs yet).

  24. mdande7 Gold

    I downgraded using basically the same math as you. Might get the Ink Business at some point in the future but the preferred works fine to keep the UR ecosystem alive

    1. Patel Guest

      Honestly get Venture X. They basically pay you to hold that card with same benefits and reserve.

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DCS Diamond

The CSR is the 'busiest' card in my wallet when I am overseas because I use it almost exclusively to pay for all 'travel' and 'dining', both very broadly defined, at 3x. Therefore, forgive me if I find the question of whether the CSR is "still" worth it to be rather...er... silly. The card that started it all with a big boom, spooking the competition into being just like it, has never lost its "worth". Its benefits remain solid and easy to claim because they come with very few restrictions.

5
Sean Guest

IMO, Capital One Venture X has almost everything that's a benefit to most people for CSR: 1. Offers Priority Pass and even free membership for spouse (CSR doesn't do that) 2. Offers Visa Infinite (free rental car protection) 3. Travel Delay Insurance The only reason for me to keep Chase (as CSP) is because I value the Hyatt transfer. Beyond that, you can get 3% at restaurants on both CSP & Freedom cards--which is absurd. CSR should be 5% just because of that. No way I'm renewing CSR in January unless they significantly increase benefits. 3% travel you can get a bunch of places, same with 3% restaurants. Priority Pass is offered by Venture X at a much lower annual fee. Doordash means nothing to me and while the 10% Lyft benefit is nice, you can still get 5% with CSP.

3
Sean M. Diamond

I am in a similar situation - most of my spending is "foreign" and a huge chunk of that is in travel or dining category. Amex is useless for airfare purchases as I travel mainly in Africa where 90% of airlines cannot accept Amex, so a 3x kicker is among the best available options. I've also had the CSR since it first came out, and pay the $75/person authorised user fee for my dad and my wife. It is the first card that I was actually excited to apply for and I fondly remember staying up till 2am in my hotel room in Uganda on a Skype call with the Chase reconsideration line to move credit around for an approval. I never once thought about closing it or product changing until recently. The increase of annual fee from $450 to $550 made me reconsider the value. The increase of benefits on the CSP made the difference between the two cards a lot less obvious. The equation for me comes down to the fact that I see the Preferred offering "better" value now than the Reserve does, not that the Reserve has lost value. My cost for the two cards would basically be $45/year for the Preferred versus $400/year for the Reserve (inc. two AUs). The extra $355 gets me the Priority Pass memberships for the AUs (I already have my own from another card) and the additional one point per dollar spent on travel, less the 10% annual dividend on the CSP and the streaming spend bonus. Neither of the AUs have made any use of their PP cards since the pandemic started (they have always traveled with me in that period) and quite honestly are less likely to use them much at all in the foreseeable future, so the value of that is also diminished. Lyft and DoorDash are also useless for non-US spend, so those benefits are worth $0 in my case. My AF is due in a few months, so I too have a decision to make soon. I do love the CSR but maybe it is becoming a bit too millennial focused for my Gen-X spending habits.

3
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