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Chase Hires New Executive to Head the Sapphire Reserve Card

Dec. 11, 2017
2 min read
Chase Hires New Executive to Head the Sapphire Reserve Card
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Without a doubt, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is one of the best consumer credit cards to ever hit the market. With its premium benefits, favorable earning structure and quality redemption options, the card has quickly jumped to the front slot of many consumers' wallets. Now, the card is getting a new chief.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, JPMorgan Chase has hired Barclays PLC executive Matthew Massaua to oversee the Sapphire portfolio of cards — both the Sapphire Reserve and the Sapphire Preferred cards. Massaua will take over for Lisa Walker, who is the current chief of the Sapphire cards, effective January 1, 2018. As of that date, Walker will move to another position in Chase's card division.

While the card has been successful with consumers since its launch, that success has come at a price for Chase. In July, The Wall Street Journal reported that the bank was losing money on the card and was pushing for $200 million in cost cuts for the unit that oversees the CSR. One year after the launch of the CSR, the bank said that the card's retention rate was better than expected — in excess of 90%. The high retention rate means good news for the bank, as the annual fee is partially where it gets its revenue, along with interest rates on carried balances and merchant fees.

It's unclear what kind of changes, if any, Massaua has planned for the CSR. Since the card launched, there have already been some cost-cutting moves, such as reducing the card's sign-up bonus from 100,000 points to 50,000 points, and changing the $300 in annual travel credits from calendar year to cardmember year. If any changes are made to the card, hopefully they come with plenty of warning.