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On Jan. 12, 2020, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® added new limited-time benefits and boosted its already-high annual fee from $450 to $550. And it’s not good news for cardholders who prize the premium general travel card for its versatility.
The new extras — perks for the meal delivery platform DoorDash and ridesharing service Lyft — are relatively niche, and won’t be worth $100 for most. And in some locales, they might be unusable, especially in more rural areas. The benefits are also available only for a limited time, making the card more unpredictable. What will the card offer after these benefits expire? It’s unclear.
Overall, though, the card’s core benefits remain the same, and it’s still a strong choice for travelers. It’s just a little less valuable than before. Here’s what to know about the changes, and how they’ll affect existing cardholders.
Before and after
The new version of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has all the same features as the old version — just with a higher annual fee plus Lyft and DoorDash perks. Now, for a limited time, the card will offer:
- $60 annual credit for DoorDash in 2020 and 2021.
- Complimentary DashPass subscription for at least one year, which saves you money on DoorDash delivery fees.
- Complimentary Lyft Pink membership for one year, which gets you discounts and perks with the ridesharing service.
- 10 points per dollar spent on Lyft purchases through March 2022.
Here’s a look at the changes.
The changes are inspired by cardholders’ lifestyles, according to the issuer.
“We’ve heard from our cardmembers that food delivery and rideshare are increasingly becoming part of their daily lives and spending in these areas has grown particularly since the launch of Sapphire Reserve,” said Catherine Hogan, president of Chase branded cards, in a news release.
Other high-end cards have recently added similar benefits, too. In 2017, following the launch of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, for example, The Platinum Card® from American Express added credits for Uber. In 2018, the American Express® Gold Card added dining credits for select purchases, including purchases made through the meal delivery services Seamless and Grubhub.
Annual fee increase
Starting Jan. 12, 2020, new Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders will have to pay an annual fee of $550, up from $450. For existing cardholders, the annual fee depends on when your card renews:
- Cards that renew after April 1, 2020, will also be charged $550.
- Cards that renew before that date will be charged $450 for one more year, then the new annual fee of $550.
The new version of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with two Lyft benefits: A Lyft Pink membership and bonus rewards on Lyft rides. For existing cardholders, both benefits will be available as of Jan. 12, 2020. What to know:
- Earning bonus rewards on Lyft is automatic. Cardholders will automatically start earning 10 points per dollar spent on Lyft rides, through March 2022, according to Chase. There’s no activation required as long as you’ve set the card as your default payment method in the Lyft app.
- Lyft Pink requires activation. Cardholders get one year of Lyft Pink, Lyft’s membership program, upon activation and receive up to 15% off car rides, relaxed cancellations, priority airport pickups and up to three 30-minute bike and scooter rides per month.
Is it worth it? Ten points per dollar spent for a limited time is the richest rewards rate you can currently earn on rideshare spending with a credit card, making it an outstanding deal for those who use Lyft often.
The Lyft Pink membership offers weak value for most, though — even though the company normally charges $19.99 a month, or roughly $240 a year for it. Its core value is a modest 15% discount, so if you had a paid membership, you’d have to spend $1,600 a year on Lyft just to break even on savings, setting aside the other perks.
With the new version of the card, you’ll get $60 in DoorDash credit in 2020 and 2021 and complimentary access to DashPass for at least one year, which can help you save on delivery fees. For existing cardholders, the $60 credit will be available starting Jan. 12, 2020. The DashPass perk has been available since Jan. 7, 2020. Keep in mind:
- The DoorDash credit is automatic. You’ll receive the $60 statement credit for DoorDash purchases with no activation required. Chase confirms that the credit won’t come in installments; it’s all available immediately. When using this $60 credit, you’ll still earn 3 points per dollar spent on dining on your card.
- You’ll get another $60 DoorDash credit on Jan. 1, 2021. This promotion runs through 2020 and 2021.
- The complimentary DashPass membership requires activation. You must activate by Dec. 31, 2021. You’ll get the membership for at least one year. After the complimentary membership ends, you’ll have to pay to continue using the service. With DashPass, you won’t have to pay delivery fees on orders over $12, but service fees and other fees will apply.
Is it worth it? If you use DoorDash — or could use DoorDash — you’ll have no trouble getting $60 of value from the $60 credit, which is automatic and easy to use. The complimentary DashPass trial could offer some value to those who use DoorDash often, too. However, the savings from these perks alone won’t justify the increased annual fee, unless you’re already a very frequent DoorDash user.