Credit Cards

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee Going Up and More Changes

Written by Charlie

The Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee is about to go up – and there are more changes to this fabulous travel card as well. See what they are and if it is worth it!

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has been one of (if not the) greatest travel reward cards around since its introduction. Yet, it may be seeing its first major negative changes as soon as next week. Is the reign of this card over or is this an adjustment we can live with?

Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee Going Up and More Changes

Per Doctor of Credit, there are major things happening to the Chase Sapphire Reserve with a hike in the annual fee coming as soon as January 12. Here is what these rumors are:

Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee

This is a certainty now with the Chase Sapphire Reserve terms highlighting a $450-$550 annual fee. This will put it in line with the annual fee of the American Express Platinum. This fee may go into affect on January 12 for new members and will be assessed for all members with renewal dates after April, 2020.

As part of this fee change, it appears it is not possible to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve at this time. This will make sure that all new Reserve cardholders will be paying the increased annual fee.

Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership

This is a $19.95 membership that gives some discounts and perks to customers that use Lyft. It appears to be in answer to the American Express Platinum and their partnership with Uber.

Here is what this Lyft Pink membership comes with:

  • 15% off unlimited car rides
    Save on every car ride you take — any time, anywhere.
  • Priority airport pickups
    Get picked up faster at the airport when it’s busy.
  • Relaxed cancellations
    We’ll cover three cancel fees per month if you rebook within 15 minutes.
  • Surprise offers
    Get seasonal discounts and exclusive savings.
  • Waived lost and found fees
    We’ll take care of the return fee every time.
  • Bikes and scooters
    Enjoy 3 free 30-min. bike or scooter rides per month (in select markets).

This could be a big hit for Lyft as it could make it more attractive for Chase Sapphire Reserve holders to choose them over Uber. I like the bike and scooter part as well – if I happen to be traveling in those markets.

Dans Deals also mentions that Chase Sapphire Reserve holders will get 10 Ultimate Reward points per dollar on Lyft rides through March of 2022. That is also not bad!

Annual $60 DoorDash Credit

For those that like food delivery services, this is a $60 credit that members will get each year and will reset at the end of the calendar year.

Too Much or Acceptable?

Ok, I know we all hate anything that takes away value from us but we also like to point out when a product or award is almost too good to be true. With the $300 annual travel credit that works on anything travel, it is pretty easy to just deduct that from the annual fee and look at the Chase Sapphire Reserve as a $150 annual fee card (or close to it if you want to really parse the travel credit value).

That means that, at present, it costs $55 more than the Chase Sapphire Preferred in the annual fee. With that difference, you get a Priority Pass membership for lounge access around the world (for you and two guests), you get access to the Visa Infinite hotel site that gives you better benefits at luxury hotels (kind of an elite-lite option), and, probably the best, you get 1.5 cents per point when redeeming points directly for paid travel. This is above the 1.25 cents per point you get with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

With award programs devaluing left and right, paying for travel with points can be a much better option. Having a card that gives 1.5 cents per point on all travel redemptions is definitely a good deal.

Also, you earn 3 points per dollar on travel and dining vs the 2 points per dollar with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

But, now this fee hike means that it is $155 more expensive (after the annual travel credit)than the Chase Sapphire Preferred (at its current fee – don’t be surprised if this goes up to $149 or similar at some point). So, does this new math make the Chase Sapphire Reserve too rich?

If you redeem your points directly with Chase, all it takes is redeeming 60,000 Ultimate Reward points per year to make the Chase Sapphire Reserve keeping over downgrading to the Chase Sapphire Preferred. And that is not even taking into account the lounge access!

I know I will be holding the Chase Sapphire Reserve going forward – unless they demolish the redemption value on the Ultimate Reward points. It is still a very compelling card.

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

4 Comments

  • I’m out. The travel credit and priority pass are the only things I care about. I can get priority pass via my Aspire card, so if they raise the price thats $250 I’m paying for zero benefit.

    • Definitely hear you. I think there will be a lot of people that will follow you so it will be interesting to see what they do to attract more people.
      I would recommend downgrading it, however, so that you can return if they add something of significant value in the next 48 months.

  • Is there any possibility Chase cancels the changes if they see a mass exodus from their flagship card? Because, as it stands with the updates the AMEX Platinum far outperforms the CSR. The only positive I see in the CSR is the more flexible travel credit.

    Regarding the “Upgrades”, why are both of the additions temporary when the price increase is permanent?

    • I would say there is a zero chance because Chase has already run those numbers to anticipate what percentage may leave and they have decided they are comfortable with the losses.
      I do think they are taking a measured approach to the new “features” in that they are putting an end date on them. This gives them room to maneuver if they find that the customer base as a whole is not utilizing these “perks” and using them as reasons to cancel their cards. I think we will see Chase add some additional benefits to the Reserve in the next couple of years since they will lose many customers and will need something to draw people back in.

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