The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve are two excellent travel credit cards. They are chock-filled with a plethora of perks on top of some great sign-up bonuses and generous earning structures. But multiple sources (including Doctor of Credit and View From the Wing) (H/T to both) have reported that Chase has added temporary perks to the Sapphire Cards.
What’s Going On?
Both cards are receiving new redemption options. Cardholders can use Ultimate Rewards (UR) points towards restaurants, home improvement, and groceries in addition to the regular redemption options. Chase is unveiling a new tool called the “Pay Yourself Back” tool and it appears to be akin to the Chase Travel Portal.
Moreover, UR points can be redeemed at a rate of 1.5 cents per points (CPP) for the Reserve and 1.25 CPP for the Preferred. And these rates apply to all the new redemption options in addition to the Chase Travel Portal.
These increased rates will last from May 31 to September 30, 2020.
Sapphire Reserve Only
Chase infamously raised the Sapphire Reserve Card’s annual fee to $550 in January 2020. But one of the additional benefits is a “reduced” $450 annual fee for cardholders whose cards will renew between July 1 and December 31, 2020. There will not be a statement credit for these cardholders, just a simple reduced annual fee. However, cardholders whose cards will renew between today and June 30, 2020, will still receive a $550 annual fee and a $100 statement credit.
Furthermore, Chase also expanded the Sapphire Reserve’s travel credit. This credit was one of the easiest to use in the entire industry before the pandemic. But Chase has expanded it to include gas station and grocery store purchases. That means that you can trigger the credit by purchasing groceries or filling your car up with gas.
I am impressed with the addition of these new temporary perks. They are useful and easy to use, unlike several of American Express’ perks and credits. However, American Express has provided more perks to their cardholders.
Plenty of Chase cardholders might have huge stashes of UR points that they otherwise could not use for travel. But the new redemption options for both Sapphire Cards are great for those in a pinch.
Furthermore, the improvements in two of the Sapphire Reserve’s core benefits were unexpected for me. I am glad that Chase has temporarily lowered its annual fee back to $450 for cardholders whose fees will come due in the second half of 2020. Plus, the expansion of the travel credit to more “domestic” expenses is amazing! Chase is effectively offering
Chase is truly helping their Sapphire cardholders with these temporary perks. They are useful, easy to use, and valuable, which makes them attractive to cardholders. However, they are different than American Express’ perks.