new chase sapphire benefits and reserve airport lounges

Writing this from the peaceful Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel, CA (using Hyatt points transferred rom my Chase Sapphire Reserve no less 😉 )

Chase reached out today to confirm that the rumored Chase Sapphire changes are all true – and we have a “go live date” now, which is August 16th. Chase has also confirmed that there will be no adjustment to either annual fee.

Important Note: anything not called out as a change below, remains the same. IE: CSR still earns 3x on dining and non-portal travel.

There had been some speculation that the Sapphire Preferred might increase its fee with these new benefits, but it’s staying at $95. With the new benefits, it’s even more of a perfect “first credit card to get in miles and points‘.

Chase Sapphire Preferred – New Card Art

One more thing… the Sapphire Preferred is getting a brand new look:

chase sapphire preferred new card art

This, I like! It brings out the “Sapphire” element…

Here are all the new benefits:

Chase Sapphire Preferred changes – From Aug 16th, 2021

  • 5x total points on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out (previously 2x)
  • 3x points on select streaming services
  • 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards. New cardmembers will start earning towards the credit immediately and existing cardmembers will start earning after their next account anniversary.
  • 10% Anniversary point bonus.
    • Each account anniversary year, you’ll earn bonus points that equal 10% of your total spend in points from purchases made with your card during the previous account anniversary year at a rate of 1 point for each $1 spent.
  • Annual fee remains at $95.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Changes – From Aug 16th, 2021

  • 10x total points on Chase Dining purchases through Ultimate Rewards (This is powered by Tock Dining and is only in select markets)
  • 10x total points on hotel stays and car rentals purchased through Ultimate Rewards
  • 5x total points on air travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards
  • In addition to earning points, later this year Reserve cardmembers will have access to “Reserved by Sapphire,” featuring exclusive opportunities to book reservations at some of the most sought-after restaurants across the country including Canlis in Seattle, Redbird in Los Angeles, SingleThread Farms in Healdsburg, Calif., Reverence in New York, NY and One Off Hospitality in Chicago.
  • 1X Points on everything else (no change)
  • $300 Travel Credit (no change)
  • NEW: Access to Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club airport lounges
  • Annual fee remains at $550

All of this said, and while it’s nice to see these changes confirmed with no upgrade to the annual fee, my original thoughts on the changes remain which is that they really aren’t “enough.”

I think it’s very unfortunate, for example, that Sapphire Preferred cardholders get the 10% anniversary bonus but not the Reserve. And why is the Preferred 3X on groceries only on “online groceries”? I don’t know about you, but whenever I try an online grocery delivery, half my order is wrong. This would have been much better if it applied at all grocery stores to compete head on with the Amex Rose Gold card which gives 4X at groceries.

Also See: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Amex Gold

3x on dining with the Preferred is great but only because it brings it to parity with the fee-free Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited card. Streaming is a nice credit card bonus category, but how much to you really spend on that?

5-10X in the Chase Travel Portal will be fantastic for those that are loyalty agnostic, but for most MilesTalkers it means no status benefits or hotel brand points since these are third party rates.

Sapphire Reserve Gets Two New Benefits

  • A new “Reserved by Sapphire” events which could be cool? We’ll have to see.
  • Sapphire Reserve Airport Lounges

Chase Sapphire Reserve Airport Lounges

chase sapphire lounges

Per Chase, Chase has also announced the initial locations for Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club airport lounges, including New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG). Reserve cardmembers and Priority Pass members will be able to access these lounges when they open, and opening dates and additional locations will be announced over time. 

This looked, at first glance, like a shot across the bow at The Platinum Card® from American Express and its Centurion lounges. Two of the three airports Chase will start at already have Centurion lounges. Of course, Capital One has also announced airport lounges, but those appear that they will be at additional cost to cardmembers. However, it appears that these lounges will also be accessible to any Priority Pass member (so, premium cards from Amex and Citi would also gain access). I’ve reach back out for comment on this.

Notably, the 100,000 point bonus offer on the Chase Sapphire Preferred remains for now, even with the new benefits and the same fee.

Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Sapphire Preferred® Card Earn 75,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points (worth over $900 in free travel) when you spend $4,000 in 3 months. How to apply for this offer.

Thoughts?

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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards

New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is great from a card quantity standpoint. Being able to consolidate from the CSP, Freedom, Freedom Flex, and Freedom Unlimited combo down to just the CSP and Unlimited frees up two cards worth of credit limit to use elsewhere.

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