Chase Further Delays Annual Fee Increase on Chase Sapphire Reserve Renewals

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In January 2020, Chase announced that the Chase Sapphire Reserve® annual fee would increase from $450 to $550 for renewals starting April 1, 2020. But, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chase still hasn't implemented this annual fee hike. And, Chase just delayed this annual fee increase yet again.

Chase confirmed to AwardWallet that the annual fee for Sapphire Reserve renewals from January 1 to March 30, 2021 will “automatically renew at $450.”

Timeline of the $550 Annual Fee Delay

Originally, Chase planned to start charging a $550 annual fee for renewals on and after April 1, 2020. Sure enough, cardholders with renewals starting on April 1 were charged a $550 annual fee. This was rather unfortunate timing as the world had just locked down due to the pandemic. So, Chase provided a $100 statement credit cardholders with a renewal date between April and July 2020.

Then, in late May 2020, Chase announced that all renewals from August to December 2020 would be charged a $450 annual fee. Now, Chase is extending this $450 annual fee on Sapphire Reserve renewals through March 2021. As it currently stands, renewals starting in April 2021 will be the first to renew at $550. If this annual fee hike isn't further delayed, it will end up going into effect a full year after the increase was originally planned.

Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee hike delayed for a year
Even Chase had to write off its plans for 2020

Should You Renew the Chase Sapphire Reserve® with a $450 Annual Fee?

The Sapphire Reserve is designed to be a travel card. The card offers lounge access to over 1,300 airport lounges through Priority Pass, excellent travel protections, travel discounts, and more. So, it may seem hard for some to justify even paying $450 to renew at a time of little to no travel.

With that said, Chase added several benefits to the Sapphire Reserve over the past year that makes paying the $450 annual fee easier:

All of this is in addition to the slew of benefits that the Sapphire Reserve offers cardholders.

Final Thoughts

If you're like me, you got the Sapphire Reserve for its travel perks. And, if you're like me, you aren't traveling very much right now. So, it can be hard to justify paying even a reduced $450 annual fee. However, make sure to factor in all of the temporary and non-travel benefits of the Sapphire Reserve before canceling your card.

Are you keeping the Sapphire Reserve with a $450 annual fee?

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Comments

  • Avatar

    $100 more is quite the increase, that’s a 22% increase. Not sure there are 22% more benefits to be had. Hope they forgo it altogether.

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    Karl Flueckiger says:

    I’ve been very happy with the CSR, especially because the travel credit is so easy to use. For me, it is way easier than the AMEX version. That said, I don’t use Lyft much, so that isn’t as useful and I could care less about Peloton. When I was flying a lot in 2019, the restaurant options for Priority Pass were a great benefit beyond the airline clubs in places where offered. Don’t overlook it!

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    I don’t know that I would get much benefit from the card even if I traveled more right now. I still see the Amex being a better card for that amount of annual fee. For a card to have this fee I feel they need to step up how many points a customer gets per certain charges. Amex just has more benefits in my view.

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    My CSR AF is charged in April, and since I’m not traveling right now I’m not using Priority Pass or other travel benefits, so I hope the $100 deduction will be extended.

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    Just downgraded today. 🙂

    Any data points on Priority Pass? I heard from one person that the membership was already paid for and it still worked. I have no expectations that it will bit that would be pretty sweet.

    • Avatar

      Historically, unfortunately, once u dropped the credit card that provided the Priority Pass membership, you did indeed lose the membership at the same time. A letter directly from Priority Pass usually shows up to inform you of the bad news.

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    I still get a lot of value out of my Sapphire Reserve and I will continue to renew it, even with the increased annual fee. However, I am certainly happy that they are delaying the increase. I’m sure that it keeps the card relevant even for those who aren’t traveling.

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      It’s only fair. Now every card member is given one more year at the original fee. I’d be mad if everyone got an extension except the January to March crowd (I was February).

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    Great news here. Not worth the $550 right now. Most places I’ve gone the priority pass lounges are closed and why does the freedom flex offer 5x on travel booked through chase but the reserve is 3x?

  • Avatar

    My CSR annual fee is due in June. I hope they extend the $450 renewal fee through June 2021.

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    I’m pleased they have done this, hopefully other issuer will follow suit

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    This is a welcome move on their part, but I wish they’d also add some benefits or bonuses on the Preferred.

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    Those added perks are nice but hard for me to justify the increase. I think travel would have to really get back to normal before I would consider it.

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    I am actually traveling a lot right now. Few tourists, low-priced hotels. They said “work from home” so I made Mexico my home(s) for now, already been to 14 states. Renting cars everywhere with CSR’s CDW coverage. And most Priority Pass lounges are open here. So I’m definitely keeping my CSR.

  • Avatar

    The Sapphire Reserve has lost a lot of its spending appeal with the Freedom Flex and Unlimited now earning 3X on dining. I hope we see some changes this year, otherwise it becomes a much less compelling card to keep even at $450.