Jamie Dimon Says New Sapphire Reserve Card Cut Profits By Up to $300 Million, More Good Cards Coming

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JP Morgan Chase CEO says that fourth quarter profits will take a hit thanks to the new Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s new Sapphire Reserve credit card will reduce the bank’s profit by $200 million to $300 million in the fourth quarter, according to Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon.

“The card has been doing great” and was embraced by consumers before the bank did any marketing, Dimon said Tuesday at an investor conference in New York. “Now we have to account for acquisition cost in that business.”

None of this means of course that the new card has been a bad investment for Chase — it means that they book expenses for new cardmember acquisition and those are a big deal. The bet is that new cardmembers will be profitable over time. Chase’s lease of the Visa network means their marginal cost for charges is very low, the more volume they do the better off they are, and it makes sense to offer rich rewards to incentivize that.

Copyright: jetcityimage / 123RF Stock Photo

Along with Sapphire Reserve Chase has introduced a new premium small business card the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card with an 80,000 point signup bonus after $5000 spend within 3 months. That’s too new to have affected the bottom line in a material way, but there are 16 things to love about it not least of which is triple points on shipping and advertising on social media and search engines.

I think there are good reasons to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card rather than Sapphire Reserve, especially for people who don’t spend a lot on cards or who are new to the frequent flyer hobby. The $0 annual fee the first year (then $95) of Sapphire Preferred makes a difference compared to the $450 fee for Sapphire Reserve.

At the Goldman Sachs U.S. Financial Services Conference this morning, reader Sourabh B. relays that Jamie Dimon also said there are more good cards that will be introduced but that he couldn’t say more yet as nothing about them is yet public.

Many people find that for either card Chase is only willing to approve new applications if you’ve had fewer than 5 new cards in the past 24 months. Some people with significant banking relationships (such as Chase Private Client) or particularly high credit scores and high incomes do seem to get approvals despite having more cards than this.

If you aren’t under ‘5/24’ though you may consider going into a Chase branch and asking if you’re pre-approved for any card offers. People over 5/24 who apply in-branch for offers they’re pre-approved for do in fact regularly get accepted for these cards.

Personally I’m a big fan of the Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card which seems to be exempt from these 5/24 restrictions. It’s a fabulous card for folks who are already at 5 or more cards in the past 24 months (and I plan to get and use it to make Starwood Platinum next year on spend alone).

The card’s signup bonus offer is 3 complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after $5,000 spend on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Credit: Ritz-Carlton

Perhaps the biggest benefit that’s bundled with the card as a Visa Infinite is the $100 airfare credit when buying tickets through their portal (which limited you to United, Delta, and American) for two to five passengers. You can use this benefit an unlimited number of times.

But for a card with a $450 annual fee, something that makes it go down much easier is that it comes with a $300 airline fee credit

Don’t worry about the bottom-line effects on Chase from all of these signup bonuses, however.

JPMorgan is expected to post about $5 billion in profit this quarter

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.



  1. Hard for me to imagine what new credit card could be introduced now that the Ink Preferred has gone out. All major hotels and airline already have loyalty cards and with the Reserved Chase seems to have introduced a Tier 1 personal card. Chase did a great job of going after AmEx this year so I’m having trouble figuring out what space they don’t currently occupy that a competitor does.

  2. Again no one should get the Sapphire Preferred over the Reserve – we all know the economics $2100 of travel for $450 – really doesn’t compare to $700 or so for $95. It doesn’t matter if you ever spend more than $4,850 on the card, as long as you get in the second $300.

  3. @JL100 – it makes sense for Gary, because he gets paid if you sign up for Preferred but not for Reserve

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