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If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, you should have already gotten a notice in the mail about a few changes to your benefits effective August 26, 2018. But let’s get real. I’m sure many of you throw that mail away without even looking at it. Here are the changes it went over.

1. You Will Earn 900 Less Ultimate Rewards Each Year

Every cardmember year you earn $300 in travel credit. Don’t worry, that’s not going away. What’s going away is the 3x category bonus that applied to those travel purchases. Basically, you’ll earn 900 less Ultimate Rewards each year.

2. Price Protection is Going Away

Sapphire Reserve cardholders can get up to $2,500 refunded to annually ($500 per item) if they find a lower advertised price for an item post-purchase. The time window for price protection is 90 days. This benefit is going away as of August 26.

3. Your Priority Pass Membership Will No Longer Allow an Unlimited Amount of Guests

The Priority Pass Membership that comes with your Reserve Card currently allows you to bring in as many guests as you want for free. At the end of August, the free guest limit will change to two (apart from yourself). Each additional guest will cost $27.

What I Make of the Changes

  1. Not earning points on purchases you don’t pay for makes sense to me. I don’t see this change as unfair nor a big deal.
  2. Apparently Chase is not just taking away price protection from the Sapphire Reserve. They are taking away price protection and return protection from all the rest of their cards, and lowering the insurance offered by the United cards. Read more on Doctor of Credit. This is certainly bad news for those that use their Sapphire Reserve for everyday spend, but I imagine more people use their Freedom or Freedom Unlimited for that. And for those people, this change really sucks. It’s obvious lots of people were utilizing this benefit to its extent and that is costing Chase too much money.
  3. The Priority Pass guest access changes is a big blow for big families that travel. This change is not surprising considering the Priority Pass memberships that come with two of biggest competitors to the Reserve, the Citi Prestige and Amex Platinum, have the same guest policy.
Turkish Airlines Lounge at Washington Dulles
Turkish Airlines Lounge at Washington Dulles

Overall, this doesn’t devalue the Sapphire Reserve in my eyes too much. It still deserves its #1 spot in my Top 10 List. The biggest blow for the most people will probably the lounge access guest changes.

Any opinions to the contrary?

Hat tip Doctor of Credit