The Chase Sapphire Reserve® — a rewards card that caters to those who travel and dine out frequently — recently made some significant changes to its fee and rewards structure. A $100 increase in the annual fee is balanced by new ridesharing and food delivery service benefits. Still, $550 is a steep price to pay, especially considering that many credit cards don’t have annual fees. Are these new rewards enough to make up for the increased costs, or will you end up losing money by keeping this card in your wallet? Read on to learn all you need to know about the Chase Sapphire Reserve® changes and who is likely to benefit.
What is changing about the Chase Sapphire Reserve® benefits and annual fee?
The main change coming to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a rise in the annual fee to $550. To balance out the hike, Chase is adding a number of partner benefits and rewards, most notably, the ability to earn a high reward point value on Lyft rides. You’ll also get a free one-year subscription to both Lyft Pink and DashPass, which offer added benefits to users of both applications, plus statement credits for DoorDash purchases.
Other than the mentioned changes, all of the other benefits that you love about the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, including the generous sign-up bonus and $300 annual travel credit, are staying the same.
Is the annual fee increase worth it?
Whether or not the annual fee increase is worth it for you really comes down to your lifestyle and spending habits. If you don’t use rideshare or food delivery services, the changes won’t benefit you. The higher annual fee will make it harder to earn rewards while decreasing the overall value of the card. To recoup the additional $100 fee in points, you’ll have to spend an extra $3,400 on travel and dining or $10,000 on general purchases. If you don’t want to increase your spending that much, it may be worth looking into other rewards cards that have lower annual fees.
However, if you are the type to regularly use a rideshare service like Lyft and a food delivery service like DoorDash, the new benefits can easily outweigh the cost increase — at least for the next few years (the reward rate on Lyft purchases expires in March 2022, and the DoorDash credits are only for two years). There are about $320 in subscription services up for grabs along with $120 in DoorDash credits. Plus, you can earn 10x the points on Lyft purchases, which is a very high reward rate by industry standards.
However, questions might come up on the potential of new benefits being added later on. If no new benefits are offered, the higher annual fee would not be worth it in the long run.
Lyft and DoorDash perks
One of the most valuable perks added to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is the ability to earn 10x points on Lyft rides through March 2022. It’s one of the highest rewards rates on the market, so if you use rideshare apps frequently, you’ll really be able to rake in points. By spending just $1,000 on Lyft each year, you’ll earn 10,000 points, which equals $100 cash back or $150 when you spend it on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The complimentary Lyft Pink subscription that Chase is now offering to cardholders is also a valuable perk. It usually costs $19.99 per month and gets you 15% off all Lyft rides, priority airport pickup, exclusive discounts and a flexible cancellation policy. If you cancel your ride and rebook within 15 minutes, you won’t have to pay a cancellation fee. You’ll also get three free scooter or bike rides each month in select cities with your membership.
In addition to a Lyft Pink membership, you’ll also get a complimentary subscription to DoorDash’s premium food delivery service DashPass, which usually costs $9.99 per month. With your membership, you’ll get free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12 at hundreds of participating restaurants. Considering that DoorDash’s delivery fee alone is $5.99, DashPass could save you a lot of money on takeout each month. You’ll also get up to a $60 statement credit in 2020 and 2021 when you order from DoorDash.
The bottom line
The Chase Sapphire Reserve®’s annual fee increase may be significant. While it may make it harder for you to break even on fees and start earning rewards, the new benefits can add significant value over the next few years. The fee hike and new benefits are worth it if you use rideshare apps to get around and order takeout a few times a month.
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