Chase Adds Major Temporary Benefits To Sapphire Reserve & Preferred Cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve card wallet pop-out

Credit card issuers are trying to provide more value to their cardmembers who are staying at home more due to the coronavirus. Traditional spending bonus categories like restaurants and hotel stays are almost useless in this environment. Effective immediately, Chase has added major temporary benefits to two of their premium cards: Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Overview

As consumers shift most of their time from being outside to going back and forth between their kitchen and living room, credit card issuers are looking for ways to provide value in this unusual time.

American Express recently announced a slew of new benefits that align with how people are using their credit cards in this situation. Chase doesn’t want to fall too behind and risk their customers defecting to Amex, so they have just added major benefits to their Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred cards.

New Benefits

$100 Annual Fee Reduction

Sapphire Reserve = $550 to $450

Valid April 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020

Any Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders whose annual fee falls between April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 will see an automatic reduction of their annual fee by $100, from $550 to $450. Here’s a blurb on this announcement:

We recognize this is a difficult time for everyone. As a way to help, we’re providing you a one-time $100 statement credit toward the 2020 $550 annual fee on your Reserve credit card. On an upcoming billing statement (based on your renewal date), you’ll see a $550 charge for the annual fee, followed by a $100 statement credit. We will continue to bill the $550 annual fee in 2021.

With the expansion of the $300 credit option below, this makes the effective cost of this year’s Chase Sapphire Reserve only $150 ($550 annual fee minus the $100 annual fee reduction and minus the $300 credit).

You can get way more value out of the card compared to the $150 cost for 2020.

Other Chase Credit Card Articles:

$300 Credit Option

Sapphire Reserve only

Valid June 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020

Normally, the Sapphire Reserve provides cardholders with a $300 annual travel credit that offsets any travel-related purchases you make that year; items like airline tickets, subway passes, parking fees, tolls, etc.

Now, purchases at grocery stores and gas stations will count as eligible categories towards the $300 credit. That makes this very useful given that most folks aren’t traveling anytime soon.

Pay Yourself Back

Sapphire Reserve = 1.5 Cents | Sapphire Preferred = 1.25 Cents

Valid May 31, 2020 – September 30, 2020

Direct Link (login required)

Chase has added an exciting new way to cash out your Chase Ultimate Rewards points!

Typically, Ultimate Rewards has a redemption value of 1 cent per point. How did I get to that value? Let’s take a look at redeeming points for a gift card through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal.

If I redeem 2,500 UR points for a $25 Amazon gift card, dividing 25 by 2,500 gets me .01 cent (25/2500 = .01):

Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points for Amazon gift cards

The only way to get more than 1 cent per point value is by redeeming them on Chase’s travel portal. Chase will give you 50% more value (1.5 cents per point) for Chase Sapphire Reserve members and 25% more for Chase Sapphire Preferred members (1.25 cents per point).

Now, with Pay Yourself Back, you can get 1.5 cents or 1.25 cents back on your Reserve and Preferred cards, respectively, in the following categories:

  • Grocery Stores
  • Dining (including restaurants, takeout, and eligible delivery services)
  • Home Improvement Stores (such as Home Depot and Lowes)

How it works is essentially you’ll charge your card at places under those categories and request a statement credit with your Ultimate Rewards points to offset the costs.

It’s a great way to cash out your points at a high value. If you’re not traveling anytime soon, this is a perfect alternative to maximizing each Chase point.

How Chase Sapphire's "Pay Yourself Back" works

DoorDash & Tock

Sapphire Reserve = 5x Points | Sapphire Preferred = 5x Points

Valid April 1, 2020 – May 31, 2020

DoorDash and Tock are apps that offer restaurant delivery and pickup services. I haven’t used Tock before, but use DoorDash all the time – especially lately. When I’m tired of cooking at home, I order food from my favorite restaurants.

Never used DoorDash before? My referral link will give you $5 off your first 3 orders.

DoorDash and Tock benefits for Chase Sapphire cards

Grocery Stores

Sapphire Reserve = 5x Points | Sapphire Preferred = 3x Points

Valid May 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020

Both cards usually earn only 1x point at grocery stores. During the time period stated, Sapphire Reserve will earn 5x points per dollar spent and Sapphire Preferred will earn 3x points per dollar spent.

Chase Sapphire Reserve 5x points on grocery store purchases

Gas Stations

Sapphire Reserve = 5x Points | Sapphire Preferred = 3x Points

Valid July 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020

You can earn 5x points on the Reserve and 3x points on the Preferred at all gas stations, up to $1,500 in combined spending for the entire 3 month period.

Streaming Services

Sapphire Reserve = 10x Points | Sapphire Preferred = 5x Points

Valid July 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020

You can earn 10x points on the Reserve and 5x points on the Preferred with select streaming services, up to $1,500 in combined spending for the entire 3 month period. Eligible streaming services are:

  • Disney+
  • Hulu
  • ESPN+
  • Netflix
  • Sling
  • Vudu
  • Fubo TV
  • Apple Music
  • SiriusXM
  • Pandora
  • Spotify
  • YouTube TV.

Earning 10x points on the Reserve for streaming services is awesome. The Preferred rate of 5x is also a strong offer. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how to maximize this. I don’t think anyone is spending $500 a month on streaming services.

I thought about the prepay angle to lock in the bonus points, but the services I’ve looked into don’t allow prepay (Hulu and Netflix).

Instacart

Sapphire Reserve = 5x Points + $50 Credit | Sapphire Preferred = 3x Points + $50 Credit

Valid July 1, 2020 – September 30, 2020

Instacart is an app that provides grocery delivery service, delivering goods from your local grocery and wholesale stores right to your door. Delivery can take a little as 1 hour. It’s a pretty useful service for those who don’t like to shop in person.

Not an Instacart user? Get $10 off your first Instacart order.

This is actually 2 separate Instacart benefits:

  1. Bonus points up to a combined total spending of $3,000 during the entire 3 month period at Instacart (5x on Reserve and 3x on Preferred)
  2. $50 credit towards a yearly or monthly Instacart Express membership purchased during this period
Chase Sapphire Instacart benefit

You don’t need an Instacart Express membership to use Instacart. The Instacart Express option provides unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $35:

  • Annual Instacart Express Membership Fee = $99
  • Monthly Instacart Membership Fee = $9.99

So if you select the annual membership, your out-of-pocket cost will be $49 for the entire year (full $50 benefit). Or if you go with the monthly membership, you can get July, August, and September for free ($27.97 benefit).

The Bottom Line

Strong response from Chase to show that they can compete head-to-head with American Express when it comes to providing value to their cardholders during this crazy time.

There’s no activation required for these temporary new benefits. If you have one of these Sapphire cards, I would take advantage of as many of these benefits as you can.

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