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What Will You Do? Chase Sapphire Reserve’s Annual Fee Gets Hiked This Sunday

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Talk about ripping off the bandage.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve‘s annual fee is jumping more than 20% — and fast. The increase from $450 to $550 goes into effect this Sunday, January 12.

Like, thanks for the notice, right?

(At least Delta & Amex told us months ahead of time they’re raising the co-branded fees on January 30.)

So if you’ve ever wanted to get the CSR, do it now. (The higher fee applies for renewals as of Wednesday, April 1. Y’know, April Fool’s Day.)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve will get some new perks (though nothing astounding, in my opinion), which we’ll talk about shortly.

Is it worth keeping the CSR? Maybe, maybe not. Let’s take a look.

Existing Chase Sapphire Reserve Earnings & Benefits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve was hailed as groundbreaking, awesome,  the “it” card and all that when it came out a few years ago.

To be honest, it is a very good product.

The CSR comes with a $300 annual statement credit for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. This includes airfare, hotels, parking, rideshare, tolls, and more. It’s very easy to get the $300 value.

Points-wise, it earns 3X points on travel (immediately after earning your $300 travel credit and 3X points on dining worldwide.

You can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a value of 1.5 cents each when booking travel through the Chase travel website. The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Business Preferred, on the other hand, allow cardholders to redeem at 1.25 cents per.

That assumes, though, you’d rather book travel through Chase (and still earn points) as opposed to transferring points to one of their airline or hotel partners.

Plus, its Priority Pass Select membership works at 1200 airport lounges worldwide and still includes some airport restaurant benefits, too (unlike Amex, who 86ed theirs).

(Read more about Bobby Van’s at JFK)

And it’s one of the zillion cards also including a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔ every four years.

It also has good trip interruption and cancellation benefits.

None of those benefits go away this weekend.

New Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits

Starting Sunday, January 12, all Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will be eligible for these new benefits:

Young businesswoman on the back seat with smart phone
10X on Lyft! (©iStock.com/PISKEL)

Bonus Lyft Earnings and “Pink” Membership

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders get two new Lyft perks.

  • 10X on Lyft purchases paid for with the CSR (through March 2022)
  • Complimentary Lyft Pink membership (through March 2022)

(These should stack with additional cashback and points involving from Lyft.)

Lyft Pink membership — valued at ($19.99/month) entitles CSR holders to:

  • 15% off unlimited car rides.

  • Priority airport pickups

  • Relaxed cancellations
    (Three cancellation fees waived each month if you rebook within 15 minutes.)

  • Surprise offers
    (Yay?)

  • Waived lost and found fees

  • Bikes and scooters

Don’t get CSR/Lyft FOMO, though. The perk — although reduced — is also coming to a host of other Chase cards.

DoorDash Credit

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will receive $60 in DoorDash credit during 2020 and another $60 in 2021.

If you’ve stayed at hotels/motels with limited or no food service, you know Uber Eats, Grubhub, Seamless, and DoorDash can be lifesavers.

Here’s where this gets interesting-ish.

The American Express Gold Card (which I love) gives cardholders $120 statement credit each year in Grubhub credit. The credits are dispersed monthly in $10 increments. (Hey, $10 off is $10 off.) As much as I love it, the credit isn’t entirely convenient.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve‘s DoorDash credit, though, is a lump, $60 credit for the whole year. Use it all at once or spread it throughout the year.

2022

All of this “through March 2022” and “through 2022” stuff is kind of fascinating.

Did Chase make these changes impulsively? Is this a “let’s see how it goes and use our clients as guinea pigs” sort of thing?

I’m inclined to say yes.

Will I Keep the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card?

Me, personally?

Probably. (But it’ll be worth a good retention call.)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Here’s why.

  • I’ll use the DoorDash credit. Whether during a trip, a busy night at home, or hosting friends, it’ll come in handy. So that’s $60 off the $100 increase. And I love that it’s available to use throughout the year.
  • I use Lyft enough — especially with client travel — that it offsets some of the remaining $40.
  • The Priority Pass Select membership still including airport restaurant credit (ahem Amex) for the cardholder and two guests is great for me. Sometimes it’s my wife, daughter, and me who use it. Other times, it’s work colleagues I can treat to meals or beverages. In any case, I’ll still get my money’s worth.

Plus, the $300 travel credit, 1.5 cents/point redemption, and Chase offers (similar to Amex Offers) make it break even.

Other Options

Many Rene’s Points readers are Delta loyalists. Naturally, many of us are Amex fans/users/etc. So Chase cards aren’t products naturally lending themselves to our group.

However, Chase cards help in a couple of different ways:

So it’s definitely worth having a Chase card or two in your arsenal.

Don’t want to pay the $550 annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve? Consider this:

Get Inked

You can earn a respectable amount of points with the Chase Ink Business Preferred ($95 annual fee) and Chase Ink Cash (no annual fee) tandem.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred cardChase Ink Preferred

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit CardCash Ink Cash (a no annual fee card)

Here’s how:

  • 3X on travel (for the first $150,000 each anniversary year — including select business categories) with the Chase Ink Preferred. That’s the same (without the $150k limit) as the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
  • 2X on restaurants and gas stations (up to $25,000 each anniversary year) with the Chase Ink Cash. Neither the Chase Sapphire Reserve nor Preferred offer regularly bonused gas station spend.

Plus, Chase Ink Business Preferred cardholders can redeem Ultimate Rewards at 1.25 cents each through the Chase travel site. Combine those with those your Chase Ink Cash points and you’re doing pretty darn well — all for $95 in combined annual fees.

So that’s certainly a good compromise. And depending on how much you spend each year, a better deal than holding a Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Will You Keep Your Chase Sapphire Reserve? Or Cancel It? Or Will You Sign Up Before Sunday?

Tell us in the below Comments section!

–Chris

 

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

11 Comments

  1. Paul Siddle Reply

    I will downgrade to the Preferred card or move to AMEX Platinum.

    The food delivery perks are not useful to me.

  2. The 10x points on Lyft rides is huge (if you use ride share even a little). The 10x points is 7x more than usual. At 1.5 cents/each, the breakeven point to make up the $100 rise in fees is ~$700 of annual Lyft spend alone, or ~$60/mo. I travel a lot and I live in a city, so this is about as easy as it comes to make up (I’m excited).

    The only other comment I’ve got is a lot of the benefits phase out in 2021/22. I bet this is Chase trying to make people happy now – and offer benefits that will actually cause a loss in the short term – but they are then hoping people don’t quit when those expire in ~2 years – and Chase can start to recoup some of the lost $$.

  3. Thank you for this heads up, Chris, But then two questions.
    1. If our card is not slated to renew for another few months, is it still feasible to give Chase a call and to try to *prepay* the renewal now at the old/current rate, rather than wait for auto-renew at the new higher rate in a few months?
    2. What would you suggest seeking in the Retention call?

    • @Bernard: 1. I doubt that would work or even be possible. But give them a call and see what happens. Worst that happens is they say no and you’ve lost a few minutes of your time. 2. See if they’ll lower the fee or give you a spending challenge.

  4. Both Lyft and DoorDash only work if you live or travel often in major cities. They don’t help at all for those of us who live in small towns.

  5. Do you know if that would be 48 months from when you signed up for a CSR/CSP, or 48 months from when the bonus posted? I got a CSP on 12/4/15 (date opened according to my credit report). Cancelled it a couple years ago when husband got CSR and I became an AU on his. So I’m at 48 months from when I got one, but maybe not 48 months from when I got my sign up bonus.) His card renews in May. If I qualified I could get the bonus points, pay $450 for the next year, then cancel his in May.

  6. I just got the reserved card, so will try it out for a year and consider my thoughts after that. I’m not happy that he ultimate rewards are not updating. It is stuck on a certain amount and won’t change even with additional purchases, over a week. Is that normal?

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