Chase Acquires The Infatuation, Will Deliver More Dining Benefits To Cardmembers

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Chase created Chase Dining with Tock offering special restaurant reservations at top places set aside for cardmembers. This was part of a continued assault on American Express as the category leader in travel and entertainment.

Amex, by the way, didn’t stand still. They traditionally offered a special reservations program but double down by acquiring reservations platform Resy.

The American Express Gold is my favorite card for dining spend, earning 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar. Chase’s premium Chase Sapphire Reserve® has offered 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar since card launch.

Recently Chase revamped its Sapphire cards and made them even more rewarding on dining.

  • The $95 annual fee Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card improved its earning to 3 points per dollar on restaurant spend, and added a getting a 10% anniversary bonus on spend during the year after payment of the card’s annual fee (so it effectively earns 3.1 points per dollar at restaurants).

  • Meanwhile the $550 annual fee Chase Sapphire Reserve® now earns 10 points per dollar with spending with the Chase Dining hub.

And Chase has been rolling out virtual chef events – the “Sapphire at Home Dining Series” offering “demonstrations, intimate conversations, behind-the-scenes tours and more.”

Now Chase is acquiring The Infatuation, the online dining guide (which I’ve found to be better than competitors). They business is larger than I’d realized, so along with what I know as The Infatuation they’re also getting Zagat.

The bet here on dining is creating experiential relationships with customers that go beyond just a payment platform, and the customers for whom this matters are lucrative. Naturally both sides emphasize the continued editorial independence of The Infatuation. How exactly The Infatuation gets integrated into the Chase value proposition and its Dining Hub is not yet clear, but it’s a valuable content platform for delivering food experiences to cardmembers.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Has anyone even figured out to use the idiotic Chase Dining thing? For me, the nearest eligible restaurant is about 5 hours drive. Even on the SF peninsula, there are only about 4 restaurants.

    Useless

  2. Gary, I believe that 10% annual bonus on the CSP isn’t 10% of points earned but rather 10% of spend. So you get the equivalent of 3.1 points per dollar spent on dining, not 3.3. This is the way I’ve seen it reported on other sites.

    The language from the T&C is: “10% anniversary points bonus: Each account anniversary year, you’ll earn bonus points that equal 10% of your total spend in points from purchases made with your credit card during the previous account anniversary year at a rate of 1 point for each $1 spent.”

  3. Remember when Google bought Zagat and couldn’t figure out how to make that acquisition work?

    Would seem difficult to find a use case for Chase when Google, which aggregatoes loads of information including reviews, couldn’t get that to work.

  4. @GS Guy,

    About the same usefulness as that POS Resy app that Amex bought recently… there are only a hand full of cities, the app always thinks you’re in NYC and it constantly spams you to enter your Amex Plat card, even after you add it. You’d think if Amex or Chase would want to pickup a reservation platform, they would buy something actually useful like OpenTable…

  5. @Daniel – Google’s acquisition for Zagat was strictly for its data, not for the publishing platform. It was strategic that way.

    @Kevin OpenTable is already owned by another travel company (Booking)

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