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Chase Sapphire Reserve’s Annual Fee Is Going up—but Brings New Perks

By Eric Rosen

Jan 10, 2020

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With the changes, you can get Chase credit card bonus points just for using Lyft and DoorDash.

With the changes, you can get Chase credit card bonus points just for using Lyft and DoorDash.

Thanks to Chase’s new partnerships with Lyft and DoorDash, cardholders can earn bonus points and great discounts on rides and food deliveries.

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Chase is teaming up with rideshare company Lyft and food delivery service DoorDash to provide credit cardholders with discounts and the opportunity to earn bonus rewards points and cash back.

These new affiliations will apply to several of the issuer’s rewards credit cards, but most significantly impact the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Here are all the details and how you can make the most of the new perks.

Major Changes to the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Almost as soon as it debuted in 2016, the Chase Sapphire Reserve quickly became one of the most popular travel rewards credit cards. Among its outstanding benefits is the fact that it earns three Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on most travel and dining purchases. If you have this card, these points can be redeemed for travel at a fixed rate of 1.5 cents apiece, or transferred to over a dozen airline and hotel loyalty programs, including JetBlue, Southwest, United, Hyatt, and Marriott.

Sapphire Reserve cardholders receive up to $300 back in statement credits each year toward travel purchases. They are also eligible for a refund once every four years for either a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application and get access to Priority Pass airport lounges around the world. These benefits are not changing.

What is changing, though, is that the card’s annual fee is rising substantially from $450 ito $550 for new accounts starting January 12 and for existing accounts that renew on or after April 1, 2020.

The Chase changes mean cardholders can get a free year of DashPass membership from DoorDash.

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To compensate, as well as to counter increasing competition from premium rivals like the Platinum Card from American Express, Chase has added new benefits as part of its partnerships with both Lyft and DoorDash.

Starting January 12, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will earn a whopping 10 points per dollar on Lyft rides through March 2022 instead of the 3 points per dollar they earn now.

They will also be able to enroll for a year of complimentary Lyft Pink membership. This normally costs $20 per month. The benefits include a 15 percent discount on all car rides, priority airport pickups, fee-free cancellations up to three times per month if you rebook within 15 minutes, waived lost and found fees, three free 30-minute bike or scooter rides per month, and surprise seasonal discounts and offers.

With DoorDash, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can count on up to $120 in credits: $60 to put toward orders in 2020 and $60 for 2021. No activation is required to take advantage of this offer, but you must use your card to pay. 

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmembers can also enroll for up to two free years of the service’s DashPass membership, which usually costs $10 per month. Members enjoy waived delivery fees and reduced service fees on orders of $12 or more from participating restaurants. DoorDash estimates this at over $100 in value per year, saving members $4 to $5 per order on average. Cardmembers just need to activate this offer by December 31, 2021.

Benefits With Other Chase Cards

Folks with some of Chase’s other cards will also benefit from the new Lyft and DoorDash associations.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders qualify for at least a year of complimentary DashPass membership. Those with the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Freedom Student, and Slate cards can enroll for three months of free DashPass membership, after which they will be eligible for a 50 percent discount for the following nine months.

Those with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire, Ink Business Preferred, or Ink Plus cards will earn five Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides through March 2022. If you have the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Freedom Student, Ink Business Cash, or Ink Business Unlimited, you can earn 5 percent cash back on rides.

What These Changes Mean

Overall, these are interesting developments for Chase cardholders. Earning five points or 5 percent cash back per dollar spent on Lyft rides can save consumers serious cash depending on their rideshare habits. Only time will tell if Chase and Lyft will extend this benefit beyond March 2022.

The DoorDash partnership is harder to maximize thanks to the limitations on DashPass membership for most cardholders. Getting $120 in credits and at least a year of waived delivery fees with the Chase Sapphire Reserve can add up to decent savings, but only if you actually use DoorDash frequently.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve’s higher annual fee also brings it into line with its main competitor, the Platinum Card from American Express, which raised its annual fee from $450 to $550 two years ago.

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For its part, the Amex Platinum Card offers $200 in annual Uber credits and refunds cardholders up to $200 per year for airline fees. It also includes a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee refund and gets travelers into Priority Pass, Centurion, and Delta Sky Club airport lounges. Cardmembers earn five Membership Rewards points per dollar on airfare and some hotel bookings, making it a strong earner if these are two of your main purchase categories.

On the other hand, if dining is a major expense, you might be better off with the Amex Gold Card. Its annual fee is $250, but cardholders receive up to $100 in credits toward airline fees and up to $10 per month ($120 per year) in statement credits toward Grubhub and Seamless food deliveries as well as at some major restaurant chains. The card earns four Membership Rewards points at restaurants and on spending per dollar up to $25,000 per calendar year at U.S. supermarkets, plus three points per dollar on airfare.

If you can take advantage of the new Lyft and DoorDash partnerships through your Chase card, be sure to sign up for them. Then monitor your purchases over the coming months to see how much value you are actually getting and whether it makes up for any annual fees you have to pay.

>>Next: Lesser-Known Hotel Loyalty Programs That Should Be on Your Radar

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