Posted by William Charles on February 28, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on February 28th, 2018 | by William Charles

102

Chase Sapphire Reserve Statistics: 90% Retention Rate, $39,000 Annual Spend & More

At JPMorgan Chase’s investor day they had a strategic update, the whole PDF is worth a read to see the direction Chase is heading (digital digital digital) but they also released some interesting statistics regarding the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

  • Average income: $180,000
  • Average FICO score: 785
  • Average annual sales volume (card spend): $39,000
  • Sales active rate (number of cards with greater than zero gross sales divided by total open accounts): 96%
  • Renewals: 90%+

The presentation also touched on the value of these cardholders and the ability to cross sell them other products and services. They have run a pilot program for converting Chase Sapphire Reserve customers into Chase Private Client customers and also mortgage customers, with CFO Marianne Lake saying to expect more of this in 2018. I’m still shocked by the retention rates on this card being above 90% given the $450 annual fee. I don’t think this card makes sense to keep long term for most cardholders, but obviously the market disagrees. Those retention rates are as of December 2017 though, I wonder if we will see a drop off in retention after January as people grand fathered into the travel credit per calendar year downgrade/cancel their cards.

They also touched on their new branch strategy and renewals of Hyatt, Disney & Marriott portfolios. I always like to read these types of strategy documents and statistics, it gives you a better sense of how large the outside business is compared to our relatively small hobby and helps to give perspective. If Chase is really that confident in the renewal rates and turning those cardholders into CPC & mortgage customers, they should bring back the 100,000 offer ;).



102
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Leana

Very interesting! I’m also shocked that renewal rate for CSR is at 90%. What?! It is a good card, but not that good. Amex better step up and do something with Platinum product ASAP. Chase is absolutely crushing it.

Max
Max

This card is now incredibly overrated. At an effective annual fee of $150, you get a 50K signup bonus, these earning categories, a 1.5 redemption option, and transfer partners.

The transfer partners are inferior to the MR partners (and most normals wouldn’t use them anyway). The 1.5 redemption option is now challenged by the AR. The earning categories are now inferior to the AR (3x on all mobile purchases, and you can use Samsung Pay everywhere, including at every restaurant, so forget the 3x dining). The AR has an effective AF of $75.

All the other bells and whistles (TSA, GE, PP) you can get from the AR, the Citi Prestige, or the Ameriprise Plat, fee-free for the first year (so churn that).

The CSR is worth the signup bonus (but even then not the best card on the market, even a Citi AA 75K could be worth more) but not beyond that.

Joshua
Joshua

I agree with everything you said. The only distinction is banking on points across all cards. Citi/Chase/Amex partner overlap enables greater value than Altitude and that is what makes it more appealing than points. If you are someone who enjoys one or two cards, then the Altitude is the best card because you are not trying to capitialize on partner relationships.

Mike
Mike

CSR by itself may not seem like it’s worth it. But I typically max out 5 Freedom card bonus cats and other UR spend. So coupled with other Chase cards this card becomes premo for me.

86
86

+1

Lucian
Lucian

=1

CJS415
CJS415

Couldn’t have said it better Mike. You can’t really couple the AR with anything, but I have multiple Freedom’s and an Ink Cash coupled with a SR that produces more points than a single AR ever could. US Bank vs Chase, is there even a comparison here?

Chucks
Chucks

“The [UR] transfer partners are inferior to the MR partners”

Thems fighting words. UR partners are generally superior especially considering the 1:1 transfer rate.

You’re right though that the CSR advantage has been substantially eroded. How do you use Samsung Pay in your ordinary sit-down restaurant?

Yuri
Yuri

You ask your waiter to pay at POS. Works every time for me.

Leana

I agree and disagree. You are spot on when it comes to Altitude Reserve Card. Extremely underrated IMO. That said, some folks value transferability, and AR fails in this respect. Getting 1.5 cents on travel is great, but it usually won’t help with getting business/first class at a huge discount via “sweet spot” mileage redemption. Another area where AR fails is Priority Pass benefit, though you are right that it can be obtained elsewhere. But CSR offers unlimited coverage for the whole family, rivaled only by Prestige. AR card also fails when it comes to travel insurance. All in all, it’s different strokes for different folks, I guess. Personally, I canceled both CSR and Altitude Reserve because I detest high annual fees.

Won
Won

Also, the AR is only available to current US Bank customers. If they eliminated that requirement, there might be more converts from Chase. For me, I wouldn’t even be able to open a US Bank account even if I wanted to because there’s not a branch within 50 miles of my zip code.

Also, as other people have mentioned, there will be some people who get extremely good value from the transfer options and the highest tier Priority Pass.

As someone with the Ink Plus, I get 5x on basically everything through normal usage because I can buy Gyft cards for most of my purchases, so the CSR is not my main earning card, but that 1.5x travel bonus goes a long way. Where else are you going to get 7.5x consistently?

Lucian
Lucian

And let’s not forget the rotating categories of Freedom (5%*1.5).

Won
Won

+1
I don’t personally have the freedom because I opted for the FU, since most of my spend is 5x via Ink, but you’re absolutely right. For people who come close to maxing out categories, that’s like 30k points a year!!

Josh
Josh

What are the more common transfer partners one would use with American Express > Chase.

Jason
Jason

I have both and I prefer to earn on amex for ANA. RT business to Tokyo for 90k miles? Yes please.

Glenn
Glenn

That’s you. Typical CSR customers might not travel to Japan that often since most people don’t.

Yuri
Yuri

I like AR as well, but compared to Chase:
1. there is no transfer partners
2. Their portal sucks
3. RTR are for US merchants only, and limited by $500 for hotels and $250 for car rentals.
4. Protections are not as good as CSR
5. Lounge access is pathetic (4 visits per year with 1 guest)
But it’s possible to cash out your points at 1.5c each and it’s basically 4.5% cashback everywhere card with Samsung Pay. I would not use it for travel. I would not use it for restaurants. CSR has an edge over AR IMO.

CSR compared to Amex Platinum:
1. Easier to use reimbursements
2. Effective annual fee is $150 for both
3. Worse lounge access (PP only)
4. LHR is worse than FHR
5. Better transfer partners (IMO): WN, UA, KE, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott
6. Better earning rates (3x travel/dining) except for airfare.
7. Amex has more benefits but those are limited use mostly.
CSR has an edge over Amex, IMO, but it’s pretty close.

Richard
Richard

We are the 99%!

pier11
pier11

Maybe everyone who held card > 365 days and paid AF even temporarily are counted as one renewed the card.
I thought initially I’m against the stat. But later figured I’m formally into the 90%. Converted card only after January.

Matt B
Matt B

This is my initial reaction as well. I’d imagine there is some creativity in the definition of “renew”. In other words, anyone that held their card long enough for the annual fee to be charged, not even necessarily paid. I could see how they could technically consider that a renewal.

AdamH
AdamH

The marginal spend needed to jusify 3x vs 2x is not that high on this card given the $300 travel credit that effectively reduces the annual fee. If a customer has an average net income of nearly 200k I would be pretty shocked if most customers aren’t easily surpassing the break even point.

Chucks
Chucks

AdamH you’re thinking in a narrow-mindset. With the whole milleu of card options offering close or better than the 4.5% effective CSR bonus at lower fees it’s far more difficult to see it worth it. When the fee free Uber card offers up 4% back on dining and the US Bank altitude card offers 4.5% on travel at a lower net, or say you’re running through a Platinum card and have 5x on airfare, it’s harder to see levels of spend that justify continuing to pay the AF on the CSR.

Josh
Josh

For budget travelers or those who travel to places without common or reasonable award hotel dates, the Csr is awesome for the 1.5x redeemability. Yes you can get 4x back on uber but i’d Rather have 3x Ur points instead of a cash back equivalent.

projectx
projectx

“I’m still shocked by the retention rates on this card being above 90% given the $450 annual fee.”

I’ve read similar sentiments like this and I really don’t understand it, especially when it comes to mainstream users. Trip insurance for a family can run $150+, and add in the $300 travel credit the net AF on this card is $0. Now add in the point multipliers. Let’s say a family charges $5k for their vacation on this card, which isn’t hard to do. That’s at minimum $225 in rebate value which blows away a standard 2% card.

Drew
Drew

Issue is that most people aren’t buying travel insurance, so it shouldn’t be counted to offset the cost of the annual fee. Same with the other perks like Global Entry or Priority Pass.

Chucks
Chucks

Except most people don’t buy travel insurance, and even if it does matter, plenty of fee free cards offer travel insurance.

And comparing the card to a 2% card isn’t fair. Uber’s fee free card will give 4% on dining and 3% on travel, for instance.

Now maybe people don’t know about these other cards, but coming up with significantly more value after the $150 net fee is not obvious.

Lrdx
Lrdx

Remember you can transfer points between all Chase UR cards, so the CSR bumps the CF and CIC to 7.2%, CFU to 2.15%.

Sure, you can still find comparable combos, but you also hold CSR in a combo. Run your numbers, select the best combo available to you now, and be ready to move on to another combo if you find something better.

Charlie
Charlie

I don’t follow your math. Doesn’t the CSR bump the CF to 7.5% and the CFU to 2.25%?

Lrdx
Lrdx

You don’t get cashback on paying for travel with points.
You can get $150 worth of travel for 10000 points plus not receiving 450 points. So $150 = 10450 UR => 1 UR = 1.435c, so 1.5x UR = 2.153, 3x UR = 4.306c, 5x UR = 7.177c

The similar math for CIP: $125 = 10375 UR, CSP: $125 = 10250 UR

Yuri
Yuri

You will need to spend at least $95 in order to be able to transfer from Chase. CSR is only $55 more. That’t what you need to compare to.

DSP
DSP

An average of $39k blows my mind. I guess a lot of folks are really making use of the card. It would be interesting to know what % is 1x vs 3x. I bet a lot of average consumers are doing a lot of 1x purchases.

Personally, I think I spend more than average on dining, average on travel, but I could still only put maybe $10k a year on this card, tops.

Pedro
Pedro

The vast majority of people I know simply have one card, and use it no matter the occasion, getting the bonus categories by accident.

For years after my irresponsible balance carrying days, I was like this, just keeping a single card and charging everything to it, and paying off the balances and avoiding anything with an annual fee.

I now have my roulette of cards depending on the transaction, but it looks like most CSR customers are just sticking to a single card and charging everything to it.

Mike L
Mike L

Which is exactly what I hope they will continue doing. The less people that take advantage of multiple cards to increase earnings, the longer the ability to trasfer UR points between the CF/CFU and the CSR exists for those of us paying attention.

Yuri
Yuri

I’ve seen people using CSR at grocery stores and elsewhere. They just use it everywhere. I see similar patterns for Costco card.

John
John

These statistics almost sound too good to be true.

Mark

Because they most likely are. Where are they taking the average income data from for example?

Lrdx
Lrdx

From the application, probably.

Gabe
Gabe

Most people just keep this one card in their wallets and put all their spend on it. Many probably carry their balance too. We are a minority. This is what Chase knew when they offered this card.

Josh
Josh

I think the document says they’re carrying less of a balance Bc of higher income and credit scores. They hoping to make money via the relationship.

joe
joe

I don’t spend a ton on the card — maybe only $15K — almost exclusively on restaurants. But I’m paying the annual fee. I redeem 1.5MM-2MM UR a year these days. About 1MM UR annually goes to the 1.5 cent redemption vs the 1.25 cent i would get with my INKs. So the CSR is worth an extra $2500 per year for me.

Max
Max

How on earth do you redeem 2 million UR a year? Where do you get that from if you don’t put a lot on the card?

Blue
Blue

Other Chase products.

Max
Max

Like what? If he’s using 15K on CSR he wouldn’t be doing much on the CSP. Does he spend a giant amount on the CIP?

Lei
Lei

Guess he is a business owner, put more spending on ink cash and ink prefer. Plus churn other cards with family members…Or maybe a heavy professional MSer, like if you put 1m spending on CFU on pure VGC, it will get you 1.5 m UR points with a roughly 8-10k usd processing fee.

Kenny
Kenny

Probably on the Ink cards for business.

Yuri
Yuri

But those (Ink+/Bold) are limited to 250k points per year. If he has 8 of them, then it’s possible.

Cliff
Cliff

I’m betting it’s business spend from his Ink cards.

Darv
Darv

I don’t have the CSR yet but looking forward to it when I upgrade my CSP next month. It will definitely be worth keeping for 13 months to double dip the travel credit. But even beyond that, with as much travel as we have planned over the next 3 years, I will be keeping either the CSR or Prestige, along with an Amex Plat. Depending on how many UR points we can accumulate, the CSR might be worth keeping beyond a travel credit double dip. The CSR or CSP is worth keeping for many reasons, among them the primary car insurance coverage. But like others have said, it doesn’t take long to justify the $150 net fee after $300 credit, especially if redeeming URs in the travel portal.

HL
HL

I make use of the full $300 travel credit pretty easily with toll roads plus a couple of long weekend trips every year which nets me an effective $150 AF. Add on higher than average dining expenses, and the card is an easy surplus for me (above what I would get with CSP’s $95 AF and 2x category spending). I still have plenty of other spending to hit MSR’s on other cards. I’ve gotten a couple referrals as well, which is icing on the cake. No brainer for me to keep this card forever.

Pedro
Pedro

I have a lot of business travel which gets reimbursed so this card is a no brainer for me. Generally by the 1st month after the AF posts, I’ve maxed out the travel credit. Between that and 3x on meals I have no reason to get rid of it.

Blake
Blake

It’s not rocket science. Many people have an employer who will reimburse for, lets say, a hotel stay.

Scott
Scott

Exactly. My wife and I put just under $80k on the CSR last year (cardholder plus AU). The vast majority of which was reimbursed travel expenses from our employers. Under 5% were personal expenses, though those were at 3x as well.

Josh
Josh

If she’s staying the full week at hotels, the prestige should be up your alley.

Chaser123
Chaser123

I plan on being part of the 90%. This card is a keeper. Its a great mix. I am a big 3x spender and having this wth other chase cards alows me to maximize my UR earned on other cards as well.. Well worth the net annual fee.

Chaser123
Chaser123

BUT I will likely close my wifes account. I might even pay the AU fee but I havent fully thought that through yet.

bullfrog23414
bullfrog23414

Keeper for me. The $300 travel credit and restaurant 3x alone put me at about breakeven. I don’t really put any non-3x spend on the card. Since it’s my only premium card, and my home airport has a PP lounge, it’s a no-brainer to keep the card.

Pedro
Pedro

I think that this really shows the vast gulf between churners and the rest of the credit card market, and this is a GOOD thing. We can hack the system more efficiently so long as ‘average’ cardholders are feeding the money trough at Chase with high renewals and carrying balances.

brian
brian

It’s a bit naive to assume they still won’t crack down on MS’ers/churners/et al. If they don’t have other higher priority / lucrative ideas to place their efforts, they can sure as sh!t clamp down. The 5/24 I think did much of their job, as well as only able to have CSR or CSP. They may be happy w/ that too and move on to other priorities and later come back if the churners/MSers/etc get out of hand. It would be fairly easy for them to kill the VGC guys without spending much time/manpower on it.

And if they really wanted to clamp down, they always have the verbiage in there that if they feel you’re taking advantage of their points scheme…well, they could lock your points and all your credit w/ Chase….which, Amex has already proven willing to do.

I’m actually shocked the VGC’s and biz cards is still allowed/working. Perhaps they feel w/ many avenues to liquidate the VGC at WM, PO, etc being gone…they have time…or lack the will.

Back to Top ↑