Summer is coming…
Effective August 26th, the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card will undergo changes. Less than two years since its epic rise into the lucrative travel rewards credit card game, the card will begin to cull benefits, changing the value proposition for cardholders ever so slightly. Doctor of Credit obtained advanced information from Chase regarding the moves, and we’ve got everything you need to know going forward. Negative changes are never fun, but these may not be so bad, after all…
The Chase Sapphire Reserve presently allows for an unlimited number of lounge guests, via the complimentary Priority Pass membership. Effective August 26th, members will be limited to two guests. Any additional guests will require a $27 per person fee, automatically charged to the card. Without a doubt, this is a blow to larger families and those who travel with groups of friends or colleagues. It goes without saying, it would’ve been nicer to keep a number like 4 or 5 people, if indeed changes were necessary to stop abuse.
No More Price Protection
Although at least 9/10 cardmembers didn’t ever know about it or care to use it in the first place, Chase is eliminating purchase price protection entirely from their entire credit card portfolio. Essentially, if you bought something and then found it on sale or cheaper somewhere shortly thereafter, Chase would help to recover the difference in price if it fell within a certain amount of time. That friendly customer offering will go out the window when the summer changes come into effect.
This is very petty, but will undoubtedly irk many customers. One of the best benefits of the Sapphire Reserve card is the $300 annual travel credit, which effectively offsets the annual fee to just $150 per year, not even considering any other benefits. Going forward from August 26th, cardholders will not receive 3x points on their “free” $300 credit. This will cost members a maximum of 900 earned points a year – which isn’t enough to get you anywhere anyway.
$10,000 A Year
With the $300 annual travel credit, your annual fee is effectively reduced to $150. If you use Priority Pass, the cards annual fee can easily cover itself. If you don’t, and you don’t use any other benefits whatsoever (which would be crazy), the card pays for itself if you spend $10,000 a year on it. Since spending $10,000 will net at least $150 in travel value through Chase Travel – you’re even. If you’re spending on bonus categories such as dining and travel, you could earn 30,000 points from your $10,000 in spend, which would earn you $450 in travel, thus putting you $300 ahead on your annual fee. And don’t forget, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite card, which secures 30% off car rentals and other perks. Synopsis: you should probably keep your card. You’re losing very little and the card remains extremely lucrative.