[Update: Confirmed] Chase to increase Sapphire Reserve annual fee to $550

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Update: Chase has confirmed these changes as reported by The Points Guy. See the “new benefits” section below for full details.

Doctor of Credit is reporting that the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s annual fee will increase from $450 to $550 on the following schedule:

  • January 12th 2020: $550 for new cardholders
  • April 2020: $550 for existing cardholders (presumably this change won’t affect you until your next annual fee is due).

We haven’t heard anything official yet, but we trust that Doctor of Credit has good information. As noted above, these changes have been confirmed.

New Benefits

So far it’s unclear to what extent Chase plans to enhance the card’s benefits in order to justify the new higher annual fee.  We now know that they added a free DashPass subscription for DoorDash and Chase plans to throw in $60 per year of DoorDash credit during 2020 and again during 2021. As we reported earlier today, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders are also getting a Lyft Pink subscription for one year and 10x on Lyft rides through March 2022. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s enough to avoid having many customers cancel or downgrade their cards.

New Welcome Bonus?

I wonder if Chase will introduce a larger new customer bonus?  Currently, they still have the same 50K offer that has been present for last two years or so (found here).  I’d like to see them increase the offer to at least match the Ink Business Preferred’s 80K offer.

Should You Apply Before January 12?

If you don’t currently have the Sapphire Reserve card, it may make sense to apply before January 12th in order to lock in the $450 annual fee for a year.  That would likely mean forgoing a bigger welcome bonus, though, if such a thing appears (we don’t yet know).

Note that you cannot sign up for the Sapphire Reserve if you currently have either the Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred.

My Take

I’m extremely disappointed in Chase.  They had previously taken the points & miles world by storm with the Sapphire Reserve, but now they’re simply copying everything that Amex has done lately.  $550 is the exact same fee that Amex charges for their consumer Platinum cards and soon their Delta Reserve cards.  And, just as Amex added credits for shopping with partners (Uber, Saks, etc.), Chase appears to be doing the same thing.  If they’re going to increase the annual fee, I’d rather see more substantial perks like United club access, Marriott Platinum status, etc.  Of course, great perks might still be introduced, but I’ll be surprised if they are.

Will I keep the card?  My annual fee won’t hit again until October 2020.  At that point I’ll assess whether the card still presents enough value to be a keeper.  My guess is that the answer will be no, but we’ll see.

More about the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Please click here for our Complete Guide.

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[…] I’m always happy to earn more points. Since we have a Chase Sapphire Reserve in the household, the combination of 15% off on all rides and 10x Ultimate Rewards points means that I will in fact replace the Uber app on our phone home screens with Lyft for the time being (truthfully, the main reason Uber had been the app of choice had been longstanding habit, though Uber is also more widely available overseas in my experience). If I had any other Chase card, I’d stick with SoFi Money for the time being since the SoFi Money debit card offers 20% cash back through 2/18/20 (up to $1K back). Overall, I’m glad to see Chase expanding partnerships, but less enthusiastic about the impending increased annual fee. […]

[…] you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, keep in mind that Chase is offering a $60 statement credit this year (and another one next year) for DoorDash purchases. Stacking both would make for a nice opportunity to grab some easy points. Note that you can also […]

G Kinslow

Nope. This is no way to treat loyal customers. I couldn’t care less about lyft or door dash.

You want to charge me an extra $100.00? Then provide the same airport lounge access as does the top-tier Amex card.

We should be grandfathered. I’ve held Chase cards for more than 20 years, I’m a charter Reserve card holder who also holds two Freedom Unlimited cards and two Ink business cards.

When it’s time for renewal, I’ll become an ex-Reserve card holder, and apply for the Preferred card and its bonus reward miles.

Satforlegroom

Given what Chase did to the CSR, I fully expect Chase will up the fee on the Preferred this year to $150 with a minor enhancement of something like 2x in grocery or gas up to a cap. Unlike Amex, which has focused for the last 20 years on driving everyday spend in grocery/gas Chase has no need to capture more share of wallet in those categories.

It’s become a huge tit for tat between Chase and Amex with everyone else like Citi as irrelevant in the transferable points space now. Amex has breathed new life into their historically stale charge portfolio with 3 levels to segment (versus a while back when the innovation was with credit like Everyday). Chase has been fighting against Amex with a 2 product strategy.

Now that Amex has caught up by positioning Green as the millennial card at the $150 net fee, we are seeing Chase take the CSR after gold/platinum with the $250 net fee and dining benefits. Given that $150 is now the annual fee floor it’s a matter of time before the CSP fee ratchets up to $150 as Citi premier is not a market mover. I’m not pro-Amex but being objective on the competitive landscape.

APJS

What happens if my renewal date is April 1st?

Jon P

Yea I don’t think with the listed benefits, the card is worth keeping. Chase may regret this one.

5150d

CSR should add GAS at 5X.

FEDeral ORcA

Greg, your 2020 predictions are off to (another) great start! 🙂

Let’s just hope you are wrong about the Aspire’s higher fee too!

anthonyjh21

Not that I or anyone wants a recession but one silver lining is the fruit will hang lower as consumer spending contracts. No longer will there be a race to the top with fees and adding in fluff benefits that will be the first to devalue when one cuts back on discretionary spending.

Jian

I don’t travel much, but I still keep the card. But for $550, sorry no… My next AF is on Sep. 2020, I guess I will downgrade it to CSP…

miafll

Cancel and then get the CSP anew instead of downgrade.

O.S.

How long would you have to wait, from CSR cancellation to CSP application?

Paul

I would like them to offer perks you can pick from to make it more valuable to the holder. That would be something no other card does.

AlexL

I was hoping your prediction is correct, but it seems an early strikeout on your predictions for 2020.
Oh, the change on CSR sucks.

George

Damn! I was positioned to drop AmEx Plat this month (due to AmEx Plat and Delta Reserve changes) and drop Citi Prestige next month. Now I need to re-evaluate my longer term strategy. Also have Ritz-Carlton, Aspire, Bonvoy Brillliant, Altitude, Delta Reserve, and CSR. Am now considering product change from CSR to CSP when AF hits.

It would be very helpful to have an updated full comparison of all benefits (esp. insurance/protection) for all premium cards to see which of these should be dumped.

Mary Jane's

I have used the customer service function on the Ritz card and it reminds me of 30 years ago when you actually had customer service. I hope it doesn’t change (sigh).

Creditian

Citi demonstrated how to suicide but still alive so Chase followed.

Billy Bob

I can’t see why the Aspire doesn’t get more love. I have found it easy to use the $250 resort credit (covers rooms)

Kevin

Don’t worry that’s going up next. You know how amex plays.

Creditian

Aspire doesn’t have PP restaurant.

Tom

Another $100 for what Are essentially trash benefits (for me at least)? Wow…. who would have thought I might be keeping my Prestige and dumping the CSR? Not me.

Travel NV

My December statement said the Chase Sapphire Reserve renewal is $600 effective Feb 1 for me. Yikes!!!!

Rick

Really? I just renewed my CSR in December and it was $450.

Raj

wow not 550. its 600 ??

Ella

Yikes is right! I just checked – for me on 2/1 it’s $450 again. You might check with Chase that that’s correct.

jc1

Do you have authorized users on the account because there is an additional $75 per additional cardmember. As such, if you have 2 authorized users then the annual fee would be $600.00

Travel NV

Yep. That’s why it is $600, I have 2 authorized users.

Kevin

My issue is I have 780k UR balance with chase. And I like using the 1.5 cents feature to purchase flights. So I am kind of locked in — if I downgrade to CSP, then I’d lose about $2k of value.

Billy Bob

Another reason not to build a war chest in this game

Neos

But that’s only if you don’t transfer them to the FF programs, which always yields better value anyway.

Aloha808

Only if you fly biz/ 1st class. If you’re an economy guy like myself, cashing out at 1.5cpp isn’t too shabby.

James

I’ve always been on the fence about keeping this one. Now my decision to drop it is easy.

HChris

I was planning on upgrading my CSP to a CSR next month. I’m sad this is happening before I could lock in the old annual fee. On the other side, I am grateful to be able to observe and evaluate the new situation beforehand. If this is true and there is no increase in earning categories, I will do a hard pass on this one. I can generate enough earnings of Chase UR with the three Ink cards.

I am very disappointed that Citi lost all the insurances. Because all of a sudden, the Prestige, Premier and Double Cash would be hands down the best trio out there and cover absolutely everything. The Prestige has 5x on dining and airfare, Premier has 3x on travel incl. gas and Double Cash has 2x on everything else. Once you compare the earning categories, only Amex can rival that and to get it all, you need the Platinum, Gold and Blue Business Plus and the combined annual fees would be already $210 higher than Citi. And the easy to use Prestige travel credit IMO outweighs Amex “travel incidental reimbursement” even though it is $100 less than Amex Plat and Gold combined.

Rick

Agree. It is too bad Citi destroyed its travel protections like it did.

ajs5034

unless Chase starts building their own lounges akin to Amex Centurion Lounges, I will fully focus on Amex Platinum and downgrade to CSP.

Toolate

Interesting. I called yesterday to try to upgrade my CSP to the CSR. The agent could not complete it and said she had never seen that before because I met all of the other requirements (age of account, credit limit, etc.). Said she put in a ticket to get this resolved and to call back. I called again today and was told I would have to wait until Jan 13 to upgrade… conveniently the day after the reported increase. Well if it is going to $550 I won’t be upgrading after all.

bob

Would you pay a prorated annual fee amount

OR97

Will not renew unless there is significant value added to the card. Would like to get Sapphire preferred instead, but along with the bonus — so that should work if I:
–transfer my CSR points to my Ink preferred
–downgrade the CSR to a freedom
–apply for the Sapphire Preferred after 48 months have lapsed since my CSR bonus (which was ~November 2016, so apply in ~December 2020)
Am I missing something there?

ktc

same boat, got my points in Sep 16, will close in Aug & apply for CSP.

WR2

You don’t think you will renew? I thought based on your analysis a while ago that you were getting around $1000 in value from the CSR, so why would $100 change your decision?

HChris

It probably depends on the opportunity costs. If Greg ends up valuing the additional “perks” at $0 or close to that than it is simply another $100 out of pocket. He would then evaluate how much value he would get from other cards he has (or plans on getting) IF he moves all of his CSR spend over to alternative options. First then, you can assess whether it is worth to keep it.

Peggy

Just got the United Club card with its $450 fee and was considering the closing of my CSR, so I’ll do that in October when it renews. Seems like Chase saw I don’t spend that much on it and greatly reduced its credit line to $16,000 in order to give me a hefty credit line for the Club card (I used my old United Select card (now closed) regularly since I fly UA exclusively).

Raj

I fly UA a lot for work from Chicago. But I need to book all those travels on my company portal and they will pay. I will get only rewards to my account. In this scenario would you suggest me to open United Club card with 450 AF.

Peggy

I got the card strictly for the lounge use, not rewards (only 2 miles/dollar for UA spend/1.5 for all else). The 2 free passes with the Explorer card were sometimes useless, so the Club card would probably work for you.

CaveDweller

Peggy
I haven’t been in a ORD United lounge in years I gave like 6 passes away . When I was there before the McD’s there was better have they improved it ?
Thanks
CHEERs

Peggy

I’m afraid I haven’t been there in years either.

Brutus

I’m primarily interested in domestic economy flights. I had planned on getting this card when my 48 month exile ended. If these rumors turn out to be true, I’ll just stick to my Schwab platinum and the Amex ecosystem.

CaveDweller

Doesn’t SW work for u that’s all I use for US travel ?
CHEERs

Brutus

Sometimes, it’s not terribly convenient for me. My problem is with the higher fee and worthless credits.

Ron B

Very disappointing. I was hoping to keep this Chase Sapphire Reserve card as a forever card. It was working well for me. Time to start looking around for a non Chase replacement card depending on what new benefits they add to the card, and Door Dash or Lyft is NOT it.
Chase WAS an innovator with super cards with great sign on bonuses. Now they are the same as the rest, why pay the $550 unless there is differentiation?

CaveDweller

Right guys INSANE maybe for 100k points . I got my new (Thanks Steve !) no fee United card 65k + two 3* United lounges .Then my Green AMEX 45k +$100 lounge Buddy ?? HaHa.Then my new no fee BMO pretty good 40k + 2 P-Lounge passes !! Then use my Prestige lounge next month then cancel the Blood sucker and get rebated 5 months . Don’t they think we read Blogs ??
CHEERs

Jay

I’m already set to cancel my Platinum card later this month. My CSR renews in September so I’ll wait and see?

Stefan Krasowski (Rapid Travel Chai)

The innovation with the CSR was creating a premium travel card in terms of annual fee that had few travel benefits (separate from travel insurance/protections). None of the hotel and rental car elite status and such of other cards. I don’t expect them to add any now.

Bill

What I’d almost rather see is an increase in earning potential, versus a few nickel-and-dime partner benefits. Make non-bonus everyday spend on this card worth 2 cents. They’d see use of the card and transaction fees skyrocket and totally nullify the competitive value proposition of the Citi Double Cash/Premier/Prestige combo by combining the higher earning, partner transfer and portal upside into a single premium card. But then, no one asked me…

Ed. C

At this point, increasing the non-bonus every day spend is probably the only way I’d keep the card. 2¢ per dollar would be great, but even 1.5¢ would be tempting.

Ella

We can always dream. Otherwise it’s CSP for me.

rich

Since I don’t travel much (and really as I get older, one international trip every year or every couple years is plenty) I’ve been pruning some of my cards. I used to travel to/from a couple of states and hotel perks would come in handy but if I’m only going to be staying in a hotel for 2 weeks or less per year the perks don’t matter much.

I certainly wouldn’t justify keeping Aspire, Platinum, CSR, etc. Lounge perks are nice but I’m not a blogger who is going to the airport early and killing 4+ hours in lounges weekly/monthly. I’m not into MS so I’m not generating points/miles that way. If Amex would make the airline credits better then I could see keeping it for the that, Uber credits (use about 1/2), Hilton/Marriott gold status and about break even.

CSR at $550 makes it questionable to keep.

Ghostrider5408

I agree with Rich I too have gone from 100K plus a year to person travel one maybe two international a year. While I have been fortunate in obtaining lifetime status where it counts the annual fees are getting out of hand to the point of considering canceling my 20+ years of AMEX PLT. was seriously thinking of paring down this year as well. I have been using the Sapphire Reserve as my daily go to card but $550 with no real enhancements leaves me to wonder. Door Dash and Lyft is just plain lame and of little value. To be at this point is the PP restaurant privilege, traveling for business this was great now traveling occasionally for pleasure not sure of the return on investment, and that is exactly what these are turning into. And like Rich pointed I am not a blogger/hacker

Robert

The irony to me is that this was a card I actually put spend on, now they’ll likely lose my business. CSP for me at my renewal this coming Sept…

Paul

Many of us boomers are aging out of the business world and flying less each year. We still value the perks, such as platinum card access to the centurion lounges. It would be nice if Chase and Amex were to have a senior version of theie premium cards with a lower annual fee and perhaps fewer benefits, such as a limit of four visits a year to centurian lounges in the case of the Amex platinum. Chase Sapphire preferred and amex gold really don’t provide a premium .experience.

MEDC

The effective $150 annual fee (after $300 travel credit) is going to be hard for me to justify for the benefits I actually use. May have to look long and hard at downgrading to the CSP.

Joseph N.

Right, $250. So the AF is not really going from $450 to $550, but from $150 to $250, a big jump. I can get PP and GE from other cards, and for $20, primary rental insurance from American Express, so $250 is clearly too rich for my blood.

ktc

another point, is it worth the 40k pts travel redemption at the extra $0.0025 per? that should yield $100. the biggest cost to get 40k pts (from office depot) is ~$280.