[Update 5/31/20: The Pay Yourself Back 1.5 feature is now live. Works to reimburse purchases from past 90 days. You don’t lose any points on the purchase when using this feature; it’s just an additional statement credit.]
Chase announced exciting new (temporary) benefits for the Sapphire Reserve and Preferred cards, including a 1.5/1.25 cents-per-point cashout option to offset select charges, easy $300 travel credit usage, and a lower $450 annual fee renewal.
1.5/1.25 Pay Yourself Back
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Chase has added a new way to cash out points for a statement credit at 1.5/1.25 cents per point on the Reserve/Preferred, respectively. Previously, you needed to book travel through Chase to get the 1.5/1.25 option.
Valid from May 31 through September 30, they’ve added additional categories for a simple statement credit to offset purchases in these categories:
- Grocery Stores
- Dining (includes restaurants, takeout, and eligible delivery services)
- Home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowes
- Select charitable organizations, including: Feeding America, World Central Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, Equal Justice Initiative, Leadership Conference Education Fund, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Urban League, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, United Negro College Fund, International Medical Corps, American Red Cross, and United Way.
Statement credit will post within 3 business days.
With the Pay Yourself BackSM tool, your Ultimate Rewards® points are worth 50% more when you redeem them for statement credits against purchases in our current categories: grocery stores, dining (including restaurants, takeout, and eligible delivery services), and home improvement stores such as Home Depot® and Lowes®. Just choose an eligible purchase you made in the past 90 days, apply points for all or part of the purchase, and you’ll get a statement credit. Take advantage of this promotion through September 30, 2020.
$300 Credit Options
The Sapphire Reserve card gets an annual $300 travel credit which offsets travel purchases. From June through December, they’ve added other categories whose purchases get offset as well, up to $300:
- Grocery Store
- Gas Stations
From June 1 through December 31, 2020, gas station and grocery store purchases will also count toward earning your Travel Credit. You’ll also earn points on these purchases (and, as always, after your first $300 in travel purchases, you’ll immediately start earning 3x points on travel).
(It’s interesting that if you use the credit for travel purchases you will NOT earn points on the $300 purchase – a change Chase made years back to stop those $300 from earning points – whereas if you use the credit on grocery/gas you WILL earn points on those $300. See this follow-up blog post where we discuss this point further.)
Lower $450 Annual Fee
Chase had previously announced that there would be a $100 credit after the $550 annual fee posts on the Sapphire Reserve card for cardholders who have a renewed card year from April 1 – July 1. They’ve now added that card members with a renewal from July 1 through the end of 2020 will simply have a lower $450 annual fee.
(No change or new benefit for Sapphire Preferred.)
Other benefits, previously announced:
- The Sapphire Reserve/Preferred card earns 5x/3x at grocery stores through June 30, up to $1,500 in purchases per month
- Sapphire and Freedom cards earn 5x on DoorDash and Tock through May 31
- Chase Automatically Extending Minimum Spend Period For Cards Opened January 1st – March 31st
- Redeem United Miles For 1.5¢ Towards Chase United Card Annual Fees
- Older news: $120 in DoorDash credits ($60 in 2020, $60 in 2021) and complimentary Lyft Pink membership
Major benefits here. A lot of people have huge stashes of Ultimate Rewards points, and – with not much travel happening – might jump at the change of cashing them out of 1.5 cents per point. In fact, I can see many people upgrading/applying to the Sapphire Reserve just for this benefit.
I assume the lower annual fee will only apply to renewals; new cardholders will likely remain at $550. (Unclear what the annual fee will be for those who upgrade an existing Sapphire card; one report is that it’ll be $550.) The other benefits, such as 1.5 cashout and expanded travel credit options, will apply to existing cardholders as well.
There are lots of people, as well, who value the points more than 1.5 and won’t be interested in the new cashout option. Regardless, the easier Travel Credit option and the lower annual fee is really interesting news.
With this news, especially the 1.5 cashout option, I think I’d give Chase the medal for best modifications due to coronavirus, though it needs more analysis, to be honest.
- Chase Announces Major Temporary Benefits On Sapphire Reserve/ Preferred ‘Pay Yourself Back’ (1.5 Cents Cashout; Easy Travel Credit; $450 Renewal)
- Should You Upgrade To The Chase Sapphire Reserve?
- Reminder: You Can Upgrade To The Chase Sapphire Preferred/Reserve From Chase Slate/Freedom Cards
- Does Chase Deduct Points Earned When ‘Pay Yourself Back’ Is Used? (No, Good News)
- Does Upgrading To Chase Sapphire Reserve Restart My 48-Month Signup Bonus Clock?
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Do You Earn Points On The $300 Grocery/Gas Credit? (Yes)