Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Worth $550 per Year?

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In January 2020, we learned that the annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®⁠—one of our favorite premium travel cards⁠—would increase from $450 to $550. And, after a year and a half delay due to COVID-19, it seems that this change will finally take place starting September 1, 2021.

While it's never good news to see fees increase, Chase added several new benefits to offset the higher costs—including new partnerships with Lyft and DoorDash. In this post, we’ll take a fresh look at the card’s value to help you decide if the benefits justify the annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Annual Fee$550
Welcome Bonus Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Chase's flagship Ultimate Rewards card. You get a $300 travel credit, airport lounge access courtesy of a Priority Pass membership and industry-leading travel insurance benefits. New cardholders earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
  • 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 10X points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase
  • 10X points on Chase Dining (including prepaid reservations and prepaid takeout purchased through Chase)
  • 5X points on airfare purchased through Chase
  • 3X points on all other travel
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants
  • 1X points on all other purchases

Value Proposition Before Changes

Before these changes were announced, the Sapphire Reserve easily paid for itself year after year for anyone who travels frequently. At the end of 2019, the card's benefits included:

Thankfully, all of these benefits are still available for Sapphire Reserve cardholders.

Temporary COVID-19 Benefits

In addition to the longer-term benefits covered below, the Sapphire Reserve is currently offering the following temporary benefit to help cardholders during this time of reduced travel:

New Lyft Benefits

10X Earning on Lyft Rides

  • Earn 10X Ultimate Rewards Points per dollar on all Lyft rides paid with Sapphire Reserve
  • This is an additional 7X points compared to what the card used to earn (3X on travel).
  • Depending on how you value Ultimate Rewards, this represents between 15-20% back on Lyft rides.

One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership

  • Membership would otherwise cost $199
  • Save 15% off all Lyft rides
  • Get priority airport pick-ups
  • Relaxed cancellation policy
  • Waived lost and found fees
  • Three free 30-minute Lyft scooter or bike rides per month in select markets

Get a complimentary Lift Pink membership with your Chase Sapphire Reserve

New DoorDash Benefits

Complimentary DashPass Membership

  • Free DashPass benefits on eligible orders for at least 12 months (and a maximum of 24 months) after activation
  • Waived delivery fees at select vendors on orders of $12 or more
  • Reduced service fees on orders of $12 or more

DoorDash Annual Statement Credits

  • Receive up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash Purchases
  • $60 in credits through December 31, 2020 (Expired)
  • $60 in credits through December 31, 2021

Get a Complimentary DashPass Membership and DoorDash credits with the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Important Terms and Conditions

While the new Lyft benefits seem relatively straightforward, we noticed a couple of interesting items worth mentioning in the DoorDash Terms and Conditions. As you might assume, the clock doesn't start on your annual DashPass membership until you activate it yourself. The terms don't clearly state how the end of your complimentary membership is calculated, and we weren't able to get a clear answer by talking to Chase's customer service.

However, once you have activated your DashPass membership, you can see the end date on DoorDash's manage subscription page. For example, one of our team members enrolled on January 22, 2020 and got an expiration date of December 31, 2021.

Editorial-DashPass Subscription

More importantly, the Terms and Conditions specify that “when your free trial has expired, your subscription will automatically convert into a paid DashPass subscription, and DoorDash will bill you the applicable fee”. This makes it even more important to know how long this free membership is supposed to last since you're going to be charged for the membership afterward.

After you verify the end date, make sure you set a calendar reminder to decide if you want to renew on a paid basis. The terms and conditions do state that if you participated in a free trial or other promotional subscription, you “may cancel within the first 48 hours of your paid DashPass subscription and receive a full refund”.

Activating the New Benefits

Both the Lyft and DoorDash promotional memberships can be activated by locating and following the prompts under “Featured Benefits and Offers” in the Ultimate Rewards Portal.

Activate your new Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits

Alternatively, you can activate them individually. For Lyft Pink, sign-up here. For DoorDash, download the app here (Apple) or here (Android) and add your Sapphire Reserve as the payment option. You'll see the option to activate the complimentary DashPass membership once you've added your card.

Assigning Value to These New Benefits

The value of each of these new benefits will be different for everyone. To decide what they're worth, you first have to ask yourself a few questions. Do you regularly use Lyft or other rideshare apps? What about food delivery apps? Will you get any value out of these perks?

Since I was wondering the same thing for myself, I started by looking at my habits from 2019. For DoorDash, it was straightforward. I spent exactly $0 on food delivery apps in 2019. Even with the $60 annual credit, I don't foresee this changing, so I value the DoorDash benefit at $0.

One of my AwardWallet teammates (who is also currently working through the math on the new Sapphire Reserve changes), orders 3-5 times per month from food delivery apps. If you consider an average savings of $4.00 per order, the DashPass should save him $192 each year, plus the $60 statement credit for a total of $252.

For Lyft, it was a little more complicated, since I use rideshare apps quite often.

  • In 2019, I spent $230.69 on Lyft Rides; if I had Lyft Pink at the time, I would have saved 15% or $34.60.
  • In 2019, I spent $578.18 on Uber Rides. Switching to Lyft and assuming similar prices, I would have saved $86.73.
  • If I had earned an additional 7X (10X total – 3X I did earn) Ultimate Rewards Points on all of this rideshare spend, I would have earned 5,662 more points. Valuing these at 1.7¢ a piece, that would equal an additional $96.25 in points earning.

Between the 15% savings on the ride fares and the additional points earning, these Lyft benefits would have been worth almost $217 total to me in 2019! If my spending habits stay about the same this year, this is the kind of value I can expect.

Evaluating Chase Travel Portal Spend

Although not a new or changed benefit, the 1.5 cent-per-point redemption rate on bookings through the Chase Travel Portal might be an essential factor in whether it makes sense to keep this card. If you know you'll be transferring points to an Ultimate Rewards partner, the Sapphire Reserve‘s enhanced redemption rate through the Chase Travel Portal is irrelevant.

On the other hand, if you do use the Chase Portal, the Sapphire Reserve can help you stretch your points significantly further. If you're unfamiliar with these two redemption options, check out these links for our comprehensive guides:

In addition to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®—which gets 1.5 cents per point—there are six other Ultimate Rewards cards which are currently open to new applicants:

Let's look at a quick comparison between the Sapphire Reserve and it's closest alternative, the Sapphire Preferred. While 0.25¢ per point may not seem like much at first glance, it can make a big difference:

  • If you value the CSR's $300 annual travel credit at cash value, then the new annual fee disparity between the Sapphire Reserve and the Sapphire Preferred is now effectively $155.
  • $550 (Sapphire Reserve annual fee) – $300 (travel credit) = $250 (net annual fee) – $95 (Sapphire Preferred annual fee) = $155 (fee difference)

If we assume, for the sake of argument, that you get ZERO value from any of the other Sapphire Reserve benefits, then mathematically you break even with the Sapphire Reserve‘s annual fee if you redeem at least 62,000 points through the portal per year.

  • 62,000 URs * $0.015 = $930 (Travel Portal value with the Sapphire Reserve)
  • 62,000 URs * $0.0125 = $775 (Travel Portal value with the Sapphire Preferred)
  • $930 – $775 = $155
  • If you redeem more than 62,000 points per year through the Chase Portal, then the Sapphire Reserve is a better value.

I redeemed 63,105 URs through the travel portal with my Sapphire Reserve in 2019. This means I obtained an additional $157.76 in value from my points compared to their worth if I only had the Sapphire Preferred.

Sign-up Bonus

The Sapphire Reserve‘s current sign-up bonus is 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. If you conservatively value each point at 1.5¢ a piece, then this bonus is worth $900.

In this regard, the value of the sign-up bonus easily eclipses the annual fee and makes it easy to justify giving the Sapphire Reserve a try. If you aren't sure how the card benefits will work out for you, you can monitor during the first year, knowing the value from the bonus will put you solidly ahead of breakeven.

If you don't think the benefits will outweigh the increased fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great alternative.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Our #1 recommended beginners rewards card featuring an 100,000-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.
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 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, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 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

Our Take

Each of these considerations and calculations will be unique to you and your lifestyle. If you regularly use the Chase Travel Portal, often book rideshares, and have been known to order some take-out, you'll have no trouble justifying the annual fee, even at the higher price point. Others who can’t use these benefits may want to consider the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred instead.

As a Sapphire Reserve cardholder, when I first read the news about the updated benefits and the raised annual fee, I reacted the same way a lot of people did. I felt disappointed. However, in the process of writing this post, I've realized just how much value I will continue to get from the Sapphire Reserve under the new program. My redemptions through the Chase Travel Portal notwithstanding, the new Lyft benefits alone will more than make up for the $100 increase. We'll have to wait and see how these benefits, which are currently only temporary, develop come next year.

How do you feel about these updated benefits? Are you still planning to keep your Chase Sapphire Reserve®? Do you have a different method of calculating its value? Let us know in the comments.

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  • I filed an insurance claim that was approved however I have to refile after my airline credit expires. Since I booked the trip with my CSR and got my claim approved, do I have to be a current CSR holder when I refile my claim or can I downgrade before that point?

  • Not sure if my rides would make up for it.. might just need to cancel. But I do like the lounge access though lol.

  • We have the card and, at least when not being impacted by COVID, it is definitely worth if you charge a lot and like to travel (as the value of the points really add up and you book any award travel through their website). Even with COVID, as the article points out they are adding some new benefits to make up for the same (e.g. DoorDash and grocery/gas bonuses and reimbursements in lieu of travel). Make sure you sign up when there is a strong sign up bonus.

    • The signup bonus hasn’t changed since the initial launch offer and I don’t expect it to again anytime soon.

  • It looks that it is well worth the annual fee of $450 because there is $300 per year as a travel credit. I keep that several years.

  • Ordinarily I wouldn’t need to think about how to rack up $300 in travel expenses. If you make one flight a year you’re there. But this is no longer trivial, given we’re in a pandemic that isn’t going away any time soon. Is there an expense that can count as ‘travel’ that is compatible with self isolating at home for the forseeable future, maybe with the occasional drive in your own car? Are there good travel gift cards that don’t expire? I’m going to get on planes/trains/buses again, and stay in hotels again, but not before there’s a vaccine. So what would you say is the easiest way to get to $300 in this situation, to help keep this card worthwhile?

  • Any reports of being able to get the annual fee reduced to $450 for a new CSR? Trying to decide between applying for CSP or CSR and I think that $100 would make the difference.

  • This year many airlines may change policy on how to redeem mileage. Better wait a little while.

  • I opted for this card as a travel card – the $300 credit, Priority Pass lounge entry, Global Entry, and no foreign transfer fees more than make back the annual fee.

    The rest is gravy: 3% points on travel related purchases, auto collision waiver, trip delay coverage, emergency evacuation , emergency medical & dental reimbursement, trip delay coverage, Door Dash, Lyft, etc

  • Not worth the extra $100 to me. Lyft is a commodity — I use Uber and Lyft inter-changably depending who is more available and cheaper. And I don’t use food delivery services. The deadlines on the new Covid benefits are too tight and too complicated.

    • Deadlines too tight? You mean like the bonus categories only being for three months? I guess some love simplicity but I love trying to work the system.

  • Not worth it for me. Most of the new perks are useless to me, especially under the restrictive lifestyle changes caused by COVID.

  • Thankfully I think I’ll have another year of $450…

  • I was ready to downgrade mine this year to the regular Saphire. I don’t use lyft or Doordash. These perks are worthless to me. Luckily they pushed back the fee hike till next year because of covid so I’ll keep til my renewal date.

  • As with every answer, it depends on your spending habits.

  • IMHO, this card is certainly NOT worth $550 for 2020.

  • The extra $100 is still hard to justify in my opinion. It’s nice that they reduced the fee back for renewals but surprised they didn’t really offer anything else to new card members. Though the ability to now get the $300 on grocery makes it almost a no brainer at a $250 net fee, even before the rest of the perks (assuming travel perks are not very useful for the next year)

  • I’ve had the CSR for years, but the extra $100 may drive me elsewhere. The lack of PP lounges in ORD domestic terminals is a killer for me.

  • It’s not likely I will renew the CSR at $550.

  • It would be interesting, if there was a follow up analysis as to what is the best combination of cards in the same range of yearly fees (the various AmEx platinums, Aspire, etc.). My initial thought would be to have both the Chase card and the personal platinum. Or might some other combination work better from a benefits standpoint?

  • Thanks for the Lyft breakdown. The travel insurance is a nice perk of this card too that many others don’t have.

    • Travel insurance just saved me a TON of money. I had travel booked but my PCS date got changed (due to COVID – but change of orders are covered). So far I got my $15 booking fee reimbursed and when my credits expire, I’ll get around $1,850 and $650 back. A lot of cards have travel insurance but this card just easily paid for itself.

  • It depends .. on how much the benefits described in the value proposition are used….Its could be very interesting!!

  • my answer is, “NOPE!” stick with CSP and you’d be happier without worrying about where to spend the CSR benefits

  • Good detailed breakdown of the value of the card. Helpful in deciding if to get it.

  • Getting harder and harder to justify keeping this card with the increased annual fee and benefits which are incredibly difficult to take advantage of during these times. Would have liked to see more benefits, even if temporary.

  • I used to have the Chase card and got rid of it. Now I might have to get it again. Thanks for the information

  • Still on the fence. Got plenty of value with Priority Pass and the $300 credit, but new benefits are not as valuable to us. Hope they would increase return to 5% for airfare, lodging, and dining!

    • For the $100 increase, I really wish they would’ve done something else; either change the multipliers to 4x or add a third category of groceries at 3x. Lyft and DoorDash do nothing for me and I think they’re temporary benefits anyway.

  • KRIPAL SINGH says:

    Lounge access and air ticket credit is worth $500+ , if you add the value of lyft and doordash it add upto over $600 .

    • The travel credit is a hard $300 so you’re saying PP is worth $200 – which actually you don’t earn points on that $300 so you COULD say that $300 is only worth $282…

      Anyway, the value of PP will depend on how many times you use it. I value each visit on average around $10 so I’d have to use it 20 times to get $200 in value from it.

  • $550 doesn’t seem worth it to me! I don’t often use DoorDash or Lyft and would probably only end up spending more to justify the added fees.

  • Edward Monrad says:

    Really not great for those who primarily use the card abroad!

    • How so? I’d argue the opposite. Amex has a lot of categories restricted to the US while Chase does not. Priority Pass also tends to be better overseas. I live in Australia at the moment and the card has been great for me.

  • FloridaBound says:

    Definitely keeping this card

  • I would vote yes. I love the restaurant feature with the Priority Pass. I use that with the airline lounge access and I don’t have to eat the meal on the flight. That gives me an extra 1 to 1.5 hours of sleep on the overnight long haul flights.

  • At this point, I am hoping that maybe American Express or other credit cards can offer something good like 100k pts to gather CSR users. I am definitely looking to hop to another premium credit card

    • Unfortunately they don’t need to do anything. Chase lowered the value of their premium card and are quite figuratively pushing tens of thousands of people out the door.

  • The really puzzling thing is that they market this as *the* travel card, yet introduced benefits that are only available in select markets in the US. How are those of us who spend much of the year abroad meant to get real value out of these perks?

    • Seriously. I don’t put Lyft as a company to be considered as a product of an elite travel card. Centurion lounges however…

  • Always appreciate the insightful analysis. Had been considering product changing from CSP to CSR. However, I’ll stick with the CSP as the CSR changes and increased fee have actually decreased my interest in the card as it lessened the value to me.

  • It was only a few months ago that I signed up at $450, and wondered if I would every break even. At least I have a while until the $550 fee will be due.

    • Don’t forget about things like Chase offers – there are lots of ways to help chip away at the fee. Priority Pass being another. I’m mad about the increase but it may still be the best option.

      • My Chase offers are always crap. I get 5 at most and they’re for things I wouldn’t even consider with the exception of Starbucks but I’m trying to cut back on that.

  • We order food for delivery at least once a week so the Doordash credit and DashPass will be put to good use. However, Lyft is almost always more expensive in my city even with the Pink discount.

  • Is it worth $550/year? Well, it is however putting it side by side with the Platinum card doesn’t even compare. That card gives Centurion Lounge access, Priority Pass (albeit minus the restaurants), and Delta lounge access when flying Delta. And I’m not even done. You also get BOTH Hilton and Marriott status. You also get 5x purchase categories and still so many more things too (an extra 4 hours on your rental car anyone?).

    So all that said, is the CSR worth $550? Probably. But it’s living in Amex’s shadow and not doing anything to catch up. Chase needs to give at least Hyatt Explorist status and allow United Club access when flying United or create its own Sapphire airport lounges. The CSR was an AMAZING card that for some unknown reason just stepped into Amex’s shadow.

  • It is definitely not worth it for most.

    • To be fair this is a high dollar premium card to start with and the target audience is already really small. Unfortunately for us the target demographic doesn’t actually change much increasing the fee by $100.

  • Overall, these changes will result in less people holding the CSR, which I think is one of Chase’s goals. There will be many who won’t use the DoorDash and Lyft benefits.

    • Bingo. There have been many articles stating that the CSR loses Chase money (but they do it to try and build banking relationships). It A) increases more revenue per cardholder and B) lowers the number of churners and people who are a money drain on Chase.

  • Not so excited but still probably keep card, reluctantly.

  • Elvin Martinez says:

    I apologize if this has been asked or already answered somewhere else, but thought this would be the best place….

    I am considering signing up for the CSR for myself and my girlfriend (as an authorized user), but had a couple of questions. Are the $300 travel credit, Global Entry and TSA credit split between the two cards or will we each get our own (hypothetically speaking of course, since I have not yet applied, LOL)?

    • Global Entry would be available for both you and the authorized user. You only get one $300 travel credit. But either cardholder could trigger it. (So you could spend $135 on your card and the AU could spend $165 on her card and you’d get a credit for each travel purchase). But once you hit $300, you’re done for the year until the credit resets.

    • One other thing to note is that you both get your own Priority Pass. I have also heard that only the main user gets Global Entry. I believe Erik but I’d confirm that if that will make or break your decision.

  • I kept CSR primarily for primary car rental coverage in North America. $150 a year can be justified for this ($450 minus $300 that is easily used).

    Door Dash and Lyft pink provide very little added value to me so the increased AF is a showstopper.

    My 2020 credit card strategy will be $95 a year for CSP to keep primary car rental coverage / travel benefits and another $95 for a Hilton Amex Surpass that comes with 10 Priority passes for the occasional layover. Free weekend night and Hilton gold status are benefits that don’t overlap with CSP that I can also use more than justifying the $95 AF.

  • Lillian Dikovitsky says:

    Not sure if I will keep CSR or not. I like the full coverage insurance but haven’t found the lounges to be much of a benefit. Either there isn’t a lounge or it is in another terminal, etc.

    • Or the lounges automatically say they’re full. The real benefit is restaurants but you have to travel through airports that have them.

  • I think for a lot of people the answer is not worth it, but not sure for myself.

    • I agree with you but as always there is no one size fits all answer so we should always be doing cost benefit analyses.

  • I have another year of $450. Might stick with it first.

  • Keeping it. i get far more value from the transferring to airline partners

  • The new benefits definitely skew towards city dwellers. Very difficult to justify the higher fee if you are outside DoorDash delivery areas and don’t use Lyft much. I will stick with Sapphire Preferred.

    • It’s also odd that these aren’t travel benefits on a travel card. Copying Amex is just going to have the CSR lose it’s identity and get branded as the copycat imitator but is clearly missing lounge access (ie Centurion lounges) and hotel status (Platinum card offers gold status at both Hilton and Marriott and CSR offers…?).

  • Be careful with Doordash. Compare the Doordash prices with the restaurant’s own website prices. The restaurant’s prices I chose were exactly $2.00 LESS per item than the Doordash prices.

    • I’d second this. Doordash is an additional party that needs to get paid, so the prices go up. The value they offer is convenience – many restaurants on one site – and a better ordering interface. But, if you’re frugal, go directly to the restaurant site to order… or go old school and call.

    • Unfortunately you’re right. When we get a “free” $60 credit, it’s probably actually only $45 worth of food and I wouldn’t even value that at $45 because it’s forcing me to spend money I otherwise wouldn’t have spent. I’ll value the credit at around $30 each year and then it sounds like it’ll go away.

      • We live in a small town, the only time we CAN order Doordash, Grubhub or anything other than Domino’s is when we travel and honestly, I LOVE HAVING IT AVAILABLE! After a long day of sight seeing or travel, it is great to be able to just go on the app and have it delivered to the hotel and even if it is overpriced, it is no where NEAR the ridiculous prices charged by room service, if your hotel even has room service as it seems so many even nice hotels have stopped it anymore. I mean seriously, we’ve been to hotels where they literally charge $29-48 for a CHEESEBURGER LOL! For two people to eat room service it can be $100 or more! They add in a mandatory gratuity, service charge, etc. in addition to the overpriced food and yeah, Doordash looks like a fantastic value!

        I will say I got a little ticked off this year with the CSR Travel Credit because I had booked a condo using Homeaway. com and they didn’t apply the credit. I asked why, they said it is because they are classified as a “Real Estate Company” which is funny because on Award Wallet, they are listed as a travel provider. I had rented at the same condos before under VRBO and they applied the credit so lesson learned to check the category if possible with CSR BEFORE booking.

        • There’s a website out there where you can see how Visa codes every single establishment. Sorry to hear about your experience but life lessons are learned all the time. I’ve definitely learned a few.

    • Yeah I’ve done a comparison too. I’ll be redeeming my $60 credit and that’s it. But on the other hand, if you get free delivery, I’m ok at times with just calling the higher price “the delivery fee” if it’s not worth my time to go out.

  • The new $550 annual fee is absolutely not worth it.
    Chase must be out of their mind to think they can command $550 for the CSR.
    I’m going to cancel my CSR once I get charged with the higher annual fee.

    • I’m with you except look up the average spend on a CSR. $100 increase in the annual fee sucks but most people see hundreds, if not thousands in rewards. Yes an extra $100 chips away at that but is the average user willing to throw away $800 in net rewards and get a different card just because they used to earn a net of $900? Don’t make a rash, emotional decision and just reevaluate your numbers.

  • With the new fee and new benefits, I’ll pass on this. I don’t find them useful and have priority pass from another card.

  • A key question here is whether the DashPass and Lyft Pink wind up being ongoing benefits. If they’re just intro benefits for a year or two, but the increased annual fee is permanent, then in the long run the CSR is a worse deal than it was before. If they’re long-term benefits (and one will use them enough to get significant value out of them) then it could be a better deal.

  • I think the biggest benefits of this card are the priority pass and point transfers.

    • Travel insurance is a big intangible you don’t really think of too. You don’t know you need it until you do.

      • Great, thorough post. I wasn’t aware of some of the CSR temporary l benefits that were added due to the coronavirus (specifically, reimbursement of gas station and grocery store purchases) – TY!

        The CSR travel protection benefits (especially primary rental car insurance) is the one – and probably only – reason I’ll keep this card even with such an outlandish new price tag.

        I have zero use for Doordash or any food delivery service – the prices on Doordash are significantly higher than calling the same restaurant directly or placing an order directly through its website… and I use Lyft once or twice a year, if at all.

        The Citi Prestige card (designed for travel) was rendered useless for travel – other than the free hotel nights – when all travel protections were eliminated, unless I’m missing something. Like what on earth was Citi thinking?

      • I just used the travel insurance myself. Got the $15 Orbitz booking fee back and when my AA credits expire, I can claim that too.

  • I do not have any use of the delivery service benefits.

  • It would be hard for me to justify the fee.

  • This breaks down the benefits nicely versus the higher annual fee. Unfortunately, it’s just not viable for me.

    • Same. Never used Lyft or Doordash before in my life and aside from using the $60 credit, I still won’t. They are probably losing me as a customer – but I think that may secretly be part of their intent: to reduce the user base and stop the bleeding.

    • It is time to put a stop to the iPhone-level annual fees. Seriously.

  • I don’t think it’s worth it! I was going to upgrade my CSP this year, but decided not to after the price increase.

    • Yeah probably not this year. I’d say Priority Pass offers the most value and if you won’t be traveling much, you really won’t be using the benefits.

  • Benefits aren’t worth the price increase.

    • I’m in agreement with you but there’s no one best solution for many people. For some the new benefits are amazing. For some the new benefits do absolutely nothing but the extra $100 is still worth it, and for some it just may have priced us out of a premium card. I may be the latter…

  • Good post. I like the breakdown you did of how the card would benefit you. It’s nice to have an example. I would have to have another benefit because like you said if you have delivery or use lyft often, etc it’s not great for me right now. I don’t travel as much right now so all the card with a higher fee will be examined closer once I do travel more and can take advantage of all the benefits.

  • Thanks for the analysis. I transfer my points to Hyatt or other partners where I can get more than 1.5 cents of value, so the CSP seems better for me. Also, I’m well over 5/24, which makes it a moot point for now.

  • says:

    Love my CSR at $450, but not so much at $550. Since the $300 credit is a no brainer, is the extra $250 worth it? The best benefit for me is the Priority Lounge access, especially overseas (I REALLY wish PP had better domestic lounge access at ORD, DFW, etc.).

    So, how much will I be traveling overseas next year? (already paid the $450 for 2020). Well, if the coronavirus sticks around, maybe not so much. I’ll probably ditch the CSR and move on to a different, cheer card with long access.

    Overall, I think Chase may have squeezed too much of the value out of the CSR.

  • I think just comparing CSR with CSP isn’t a complete comparison. You also want to compare CSR with AmEx Plat ecosystem and Citi Prestige ecosystem.

    • Well, you could treat it like a playoff system, kind of. Pick the best Chase card (or ecosystem) and compare the top system from each setup. So you could weigh just the CSP and CSR (also assuming they’re paired with the two Freedoms) and decide which of those two cards is better for you.

      Then compare to Amex’s setup, then to Citi’s, etc. Just compare two things at a time and pick which is better slowly making eliminations.

  • The Arts Traveler says:

    Is the annual $550 for Chase Sapphire Reserve card worth it? The answer is NO.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    I’m disappointed in the annual fee increase. The results may be worth it, but i prefer Uber over lyft anyway. Worth looking into though.

    • I’d argue the results aren’t worth it and if I recall correctly, Chase is a financial backer to both Lyft and DoorDash too.

  • Thanks for the interest. Still not sure it would be worth leaving AmEx Platinum. However, might be worth it to have both cards. Your take on that possibility?

    • It really depends on whether you can get value from the benefits that don’t overlap (i.e. Priority Pass lounges). I personally have the Amex Plat, CSR, and Prestige.

      I easily cover Platinum costs with Uber, Saks 5th Credit, and the Airline Fee credit + I visit the Centurion Lounge 5-10x per year.

      For CSR, now $250/year after the $300 credit, I’ll recover most of that via Lyft Pink with around $200/month in Lyft charges. I could drop the CSR if they don’t make Lyft pink permanent after the first year.

      For Prestige, I easily use the 4th night free 2x per year, so I come out way ahead on that card.

      It’s also worth noting that Amex eliminated Priority Pass restaurants. I use the $28 per person meal credit with my spouse a few times a year, so that adds another $56-$112 in value (but that benefit could be with either the CSR or Prestige priority pass.

      Again, really comes down to overall travel habits.

    • If you can legitimately use the credits, the Amex plat is a powerful card. Hotel status, lounge access… Chase has none of that. (Priority Pass but they both have that.)

  • I don’t really use the Lyft or Door Dash benefits, so I would rather they kept the price down and not offered these.

    • Unfortunately I can guarantee you the price increase was happening no matter what. The “extra” benefits we got were added to help justify the increase, not the other way around. These new benefits did not cost Chase $100. Period.

      OR one exception would be yes these extra benefits do cost Chase more than $100, but they’re temporary and help ease customers into the new longterm increase before falling back to normal but we now pay $550 instead of $450.

      • I agree. I think Chase needed to raise the fee and then looked for additional benefits rather than added benefits but the had to increase the fee. But who knows. Doordash and Lyft are both heavily backed by Chase so it very well could have been a desire to push these services and subsequently increase the fee.

  • Lynn R Lott says:

    I just got my CSR – to get in under the increase in AF. Most of these new benefits don’t help me – especially the Lyft Pink since it’s just 15% off vs. actual cash in your account like the AMEX Platinum gives you with Uber. I’ll try it for a year. I’m hoping the $28 pp (for 2) Priority Pass restaurant meals will pay off. And, of course, there’s the $300 travel benefit. So the jury is still out for me.

    • Likewise here. Lyft and Doordash do nothing for me so I got a $100 increase for no new benefits. If they would add and/or keep the grocery category, that would change things a lot.

      • I would love for the grocery category to stay. The green, gold, and platinum card are all legit competitors to the CSR so Chase REALLY needs to up their game.

  • I also was disappointed in the annual fee increase but I will keep my card. Points, Priority Pass, Travel Trip Interruption, Lyft, etc keeps me in.

  • I would guess many (like myself) won’t really see much value from the card changes — it will be a negative. But certainly some will see a benefit.

    • It doesn’t quite make sense (well it does – they’re copying Amex). Lyft and Doordash aren’t really travel items. I definitely lose out by paying $100 more for no additional benefits.

  • The $300 credit is used almost as a given, add in the door dash that nearly pays for the card even if you only take a weekend trip somewhere. CDW is good, so is Priority Pass if you fly much. I currently have Amex Biz Plat, Citi Prestige and CSR but am probably going to cancel the Biz plat as the higher fee isn’t really worth it with the loss of the $200 American Airlines Gift card option…that made the fee worth it but the other benefits don’t seem to be worth the increase, between husband and me it is not worth it. Funny, Amex recently sent offer for 2nd BizPlat card….thought it was weird?

    • It used to be a given. In the current COVID climate….not so much.

      • Chase has made it far easier to use during COVID and to my knowledge you still earn points when you trigger the credit unlike when you trigger it on travel purchases.

  • In my opinion yes. Overall, the roster of transfer partners is superior to the closest competition (AmEx), and the annual credits the CSR offers are easier to utilize, and the Lyft offer is a decent addition. For me, the CSR is still the overall winner amongst premium CCs.

    • Sadly a lot of these benefits are temporary. I don’t think Doordash or Lyft Pink will be staying longterm.

  • Joseph Petrovic says:

    Still keeping it too, because the Priority Pass restaurant access easily provides my family with over $600 in benefits annually. I’m no fan of increased fees, but even if none of these other benefits had been added, it was still a keeper. If they pull an Amex and drop that though, the math immediately changes.

    • I’m quite jealous. We don’t travel often so we can’t use PP much. 🙁

    • Yeah, between that and $300 travel credit, it pretty much pays for itself….errr….paid for itself. Not sure how I can justify it with no traveling now though.