New cardholders of the Chase Sapphire Reserve*, those that apply tomorrow (January 14) or later, will have an annual fee of $550. Current cardholders (or those that apply before tomorrow) have/will have an annual fee of $450. So if you were looking into the Sapphire Reserve, it’s time to look a little closer… right now.
*Please note that this link, which is a MileValue affiliate link (meaning we get a commission for approvals), shows “offer unavailable” right now. You can still apply for the current offer directly on Chase’s website, until tomorrow (January 14) at some point. On January 14, that affiliate link should update and reflect the new offer.
While we know that the offer for the Sapphire Reserve is changing on January 14, we don’t know exactly how that offer will change. We know some benefits have already been added that reward Door Dash and Lyft customers, which I will expand on below. Chase couldn’t increase the annual fee without offering something else. The question is whether or not Chase will add more benefits tomorrow, like perhaps a higher sign up bonus, and whether all the new benefits will be worth an extra $100 a year.
Sapphire Reserve cardholders–existing and new–get $60 in DoorDash credits in 2020 and $60 in 2021, for a total of $120 in credits. The credits will not be allotted monthly, but available all at once. It is yet to be determined whether this benefit will continue past 2021.
Lyft Category Bonus
Existing and new cardholders will earn 10 Ultimate Rewards per dollar spent on Lyft rides, as well as one free year of Lyft Pink. Linked is Lyft’s blog which explains all the benefits of the Lyft Pink membership.
Haven’t tried Lyft yet? Sign up here. I believe you’ll earn Lyft credit but that amount varies depending on where you are taking rides.
A Higher Bonus?
Maybe (hopefully) Chase will increase the sign up bonus on the Sapphire Reserve to ameliorate the sting of the new annual fee. That could actually be a reason to wait until tomorrow or later to apply.
If it was 10,000 points higher, I’d consider that a win and the customer coming out on top. You can get at least 1.5 cents per Sapphire Reserve point redeeming through the Chase travel portal, and more like 2 cents per point when redeeming wisely as airline miles on international and/or premium cabin award flights. An additional $150 to $200 in value means you’d be netting an additional $50 to $100 if they changed the bonus to 60k Ultimate Rewards instead of the current 50k, which would put the bonus on par with the Sapphire Reserve‘s little sister with less benefits, the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The Sapphire Preferred has an annual fee of only of $95, which is waived the first year, and is the ideal card for travel reward beginners.
I wish had a better idea of what the Reserve’s offer will look like tomorrow so I could advise you more clearly on whether applying now or tomorrow would be more advantageous. Unfortunately, all I know is that it’s changing. Stay tuned.
This is the most specific advice I can give: If you want to lock in a $450 annual fee on the Sapphire Reserve for a year, then apply now. If you don’t care that much about a $100 increase in the annual fee, and want to see if Chase is going to offer something more than just the Door Dash and Lyft benefits in exchange for a more expensive annual fee, then wait until tomorrow.
Once we know the new offer, I’ll analyze the value proposition and also offer perspectives from MileValue’s new award booking team, Kevin and Daniel.
Do you think the Reserve will get a new sign up bonus? Will you keep yours another year with the new $550 annual fee?