New 2020 Perks For Chase Sapphire Reserve And Preferred

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Chase has added more new temporary benefits to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card products.

They’re letting you redeem points at full value towards restaurants, grocery stores, and home improvement stores. Sapphire Reserve travel credits will work at grocery stores and gas stations. And they’re reducing the Sapphire Reserve card’s annual fee temporarily as well.

Changes To The Sapphire Reserve Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve® has been one of the most popular premium products. It offers an initial bonus to earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

And it earns 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining – great points that transfer to frequent flyer programs or can be spent directly on travel. It has a $300 annual travel credit, and provides airport lounge access with a Priority Pass card.

It’s the absolute sweet spot of a travel card, with points that transfer to a variety of airlines (such as United, Emirates, and Singapore) and hotel programs (including Hyatt). However Chase has worked hard to make the card offer premium value even when many customers aren’t traveling or dining out.

  • Annual fee. Already customers whose renewals were coming up April 1 – June 30 were receiving a $100 statement credit against the card’s $550 annual fee. For renewals July 1 – December 31 the annual fee will be $450 (no need for statement credit).

  • Broader travel credit. The card’s $300 annual travel credit, good from airline tickets to hotels to Uber, will be expanded starting June 1 and running through December 31 to include purchases at gas and grocery stores.

  • Redeem points at 1.5 cents apiece towards restaurants, grocery stores, and home improvement stores. Available May 31 through September 30, 2020, this puts these everyday items on par with the card’s redemption value for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

That is on top of additional benefits they’ve already added. Through June 30 the card earns 5 points on the first $1,500 spent each month on groceries per month. It also offers a $60 annual DoorDash credit in 2020 and 2021 and a DoorDash DashPass for a year, providing discounted delivery. There’s also a year of Lyft Pink membership and 10 points per dollar on Lyft rides through March 2022.

Changes To The Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been one of the best cards, and remains ideal at the under-$100 annual fee price point. The card has one of the absolute best up front bonus offers in travel, 60,000 bonus points after $4000 spend within 3 months. The card offers double points on travel and dining, and points transfer to a variety of airlines and hotel programs.

Chase normally lets you spend points at 1.25 cents apiece towards paid travel through their portal. Between May 31 and September 30, 2020, you can redeem at 1.25 cents apiece for statement credits against spending at restaurants, grocery stores, and home improvement stores.

This is in addition to other new offers, including 3 points per dollar on the first $1500 in spend each more at grocery stores through June 30; a DoorDash DashPass good for a year; and 5 points per dollar on Lyft rides through March 2022.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card products.

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, 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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  1. It would be nice if Chase would add some benefits to the Ritz Carlton since it is nearly worthless right now.

  2. The $100 annual fee increase was effective April 1, so if your renewal was in March you only paid the $450 to begin with.

  3. @Renee same here: I called at the end of March to downgrade from CSR to CSP, citing COVID and the annual fee increase. They just said “ok, here you go” with no retention offers. Maybe I’m being unreasonable expecting them to react to the situation quickly, but it’s been over two months at this point and they’re just getting around to it.

  4. How does the 1.5 ¢pp redemption for restaurants and groceries work mechanically? Do you need to purchase through the UR portal? Or can you retroactively apply points to expenses? Any idea if this covers restaurant and grocery delivery services (Door Dash, Amazon Fresh)? Overall, think this is a great way to get value from Chase points.

  5. Gary, who do you think this is really targeted towards?

    From my perspective, most people who have this card are saving their points for the great redemptions to come once things return to (slightly) normal. Is chase just trying to get points off the books at a lower value?

    I could be way off here, but I would think the type of person who would use this (needs help with money now, rather than saving points for future redemptions) is also the type who would not have the card.

  6. I’m a little confused. If one of my current Reserve benefits is receiving 5 points/$ for groceries, why would I accept a 1.5points/$ offset? Shouldn’t I charge my groceries, get the 5 points/$, convert those points to cash at 1:1 and then use that to pay for groceries? At least for the first $1500/month. Same with restaurants at 3:1.

  7. @CSR I think it is obvious who this is aimed at.

    CSR usage is plummeting, so Chase came up with the 5x at grocery stores to try and keep the CSR in the front of people’s wallets.

    Apparently that was not very successful, so now the overpaid braintrust at Chase has come up with another kludge to try and convince people to use their CSR.

    Sure, it will get me to put my groceries on my CSR, but that is not very much spending. With all the 0% card offers now, Chase won’t be getting any of my big spending.

  8. Renee and Pat, I was in the same boat. No effort at all to retain me at CSR. I actually complained to Chase about it – no response. I guess I was not spending enough on the card?

  9. @ CSR 2.0 – there’s definitely a reasonably large contingent of CSR holders who exclusively burn their UR on the travel portal or even on things like cash/giftcards. There is definitely another large subset who spend UR on the travel portal at least some of the time (vs. transferring to partners the rest of the time). Certainly, anyone falling into the first group and many of those in the second will benefit from this temporary policy. A 1.5cpp statement credit redemption dominates any non-transfer redemption and even some lower-end (e.g. 1.6cpp) transfers (due to benefits of booking travel with cash).

  10. The new benefits are aimed at one very important group: the large number of people who signed up for this card in August 2016 when it was first released. These folk have had the card for four years, and their annual fees are coming due on September 1. I’m sure many of them have been planning to downgrade because of (a) the $100 annual fee increase and (b) the lack of travel and dining opportunities caused by the coronavirus. Chase is fixing the first problem by delaying the $100 fee increase, and they’re addressing the second problem by substituting groceries for travel in the earning, redemptions, and credits. (Full disclosure: I am one of those August 2016 cardholders, and until today I had been planning to downgrade my CSR to a CFU when the annual fee is billed.)

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