The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is probably the best premium card on the market and a big hit for Chase. But, later this year it will be losing some of its perks. The changes are not major. Doctor of Credit posted an internal memo that details what these changes will be and when they will come into effect.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Changes
There will be three changes:
- Limited Priority Pass Guests – The complimentary Priority Pass membership allowed cardholders to bring an unlimited number of guests to the more than 1,200 lounges in the program. Authorized users also get two guests, but any additional guests will cost $27 each. Now they will limited to two guests per visit. This is good and bad news. It’s bad for those who travel in big groups, such as large families, since they have to pay for some of their family members to enter a lounge. But on the other hand it is good news for those who travel alone or with a loved one, since it will help with overcrowding.
- No 3X Earning on Travel Purchases That Qualify for $300 Travel Credit – Those travel purchases that are refunded through the annual $300 Travel Credit will no longer earn the 3X Ultimate Rewards Rate that all travel purchases earn. This is a strange decision, but it makes sense. You are refunded for those expenses so actually you have bno travel purchases. But we’re talking about 900 Ultimate Rewards points a year, so it makes them look a bit stingy here. If they had done this from the get go, it would have been fine. But to go and remove the 3X earning is a bit surprising.
- No Price Protection – Previously, customers could get a refund of up to $500 per item, up to $2,500 per year, if the price dropped in the 90 days following the purchase. Now this option will be removed altogether. This is actually not just a change to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card but to all Chase cards.
Business Insider reports that a Chase spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the document, which says customers were set to be notified this month, while the changes will go into effect August 26. “We are always evaluating our products to offer the right mix of rewards, benefits, and experiences that provide the most value to our customers — and those they tell us they value most,” the company said in a statement to Business Insider.
Chase Sapphire Reserve has been a great success for Chase because it offers tons of perks and benefits. But those benefits have also cost Chase a lot. The card is far from being a money maker for the bank, in fact Chase lost $900 million in 2017 from the Sapphire Reserve and “other notable items”. But on the other side, 90% of Sapphire Reserve customers are renewing and paying the $450 annual fee. That means that the card is building loyalty and those customers will often go for other Chase products that could turn in a profit.
With the changes coming in August Chase will probably cut some of those losses, but without taking away major benefits. Removal of 3X earning on those $300 in travel purchases will affect everyone but could be seen as a price increase of about $14. Price protection removal across all cards should same a ton of money for Chase, even if not everyone is using that benefit. Then the limitation to Priority Pass guests will probably not affect many people, but it will likely bring some savings to Chase. Even with these cuts, I think the card is worth the fee for most. You easily get $300 back on travel purchases, which cuts the fee to just $150. For that prices you get some good benefits plus all your Chase Ultimate Rewards now have a value of 1.5 cents each, which is a big boost for many people. Hopefully Chase keep allowing us to transfer points.
Were you using these benefits? Let us know what you think.