Now Live: Major Chase Sapphire Card Changes

Now Live: Major Chase Sapphire Card Changes

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Last week we officially learned about major changes coming to the popular Chase Sapphire card lineup. These changes have now officially kicked in (and are reflected on the credit card applications), so I wanted to recap what’s changing.

Chase Sapphire improvements as of August 16, 2021

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review) have now undergone major refreshes. These adjustments are now “live” for both new and existing cardmembers. The changes are entirely positive, and the annual fees on these cards won’t be increasing. That sure is nice to see, given that new benefits often come with an increased annual fee.

This follows recent changes having been made to the Amex Platinum, which is a competitor to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Let’s go over the details.

Chase Sapphire Preferred changes

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card now has the following new benefits:

  • A $50 hotel credit every cardmember year, usable through the Chase Travel portal (these stays typically don’t earn points or receive elite credits with a hotel group); new cardmembers will receive this right away, while existing cardmembers will receive this after their next account anniversary
  • 5x Ultimate Rewards points on travel booked through the Chase Travel portal
  • 3x Ultimate Rewards points on dining, streaming services, and online grocery store purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
  • The card continues to offer 2x Ultimate Rewards points on all other travel purchases, and 1x Ultimate Rewards points on everyday spending (as it previously did)
  • A 10% anniversary points bonus, whereby you get a 10% bonus on Ultimate Rewards points earned when you renew your card and pay the annual fee; the 10% bonus is determined by “base” earning per dollar spent, and doesn’t apply to the welcome bonus, which means that you’re basically getting a 10% bonus on your total spending amount, rather than on your points earned

The annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to be $95.

The Sapphire Preferred now has a $50 annual hotel credit

Chase Sapphire Reserve changes

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card now has the following new benefits:

  • 10x Ultimate Rewards points on Chase Dining, as well as hotels and car rentals booked through the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x Ultimate Rewards points on flights booked through the Chase Travel portal
  • The card continues to earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points on all other dining and travel purchases, and 1x Ultimate Rewards points on everyday spending

The annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve continues to be $550.

The Sapphire Reserve now offers 5x points on flights

My take on these Chase Sapphire changes

If you ask me, these Chase changes make a lot of sense, and for many make the Sapphire Preferred significantly more compelling than the Sapphire Reserve (which I think is what Chase wants).

As I view the Chase Sapphire Reserve changes:

  • I don’t think these are a huge deal, at least based on my travel and dining patterns, since you need to book directly through Chase to earn more points
  • There’s typically an opportunity cost to doing so, and I imagine Chase is largely just passing on some of its commission on travel bookings in the form of points
  • That being said, I recognize that some people may find this to be more useful than I do

The Chase Sapphire Preferred changes are much more significant:

  • Some may appreciate the $50 hotel credit, though personally it’s not something I’d value that much; you have to book through Chase, which typically means you won’t receive elite perks or points if staying with a major hotel group, so this is just a way for Chase to get people to book through the portal (Chase also gets a commission on these bookings, so it’s probably a pretty low cost new perk)
  • The much bigger change is that you earn 3x points on dining, streaming services, and online groceries; it makes sense that the Sapphire Preferred earns 3x points on dining, since the Chase Freedom FlexSM (review) and Chase Freedom Unlimited® were refreshed last year to offer 3x points on dining as well
  • The icing on the cake is the 10% anniversary bonus, which means you’re essentially earning over 3x points per dollar spent on dining, etc.

Some may wonder “well why would Chase make the Sapphire Preferred more rewarding in some ways than the Sapphire Reserve?” Everything we’ve seen suggests that the Sapphire Preferred is more profitable for Chase than the Sapphire Reserve:

  • The Sapphire Preferred typically has a better welcome bonus, including right now, as it’s offering 100K points; this suggests Chase wants people to apply for the Preferred over the Reserve
  • Even though the Sapphire Reserve has a higher annual fee (which you’d think would be good for Chase), the $300 annual travel credit and Priority Pass membership really cuts into the margins
  • Perhaps the biggest reason Chase wants people to get the Sapphire Preferred over the Sapphire Reserve is because points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards travel with the former, and for 1.5 cents each towards travel with the latter, so the Sapphire Preferred has lower cost points

As someone who exclusively uses Ultimate Rewards points to transfer them to hotel and airline partners (where the ratio is 1:1 for both cards), these changes will likely make me switch to the Sapphire Preferred.

I like to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt

Bottom line

Major changes have been introduced to both the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. The Sapphire Preferred has become significantly more lucrative, offering more bonus categories, a 10% anniversary points bonus, a $50 annual hotel credit, and more.

If you don’t yet have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, this would be a really fantastic time to apply…

What do you make of these Chase Sapphire changes?

Conversations (81)
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  1. Michael

    This is sort of a continual bummer - all of my Chase travel cards are the last out my “big wallet”, and never the one I actually have on my person. I got the card so I could be anti airline loyal - but being loyal has a card way better for me these days, so guess it’s time to go no fee on all my Chase cards with them failing now on my last of the four.

  2. Mary

    For those switching to Freedom, I have one already but if I remember correctly doesn't that card charge foreign transaction fees (making it useless for travel)?

  3. Space Ghost

    Doesn’t entirely make sense. If CSR is not as profitable for Chase as CSP, its because greater benefit is accrued to the CSR holder. The only thing CSP has going for it is a great sign on bonus, which is how I got both my CSR and CSP when you could get both. I’d rather have the excellent CSR benefits. This post seems like a little bit of a funnel into CSP referrals. :/

  4. Robert Herrington

    I don't understand why so many people say that cancelling my CSR card instead of downgrading it to CSP is a mistake. I've had the CSR since it first came out so it's been over 48 months since I had the Preferred. By cancelling it and moving my points to my Freedom Unlimited card and then waiting through a billing cycle, I should be eligible to apply for the CSP and get the 100K bonus.
    Doesn't that make more sense?

  5. Zymm

    How is the travel and car rental insurance on the CSP compared to the CSR? I've thankfully never had to use those benefits, but they do save me quite a bit in terms of peace of mind, as well as some $$ when I would otherwise purchase additional travel insurance

  6. relidtm

    the only reason I'm really keeping the CSR is because of the incidentals when I traveled abroad all that 3x adds up, I didn't find my AMEX to be just as good, I guess I could use my Hyatt card does it mark it as 2x travel though? I mean the break-even with the credit is only 150$ so on a very low amount of spending would be ahead in points, the new annual fee...

    the only reason I'm really keeping the CSR is because of the incidentals when I traveled abroad all that 3x adds up, I didn't find my AMEX to be just as good, I guess I could use my Hyatt card does it mark it as 2x travel though? I mean the break-even with the credit is only 150$ so on a very low amount of spending would be ahead in points, the new annual fee hasn't hit me yet. (I still pay 450). @ben wouldn't there be an opportunity cost for losing that 3x also? I know you travel much more than I do abroad I just find it hard to use in South America/ Europe when I went pre covid to use my AMEX as much as I value those points more.

  7. kk

    Hi Ben- Can you consider making a post on how to use the Chase Dining portal for the 10x points? It seems so confusing. Really hard to get to on the app, and then on the website as well. and the concept of paying in advance for a sit-down meal? like what if you order more or less food, do you still get the 10x points? or is this all through takeout, or what? Thanks for considering!

  8. Greg

    Oops, my math is wrong for air travel spending. (5pts)*($0.015) = 7.5% return for air travel.

  9. Greg

    As someone who doesn't really chase hotel or airline status, the multiplied travel earning through the Chase portal actually seems like a good deal to me. (10pts)*($0.015) = 15% return on hotel spending through chase portal. (5pts)*($0.015) = 10% return on airline spending. These are on the conservative end depending on how much value you get from your points when you redeem. I really appreciate the simplicity of getting maximum value from the CSR with...

    As someone who doesn't really chase hotel or airline status, the multiplied travel earning through the Chase portal actually seems like a good deal to me. (10pts)*($0.015) = 15% return on hotel spending through chase portal. (5pts)*($0.015) = 10% return on airline spending. These are on the conservative end depending on how much value you get from your points when you redeem. I really appreciate the simplicity of getting maximum value from the CSR with the $300 travel credit compared to the complexity of the Amex Platinum. If I'm not loyal to a particular airline or hotel chain, these bonuses seem great! Am I missing something?

    1. Greg

      Oops, my math is wrong for air travel spending. (5pts)*($0.015) = 7.5% return for air travel.

  10. Xtina

    What counts as "online groceries"? Does that just mean Instacart? Just Whole Foods delivery via Amazon? During the pandemic I tried ordering my Kroger groceries online and picking them up. I plan on doing that from now on (covid or not) because it is so convenient. Does that count as online groceries?

  11. Shonuffharlem

    Uh the CSR has some good travel insurance like cancellation benefits the CSP doesn't have so I'm not getting rid of my CSR.

  12. Dan

    Sorry if this is a dumb question. I’m not quite understanding the 10 points for hotel Ultimate Rewards. I’m using points to redeem on Ultimate Rewards. Am I then earning 10 points for every point I use? That can’t be right. Or is this saying my redemption of points is worth 10x? I’m confused.

    1. Anthony

      You earn 10x points if you book on the Ultimtate Rewards travel portal using cash (i.e. paying with your cards) - not using points.

  13. Esquiar

    Aren’t they going to do a Chase Private Client refresh? They should have tied CSR eligibility to having a Sapphire Banking or CPC account, with a AF discount for CPC members. Then they could have driven banking and investment cross-selling. Instead they’ve turned the CSR into a vehicle to drive OTA bookings… smh. Doesn’t Expedia still service Chase travel? Why would you want your brand on that?

  14. Robert

    I did this 3 weeks ago. Downgraded my CSR to another Freedom card and waited a few days. Applied for CSP using a referral link from my wife (20k referral points). Have nearly met the spend requirement, life is good netting 120k UR points

  15. Alfred

    I usually avoid booking flights on OTAs since dealing with changes, delays, and cancellations through OTA call centers is a nightmare. But do you think booking through Chase Travel, powered by Expedia, is worth it to get the 5x points?

    Moreover, most airlines offer the ability to get a future flight credit these days. Is that still possible to get (directly through the airline) when booking through Chase Travel?

  16. gary

    can you downgrade from CSR to CSP. I have all 3 of the freedom cards already.

  17. iamhere

    Will the other sapphire changes apply to the reserve card as well, such as the 10% and the $50?

  18. Reader

    How about for the JPM Reserve Card? Will it follow the change/update as well?

    1. Eskimo

      Your banker didn't call you about this yet?

  19. Mike

    Seems like my CSR just gets less and less attractive all the time. The travel credit is it's only saving grace in my opinion. I never book travel with the travel portal because you sacrifice elite benefits with hotels and the prices seem to generally be higher through Chase vs booking direct so the bonus points for using their travel portal aren't useful to me. Does anyone actually use Chase Dining?

  20. Andrew

    CSR is good solely for the travel protections and restaurant access with PP at this point.

    1. Steve

      Travel protection is big in this new age of we dont have people to work so your flight is cancelled. And the car rental insurance is great for peace of mind, had a buddy total an avis rental and CSR covered it all.

  21. Brutus

    "The icing on the cake is the 10% anniversary bonus, which means you’re essentially earning over 3x points per dollar spent on dining, etc."

    I'll help you with the math. You're earning exactly 3.1x points per dollar on dining and 2.1x on travel. Not much icing on that cupcake.

  22. Brutus

    I guess we'll just agree to disagree about the definition of "major."

  23. Adam L

    Honestly, where are people finding redemptions for more than 1.5 cents per point? All the flights I've been able to find when I want to travel have terrible redemption rates, typically less than a penny per point.

    For me, the CSR's value comes from the redemption floor of 1.5 cents per point. For the hardcore points and miles who can get excellent value out of transfer partners, I understand why their Chase cards stay in...

    Honestly, where are people finding redemptions for more than 1.5 cents per point? All the flights I've been able to find when I want to travel have terrible redemption rates, typically less than a penny per point.

    For me, the CSR's value comes from the redemption floor of 1.5 cents per point. For the hardcore points and miles who can get excellent value out of transfer partners, I understand why their Chase cards stay in the drawer. But there a great many people who like the ability to just book travel on their own schedule without having to hunt for "saver" award space on partners that isn't a total ripoff.

    1. Steve

      I easily find more than 1.5 on hyatt but as far as aspirational first class and around the world business flights those are dead to me with all the travel restrictions plus the novelty of first class has diminishing returns. Im going to keep the CSR because i like the ease of cashing out my points right now at 1.5 in the pay yourself back and the online hotel booking when staying at non-points properties...

      I easily find more than 1.5 on hyatt but as far as aspirational first class and around the world business flights those are dead to me with all the travel restrictions plus the novelty of first class has diminishing returns. Im going to keep the CSR because i like the ease of cashing out my points right now at 1.5 in the pay yourself back and the online hotel booking when staying at non-points properties like small local b&bs. I have been burned too badly from waiting and with points devaluations to think saving points for first class airfare is the way to go. If i want business to europe ill just pay for it if travel ever returns to pre-covid ease.

    2. miamiorbust

      BA can be very useful for flights under 3 hours, particularly business class. For peopling living in partner hubs (HK, Madrid, Miami, DFW) the program is very valuable for frequent travelers. For aspirational travel, I largely agree with you. Hard to do much better than 1.5 in current environment.

    3. Steve

      I have been using BA/avios a lot for AA domestic flights out of dfw but ill use my Amex to transfer to BA since i never come close to 1.5 on amex if we eliminate first class asia travel which right now is obviously eliminated, didnt think about using Chase before to avios.

  24. KK13

    Chase will open its own premium airport spaces at:

    (1) New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in the brand-new Terminal B
    (2) Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) Terminal B to C Connector (as previously reported)
    (3) Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) Terminal 1

    In terms of access, Chase’s lounges will be available to both Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmembers, as well as members of Priority Pass.

    That could be another bonus for the CSR.

    ...

    Chase will open its own premium airport spaces at:

    (1) New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in the brand-new Terminal B
    (2) Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) Terminal B to C Connector (as previously reported)
    (3) Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) Terminal 1

    In terms of access, Chase’s lounges will be available to both Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmembers, as well as members of Priority Pass.

    That could be another bonus for the CSR.

    IMHO though, $550 is way too much for what you get, considering the ROI for $95-CSP seems to outweigh most of the CSR goodies. Plus, I have HH AMEX ($95 fee) that gives me 10 free PP pass and membership, so I can easily avail of the Chase lounge when I need it.

    1. Adam L

      Strange to hear that Chase's own lounges would be accessible to others via Priority Pass with other card products. Where was that announced?

    2. KK13

      Sorry, I got busy. You can see the details in the PPT slides available to public:
      https://www.massport.com/media/nlbpt3hd/massport-march-board-meeting-deck_3-25-21.pdf

      But I see Ben has already made a new post on it, today.

  25. Jawn

    All Chase cards I have are for the sign-up bonus only, after that they are locked away until I convert or close the account. Citi & Amex pulled ahead long ago on both earning & burning for my personal preferences.

  26. Greg

    Any idea if we can use the $50 hotel credit on Chase Luxury Hotel bookings? That would make it a lot more valuable.

  27. Mark

    I know everyone complains about the hotel credit but I don't exclusively stay at points hotels. If I am staying someone unique and boutique I'll happily use these offers.

  28. Motion to Dismiss

    I suppose they have no incentive to do this but I would really love to see 4-5x points on dining for the CSR, since I can get 3x points on dining with the CFU, although not abroad because of the foreign transaction fees. The 3x points on travel (and how broadly defined travel is) is why I'll stick with the CSR but if my travel slows down again I will seriously consider downgrading to the...

    I suppose they have no incentive to do this but I would really love to see 4-5x points on dining for the CSR, since I can get 3x points on dining with the CFU, although not abroad because of the foreign transaction fees. The 3x points on travel (and how broadly defined travel is) is why I'll stick with the CSR but if my travel slows down again I will seriously consider downgrading to the CSP. I'm intrigued to see what the planned Chase lounges will be like and if they'll be comparable to the Centurion lounges.

  29. Sean

    Lucky these are hardly "MAJOR CHANGES" to Sapphire card!

    Chase is just making their travel booking system (which gives no elite recognition or points) a bump to 5% so that's worthless for 95% of us. And Chase Dining to 10% similarly impacts probably 0.1% of Sapphire card users.

    It's absurd that the CSR is still only 3% on restaurants (same % as its free Freedom Flex card) & 3% (a whopping 1% higher than CSP,...

    Lucky these are hardly "MAJOR CHANGES" to Sapphire card!

    Chase is just making their travel booking system (which gives no elite recognition or points) a bump to 5% so that's worthless for 95% of us. And Chase Dining to 10% similarly impacts probably 0.1% of Sapphire card users.

    It's absurd that the CSR is still only 3% on restaurants (same % as its free Freedom Flex card) & 3% (a whopping 1% higher than CSP, which costs $450 less per year)! The sole remaining benefit of CSR is Priority Pass and many (most?) of us aren't traveling frequently right now. For those who are, it's hard not to notice the reduction in quality at all 'The Club' locations, which are owned by Priority Pass. As an example, a few years ago they all had good mid-tier liquors (Bulleit Bourbon, Jameson, Bacardi, decent champagne) and now they only have Jim Beam, Cruzan rum & convenience store sparkling wine.

  30. Alonzo

    This is garbage. Who the F books anything but cheap flights on the Chase portal? Not getting elite benefits will keep most people from using it for hotels.

  31. Clem

    Like many others, this will likely make me switch to the CSP. I'm trying to figure out if I can get the 100k sign up bonus. I currently have the CSR, and have had it since January 2017 (so more than 48 months). I would need to close my CSR to be eligible for the CSP bonus, does anyone know how long I have to wait between when I close the CSR and apply to the CSP?

    1. Andrew

      You don't need to close the CSR. You can call Chase to product change it to a no-fee Freedom card (either the Freedom Unlimited or the original, Visa-networked Freedom card that is no longer available to new applicants). I changed my CSR to an original Freedom, because it may be worthwhile to have a Visa card for certain quarterly bonus categories (like wholesale clubs - Costco only accepts Visa).

      If you apply online, you...

      You don't need to close the CSR. You can call Chase to product change it to a no-fee Freedom card (either the Freedom Unlimited or the original, Visa-networked Freedom card that is no longer available to new applicants). I changed my CSR to an original Freedom, because it may be worthwhile to have a Visa card for certain quarterly bonus categories (like wholesale clubs - Costco only accepts Visa).

      If you apply online, you should be able to apply for the CSP (with bonus) within a few days. But if you apply in-branch, they'll waive the first year's annual fee, and you'll still get the 100,000 point sign-up bonus. To apply in-branch, however, you'll need to wait until one day after the end of the billing cycle on the CSR/Freedom account.

    2. Kevin

      is it true that you can downgrade to the original Freedom card? I'm currently a holder of CSR, Freedom Unlimited, Freedom Flex.
      If its possible to downgrade to the original Freedom, I would...

    3. Melinda

      My mom and husband just did this. They downgraded their CSR to Freedom Unlimited (which they didn't have yet and the bonus isn't much). I think you could also just cancel. If you downgrade, you keep your number and credit line on the new Freedom card. They issue a new expiration date and CV on the new card. It takes about 3 days (give or take) for the system to process that you are eligible...

      My mom and husband just did this. They downgraded their CSR to Freedom Unlimited (which they didn't have yet and the bonus isn't much). I think you could also just cancel. If you downgrade, you keep your number and credit line on the new Freedom card. They issue a new expiration date and CV on the new card. It takes about 3 days (give or take) for the system to process that you are eligible for the Preferred card. Sign in, go to "open an account," then "credit cards." You know you are good to apply when the Sapphire products appear. They won't show until the system has processed the account downgrade/cancellation, which took about 3 days for both my mom and husband. Also double check when your bonus posted, not the application date. It's 48 months from when you last received a bonus, i.e., the date it posted. If you applied in Jan 2017, though, you're probably good to go. One more thing -- if you have a lot of credit with Chase already, you might have to call reconsideration to shuffle some credit from one account to the new account. For Chase, I think they generally extend about half of your income no questions asked, but then get a little picky when you start to exceed that threshold. My mom is below that mark, but her app was auto approved. My husband is above and had to call, but it went through. They both also received a prorated refund of the CSR annual fee for the year, which we were NOT expecting. That was a pleasant surprise!

    4. BW

      May I ask what did your mom and husband do with their CSR UR points (if they had any when they downgraded)?

    5. Trex

      Thanks for sharing. What did they do with their UR points when transitioning. I thought you couldn’t have UR if you didn’t have a csr/csp and got cash back instead. I am worried about what will happen to my ur points in between downgrading my csr to get the csp.

    6. Clem

      Thanks @Andrew and @Melinda! Very useful info, good to know it'd only take a few days. Great point on the downgrade, although I already have the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited so I'd have to see what else it could be downgraded to.

    7. Andrew

      If there's no option that you don't already have, it's no problem: Chase allows you to have multiple Freedom or Freedom Unlimited cards. So you can just get a second Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card and keep the available credit for your credit score, even if you don't use it much.

    8. Clem

      I also did not realize that now the Unlimited gets 3 points on dining, so I actually don't have many reasons to keep a Sapphire product. I'll sign up for the CSP for the sign on bonus but not sure I'll have much use for it afterwards.

  32. miamiorbust

    For the intended audience of the Reserve card - people traveling weekly or several times a month with significant corporate spend - there is literally nothing positive in these changes. The Reserve card's biggest virtue was it simplicity of benefits. Adding complexity of whether or not to book through Chase's portal vs opportunity cost of not booking direct makes this a net negative. Using portal is nonstarter for many business travelers. In my case, Chase...

    For the intended audience of the Reserve card - people traveling weekly or several times a month with significant corporate spend - there is literally nothing positive in these changes. The Reserve card's biggest virtue was it simplicity of benefits. Adding complexity of whether or not to book through Chase's portal vs opportunity cost of not booking direct makes this a net negative. Using portal is nonstarter for many business travelers. In my case, Chase has caused me to think about the benefit and conclude I'll never use it. Less simplicity and no added utility. Why not downgrade to preferred and get a premium Amex card? And the Reserve changes make the card feel cheap. Kind of like needing a costco card to buy groceries. Many Reserve users buying from groupon these days? People at AMEX most be doing a happy dance today. They'll get a bigger slice of premium market back.

    1. Anthony

      People complain about the Amex Platinum now feeling "cheap" too. This is the way the market is going.

    2. miamiorbust

      Good point. To any credit card company executive, please develop a new premium card. There is a sizable market that'll pay several thousand dollars a year for a card with premium benefits and customer support. Any benefit that requires time to think about how I'd use it is worthless. Simplicity and benefits that free up time for other uses would be highly valued. Chase's changes are going in the opposite direction.

    3. Anthony

      You can continue to use your card as you currently do if you don't mind the annual fee. They didn't change anything about current earnings structure.

      I do wonder what happens to Pay Yourself Back long term.

  33. Anthony

    Also, Lucky - you guys missed the build out of Chase lounges with access for Chase Sapphire Reserve and Priority Pass members (wonder if Amex Priority Pass members will have access to the Chase lounges)

  34. Doug

    I'd kill for that 5x points on travel to be applied to the Ink card.

  35. Anthony

    Lucky (or anyone else)

    Do Chase Luxury Hotel and Resorts bookings
    1) Earn 5x or 10x UR points
    2) Trigger the $50 Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus?

    Chase Luxury Hotels and Resorts is discussed very little but could become more valuable with these changes

    1. Justin

      I also really want to know if the Luxury Hotel Collection bookings will also earn 10x points on the CSR. That would be huge for me.

  36. Shawn

    I don’t even use my chase cards anymore. Cancel. I am finding MR still as valuable without the BS and TY points are becoming even more valuable for now with AA.

    I am struggling why anyone would keep a CSR.

    1. Jamie

      MR & UR are basically the same in terms of utility, but with Chase Sapphire Reserve you get 50% bonus for "cash equivalent" bookings.

      I honestly don't understand why someone would use AmEx Plat b/c you have to jump through so many mental hoops to get all of the value... Uber Eats, Sakes, Clear, having to select an airline for the credit, etc.

  37. guflyer

    The thing that I find annoying is that the Chase Sapphire Reserve does not also include the 50 dollar hotel credit.

    1. Ed

      Another reason to get the Preferred and not the Reserve.
      The Holy Grail of Points would be however if one of the other card issuers signs up Alaska Airlines as a transfer partner. I am really rooting for that.

    2. Andrew

      Well, you already get a $300 annual credit for general "travel" purchases, so Chase probably views the CSR as still superior in that regard. This change makes the CSP a little closer to the CSR.

      Although in general I agree that it's annoying that the CSR isn't a better value proposition given the annual fee. Chase really seems to disfavor the CSR.

    3. Ed

      The meager 3x multiplier is also a slap in the face. What $550 card has a 3x multiplier??? None!!

    4. Anthony

      Delta Reserve usually only has a 3x multiple on Delta flights

  38. Gen

    Do we know what the "select streaming services" for CSP will be? I have looked at every post by every blogger and news outlet I can think of, and can't seem to find that detail. Any help here, Ben?

  39. JL

    Why on earth is the new bonus for groceries only for "online" grocery purchases?
    That makes no sense.
    A lot of us still buy our groceries at brick and mortar stores and not getting x3 points on those purchases is a major turn off for me.

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ JL -- I suspect it's not because Chase doesn't think people go to buy groceries. Rather I suspect it's to minimize the number of additional points that will have to be issued, since adding spending bonuses is costly.

    2. Kafka

      Perhaps Chase gets more valuable customer data on those online purchases, which would offset the increased cost of the points. It would also minimize buying gift cards or money orders.

  40. Andre

    So — with Chase, you get slightly more points booking travel through portal whereas with Amex, you earn 5x (either Platinum or Gold Card) on airfares whether it’s through their portal or directly with the airline. No brainer. Pass on Chase.

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ Andre -- I agree, my airfare spending will still go to the Amex Platinum. There's value in being able to book flights direct (now more than ever, given how flexible tickets have become, and rebooking direct is typically easier), so I wouldn't consider that change to be too significant.

    2. Donna

      I totally agree. Hard pass on Chase.

    3. Jamie

      But with Chase Sapphire Reserve, you get 4.5% on dining and travel no matter where you shop, including the 3x multiplier and 50% bonus on redemption through UR.

      Platinum only gets 5x on flights and 5x on prepaid hotel bookings. Those categories are a very small portion of my spend, compared with dining in my home city or a travel destination's food, Airbnbs, hotels, etc.

      The closest would be AmEx Gold, but again they are 4% on dining and flights, not 4.5%.

    4. relidtm

      I think you mean no matter where you shop abroad correct? yes, this is my dilemma also.

  41. Anthony

    Unless you book a lot of travel portal bookings at 1.5 cents (or unless Pay Yourself Back is extended and expanded), it makes more sense for many to hold a CSP over a CSR...

  42. Ed

    Not sure where you get the idea that the annual fee (AF) on the Reserve "stays the same", but mine was going up from $450 to $550. As a result, I downgraded the Reserve to the Preferred as for me the benefits DO NOT outweigh the AF increase, no matter how much the card is hyped.
    In the end, I might switch to Citi. But only when I have used up/transferred the remainder of points.

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ Ed -- The annual fee increase was initially announced before the pandemic. The implementation has been delayed a bit, as Chase has been issuing a courtesy credit for a while. However, I genuinely don't believe that the annual fee hike is related to these changes.

  43. Alex_77W

    Is this true that Sapphire Reserve fee would stay at $450 rather than go to $550? Right now Chase website says $550.

  44. Andy

    I think you meant $550 annual fee on the Reserve?

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ Andy -- Sorry, was fixed very quickly. Thanks for the heads up, though!

Featured Comments Load all 81 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Melinda

My mom and husband just did this. They downgraded their CSR to Freedom Unlimited (which they didn't have yet and the bonus isn't much). I think you could also just cancel. If you downgrade, you keep your number and credit line on the new Freedom card. They issue a new expiration date and CV on the new card. It takes about 3 days (give or take) for the system to process that you are eligible for the Preferred card. Sign in, go to "open an account," then "credit cards." You know you are good to apply when the Sapphire products appear. They won't show until the system has processed the account downgrade/cancellation, which took about 3 days for both my mom and husband. Also double check when your bonus posted, not the application date. It's 48 months from when you last received a bonus, i.e., the date it posted. If you applied in Jan 2017, though, you're probably good to go. One more thing -- if you have a lot of credit with Chase already, you might have to call reconsideration to shuffle some credit from one account to the new account. For Chase, I think they generally extend about half of your income no questions asked, but then get a little picky when you start to exceed that threshold. My mom is below that mark, but her app was auto approved. My husband is above and had to call, but it went through. They both also received a prorated refund of the CSR annual fee for the year, which we were NOT expecting. That was a pleasant surprise!

Andrew

You don't need to close the CSR. You can call Chase to product change it to a no-fee Freedom card (either the Freedom Unlimited or the original, Visa-networked Freedom card that is no longer available to new applicants). I changed my CSR to an original Freedom, because it may be worthwhile to have a Visa card for certain quarterly bonus categories (like wholesale clubs - Costco only accepts Visa). If you apply online, you should be able to apply for the CSP (with bonus) within a few days. But if you apply in-branch, they'll waive the first year's annual fee, and you'll still get the 100,000 point sign-up bonus. To apply in-branch, however, you'll need to wait until one day after the end of the billing cycle on the CSR/Freedom account.

Steve

I have been using BA/avios a lot for AA domestic flights out of dfw but ill use my Amex to transfer to BA since i never come close to 1.5 on amex if we eliminate first class asia travel which right now is obviously eliminated, didnt think about using Chase before to avios.

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