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We’re barely into the new year and the biggest credit card news of 2020 yet is already turning heads. There are new Chase Sapphire Reserve® changes to its benefits and an annual fee update. As you may expect, social media was full of positive and negative feedback. How do these changes affect you? Let’s take a closer look.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Changes
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a popular premium credit card that comes with travel perks and benefits including a $300 travel credit, access to airport lounges, and a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Along with a higher annual fee (now $550), the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with DoorDash and Lyft benefits. But before you get discouraged about the annual fee, let’s look at how these benefits along with some of the other perks can offset and justify the price.
Note that the Reserve also comes with more perks than its lower-annual fee sister card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (who also got Doordash and Lyft benefits). If you want to compare cards, check out our in-depth comparison review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve now offers partner benefits with DoorDash and Lyft. Let’s check out the DoorDash perks first.
Free DoorDash DashPass
All Sapphire Reserve cardmembers now get one year of free DashPass membership. DashPass waives the delivery fee on unlimited orders above $12. The usual delivery fee is $4 to $5 per order.
You have until December 31, 2021, to activate this benefit. This perk is worth $120 as DoorDash charges $9.99/month without the Sapphire Reserve benefit.
Chase also extends one year of free DoorDash DashPass to Sapphire Preferred members. Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cardmembers get discount access.
DoorDash Statement Credits
The second DoorDash benefit is a $60 DoorDash statement credit in 2020 and a $60 credit in 2021. These credits automatically apply to the first $60 in annual DoorDash purchases.
Chase now offers Lyft benefits that may rival the Platinum Card® from American Express Uber partnership.
Earn 10x Ultimate Rewards on Lyft
The ongoing Chase Sapphire Reserve® benefit is earning 10 Ultimate Rewards per $1 on Lyft purchases. All dining purchases worldwide earn 3 Ultimate Rewards per $1. All other travel purchases also earn 3 Ultimate Rewards per $1 — but only after you get the $300 travel credit. Non-bonus purchase categories earn 1 point per $1.
This 10x bonus offer runs through March 2022. For the next two years, you may consider using Lyft over other rideshares when possible to earn more points.
Free Lyft Pink Membership
It’s also possible to get one year of free Lyft Pink membership. This perk is worth $199 per year.
You have some flexibility in who gets Lyft pink. Chase waives the membership fee for the primary or authorized user who activates the benefit first. So, if you have at least one authorized user on your account, make sure the most active Lyft user activates Lyft Pink first.
Lyft Pink membership includes these perks:
- 15% off all ride modes in the US
- Priority dispatch at airports
- 3 free 30-minute bike or scooter rides per month
- Unlimited lost item fee waivers
- Free cancellation when you rebook a ride within 15 minutes (up to 3 times per month)
- Special member offers
Discounted rides and getting first access at busy airports can be the two most valuable benefits of joining Lyft Pink.
$550 Annual Fee
Now for the bad news. Chase needs to somehow offset the cost of these benefit additions. Unfortunately, that means the annual fee is now $550.
Each additional card still costs $75 per authorized user.
All new card applicants will pay the higher fee. Existing cardmembers pay the higher fee when their card renewal date falls on or after April 1, 2020. This fee hike follows the trend of recent premium travel credit card annual fee increases.
If you’re wondering if credit cards are worth their annual fees, think about the perks and benefits and how often you’ll use them. Keep reading to learn about the benefits that aren’t going anywhere.
Existing Card Benefits
Thankfully, no Chase Sapphire Reserve changes to existing benefits are coming at this time. Here’s a refresher of what travel benefits the Chase Sapphire Reserve continues to offer.
$300 Annual Travel Credit
Your first $300 in travel purchases are reimbursed by Chase each year as a statement credit. The only downside is these purchases don’t earn Ultimate Rewards points. However, once you earn the $300 credit, you’ll earn 3x points per $1 spent on travel purchases.
Priority Pass Select lounge access
The primary cardmember and authorized users get complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge access. Two accompanying guests can also enter free of charge. Each extra guest costs $27 per visit.
Free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Chase reimburses the primary cardmember’s application fee for Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85).
Earn 3x Ultimate Rewards on Travel and Dining
You will earn triple Ultimate Rewards on all travel (once eligible) and dining purchases. Of course, you earn 10x points on Lyft purchases through March 2022. You don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees either. This is one of the best credit cards for international travel.
50% Travel Redemption Bonus
Each Ultimate Reward is worth 50% when redeeming your points for award travel booked on the Expedia-powered Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Each point is worth 1.5 cents each for award travel and 1 cent for cash and gift card rewards.
This redemption bonus means your points are most valuable when redeemed for travel rewards. For example, 10,000 Ultimate Rewards are worth $150 in award travel but only $100 for cash and gift cards.
1:1 Point Transfers
Your Ultimate Rewards can be worth more than 1.5 cents each when you transfer them to the Chase Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners. Each point can easily be worth between 2 and 6 cents each when redeeming for award flights. You can transfer at a 1:1 ratio in 1,000-point increments to these partners:
- Aer Lingus
- British Airways
- Flying Blue
- Singapore Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
One of the most exciting transfer partners is Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. You can redeem Singapore KrisFlyer miles for Singapore Airlines-operated flights. Partner airlines include Alaska Airlines (i.e., 25,000 miles round-trip from the U.S. West Coast to Hawaii).
The Sapphire Reserve is one of the best credit cards with travel insurance benefits:
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance ($10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip)
- Lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000 per person)
- Trip delay reimbursement (up to $500 per person)
- Primary rental car collision and theft damage waiver
- Emergency evacuation and transportation (up to $100,000)
Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection
Enjoy special on-site amenities and discounts when booking a stay at the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection. At over 1,000 locations across the world, you will get these perks:
- Daily breakfast for 2
- Complimentary on-site WiFi
- Room upgrades (when available)
- Early check-in and late check-out (when available)
- Unique on-property benefits
$750 Signup Bonus
New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardmembers can qualify for a signup bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points. You earn the bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth $750 in award travel thanks to the 50% travel redemption perk.
Returning Sapphire cardmembers may also qualify for this bonus. However, you must not have earned a Sapphire signup bonus in the last 48 months. You must also not currently own a Sapphire card.
Plus, it’s still one of the best metal credit cards you can have in your wallet.
Summary of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Changes
The new Chase Sapphire Reserve® changes include an annual fee increase to $550. As a tradeoff, you get Lyft and DoorDash benefits that can save you money. Plus, Chase isn’t removing any of the current travel benefits.
Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve worth it?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve can be worth it if you’re a frequent flyer and can maximize the 50% travel redemption bonus or 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers. The $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass airport lounge access, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit also add value.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve changes included changes to its annual fee (now $550), but you now have DoorDash and Lyft benefits. You may need to use these benefits on a periodic basis to get more value from this card. If you can’t find at least $550 in value from the travel and dining rewards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® isn’t worth it.
Will the Chase Sapphire Reserve waive the annual fee?
No, the Chase Sapphire Reserve charges the $550 annual fee for the first year. Each additional card costs $75 per year. Despite the immediate fee, you can immediately use these benefits to recoup your annual fee cost:
- $300 annual travel credit
- $60 in annual DoorDash statement credits
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100)
- Complimentary travel insurance
- 50,000-point signup bonus
Besides the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and a few co-brand airline and hotel credit cards, most travel credit cards no longer waive the annual fee.
What are Chase Sapphire Reserve Lyft benefits?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve now offers these Lyft benefits:
- Earn 10x Ultimate Rewards on Lyft purchases (through March 2022)
- One year of free Lyft Pink membership for one cardholder
- Why Millennials Are Going Crazy Over the Chase Sapphire Reserve
- 4 Easy Ways I Earned 200,000 Chase Sapphire Reserve Points in a Year
- 6 Reasons Why You Should Consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.