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.
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.
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.