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Chase Says Sapphire Reserve Retention Rate Is Better Than Expected

Oct. 12, 2017
5 min read
Chase Says Sapphire Reserve Retention Rate Is Better Than Expected
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When the Chase Sapphire Reserve burst onto the scene just over a year ago, the credit card industry — and all of us points and miles junkies — were taken by storm. Not only did the card offer an outstanding 100,000-point sign-up bonus, but the earning potential on the card is also fantastic. If you're even a little like me, you're traveling. A lot. Which also means that you're eating out. A lot. The ability to earn three points per dollar spent on both of those categories is incredible. Throw in a $300 annual travel credit and other lucrative perks and the value proposition becomes even more appealing. Plus, the Ultimate Rewards points earned with the card are some of the most valuable ones around and are able to be transferred to a multitude of partners, which allow you to redeem for some incredible travel experiences.

One night at the Park Hyatt Maldives will cost you just 25,000 Chase points transferred to Hyatt. Rooms usually go for $1,000+ per night.

The card has been scrutinized heavily, with some wondering if it was too lucrative for consumers. I said that we'll truly be able to gauge the success of the CSR once the time to renew came along — despite all the perks, there were bound to be some people turned off by the $450 annual fee. Apparently, however, not that many feel that the high annual fee is unjustified. According to a report from Bloomberg, JP Morgan Chase has said that many cardholders are renewing the card for another year, and that it's had a positive effect across Chase's range of cards — spending on all cards rose 13% over last year and card revenue rose 3% according to Chase's CFO Marianne Lake.

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Honestly, I'm not surprised. It's just so easy to get a ton of value from this card — in just over a year of earning and burning with the card, I've leveraged the plentiful transfer partners to book incredible awards, like a one-way flight from Bali (DPS) all the way back to New York (JFK) in Korean Air first class for just 95,000 Ultimate Rewards points that were transferred to Korean Air's SkyPass program. Plus, I've been saved by the card's built-in purchase protection, taken advantage of special access and events provided by the card and more. The easy-to-use annual travel credit effectively reduces the annual fee to a reasonable $150, and the additional perks like a Priority Pass membership and a $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck are the icing on the cake.

I flew first class on Korean Air thanks to the CSR's sign-up bonus.

There's no doubt the card has been tremendously popular for the issuer — Chase ran out of the metal it uses to make the card after it first launched, and now it's now begun to clamp down on access to the card. You're no longer able to apply for new accounts with both the CSR and its sibling the Chase Sapphire Preferred, likely because Chase knows just how valuable its points are. With the issuer taking steps to limit access to the card, it's not unreasonable to believe that if you canceled your account you wouldn't be able to get the card again, or at the very least get another sign-up bonus. It'd also be hard to go back to earning less than 3x on dining and travel — I've found that I've earned significantly more points with the CSR than I would have if I had only been using the CSP (which offers 2x on dining and travel).

Hearing that Chase is seeing these kinds of numbers is great news for consumers. If the issuer wasn't making money on the card, or if people were ditching the product en masse, that could lead to Chase changing the value proposition of the card. Hopefully these findings will encourage Chase to stay in this game for the long-haul. As long as this card presents such as strong value, it'll be the workhorse in my credit card arsenal.

Finally, the card has become a cultural phenomenon and pushed the battle of the high-end credit cards into the limelight. Having the CSR permits you to join "the cool kids club" in a way — whenever I'm out to dinner with friends or even on a date, if the person isn't paying with CSR I can't help myself but give them a lesson on why the Sapphire Reserve is a no-brainer — maybe that's why I'm still single!

Did you decide to renew your Chase Sapphire Reserve for another year?

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

60,000 points
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®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • 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.
  • 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 every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    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®

    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • 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.
  • 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 every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more