Chase Announces Rewards Changes for 2 Popular Credit Cards

|
Advertisement

If you have either of the Chase Sapphire credit cards in your wallet, be prepared for some changes to your rewards program in the very near future.

Chase just announced that the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve credit cards will get an overhaul of their rewards structures effective August 16, 2021.

There is no action needed from existing cardholders. The new benefits and rewards structures will automatically take effect on that date.

Let’s run down what you can expect to see in the days ahead.


Changes to the Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card will keep its $95 annual fee and several of the key perks associated with it.

However, what you’ll probably notice immediately is the change in the amount of Chase Ultimate Rewards points awarded for transactions.

Here’s a quick rundown of the old points structure vs. the new points structure to help adjust your expectations:

Spending CategoryOld Points StructureNew Points Structure
Travel (through Chase Ultimate Rewards)2 points per dollar spent5 points per dollar spent
Non-Chase Travel Purchases2 points per dollar spent2 points per dollar spent
Dining (including takeout and delivery)2 points per dollar spent3 points per dollar spent
Streaming Services1 point per dollar spent3 points per dollar spent
Online Grocery Purchases1 point per dollar spent3 points per dollar spent
All Other Purchases1 point per dollar spent1 point per dollar spent

It’s worth noting that this new grocery purchase benefit is for online purchases only and excludes purchases made at Walmart and Target as well as wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club.

You’ll also see the following new perks:

  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards. New cardmembers will start earning toward the credit immediately, and existing cardmembers will start earning after their next account anniversaries.
  • 10% anniversary point bonus. Each account anniversary, cardmembers will earn bonus points equal to 10% of total purchases made the previous year. That means $25,000 in spend will earn an additional 2,500 bonus points.

The card’s 100,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of the account opening will remain. That can be worth up to $1,250 in travel if redeemed through Chase.

Advertisement

Changes to the Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve, which carries a hefty $550 annual fee, also will see some changes to its rewards structure.

The most notable is the increase in rewards points for spending through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program on things like travel and dining.

Spending CategoryOld Points StructureNew Points Structure
Dining (through Chase Ultimate Rewards)1 point per dollar spent10 points per dollar spent
Hotels and Car Rentals (through Chase Ultimate Rewards)1 point per dollar spent10 points per dollar spent
Air Travel (through Chase Ultimate Rewards)1 point per dollar spent5 points per dollar spent
Non-Chase Dining (including takeout and delivery)3 points per dollar spent3 points per dollar spent
Non-Chase Travel3 points per dollar spent3 points per dollar spent
All Other Purchases1 point per dollar spent1 point per dollar spent

The Chase news release also indicated that Sapphire Reserve cardmembers will have access to a new program called “Reserved by Sapphire.” This will feature “exclusive opportunities to book reservations at some of the most sought-after restaurants across the country.”

Nothing has changed in the way of the annual $300 travel credit and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credits this card offers.

And new cardmembers can still earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. If redeemed for travel through Chase, that can be worth up to $900.


Why Chase Is Making These Changes

Changing the formula for a popular credit card is always a risky proposition. If current customers hate it, there’s a chance for some blowback.

But sometimes change can be good. And in this case, Chase saw a chance to change its rewards system to respond to the way consumers have changed their spending habits as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since its debut more than a decade ago, Sapphire has been a fresh standout from the typical premium credit card, and most cardmembers who got a Preferred or Reserve card within the first month of those launches are still using their cards today,” Marleta Ross, General Manager of Chase Sapphire, said via news release. “We are continuing to evolve benefits and introduce new perks to meet customers where they are without departing from what they love most — travel and dining.”

In addition to the card rewards changes, Chase also announced it is expanding the “Chase Sapphire Lounge” benefit for cardholders.

“Chase unveils three locations that will eventually feature the new lounges, including New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in the brand new Terminal B, Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) Terminal B to C Connector, and later this year, a first international location in Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) Terminal 1.”


Final Thoughts

If you’ve been considering adding one of these travel cards to your wallet, nothing in these changes should deter you from moving forward with your plans.

Advertisement

In fact, the enhanced bonus category for each card makes them even more attractive.

The Reserve card may not be for most credit card users because of the high annual fee, but the Preferred card is a good “bang for your buck” on a travel card. It has one of the best welcome bonus offers on the market.

Do you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve in your wallet? If so, what do you think about these changes? Tell us in the comments below!


More Clark.com Content You May Like:

Advertisement
How Many Credit Cards Should I Have? How Many Credit Cards Should I Have? - Are you worried that the number of credit cards you have could have a negative impact on your financial life? Is there a “right” number of credit cards for one person to have? The answer is a little more nuanced…
Cash back credit cards earn you money each time you make a purchase. Best Cash Back Credit Cards: Top Picks for 2021 - If you’re looking for a simple way to earn rewards with your credit cards, it doesn't get any easier than cash back cards. Here are our favorites.
  • Show Comments Hide Comments