Chase Announces New Sapphire Benefits, Improved Earning Rates

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The Sapphire cards from Chase are already some of the most beloved rewards-earning cards on the market. Now they are getting several enhancements to make them better than ever.

From August 16, 2021, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are undergoing big changes. And shockingly—in a time of sugar-coated “enhancements”—these Chase Sapphire changes are all positive news. In fact, even the annual fee is remaining the same on both cards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Our #1 recommended beginners rewards card featuring an 60,000-point signup bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This card comes with great benefits and earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
  • 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 5X points on travel purchased through Chase
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide
  • 3X points on eligible streaming services
  • 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
  • 2X points on all other travel
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Need a refresher on these cards? Check out more on the Sapphire Preferred here and the Sapphire Reserve here.

Key Changes for the Sapphire Preferred

  • 5x Ultimate Rewards points on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out
  • 3x points on select streaming services
  • 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 10% anniversary bonus points on purchases
  • Sleek new card design, as pictured below

Key Changes for the Sapphire Reserve

  • 10x Ultimate Rewards points on Chase Dining purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 10x points on hotel stays and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 5x points on air travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • New “Reserved by Sapphire” feature, coming later this year.

Breakdown of Sapphire Preferred Changes

The changes to the Sapphire Preferred are fantastic and make this already valuable card that much better. Let's take a deeper look into these enhancements.

The first few improvements are on the earning side. Cardholders will soon be able to earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points when booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. You can see more on how to book through the Ultimate Rewards portal below.

Additionally, Sapphire Preferred cardholders receive a $50 hotel credit each year when you purchase a room through the Ultimate Rewards portal. New cardmembers will begin earning the credit immediately. Existing cardmembers will eligible to use the credit after their next account anniversary.

Improvements for dining are included, as well. The standard earning rate on dining will increase from 2x points to 3x points — including delivery and takeout services.

Select streaming services now earn 3x UR, but Chase has yet to say which services are included. We will update you as we get more information. Hopefully the streaming services are much better than the very limited The Platinum Card® from American Express streaming credits recently introduced.

Lastly, you can earn 3x points on online groceries — excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs (Sam's Club, Costco, etc.). This one could be interesting and open some opportunities to really stack your Ultimate Rewards earnings. Not sure if something will code as grocery? Check out AwardWallet's merchant lookup tool.

Perhaps the best enhancement is the new 10% bonus back in points each account anniversary on total purchases you made the previous year. And so far, the amount you can earn back is uncapped! A quick example would be if you spent $25,000 in the prior year, you will earn an additional 2,500 bonus points. This effectively adds an additional 0.1% earning to all spending put on the card.

Breakdown of the Sapphire Reserve changes

The new enhancements on the Sapphire Reserve are much less exciting.

Similar to the Sapphire Preferred, the first few enhancements are on the earning side, specifically when booking through the Chase travel portal and Chase dining. You'll earn 10x on dining, 10x on hotel and car rentals and 5x on airfare when booked and paid for through Chase's respective portals. You'll need to make sure to pay with your Sapphire Reserve to earn the multiplier.

Lastly, Chase is introducing a new feature called “Reserved by Sapphire.” Apparently, this will come around sometime later this year and will include exclusive opportunities to make reservations at some of the most exclusive and sought-after restaurants throughout the United States, including:

  • Canlis in Seattle, WA
  • Redbird in Los Angeles, CA
  • SingleThread Farms in Healdsburg, CA
  • Reverence in New York, NY
  • One Off Hospitality in Chicago, Illinois

Using the Ultimate Rewards Portal

Chase has its own travel portal where you can both earn and redeem points when booking through it. And now you can earn more Ultimate Rewards than ever thanks to the new enhancements on both the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cards.

This specific flight from Salt Lake City (SLC) to Chicago O'Hare (ORD) costs $138.85 when you search through the Ultimate Rewards portal. When paid with either the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, you'll soon earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points. That's 694 points for this booking.

Chase Ultimate Rewards portal example

As great as it is to earn extra points when booking through this portal, make sure to shop around a bit first and see make sure you are getting the best value. Sometimes the Chase portal can price things out a bit higher than other booking options.

Related: The Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal

Chase Dining

earn more Ultimate Rewards points through Chase Dining

Chase is offering elevated earning rates when you reserve and pay through the Chase dining website. Unfortunately, the list is somewhat limited. However, if you can find a restaurant that appeals to you or already have it on your list, make sure to utilize this option and earn 10x on your Sapphire Reserve.

Recently, Chase ran an offer for Sapphire cardholders to earn 10x points on dining purchases through Chase Dining. Although that promotion has now ended, the process to earn 10x points on dining with the Sapphire Reserve will be the same.

What if I Can't Get a Sapphire Card?

If you aren't eligible to get a Sapphire card because you already have one or you've opened too many cards to qualify under Chase's 5/24 rule, the Citi Premier® Card is a strong alternative.

Citi Premier® Card
Citi Premier® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Offer Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
The Citi Premier card offers some of the top earning rates of any rewards card with an annual fee under $100. This card is best-in-class for rewards on air travel and hotel spending, and it tops our list of the best cards for gas & fuel purchases with a generous 3X ThankYou® Points.
  • 80,000 point signup bonus worth $800 towards airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
  • 3X points per $1 on airfare and hotels and at gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets
  • Annual Hotel Benefit: Save $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when you book through ThankYou.com
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
  • 3X points per $1 spent on airfare, hotels, and at gas stations
  • 3X points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants, including cafes, bars and lounges
  • 3X points per $1 spent at supermarkets
  • 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases

Related Posts:

Final Thoughts

Step aside, Sapphire Reserve. The Sapphire Preferred is the new reigning champ of the Chase credit card lineup. With improved earning rates, 10% anniversary bonus, and a $50 hotel credit, the improvements to the Sapphire Preferred just got a lot more valuable. Throw in the 60,000 point bonus, and the Sapphire Preferred is hands-down the card to beat.

While it's nice that the Sapphire Reserve has also enhanced its benefits and earning rates, the Sapphire Preferred‘s new enhancements are far more impressive.

Which card do you think is more valuable following the news of these enhancements?

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Comments

  • The streaming services for 3x points are now listed at Chase.com/RewardsFAQs:

    Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Netflix, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube TV

    • Thanks for monitoring it and for the update. So, that list, thankfully, is rather comprehensive, and easily, soundly beats the paltry list covered by the AmEx Platinum.

  • Thanks. The Preferred is starting to look better and better all the time, as noted, especially considering the yearly cost. What is especially intriguing to me is the ability to transfer points to a number of valuable (to me) airline programs.

  • B1BomberVB says:

    I just looked at my CSP statement online. They started giving me 3 pp$ on my restaurant & bar spending early: on Aug. 12 🙂 !

  • In your post you stated that the card fee were NOT increasing, however, I received a letter in the mail letting me know that the fee for the Chase Reserve was was increasing from $450 a year to $550!

  • The CSR improvements, like many here are saying, is not much of an improvement on a card with a now higher premium annual renewal. I might be more interested if they were making all dining at 10x points. The 5x points on travel through the portal isn’t much of an interest to me either as I almost never use that service as the pricing is typically horrible.

  • Just applied a CSP card and got approved, happy!

  • These new benefits for SR are nothing to write home about.

  • Wendy Gordon says:

    I don’t know about annual fees not increasing because I was notified by Chase in last month that my annual fee on the Reserve card is going from $450 to $550 at which point I’m outta here.

  • Wish they would update whether the DoorDash benefits will continue on the Reserve for 2022, that’s about the only thing making it worthwhile right now.

  • Reserve more money, less benefits over the preferred.

    This is improved?

  • I already have the Sapphire Preferred card from a year ago. What, if any, of these new benefits apply to existing cardholders? Maybe I just missed it but just want to know if all of these additional points earning and annual bonuses (e.g. 10% anniversary bonus points on purchases) are just for new cards issued or all holders of the Sapphire Preferred. Do they ALL apply to existing cardholders except for the 100,000 sign up bonus?

    • All of these apply to existing cardholders. But, not all at the start. For the 10% anniversary bonus, you won’t start earning bonus points until your next cardholder anniversary. Say you signed up on July 18, 2020. Your next cardholder anniversary wouldn’t be until August 1, 2022. So, you wouldn’t get your first anniversary bonus until August 1, 2023!

  • Can’t say these “updates” to the CSR really do much for me. Definitely not anything easy to use, the travel benefits require a loss of other direct booking perks, and I cannot figure out how to get Chase Dining to work yet… with limited places on Tock, too. Yawn.

  • I signed up for a Chase Sapphire Reserve card in January 2020, pre-pandemic. Although I have only been able to use it a few times for actual travel, Chase’s pivot toward allowing other purchase categories to qualify as “travel” has made it easy to recoup much of the hefty annual fee. I’ve kept the card in 2021 and will likely renew next year as well when my travel schedule increases, fingers crossed.

  • I do like the 10% anniversary bonus points on purchases, 3x dining and will reserve judgement on 3x online groceries.. have yet to pull the trigger on ordering online.. this offer makes it a little more tempting

  • I do like the 3x on groceries on the SP. That certainly puts it back in the competition against the Citi Premier which is turning into a fairly competitive card. But the SP’s 10% back (too bad its just on the base points) and 1.25 redemption value, it can now outperform Citi Premier in a lot of cases.

    The “improvements” on the Reserve card are still meh…

  • I only have a few more weeks to decide to downgrade my reserve, and now I think I will.

  • You would think that Chase could find other ways to generate revenues instead of resorting to frequent and massive annual fee hikes.

  • Not enough done to make the reserve more competitive. Chase’s portals often charge more than direct bookings!

  • I am very disappointed with the improvements of the Reserve. I am almost thinking I might downgrade to the Preferred. I still have Priority Pass through Amex. It’s a tough one and I don’t think we are allowed to have both cards.

  • The 10 percent bonus back each year is definitely a perk I wish others would copy. That definitely encourages me to use the card more.

  • I was fine with the $350 annual fee of the Reserve card when I first signed up. It seemed worth it considering the rewards and benefits I was getting. But then it went up to $450 during the pandemic when I wasn’t able to travel or eat out. And then I heard talks of it going up again to $550. I no longer feel like it’s worth it, especially when they keep adding benefits that I have no interest in using (like Peloton discounts, online grocery orders or access to expensive restaurants/events).

    • The Reserve started at $450 when in launched in late 2016. Your sentiments are still fully valid though. I downgraded mine and will be signing up for the CSP soon.

  • You’ve listed “Breakdown of the Sapphire Preferred” twice in the article. One of those headings should be “Breakdown of Sapphire Reserved” instead.

    • Shoot. Thanks for the catch there. Fixed now.

      • I also think you meant to say to be sure to pay with the RESERVE to get the 10x multiplier, no?

        Breakdown of the Sapphire Reserve changes
        The new enhancements on the Sapphire Reserve are much less exciting.

        Similar to the Sapphire Preferred, the first few enhancements are on the earning side, specifically when booking through the Chase travel portal and Chase dining. You’ll earn 10x on dining, 10x on hotel and car rentals and 5x on airfare when booked and paid for through Chase’s respective portals. You’ll need to make sure to pay with your Sapphire Preferred to earn the multiplier.

  • Changes to the Reserve are much weaker than the changes to the Preferred. After these changes, it’s hard to justify paying the much higher annual fee on the Reserve.

  • The only downside is my family members who just got the card won’t get the hotel benefit, but this is a great improvement. We’ll see if the AF goes to $125 or something similar though.

    • Hopefully it doesn’t change and is just a response to stay competitive. Comparing either the Reserve or Preferred to just Amex’s Green card was already a tough sell.

  • Smart move incorporating the grocery bonus into chase sapphire line may cancel my Amex cards

  • Been thinking about getting the Preferred a lot lately. This may be what pushes me to just do it.

    Though I find it interesting that Chase beefed up the Preferred while the enhancements to the Reserve feel…somewhat lacking in comparison. Since the Reserve card carries the higher AF you’d think they’d focus on making the benefits enticing enough to make consumers justify the cost. I just don’t see it when comparing the two.

  • Seems to be unfair to make the existing cardmembers wait for their next account anniversary to receive the $50 hotel benefit. We just signed up for this card a few weeks ago but now have to wait an entire year.

  • I would go with the Chase sapphire preferred with the annual fee at $95 only. These are positive changes on the card. However I would not use the Ultimate portal to book travel. I have found that the prices were even higher than other sites even with the additional 25% bump up using points.

  • I downgraded my wife and another family member down from the Reserve to the free Freedom Unlimited card. The Reserve was a good deal at $450 a year, but at $550 and with effectively no travel and minimal going out during covid, it was just costing them money. I’m pretty loyal to stuff, but I’m having a bit of a difficult time digesting the upcoming, for me, annual fee price increase on the Reserve. The benefits they’ve added “to compensate” for the fee increase are of little value to me. And now these very nice benefits added to the Preferred but not the Reserve card. I’m beginning to look around for other options.

  • I love my Chase cards. I will be taking advantage of these new benefits. I have the Preferred and it serves the best to earn UR points. I wonder will some of the new benefits make people have the Pref and Res more in their wallet now?

  • I am more impressed with the changes to the CSP and glad i downgraded my csr

  • I already considered my Sapphire Preferred a “keeper card”, and these changes make it dramatically better. I was considering upgrading to the Reserve in a couple of years to replace my Amex Platinum (which has gotten a bit ridiculous), but these changes cemented the CSP as the penultimate transferable points travel card for normal people. The practical hotel credit and bonus categories are a perfect fit for me, and now it’ll get swiped more often compared to my Freedom Unlimited & Freedom.

    Amex went upmarket, and Chase is solidly going mid-market, which is fantastic.

  • Long overdue update to the card, they are really getting back in the hunt for everyday charges on the card after years of lagging their rivals….really curious how AMEX and CITI respond to Chase upping the ante here.

  • Any updates on the AF? Is it still $95? (Or did I miss it?) And still 100k sign up bonus? This may be too good to pass up.

  • Just got the Preferred card a few weeks ago – thanks for sharing the updated benefits! I guess I will have to wait awhile to be able to use the $50 hotel credit.

  • David Moore says:

    I’m afraid I’ll still need a small American Express Gold with 4X earnings on groceries and restaurants rather than my Sapphire Preferred.

  • CHARLES S COLEMAN says:

    Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee is getting out of hand for what is offered. But, as long as people are willing to pay ever more for the privilege of carrying it, so be it. I won’t be one (though I have carried it for the past several years). Perhaps, if Chase would match American Express Gold card’s benefits and reduce the annual fee, I might stay with it. Well, just my opinion.

    • Yeah, even with the revamp, the card isn’t worth $550. PP is what makes or breaks the card and it’s too inconsistent in terms of what lounges allow access at what times. Getting turned away is all too common. I ditched the card and doubt I’ll be getting it again especially now with how powerful the CSP is compared to its AF.

  • What are the requirements to obtain a Sapphire Preferred?

  • What is the 10% anniversary bonus? I’ve never seen this. My Chase SR & Amex Biz Plat renewal dates are coming up soon and I’ve been debating on whether or not to keep the cards, I have been wanting to pare down my # of cards as I have far too many with AF’s and am debating on just keeping one premium card in addition to the Amex Gold. Have the Biz Plat, CSR & Citi Prestige & Amx Bonvoy Premium and thats a lot of AF’s when several seem to duplicate services.
    I also have the BA, SW, IHG& United from Chase. Citi Rew+, TY, AA and Amx HH & Biz HH, Bonvoy biz & Radisson plus a couple of other odd biz & personal cards and I didn’t want to hurt my scores by eliminating available credit line/increasing usage %.
    Thoughts on best to keep & what should go as far as what is the best benefits for the $?

    • The 10% anniversary bonus is a new benefit that was just announced in the past week. It’s really hard to say what to eliminate without knowing which benefits you use regularly. It can be a little time consuming, but I’d recommend making a list of the benefits you used in the past year or two for each card.

      For example, I also hold Amex Plat (Personal), CSR, and Citi Premier. I opted to keep all 3 last year after some rough accounting. Just remember not to count overlapping benefits for more than one card. For example, you’ll want to decide whether to credit Marriott Gold elite status to your Bonvoy Brilliant card or your Amex Platinum. Hope that gets you moving in the right direction. This is a great topic for a post.

  • I still prefer the Reserve. If I only get these enhanced earning rates through the UR portal, then I do believe there are limits. Using the Preferred’s $50 hotel credit of course is great for that one time. The 10% rewards credit is also great, but you have to decide which point-earning pays off for you.

  • It seems like Chase dramatically improved the benefits for the Preferred, with minimal changes for the Reserve. Having to book reservations through Chase is beyond irritating since the pricing isn’t always a deal.