(Now Live!) Chase Is Revamping The Sapphire Preferred & Reserve With New Perks

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(Confirmed!) Chase Is Revamping The Sapphire Preferred & Reserve With New Perks

There is a rumor swirling with Chase now and their Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve credit cards.  We saw a ton of rumors of the last few months for the Amex Platinum card which ended up being true and now we are seeing something similar from Chase.  These rumors are from leaked cardmember agreements and it says they go into effect on August 15, 2021.

Update 8/17/21: These new changes are now live! You can sign up for the Sapphire Preferred now and get the $50 hotel statement credit right away.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Here is what the Chase Sapphire Preferred would look like with these rumors:

  • $50 hotel credit every cardmember year
  • The earning structure for the card:
    • 5X on Chase Travel
    • 3X on dining, streaming and online grocery (excludes Target, Walmart & wholesale clubs)
    • 2X on travel
    • 1X on everything else
  • Get a 10% back in points anniversary bonus as well.  This happens after you renew and pay an annual fee. It is based off of the money spent on the card.  So if you spent $25,000 in a year you would get 2,500 points.

The annual fee will remain $95

Question Of The Week: Can I Use A Free Checked Bag Credit Card Perk?

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Here is what the Chase Sapphire Reserve would look like with the rumored changes.

  • The card’s earning rates would be as follows:
    • 10X on Chase dining (almost worthless), hotel and car rental purchases through Chase Travel.
    • 5X on airline travel booked through Chase Travel
    • 3X on all other travel and dining
    • 1X on all other purchases

The annual fee will remain $550

My Thoughts

I have to say that the Chase Sapphire Reserve changes wouldn’t move the needle one bit for me.  Chase Dining is pretty much worthless to me so who cares if you earn 10X or not.  And booking anything through the Chase travel portal is an absolute nightmare when things go wrong.  For a few extra points? No thanks!  They really needed to do better here.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred on the other hand, I love these changes.  I assume there will be an annual fee increase with this, but if it is to $149 I am okay with that.  The $50 hotel credit should pretty much cover that.  If there is no annual fee increase then even better! Earning 3X on dining with the Sapphire Preferred, and the Freedom Flex, and not increasing the CSR to 4X or 5X is laughable. Earning 3X on streaming and online grocery (which has become super popular) is a nice boost.  It isn’t the grocery category I had hoped for but it is way more useful now than it would have been 2 years ago. The 10% back bonus is killer too, I really like that feature.

Final Thoughts

If you are under Chase 5/24, and eligible for a Sapphire product, then RUN not walk to grab a Chase Sapphire Preferred.  With the 100,000 point welcome offer it is already an amazing deal but you could lock in the $95 and potentially get these increased benefits at the lower fee for a year (assuming an increase is coming).

Remember that you can get a better offer, waived annual fee and $50 grocery credit, by applying for the CSP in branch. Some branches are not informed of this and you may run into issues with the banker and it does take a while to fill out everything.  I personally would refer from my Player 2 if that is an option instead, much easier.  If you don’t live near a branch, or don’t want to deal with the hassle of an in person application and don’t have a referral and would like to support the site and podcast you can use the links in this article.  Thanks in advance if you choose to support us!

Chase continues to miss the mark with the Sapphire Reserve.  When the Amex Gold earns 4X on dining, and your no annual fee Freedom Flex earns 3X, you can’t stand pat on 3X. The proposed Sapphire Preferred changes make the Reserve the lesser product.  Much like how the Citi Premier is far superior to the more expensive Citi Prestige, in my opinion at least.

HT: the_one_with_me via DoC

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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30 COMMENTS

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30 COMMENTS

  1. I was thinking about ditching my CSR card due to the $550 fee and the fact I’ve given up on mileage running since I have permanent United Platinum (and no desire to make 1K again after 15 years having it). However, I have been thinking about getting a Peloton bike. In my mid-year review document, there is a blurb about 10X points on Peloton bikes through 3/31/22 with spending from $1,800 to $5,000. The bike I want is about $3,000 so that would be 30,000 Chase points (enough for a night at Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome! that costs about $900/night).

    • Or, you could carry thorugh with the CSR cancellation and open a no annual fee Freedom Unlimited card with a 20k sign-up bonus. Your $3k purchase would then net 24,500 points; and you’d also get the limited-time perk of 5x grocery spend in your first year up to $12k spend, which would give you the ability (I’m assuming) to easily eclipse 30k URs.

  2. With these changes, I am VERY likely to drop my CSR for the CSP at some point. The main attraction for me was the 3x earning for dining. With this change, I can earn the same amount of points for an annual fee that’s several hundred dollars less. The other benefits of CSR are great, but the main advantage of having the card for me is gone.

    • I agree! It’s almost like Chase is trying to steer people AWAY from the CSR with these changes. The enhancements to the CSR are worthless to me. I bet they want to phase out the card and this is their way of doing it.

  3. I think there’s a slight error with your 10% back conversion. If I’m not mistaken 10% back on $25k is $2.5k but the points conversion should be 25k points.

    • I wrote it out the same way they had it in the terms. It is 10% back in points not dollars but based on the dollars spent. It is weird for sure and hopefully they change that.

  4. I agree that not increasing dining to at least 4x on the CSR is ridiculous. I like the CSP changes but it really irritates me that they’re excluding Walmart and Target online grocery when they’re probably the most popular places to purchase groceries online.

    • I wonder if it is because they have no way to tell if it is grocery or regular stuff from those stores. Although I feel like Walmart Grocery pick up will code like it does for Amex when the regular store orders don’t.

  5. Great potential changes on CSP, but CSR, no way, all worthless (10X on Chase dining, hotel and car rental purchases through Chase Travel. 5X on airline travel booked through Chase Travel). I attempted to book once using Chase travel portal, disaster; and I read more and more problems posted to FB groups. Earning URs and transferring when useful for me is the best path.

  6. Agree the rumored changes to the CSR don’t materially change anything. I have 5 higher AF cards ($250/year or more) and am not one to drop a card simply because I don’t get value in a year to offset the AF (a couple thousand in AF isn’t moving the needle for me financially). However, if I don’t get either value from the financial benefits of the card or from the non-monetary benefits then I have to think twice about keeping it. I have the Amex Platinum card for example and have no problem keeping that. I should get enough savings on things I would buy anyway (have SiriusXM on 3 cars for example so the recent change was an easy $240 pick up for me) but even if I didn’t I value the lounges, International Airline Program and overall experience I have had w Amex since 1986. On the other hand I have only had the CSR about 3 years. Outside of the $300 travel credit it is hard for me to get any value (financial or non-financial) out of it now. I have and Amex Gold with better dining and grocery credits and other cards pretty much cover everything except Priority Pass restaurants (most aren’t worth it and I end up in a lounge anyway) and 3X credit on travel spend that isn’t airlines (will still use Amex Platinum for that) or hotels where I don’t have an affinity card that gets me better value. Likely will downgrade to Preferred (if possible) or just apply for Preferred when out of 5/24 then cancel CSR. AF due in August so likely will pay one more year while I work through it and see if maybe Chase will add additional benefits to be more competitive with Amex Platinum or at least extend things like the Doordash credit beyond 2021.

    • A non-tangible benefit to consider with the CSR is trip protection. In 2017 I got snowed in at JFK missing a flight out to an African safari. We arrived a day late without our bags, and Chase reimbursed over $3k without hesitation. I had a subsequent instance where Qatar Airways lost my bags during a business trip, and again, Chase promptly reimbursed me without question. If you go into the trip protection T&Cs, Chase is marginally better than Amex (e.g., Chase doesn’t require RT charged entirely to the card), and car rental coverage with Chase is primary, vs secondary with Amex. I haven’t filed a travel claim with Amex for comparison, but I did file a purchase protection claim with them once that turned into an infuriating nightmare, and ultimately resulted in me cancelling the Gold card I had at the time.

  7. I have the CSR and since I don’t book travel with the portal, I don’t mind going from 1.50 to 1.25 on a redemption.

    I’m under 5/24 and would like the CSP. Can I PC the reserve to something else (suggestions?) so I can apply for the CSP and get the bonus?

    I have about 600k UR and don’t want to lose those.

    Thanks!

    • You can PC the CSR to a Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited. That would keep your points in the account (although they wouldn’t be transferrable for the time being). And if it has been 48 months since you earned the CSR bonus you could then sign up for the CSP once the downgrade went through (I would wait a few days).

      Once you have the CSP you can transfer the 600K on your new Freedom card over to your CSP and they are now transferrable again.

      • So, do you feel that the CSR really doesn’t have any substantial value? If you’re not using the Chase portal for travel purchases, then, what other value is there? ($300 annual credit is one). I’ve never used it for purchasing travel and from the sounds of these posts, it’s a nightmare. That leaves me wondering what I really am getting from the card. I have held Hilton Diamond for a few years and am struggling to get to Platinum Marriott this year. Since buying hotels via Chase Portal never give points or elite night credits, what’s the use?

  8. Mark,
    Help me out here if you would.
    My wife has the CSR, Freedom and Freedom Unlimited
    I have the CSP, Freedom and Freedom Unlimited.
    If I got rid of my Preferred, could I still transfer points to my wife’s CSR?
    Thanks

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