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Chase Hikes Annual Fee for Sapphire Reserve to $550

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Posted (edited)

Link:  https://www.marketwatch.com/story/chase-hikes-the-annual-fee-for-its-popular-sapphire-reserve-card-to-550-and-rolls-out-new-perks-2020-01-08

 

Quote:  "Chase JPM is increasing the annual fee on its popular Sapphire Reserve card, intensifying the ongoing competition with American Express’ Platinum card."

 

Maybe I'm slow, but how does increasing the cost of a card intensify the competition?  Next, will American Express increase the price of their card to $1,000 to keep up?  Anyway, I wouldn't pay $550 for any card.  The benefits aren't worth it for me.  For $550 I could take a week vacation to Las Vegas if I want (I don't really care for Vegas, but I needed an example).

 

Anyway, all my annual fee free not-very-fancy cards all work the same at McDonald's like the Sapphire Reserve card.

 

Edited by Burgerwars

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Unless they add a benefit or two, I agree it’s not worth it. I had the card once but didn’t like as much as some of my other cards with the same AF. I hope other creditors don’t follow. 

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They added a few benefits to, again, compete against AmExAmEx has I believe $200 in Uber credits, Sapphire Reserve is getting 10x points on Lyft. Other Chase cards, such as the CFE, get I believe 5x on Lyft per Chase's agreement with Lyft. They have new Door Dash benefits as well. Neither of them have much value for me, so I'll stick to my CFE.

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The CSR get a $300 travel credit (which is easy to use) so that helped to offset the original $450 annual fee to $150.  Now with the increased annual fee the offset brings the annual cost down to $250 and I don't know if its still worth it.

 

I'll have to do some math later to see if its worth keeping or downgrading to the CSP

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Looks like, in addition to a Lyft perk, for 2020/2021 they're offering free Dash Pass (Door Dash subscription that otherwise costs $9.99/mo and offers discounted fees), plus $60 in Door Dash credits (available similarly to the existing travel charge credit).

 

That will cover the $100 fee increase for me (so long as I continue to use Door Dash ... jury's out until we complete our move to MA).

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2 hours ago, Burgerwars said:

For $550 I could take a week vacation to Las Vegas if I want (I don't really care for Vegas, but I needed an example).

Is it REALLY Vegas you don't care for or are you just saying you don't want to visit Hege? 

 

Humor aside, it is no different than ANY card with a fee in that some people can extract the value back in benefits...if you cannot extract AT LEAST the amount of the annual fee from a card that HAS a fee, then it makes no sense to keep (or get) the card.

 

Admittedly, if AXP went much over the current $550, then I would consider other options.  But at the current fee point, I am getting more than the $500 out of the card each year.

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1 hour ago, Bad Doctor Frost said:

They added a few benefits to, again, compete against AmExAmEx has I believe $200 in Uber credits, Sapphire Reserve is getting 10x points on Lyft. Other Chase cards, such as the CFE, get I believe 5x on Lyft per Chase's agreement with Lyft. They have new Door Dash benefits as well. Neither of them have much value for me, so I'll stick to my CFE.

Correct on the Uber credits, and they are something that continue to function with UberEats.  Thus, even for people like me that don't use Uber for transportation, we still are getting a meal or two each month on AXP.  It ain't fancy fine dining, but on the days where you really don't want to lose the half-hour round trip getting something to eat while you work on a project, it is very convenient...but again, it has to be something that works for the consumer in order for the fee to make sense.

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1 hour ago, centex said:

... but again, it has to be something that works for the consumer in order for the fee to make sense.

 

While the "Door Dash" bennies work for me, I think you hit the nail on the head as to why CSR's fee/benefit increase may be a bit of folly:  I don't see the extended benefits as having widespread appeal and I think people are going to balk at the $100 fee increase.

 

I somehow doubt that decent market research played a role here vs. someone simply saying "those other guys offer something we don't".  If CSR had really wanted to add appeal to the card, they would have expanded their airport lounge access to a network more extensive than Priority Pass Select (which pales by comparison with the lounge access afforded by AX Plat -- especially for domestic travel).

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25 minutes ago, hdporter said:

 

While the "Door Dash" bennies work for me, I think you hit the nail on the head as to why CSR's fee/benefit increase may be a bit of folly:  I don't see the extended benefits as having widespread appeal and I think people are going to balk at the $100 fee increase.

 

I somehow doubt that decent market research played a role here vs. someone simply saying "those other guys offer something we don't".  If CSR had really wanted to add appeal to the card, they would have expanded their airport lounge access to a network more extensive than Priority Pass Select (which pales by comparison with the lounge access afforded by AX Plat -- especially for domestic travel).

Amex has 10 lounges. Not sure how that outshines >400 PPS lounges especially if traveling to medium sized airports.

 

$100 increase is easy to cover if you travel a lot and value the ability to transfer UR points and/or the booking of travel with UR points.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, hegemony said:

Amex has 10 lounges. Not sure how that outshines >400 PPS lounges especially if traveling to medium sized airports.

 

$100 increase is easy to cover if you travel a lot and value the ability to transfer UR points and/or the booking of travel with UR points.

 

My bad ... in my mind the comparison wasn't between lounge number but, instead, qualify ... but the words didn't reflect that.

 

Priority pass lounges run a broad range; some are very comfortable, others less so (one lounge was overcrowded by twenty-somethings -- as if they managed to bring in 10 people on one membership, and the food offerings wouldn't have been diminished had they simply handed out a brown bag lunch on admission with a peanut butter sandwich, chips and a fruit cup.

 

I'm envious of the Centurion lounge access and ancillary access to some airline clubs (not enough to favor AX Plat over CSR, however ... and, of course, the UR point value figures large in that).  If CSR were to up the lounge ante a tad, I'd gladly pay up.

Edited by hdporter

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1 hour ago, hdporter said:

 

My bad ... in my mind the comparison wasn't between lounge number but, instead, qualify ... but the words didn't reflect that.

 

Priority pass lounges run a broad range; some are very comfortable, others less so (one lounge was overcrowded by twenty-somethings -- as if they managed to bring in 10 people on one membership, and the food offerings wouldn't have been diminished had they simply handed out a brown bag lunch on admission with a peanut butter sandwich, chips and a fruit cup.

 

I'm envious of the Centurion lounge access and ancillary access to some airline clubs (not enough to favor AX Plat over CSR, however ... and, of course, the UR point value figures large in that).  If CSR were to up the lounge ante a tad, I'd gladly pay up.

I agree centurion lounges are better than the median PPS lounge but the limited footprint means that if the LAS centurion lounge closed I'd have a hard time giving any value to the benefit.

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Some airport lounges I wouldn't go to if they were free.  Years ago I made the mistake of paying for the United lounge at San Francisco Airport because of a long layover on the way to Sydney, Australia.  The seats in the lounge had all the comfort of being strapped into the electric chair.  The food available was basically Fruit Loops, Cheeze-Its and soda.  I've read of people trying to sneak into the lounges to "enjoy" the benefits.  With this lounge, I was glad I could escape.  Eating in a terminal quick serve restaurant then finding a seat someone in the corner of a terminal, was better than the lounge.  

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44 minutes ago, Burgerwars said:

Some airport lounges I wouldn't go to if they were free.  Years ago I made the mistake of paying for the United lounge at San Francisco Airport because of a long layover on the way to Sydney, Australia.  The seats in the lounge had all the comfort of being strapped into the electric chair.  The food available was basically Fruit Loops, Cheeze-Its and soda.  I've read of people trying to sneak into the lounges to "enjoy" the benefits.  With this lounge, I was glad I could escape.  Eating in a terminal quick serve restaurant then finding a seat someone in the corner of a terminal, was better than the lounge.  

United's new(ish) Polaris lounges now compete with better international lounges. The old Red Carpet Clubs were disappointing. I would never pay "Cash" for access to any lounge.

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I will definitely be downgrading this card. The new benefits have absolutely no appeal to me. Does anyone have experience with downgrading to the preferred after the annual fee hits and after the $300 travel credit has been applied?  I read something that seems to indicate if you downgrade or cancel within 30 days of the annual fee posting, you're eligible for a refund even if you already got the travel credit. 

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2 hours ago, spacemule said:

I will definitely be downgrading this card. The new benefits have absolutely no appeal to me. Does anyone have experience with downgrading to the preferred after the annual fee hits and after the $300 travel credit has been applied?  I read something that seems to indicate if you downgrade or cancel within 30 days of the annual fee posting, you're eligible for a refund even if you already got the travel credit. 

Yes, that works. Downside is you lose the 1.5x UR multiplier (your UR are effectively devalued by 16.7%).

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1 hour ago, Occam said:

Yes, that works. Downside is you lose the 1.5x UR multiplier (your UR are effectively devalued by 16.7%).

yeah.  I don't put enough through the card to make the difference worth it. The chase card will no longer be my main spend card.  I will keep it for the free trip delay insurance and some travel spend, but not for rewards.

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These added 'benefits' are absolute garbage.  I'm not pleased with this addition and I put enough money through this card to still justify the increase in AF.

 

Is the Lyft/DoorDash crowd really who they are trying to entice for new sign ups?

 

I want to downgrade, mostly out of spite on this one but I have too many UR to redeem first (as the multiplier difference is still a nice perk for those banked points).

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8 hours ago, spacemule said:

yeah.  I don't put enough through the card to make the difference worth it. The chase card will no longer be my main spend card.  I will keep it for the free trip delay insurance and some travel spend, but not for rewards.

What will you transfer the normal spend over to as the alternative?

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11 hours ago, Big Bear said:

Is the Lyft/DoorDash crowd really who they are trying to entice for new sign ups?

 

I'm pretty sure it's all about data mining/sharing. Lyft has a partnership with Hilton as well, to share data about their customers with each other.

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Actually, now that I review the benefits more closely, looks like the preferred doesn't have any trip evacuation/medical insurance.  That might just move the needle enough to make me keep the card.  Or, I might go ahead and downgrade and just purchase separate trip insurance.  Hmm. 

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8 hours ago, spacemule said:

Actually, now that I review the benefits more closely, looks like the preferred doesn't have any trip evacuation/medical insurance.  That might just move the needle enough to make me keep the card.  Or, I might go ahead and downgrade and just purchase separate trip insurance.  Hmm. 

 

What I find particularly appealing about the various travel insurance benefits is that in most cases it's sufficient to charge some component of a trip to the card.  Typically, I charge airfare on a separate airline card, but I do charge hotel and/or auto rental to CSR for every single trip.

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