We all hate negative changes/devaluations with credit card benefits and loyalty programs. But, not all negative changes are of the same impact and they should not be treated as such. These negative changes coming to the Chase Sapphire Reserve are in that camp of not being as bad as they could have – but they do show a little bit of penny-pinching by Chase. The Chase Sapphire Reserve was a huge gamble by Chase and it cost them quite a bit.
This information was found by a document obtained by Doctor of Credit – thanks to him for sharing this with his readers to give us all a heads up.
3 Negative Changes Coming to the Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Negative Changes for the Chase Sapphire Reserve – When Are They Coming?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve was and is an insanely popular card for people getting it for the first time and those keeping it for its travel value. With a $450 annual fee, it is not a cheap card but having a pretty generous $300 travel credit and things like a better redemption rate when redeeming through Chase than other cards and a very generous lounge policy, it has been worth it for many.
According to the document received by Doctor of Credit, these changes will be announced sometime in May and then be put into effect on August 26, 2018.
No More Unlimited Guests With Priority Pass Lounge Access
When the Chase Sapphire Reserve was released, it came with an incredible benefit of the Priority Pass lounge members that allowed unlimited guests on each visit! That was quite a surprise and something not matched by an other card. Well, that time of bringing the whole neighborhood into your airport lounge is about to change.
The new rules for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Priority Pass lounge access is that the cardholder can bring in 2 guests per visit. Each guest over that on a single visit will cost the cardholder $27. The authorized user will continue getting that lounge access as well and will also be able to bring in 2 guests (there is a $75 annual fee for authorized users).
To be honest, it is still a pretty generous lounge policy. For sure, there were those that were taking advantage of this with some even charging people a small amount (like $15) to guest them into a lounge. Priority Pass lounges are facing the same overcrowding that many regular airline lounges face and having a card that lets you bring in 20 people, if you wanted, for free was definitely not destined to stay around.
In fairness, I would have appreciated a policy of being able to bring in 2 guests or immediate family members – especially since it is probably not all that often that whole families are traveling together. But, even with 4 kids in my family, I can still live with this change. My wife and I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve (I am an authorized user) so we can still get our whole family in.
I am willing to see the unlimited guests go in favor of keeping the Priority Pass benefit as is otherwise.
No More Earn 3X Points On Travel Credit
The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with the $300 travel credit that wipes out an abundance of charges that are classified as travel each cardmember year. Up until now, that $300 travel credit would also earn the 3X Ultimate Reward points on the spend but will no longer be having that 900 points issued.
This is really not that big of a deal. That is worth between $15 and $18 and cardmembers are not actually paying for travel that earns the 3X points as it is (since the $300 is reimbursed). But, it also seems to be a little petty on Chase’s part to be actually changing a policy that wipes out an easy 900 points per year. In the whole scheme, that is less than a drop in the bucket for Chase for a cardmember.
But, again, if it means that penny-pinching here causes Chase to not have to squeeze someplace else that would hurt more, I am fine with it!
No More Price Protection
This is something that Chase had already wiped out on all their other cards so they have just simply expanded it to the Chase Sapphire Reserve as well. Price protection was nice to get a refund from the issuer on purchases made that dropped in price later. But, I am not sure it will impact the majority of Chase customers. I know that I, personally, have rarely had a price protection claim thanks to my shopping practices. But, for those who did rely on it as part of getting their annual fee paid for, it will be a blow to finally have the Chase Sapphire Reserve dropping coverage as well.
While some of these changes may be more of a penny-pinching by Chase, if it all keeps Chase from dropping the hammer on more valuable parts of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I am fine with it. I know there will be cardholders that will want to cancel their cards over this and I am sorry they will be losing the value from these benefits. Hopefully, this is all we see for a while and that Chase does not see our relief as an opening to make more cuts.
HT: Doctor of Credit