Sapphire Reserve annual fee increasing to $550
As expected, the Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee has increased from $450 per cardmember year to $550 per cardmember year:
- This applies for new accounts opened as of January 12, 2020
- This applies for account renewals on April 1, 2020, and later
Sapphire Reserve free Lyft Pink membership
The Sapphire Reserve will offer a free Lyft Pink membership, but only for one year. This ordinarily costs $19.99 per month, and offers the following perks:
- 15% off unlimited car rides
- Priority airport pickups
- Relaxed cancellations (they’ll cover three cancel fees per month)
- Surprise offers (“seasonal discounts and exclusive savings”)
- Waived lost and found fees
- Bikes and scooters (three 30 minute bike or scooter rides per month, in select markets)
That’s potentially a big value for anyone who uses Lyft with any frequency… but only for a year.
Sapphire Reserve 10x points with Lyft
The Sapphire Reserve will offer 10x points on all Lyft rides, when you pay with your card.
I value those points at 1.7 cents each, so that’s like a 17% return on Lyft spending.
Between Lyft Pink and 10x points, you’re looking at a sizable return on your Lyft spending. That’s certainly enough to get me to switch from Uber to Lyft.
Sapphire Reserve DoorDash credits
The Sapphire Reserve will offer a total of $120 in DoorDash credits, which comes in the form of a $60 DoorDash credit in 2020, and a $60 DoorDash credit in 2021.
We don’t yet know if benefits will extend beyond 2021.
This is all in addition to Chase having just added a DoorDash DashPlus membership for a year as a benefit on this card.
My take on these changes
In the short term, I think these are actually pretty compelling benefits for many, at least for those who live in big cities.
The annual fee goes up by $100, but you’re getting a $60 DoorDash credit, 10x points with Lyft, and you’re getting Lyft Pink. The Lyft benefits would be enough to get me to switch from Uber to Lyft.
The problem with these changes is that the new benefits seem to largely be temporary. I get that maybe long term they’ll add more perks or have more partnerships, but it’s hard to view something as being part of the core value proposition of a card when it’s only advertised as a benefit for a year or two.
This is especially true when you consider that these changes are being made at the same time that some other cards have become more compelling.
For example, the American Express® Green Card has a $150 annual fee (Rates & Fees), and offers the same 3x points on dining and travel as the Sapphire Reserve. Furthermore, the card offers a $100 annual CLEAR credit and $100 annual LoungeBuddy credit.
If you already have the Sapphire Reserve, or other Ultimate Rewards-earning cards, be sure to review our guide for answers to questions on moving points, adding/closing accounts, and more:
What do you make of these Sapphire Reserve changes?
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: American Express® Green Card (Rates & Fees).