Courtesy of Chase
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmembers can soon earn 10 points per dollar on hotel stays—like at the William Vale in Brooklyn in the background here—if booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Chase also revealed the locations of its first Chase Sapphire Lounge by the Club airport lounges for Reserve cardmembers.
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® are already two of the best travel cards available thanks to the valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points they earn, which can be redeemed directly through Chase or transferred to numerous airline and hotel loyalty program partners. Chase Sapphire cardholders have also enjoyed a variety of value-added perks like exceptional travel and purchase protections, as well as discounts on services like Lyft, DoorDash, and Peloton.
Starting August 16, Chase is introducing a slew of new benefits for its Preferred and Reserve cards—without raising the annual fee on either credit card—making them even more attractive.
Whether you’re still considering signing up for a new card and need a little extra convincing, or are just curious to see how your existing membership will change, these new benefits should add quite a bit of value—even if you’re still not traveling as much as you used to prepandemic.
For $95 a year, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card was already a great deal for travelers who could earn two points per dollar on travel expenses—like flights, hotels, trains, tolls, and more—plus a variety of other perks.
Those benefits are about to get even better. On August 16, Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders will start earning:
These new earning rates are nothing short of phenomenal. Cardholders can up their accrual to five points per dollar on travel by booking through Chase while still enjoying two points per dollar on other travel purchases, enjoy higher earning than before on dining, and take advantage of two new bonus categories: streaming and online groceries.
What’s more, cardholders can look forward to a $50 annual credit on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards. (New cardmembers can earn this credit immediately, while existing cardmembers will start earning this after their next card anniversary.)
Speaking of card anniversaries: Each year on the anniversary of opening their account, cardholders will now earn bonus points equivalent to 10 percent of the total purchases they made the previous year. For example, if you spend $50,000 during the year, you will earn 5,000 bonus points. That can be a handy little points haul depending on how much you typically spend.
With a $550 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is offering three points per dollar on dining and travel, up to $300 in annual travel credits, up to a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck once every four years, and more. Reserve cardholders can also look forward to the following new benefits starting August 16.
On the earning side, cardholders will earn:
These rates are pretty lucrative if you actually book hotels, car rentals, and air travel through Chase, though not quite as surprising as the new rates being introduced with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Plus, there’s no additional statement credit like the Sapphire Preferred is getting.
Later in 2021, Reserve cardholders will be able to make exclusive reservations through “Reserved by Sapphire” for hard-to-book restaurants like SingleThread Farms in Healdsburg, California, Canlis in Seattle, and Reverence in New York, to name a few.
Additionally, Chase announced the first locations of its new Chase Sapphire Lounge by the Club airport lounges. Reserve cardholders and Priority Pass members will have access to these new lounges at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS), and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) when they open. Opening dates are still to be determined, but Chase confirmed that additional locations will be announced in the future. Besides these new lounges, Sapphire Reserve cardholders will retain their Priority Pass Select membership offering access to more than 1,300 airport lounges around the world.
Before these changes, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve each occupied their own corner of the travel rewards marketplace. Sapphire Preferred cardholders could count on solid earning rates and comprehensive travel and purchase protections for an affordable annual fee. Those willing to pay for the Chase Sapphire Reserve got added bonuses like higher earning rates on travel and dining purchases, travel statement credits, and the ability to register for Priority Pass membership and access to airport lounges.
Now, the decision between these two cards is more complicated. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is probably going to be easier for most folks to maximize given its new bonus earning on travel booked through Ultimate Rewards versus the specific types of travel reservations that earn new bonuses with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, as well as those new grocery and streaming categories. The Preferred also offers a hotel statement credit of its own now, which makes up for more than half its already modest annual fee. Although you still get higher-end perks with the Sapphire Reserve, including lounge access and statement credits toward travel and Global Entry, a lot of other cards also extend these advantages, so it’s not as unique as it once was. Plus, those new Chase lounges are going to be open to other Priority Pass members, not just cardholders, so they might not have the same exclusive ambience as other premium credit card clubs like Amex’s Centurion Lounges. That might have you reconsidering whether it’s worth paying a $550 annual fee for the Reserve, or if you can settle for the Sapphire Preferred’s slimmer perks portfolio for $95 instead.
In either case, these expanded traveling and dining benefits—plus the new streaming and online grocery points benefits for Preferred cardholders—may convince you these travel credit cards are still valuable even during a year when you might not be traveling as much.
While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.
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