Sapphire Reserve Turns 1 And Chase Moves To Further Limit New Sapphire Cards; Will You Be Keeping Your Sapphire Reserve Card For Year 2?

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The Sapphire Reserve card turned 1 last week and people who applied for it last August will soon be facing a $450 annual fee.

It was reported last month that Chase is getting nervous about how much money they are losing on the Sapphire Reserve card and that they were looking for ways to cut costs.

 

Of course, if Chase cuts valuable benefits from the card, then people will just bail on it and the losses will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. There is a long payback period as Chase offered 100,000 points (worth at least $1,500 in travel) plus $300 in annual travel credits, so they need customers to keep their card for a long time in order to turn a profit. Some 10% to 40% of premium credit cards are cancelled annually, and if the Sapphire Reserve winds up on the higher end of that range, it will cost Chase a fortune.

AMEX quickly devalued their 50% points rebate on the Business Platinum card and will likely face many canceled cards when that benefit ends.

The last Sapphire cut only affected new cardholders as it switched the annual travel credit from a calendar year to a cardmember year. Existing cardholders were grandfathered into the calendar year credit, which was more costly for Chase as you could easily get $600 in travel credits during your first cardmembership year.

Chase has just announced a new policy, likely targeting those who were thinking of applying for a Sapphire Preferred card and closing their Sapphire Reserve card. Effective immediately, Chase is considering all Sapphire cards to be part of the same family. That includes the regular Sapphire, the Sapphire Preferred, and the Sapphire Reserve.

That means you can no longer receive the bonus on any Sapphire card if you have received a bonus on any Sapphire card within the past 24 months.

It also means you can’t get approved for any Sapphire card if you currently have one open.

Previously each Sapphire card flavor was considered its own product.

Chase may even enforce this by not allowing you to be approved for any Sapphire card if you’ve received a bonus on any Sapphire card in the past 24 months, but that’s not clear at this point.

The good news is that you can still make a product change between Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Sapphire, Sapphire Preferred, and Sapphire Reserve cards. However you don’t earn any signup points for upgrades or downgrades.

So for example, if you have a Sapphire Preferred and it has been more than 24 months since you earned the bonus on it, you can downgrade that to a Freedom or Freedom Unlimited and then apply for and receive a bonus on a new Sapphire card. You’ll want to wait a couple days until the logo on your Chase.com account changes from Sapphire to a Freedom logo.

You can view credit card offers by hovering over the “Credit Cards” tab. You can then click on “Credit Cards From All Banks“ to find card offers via the logo of the bank you’re looking for.

Of course you will still have to have been approved for under 5 cards in the past 24 months as well.

The big question that has to be answered is will people keep their Sapphire Reserve card open?

The benefits are pretty strong. The annual $300 travel credit means that the effective annual fee is just $150 for most people as the travel categories are extremely broad.

In return you get:

  • Free Global Entry/Pre-Check membership.
  • 3 points per dollar on all dining and travel.
  • Priority Pass lounge membership with unlimited free guests.
  • Sapphire Reserve cardholders can redeem Chase points earned from any card at a value of 1.5 cents each towards airfare, car rentals, hotels, and activities.
  • Roadside assistance
  • Travel insurance, trip delay insurance, and much more
  • Many more benefits as outlined in this post.

I’d say that’s a very good value for a $150 annual fee and plan on keeping my card open, but feel free to share your thoughts on the new rule and about whether you’ll keep your card open in the comments.

HT: shaulyaakov, via DDF and DoC

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116 Comments On "Sapphire Reserve Turns 1 And Chase Moves To Further Limit New Sapphire Cards; Will You Be Keeping Your Sapphire Reserve Card For Year 2?"

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jesse

When does this go into effect?

“Chase has just announced a new policy, likely targeting those who were thinking of applying for a Sapphire Preferred card and closing their Sapphire Reserve card. Effective immediately, Chase is considering all Sapphire cards to be part of the same family. That includes the regular Sapphire, the Sapphire Preferred, and the Sapphire Reserve.

That means you can no longer receive the bonus on any Sapphire card if you have received a bonus on any Sapphire card within the past 24 months.”?

Or as soon as chases announced the policy went into effect?

RH

I opened my card in January. When can I spend on traveling again to get refunded an additional 300 dollars for this year?

Chay

So if I understand correctly..
If I received the sapphire bonus this year I cwont receive a bonus if I apply for reserve now?

MaaYanky

I’ll be keeping mine! The value is still there!

CZ60

Could see this from a mile away. Otherwise, I’d just alternate years on the two cards… Getting 50k/year and never paying an annual fee (actually getting $150 back assuming you can double up the $300 travel credit on on $450 annual fee). A move that had to be done, even though none of us like it.

Meh

Meh. The priority pass lounges have terrible hours. Don’t recommend it.

ML

Just had a 3 hour layover in LHR and used the lounge with 4 kids. Was worth it!

Peter

I’ve decided to downgrade or cancel my CSR, and to keep the CSP instead. My main reason is that I had a few AU’s on my CSP and it’s free, but on CSR it’s not. Both I love both cards!

Brian

Just open AUs on CSR and cancel them. You’ll get the fee back and the cards will still work as the numbers are all identical!

Peter

@brian, that’s an interesting way.. though i’d feel bad doing that haha

Brian

Or just ask for a non-metal version of the card and give it to someone to use.

abe

How is your CSP free? Thought it costs $95 per year.

Gary

Who pays annual fees? 😛

Rafi

How can you avoid?

Q

i cant get a freedom card bec im over 5/24 but my chase fairmont just converted to a perferred , would it be possibel to downgrade to freedom.? all reps are giving me a million diffrent answers annoying . alos can i upgrade from the perferred to the reserve? thanks mashiach now vehameivin yavin

Mordche

Imo chase’s loss of the csr has been exaggerated. Even though they gave a huge sign up bonus, it wasn’t realy paid out yet. It just increases your ur balance. The fact that they are giving 1.5 cents per point is actually making people hold on longer to their ur points rather than cashing it out for cash or converting to airline miles. Of course there are the nimble few that get the full value right away and beat them at their own game, but the majority of users are holding on to their points to use them for travel.

Meir

I just got approved for both the reserve and preferred last week so am I safe? Will they not give me bonus??

Samantha

WOW my husband was just approved for the Sapphire Preferred a couple weeks ago after getting the Reserve last year…I guess we barely made the cut off! I moved my Reserve points to his and cancelling this month before the fee, and now deciding if we should keep his Reserve or cancel and keep the points with his Preferred for a year while the annual fee is waived…we would still have the 1.5 points redemption with just the Preferred right?

magnus

preferred is only 1.25

blitz trop

Can i get road-side assistance if my wife is the card holder and the car is in my name?

e

I opened my card in November can I get the travel credit now and again in December? Representative I spoke to said it will only renew next year if I use it now

Yola

I currently have 500K UR points so the CSR gives me $2,500 more if redeemed through Chase. I think its worth it to pay $150 for that!

Jb

I plan on keeping it as well (most likely). But two dislikes of the card are
1) lounges. I have never been in one of these lounges yet as they are always away from my terminal. It is not worth leaving the terminal only to go back on a security line to go into a lounge for 30 min

2) i have other cards that offer free tsa. I wish there was a way to deselect this and get the annual fee lowered a little.

Maifriend

Do you get reimbursed each year you keep the card and apply for global entry? I got GE for myself on year 1, got it for my wife through Amex platinum on year 1. I still have to apply for my two kids.

Ale G

I spoke with Chase a few days ago and the rep informed me that as long as i choose to downgrade to a different product within 2 months of the annual fee Chase will credit the annual fee back.

mh

Even Anniversary credit can work twice – it resets after a year then use it within 30 days & then cancel – Annual fee is fully refunded

PGA

I now have 3 kids and the oldest is 4. Traveling by plane is a royal pain in the butt. I am taking a break. I earned 100k points and 2 separate $300 travel credits. My annual fee is due this month and I am gone. I would keep it in a second if I could still travel because of the 1.5x with my INK and Freedom Unlimited. With no travel on my end I am out for now. I enjoyed it while I could, thanks Dan.

abe

if my initial charge was on 12/1/16 (then received both 2016 & 2017 travel credits), can i triple dip by getting the 2018 credit before downgrading to the no fee chase sapphire?

Avi

What is the current sig-up bonus and do you think it may go up around channuka? I should be under 5/24 by then and am looking to sign-up.

Nir

which chase cover car rental specifically in ISRAEL?

Priority pass didnt exist in some terminals I visited, didnt get any use for the little I travelled. would rather have increased travel dollar benefit

Avi

Works in the Dan lounges.

Moshe

The best is actually the citi prestige card

Sholom Cohen

If my first transaction was may 11,2017 – how can I triple dip? Thanks

Sam

Hey Dan, I’m not sure if the double/triple dip on the travel credit applies to me or if i could make apply by changing the closing date and would appreciate it if you can advise… I was approved January 5th 2017 and my statement closes on the 22nd of every month

chaya

if i opened my card in august 23 2016, any way I can double or triple dip without paying additional year fee?

Jack out of the box

I plan to bounce back and forth between myself and my wife once a year. It’s good you told me about the Sapphire family new application restriction so I know to close/convert my regular Sapphire before my next application.
I have already done well on my SR benefits.
Thank you Dan.

Yisroel

So the best way to apply for a reserve card now, would be to apply for a preferred card and upgrade immediately. It’s easier to get approved for.

ucipass

My annual fee is coming up next month, but how about if I downgrade this month and upgrade sometimes in december to position myself for a future triple dip?

Neil

I’d keep it if they gave you a card for my wife without additional fee…I have the sapphire preferred also and that gives you additional cards at no extra fee… For me to pay for both cards and then still have to pay additional for an extra reserve card does not pay… I’ll end up cancelling the reserve card because of that.

Brian

Just open AUs on CSR and cancel them. You’ll get the fee back and the cards will still work as the numbers are all identical!

Jane

After how long can you cancel the AU? Right now both my husband and I have the card

dave

Yes, I will keep the card.

The travel insurance benefits are nice and they actually pay! On a trip last year overseas, my wife slipped and broke her foot. They reimbursed all but $50 that my health insurance did not cover. On the same trip (on a cruise), a very expensive shore excursion was shortened by a day and the cruise company just thumbed their noses at us for any reimbursement but Chase thru this card refunded a portion as trip interruption coverage that more than paid the annual fee for the card. The lounge benefits are very nice and we have used those several times. Customer service is simply the best with the call answered immediately by an english speaking rep. The 1.5-1 point conversion for travel is super and I can transfer points from my business card for this great rate.

Yes, it is a keeper.

jew

Do you have to buy the tickets for travel insurance? Or even if use the “hybrid points” am i entitled to it?

ariella

I’ll be keeping mine, I’m just trying hard to figure out what to cancel. I only have 3 other cards that have annual fees, but it’s really hard to figure out which one to cancel.

DS

Dan, you describe an ability to downgrade CSP to FU, and then open another CSP. But if I understand it correctly , this only applies to people who do not have CSR?

Google brought this link up : https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/sapphire/compare/offer-details:

The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.

yankel

very misleading to write:
The benefits are pretty strong. The annual $300 travel credit means that the effective annual fee is just $150 for most people as the travel categories are extremely broad.
its basically prepaying those costs. benefits are only after the $450 annual fee is absorbed. you would be paying those $300 in travel expenses if the annual fee wasnt $450. so not sure how you can say the effective fee is only $150.

Chaya Cohen

Any way I can double dip if I opened my card at end of August 2016? Thanks

DS

Just came across an issue that people may want to be aware.
If you close your CSP and keep CSR, now your authorized users are NOT free.

And the consequence of that is that you are now limited in your transfer options. I am not sure how new this is:
You can transfer points in 1,000 point increments, but only to participating frequent travel program accounts belonging to you, or one additional household member who is listed as an authorized user on your card account

You will not be able to transfer to your spouse/etc unless they are listed as authorized user, and I assume active one. So keep that in mind.

rachel

If I apply for this card now when will I be charged annual fee? Is it waived the first year?

israel

wanna decide if should keep this one open for next year, but i wanna make sure that i could get the 1.5 cents when it happens such a glitch like the one this Sunday morning

Chaim

I have one for me and 1 for my wife thinking about keeping 1 closing one

AS

I plan on keeping it! Just cashed out big time with the 1.5 cents value over the summer for my flights and hotel!
Dan, I just applied 3 weeks ago for the CSP and I was “pre approved for it” according to my chase.com account. If I actually get them to approve me (bec I signed up at the same time for the IHG card which they approved instantly) will I still get the bonus because I applied before the new rule ( I currently have the CSR)?

17

Can I switch a sapphire (not preferred) to freedom?

Reuben

yes-answer to that question from Chase

Thank you for contacting us about information regarding
product change.

Your Chase Sapphire Reserve product has the option to
switch to the following products. The Annual Percentage
Rate(APR) and account number will not change as a result
of this change. Please view the following information:

Chase Sapphire Visa Signature:
No Annual Fee for this product. Earn 1 point for every $1
on all purchases and an additional 1 point for every $1
spent on dining – when you use your card at restaurants.
No caps on the amount of points earned. Bonus/Promotional
offers may have a maximum accumulation. No expiration on
points. Product includes a 3% foreign transaction fee for
any transactions made in a currency other than U.S.
Dollars, which may include internet sites based outside of
the United States.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature:
Annual Fee $95. Earn 2 points per dollar spent on dining
at restaurants – from fast food to fine dining. Earn 2
points per dollar spent on all travel including flights,
hotel accommodations, car rentals, parking and more. Use
your card to make purchases world-wide without ever having
to pay any foreign transaction fee. 1:1 point transfer to
participating frequent travel programs. Plus, 1 point per
dollar spent on all other purchases. No expiration on
points.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Visa Signature:
Customers earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
with no minimums to redeem for cash back. Your Freedom
Unlimited card comes with Chase Ultimate Rewards, our
premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for
travel, gift cards, cash back and more. Product includes a
3% foreign transaction fee for any transactions made in a
currency other than U.S. Dollars, which may include
internet sites based outside of the United States.

Chase Freedom with Ultimate Rewards Visa Signature:
Customers earn 5% cash back (5 points per $1 spent) on up
to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each
quarter. Enjoy new categories every 3 months. Quarterly
activation is required. Customers earn unlimited 1% cash
back (1 point per $1 spent) on all other purchases. Your
Freedom card comes with Chase Ultimate Rewards, our
premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for
travel, gift cards, cash back and more. Product includ3% foreign transaction fee for any transactions made in a
currency other than U.S. Dollars, which may include
internet sites based outside of the United States.

Howard

What is the 5/24 rule?

DL

Budget TLV playing games
Add insurance despite Us cc insurance letter saying they don’t care
Or
Charging TPI About same as CDW
How do you guys deal with them?

Avi

Dan,
I added my kids as authorized users on the sapphire reserve. After realizing that there’s a fee for authorized users, I removed them all. Their CC # and security code is the same as mine. I assume their cards will still work? Whats to stop ppl from adding users, getting the cards and then removing them?

Lazer

I want to cancel my CSR. Is it possible to use the travel credit before I cancel the card ?

Shmuel

Are there any chase cards that are not restricted with the 5/24 rule?

chaim

Is it true that if i drop my credit line to $1000 they will waive the annual fee?

EER

Is there any way to waive the annual fee?

MM

My new Priority Pass came in the mail with a 2021 expiration date (the one from the first year expired at the end of this year). If I cancel or downgrade my Sapphire card will the Priority Pass still stay active for 3 years for access to lounges or will it no longer work?

Yaakov

How can I preserve the points from the CSR without paying the fee? I was thinking about opening a Chase freedom card to transfer the points but I know I lose the 1.5% benefit on travel unless I book with CSR (is that correct?) I was thinking that I could sign up again for the CSR in the future before traveling and transfer the points back there from the freedom card. Any ideas on this?

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