Posted by Chuck on May 16, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on May 16th, 2017 | by Chuck

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Chase to Change Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit from Calendar Year to Cardmember Year on May 21

Terms on the Chase website state that beginning May 21, 2017, the $300 annual travel credit will be based on the cardmember year, not the calendar year.

As we know, Chase and most premium cards (CSR, Amex Platinum, Amex PRG, Citi Prestige) base their annual credits on the calendar year, not cardmember year. This is golden for signup bonus chasers since we get the credit twice within the first year, effectively creating two signup bonuses on these cards. (In the case of Chase, the year – for this purpose – ends with the date that the December billing statement is generated.)

One place on the Chase website now states that for applications submitted on May 21 and beyond, the travel credit will go based on the cardmember year, not the calendar year. This was only recently updated within the past couple of days, and other places on the Chase site have not yet been updated.

Obviously, this is terrible news, but I honestly never understood why they all don’t do this. It’s such a simple money-saver that doesn’t look any worse on paper. Unclear if Chase got the ‘idea’ from US Bank Altitude or it’s just a coincidence.

It’s still possible to get the airline credit twice by squeezing $300 in at the beginning of the second cardmember year and then cancelling the card within 30-days of when the fee hit. But it certainly makes it harder, and most ‘normal’ people won’t do that.

RelatedWhat Counts For The $300 Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit?

FAQ

Will the change affect existing cardholders?

Those who already have the card or who apply through May 20 will be able to get two travel credits in their first year.

Will the change take effect for existing cardholders?

It’s not clear at this time if Chase will change the terms over for existing cardholders as well. Not that it makes much a difference (in the first year you’ll get two airline credits and in subsequent years you’ll get one, in any case), but it is important to know the exact dates to take advantage of the credit.

I’m sure Chase will send out a mailer if/when the system of dates changes on the card. If they do change it for existing cardmembers, it could create a one-time opportunity to get another extra $300 credit out of this. More likely, this won’t happen.

Should I apply for the card now?

Hopefully, if you are eligible, you already applied when the bonus was 100k. That said, if someone is on the fence to apply now (e.g. just got out of 5/24, just started churning, whatever), I think it makes sense to apply now before May 21 with the 50k bonus, and not wait with the hopes that the bonus will increase again to 100k.

Credit goes to Travelafterwork for picking up on this change



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David
David

Ouch!

Blue
Blue

Welp, I’m in the didn’t get the 100K bonus…but I’m getting off the fence right now.

MSer
MSer

That didn’t take long.

TheRewardBoss

Just a small point of clarification on the title. It’s travel credit (not just airline credit).

P
P

So, If I applied now (05/16/2017) and get auto-approved, it would be calendar year.
I would get for 2017 and 2018 and then resets on my anniversary year in 2018 (around 05/16/2018) and get again?
Then, if you cancel within 30 days of the annual fee posting, can you still get your full annual fee back?

Hopefully, Amex does not follow.

Blue
Blue

I’m actually hoping this might be a triple dip possibility:
Apply now: Between now and December
From January to May: Second
May Cardmember Anniversary to following May: Third

sirtheta

I don’t think that would work. The terms clearly state that cardmembers who already have the card are locked in with the calendar year metric.

P
P

True, but Chase might change that in about a year. 🙂

sirtheta

I don’t see why they would, though, since that would be very dumb on their part.

The problem with doing things by calendar year is that people can almost always double dip. Or rather, they get 1 extra dip – so with 1 year, it’s a double dip, but with 8 years, you get 9 credits. Switching to cardmember year (a) makes more sense for consumers and (b) align things more properly so that getting an extra dip is rare.

But if Chase were to switch everyone from calendar year to cardmember year, they’d wind up exposing themselves to *another* extra dip, free of charge! Given that the travel credit is straight up $300 out of their pocket and there are a lot of CSR cardholders out there, I can’t see them being *that* foolish.

kaztrator
kaztrator

This isn’t rocket science. They’ll just say you can only get up to $300 per cardmember year. If you already used your calendar year credit, you’ve maxed out at 300 and that’s it.

sirtheta

@kaztrator Sure, in which case you wouldn’t be able to triple dip. Either way, I don’t see any possibility of a triple dip due to them changing the way the credit works.

Peter
Peter

I hope they put the date to use the credit by “End of Cardmember Year Date” in the UR portal. Otherwise it’s tough to know for sure when the charge needs to post by.

LC
LC

Chase is quickly turning into the “ultimate” BRAT bank

Ravi
Ravi

Hi Chuck
Do you know what happens to the points when refundable flight ticket booked through CSR ultimate reward portal is cancelled? Do I get back my points or do I get a some other sort of refund?

VL
VL

With refundable hotel bookings the points come back.. you can always call Chase and they will confirm the same situation with flights

Mike
Mike

“It’s still possible to get the airline credit twice by squeezing $300 in at the beginning of the second cardmember year and then cancelling the card within 30-days of when the fee hit. But it certainly makes it harder, and most ‘normal’ people won’t do that.”

So I already got my 2 calendar year credits. My renewal is coming in August. Does that mean if I spend my $300 and then cancel in August I won’t incur the membership fee and effectively got 3x $300 credits?

JuicyJosh
JuicyJosh

I believe existing cardholders should be ok. If Chase does decide to change terms. You do have the right to reject the terms and the card will remain active til your expiration date. I am sure most of us plan to bail before second annual fee anyways.

Mordechai
Mordechai

Ha ha – I can’t help but laugh because it was never free money, but was always advertised as so. Now it doesn’t even cover the full annual fee. #endtrolling

Dave
Dave

Still trying to figure out what this means for me. I got my card in Aug-Sep 2016, got the $300 right away, then again in January 2017. When Sept 2017 rolls around (new “cardmember” year), will I get another $300? If I not, then I assume I’ll have to wait til January 2018. All in all, I don’t see how this really affects existing cardholders in a meaningful negative manner.

Dave
Dave

Actually, the only potentially harmful thing they can do is say that my January credit counts toward my upcoming 2017-2018 cardmember year, thus disqualifying me from credits until Sept 2018– but I’d be shocked if Chase does that.

wwllmm
wwllmm

this. very confusing… so the 100K cohort who have already gotten 2 rounds (2016+2017) get ANOTHER after May 21st?

TG
TG

It wouldn’t be confusing if you actually read the text. Nothing changes for people who applied before May 21.

wwllmm
wwllmm

I see. So Jan 1, 2018, we get another travel credit?

Guy Bucktastik
Guy Bucktastik

If your December statement is generated on Jan 1, 2018, then yes, you will get another travel credit on Jan 1, 2018.

I would be surprised if a December statement is generated in January.

Matt
Matt

When I got my CSR card I was able to product convert my CSP to a freedom unlimited and received back a pro-rated amount of my annual fee. Couldnt this also work with the CSR card in the event you get charged your 2nd annual fee prior to “double dipping” the travel bonus? So in other words, in the event you dont time it right, you can still get the travel bonus and pay a fraction of the annual fee instead.

Nick
Nick

I’d rather have this then Chase nerfing the card entirely

NinjaX
NinjaX

ha. not surprised chase is change crap on the CSR. not even the first year yet. altho amex 50% was prob the worst “woops jk” event. in any case, i find it hilarious pple continuously talk about how awesome the CSR is and what a total keeper card vs the amex plat $550 AF. cmon chase, show your true intentions. just come out and do it. we all know you will slash and burn the benefits…

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