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