It’s that time of year again—credit card renewal time.
This time, it’s the ultra-luxury Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card with upgraded travel perks. Those interested in learning more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card may do so by reading our review.
There is a caveat to the good news, though. For applications accepted on or after January 12, 2020, Chase has raised the annual cost for the Sapphire Reserve card to $550.
The yearly cost is now $450, an increase of $100 from the prior year. If your Chase credit card’s annual renewal date is on or before April 1, 2020, you can renew for another year at the $450 rate. However, if your renewal date is on or after April 1, 2021, you’ll be required to renew at the new rate.
All current and future cardholders will continue to be charged the same $75 approved user fee.
What to Expect from the Chase Sapphire Reserve in 2020
Chase has introduced many additional cardholder advantages that might be worth much more than $100 with active use in order to compensate for the increased yearly cost and to recruit a fresh generation of cardholders amid the coronavirus epidemic.
The $300 yearly travel credit and free access to more than 1,000 Priority Pass airport lounges globally that Sapphire Reserve customers are used to will continue to be available.
These perks are available to all Chase Sapphire Reserve cards, both new and existing, as well as current Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders who are interested in upgrading to Sapphire Reserve.
One year of free DoorDash DashPass
When you consider that a monthly subscription to DoorDash DashPass costs $9.99, this perk is worth approximately $120 a year, which is more than the $110 increase in the Sapphire Reserve’s annual premium. One of the main advantages of using DashPass is because
- There will be no delivery charges for purchases of $12 or more from participating eateries.
- Orders of $12 or more at participating restaurants receive discounted service costs.
Dozens of national and regional chains, as well as hundreds of locally owned establishments, fall under DoorDash’s umbrella of “select restaurants” in the locations it services. A DashPass-accepting eatery will have a blue checkmark next to its name.
Please take note that the DashPass bonus threshold has decreased by $3 since its first announcement in 2018. When you order one main dish and one appetizer or side from a participating restaurant, delivery is on the house.
If you haven’t already done so, this perk’s timer will begin ticking as soon as you activate it in the DoorDash app and set your Sapphire Reserve card as the default payment option. After your free year with DashPass expires on March 31, 2022, your subscription will automatically renew each month until you cancel it.
One Year of Lyft Pink for Free
Lyft Pink, the premium membership tier of the ridesharing app, is offered for free for a year to customers who have purchased the more expensive Sapphire Reserve membership tier. That’s equivalent to roughly $240 in value at the $19.99 monthly price. A few of Lyft Pink’s perks are:
- 15% discount on all Lyft rides
- Priority airport pickups during seasons of high demand
- Up to three monthly cancellation costs are waived when you rebook within 15 minutes.
- Waived costs for lost and found items
- Three maximum free 30-minute Lyft bike or scooter rides where available each month
- Seasonal incentives only to Lyft Insiders.
All you have to do is make your Sapphire Reserve card your go-to Lyft payment option and activate Lyft Pink before March 2022 to get your free year. Similar to DashPass, Lyft Pink will automatically renew once the first year is over, so make sure to cancel before you get hit with a bill.
10x points on Lyft purchases till March 20, 2022
Until March 2022, Sapphire Reserve cardholders may earn 10 Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar spent on Lyft rides.
When you use the points you’ve earned on Lyft rides to pay for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site, you’ll receive 15 percent back on your investment, or seven bonus points per dollar spent instead of the standard three points per dollar.
Make Sapphire Reserve your default payment option in Lyft to ensure you always receive the increased bonus points.
More Chase Sapphire Reserve Advantages
Users of food delivery and ridesharing apps will be pleased to hear that the Sapphire Reserve will be updated in January 2020. However, cardholders who make the most of the card’s rewards program and other perks will find that the card provides outstanding value.
In other words, both new and existing cards can continue to enjoy the same privileges as before.
Annual Travel Credit of $300
One of the most popular credit cards among frequent flyers is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Specifically, it provides an annual $300 subsidy for each cardholder to use toward travel expenses. Simply said, this is a fantastic perk for any credit card holder who often travels.
If you’re able to use the full yearly credit each year, your annual charge drops from $300 to $250. The yearly travel credit can be used for many different kinds of travel-related expenditures. Several of them are:
- Arrangements made through third-party travel booking engines or aggregators, such as Hotels.com, Booking.com, and Expedia, such as airline, hotels, cruises, and car rentals.
- Ticket purchases made directly with the airline
- Purchases of hotel and resort stays made directly with the host
- Bookings for short-term rentals on websites like Airbnb and Vrbo
- Direct-from-the-rental-company automobile rentals
- Purchases of cruises made directly with the cruise line
- Purchases of travel services through travel agencies
- Local transportation, such as parking, tolls, public transit passes and fees, taxi fares, and ridesharing app payments.
Typically, you will see your travel credit reflected on the same bill as your payment.
5x Total Points on Air Travel and 10x Total Points on Hotels and Car Rentals Bought Via the Chase Ultimate Rewards Marketplace (Chase Travel)
Earn 5 points for every $1 spent on qualifying air travel purchases made via Chase Travel after using your maximum annual air travel credit (the Chase Ultimate Rewards marketplace). In addition, hotel and auto rental purchases made via Chase Travel will earn you 10 points in total for every $1 spent.
3x Points on Dining and Other Travel Purchases
If you use up your annual travel credit before your card’s renewal date, any future travel expenditures not made through Chase Travel will receive 3 Ultimate Rewards points for every $1 spent.
Even if you don’t use up your whole dining credit, you may still earn 3 points per dollar on all dining purchases (including takeaway and delivery). All other qualifying purchases (those not falling into the above bonus categories) receive 1 point for $1 spent, with the exception of certain partner merchants (like Lyft), who can earn at greater rates.
Access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide is provided at no cost.
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders are given complimentary membership to Priority Pass Select, a network of more than 1,000 airport lounges around the world.
The principal cardholder, any authorized users, and up to two ticketed guests of any primary or authorized user in the same traveling party will not be charged the normal admission cost of $30 to $60 per person to enter a participating lounge.
The services offered in airport lounges range widely from one site to the next. However, standard amenities include pleasant sitting, separate restrooms for visitors, and complimentary refreshments. Lounges with more amenities often have:
- Complimentary hot and cold meals, usually served buffet-style
- Free alcoholic beverages are available.
- Rooms for private families
- Pods for sleeping
- High-speed Internet connection and printing capabilities are available at business centers.
- Outdoor sitting locations, some with dedicated smoking and vaping zones
- Televisions, newspapers, and magazines are examples of entertainment possibilities.
Transferring Points to Partner Hotels and Airlines on a One-to-One Basis
An additional significant benefit for Sapphire Reserve users who often travel abroad. To maximize the value of Ultimate Rewards points earned through Sapphire Reserve spending, Chase has partnered with almost a dozen travel companies on preferential 1-to-1 point transfer agreements.
A few examples of loyalty programs offered by transfer partners that participate in this scheme are:
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- Flying Blue (shared by Air France and KLM)
- United Airlines MileagePlus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- World of Hyatt
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
Gift card redemption values are highly dependent on the business supplying the card. However, when redeemed for international flights, it is normal to get $0.02–$0.03 per point.
Travel Redemptions Get a 50% Value Increase
When redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel site (Chase Travel), Ultimate Rewards points earned on all Sapphire Reserve purchases are worth $0.015 instead of the regular $0.01 apiece, increasing the effective rate of return on travel and dining expenditures to 4.5%. Possibilities for redeeming points toward trips include:
- Hotels and resorts
- Rental cars
For a limited time, you may get 50% cash back on a greater range of redemption choices. For this “Pay Yourself Back” feature, Chase offers a variety of varying categories that can be changed at any time.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Neither purchases conducted with international merchants nor those denominated in a foreign currency will ever incur a foreign transaction charge for Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders. This is excellent news for those who travel internationally on a budget frequently.
Application Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
Sapphire Reserve cardholders can get a statement credit for the cost of applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every four years.
To get the same perks as TSA PreCheck, frequent overseas travelers should apply for Global Entry. If you’re only flying domestically inside the United States, the somewhat cheaper PreCheck will suffice. The cost of applying for Global Entry is $100, thus this benefit may be worth that much.
Benefits Exclusive to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
Many upscale hotel chains, like Fairmont and W, are part of the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC), which offers exclusive perks to Sapphire Reserve members.
The following are some of the standard included in offers:
- Complimentary room upgrades when available
- Two complimentary breakfasts
- Complimentary Wi-Fi if not included
- Typically $100 per room each stay in food and beverage credits Flexible check-in times
- Gratuitous welcome gifts
Bear in mind that LHRC establishments are often more expensive than comparable neighboring budget hotels, and that the benefit and amenity packages at certain places are insufficient to make the facility cost-competitive. Still, LHRC packages are a great deal for cardholders who can afford to splurge.
Exclusive Benefits at Relais & Chateaux
The hotels, resorts, lodges, and restaurants that make up the Relais & Chateaux network may be found in more than 60 different countries. The perks may change from property to resort, but they often consist of a complimentary welcome gift (such Champagne on ice) and free breakfast for two.
Exclusive Benefits With Select Rental Car Partners
Sapphire Reserve cardholders are eligible for exclusive perks from Chase’s car-rental partner Avis, National, and Silvercar. Benefits such as these may be available, depending on your provider and area.
- Free car class upgrades, such as midsize standard to full-size standard or midsize luxury to midsize luxury.
- Only cardholders pay daily fees
- Discounts on rentals of luxury and premium vehicles
- Exclusive discounts and promotions
Access to Exclusive Events and Experiences
Chase grants its cardholders exclusive or VIP admission to hundreds of other sold-out events, like the Sundance Film Festival, and supports cardholder-only experiences like private meals with renowned chefs in certain locations.
Benefits of Free Travel Insurance
When it comes to premium travel rewards cards, Chase Sapphire Reserve isn’t alone in providing free trip cancellation insurance to its cardholders. However, its travel protection package is among the most extensive and advantageous in the business. Some highlights are:
- Coverage for trip interruptions and cancellations, including reimbursement of up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for things like flights, hotel stays, and tour reservations that are nonrefundable.
- Free protection against theft and damage to the rental automobile, up to $75,000 per booking.
- If your bags are delayed for more than six hours, you can get reimbursed up to $100 each day for five days to cover the costs of things like food and clothes you need to get by.
- Those whose bags are lost or damaged while in transit might get compensation of up to $3,000 per person.
- If your flight is delayed by more than six hours, you might get up to $500 back per ticket to cover things like food and hotel.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card was regarded as one of the most advantageous travel rewards credit cards available prior to January 2020. It was a significant improvement over its less generous sibling, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, thanks to its fantastic travel credit and outstanding sign-up bonus.
For Sapphire Reserve members able to make the most of the card’s many perks, the rewards will improve in the new year.
Sapphire Reserve’s potential worth much exceeds its admittedly expensive annual price, thanks to the $300 yearly travel credit, a substantial rewards program that is especially useful for regular travelers, and a plethora of exclusive discounts and privileges with partner retailers.
New signups and current members alike can benefit from the extra perks Chase added for Sapphire Reserve cardholders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep an eye on this one, since it may go either way.