Significant Devaluation Coming to Some Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits
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On the heels of a few disappointing changes to Chase credit cards last month (the bank suddenly and silently removed some benefits of United co-branded cards) and rumors that the price protection and return protection perks could be removed from the entire Chase credit card portfolio, there's more bad news for Chase cardholders.
There are three key aspects to this update:
- Customers will no longer earn 3X points on travel purchases that qualify for the $300 annual travel credit.
- Priority Pass Select access will be limited to two guests per visit. A fee of $27 will be charged to their Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card for each additional guest.
- Price Protection will no longer be available.
This announcement appears to be an internal document, as it references early May as the time customers will be notified. The changes are scheduled to go into effect on August 26. The Points Guy has reached out to Chase for confirmation.
Depending on how you use the card's benefits, these modifications could have a major impact on your experience with the card.
The first change noted should hit everyone about the same: a loss of 900 points ($300 x 3 points) per year. At the very least, that's a loss of $9 cash back, or $13.50 in travel purchases made through the Chase travel portal. At current TPG valuations of Chase Ultimate Rewards, that's a loss in value of $18.90 per year.
The Priority Pass Select benefit really stings for those that were drawn to the Chase Sapphire Reserve for its unlimited guesting feature, including those that frequently travel with large groups of friends or family. Cardholders who typically travel with only one or two companions — or travelers who have multiple Priority Pass memberships from other cards — won't be seriously impacted.
The elimination of price protection is a major loss for those who utilize this feature. As Chase still shows on the Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits page, this benefit currently provides up to $500 refund per claim, up to $2,500 per year:
It's disappointing to hear that Chase is making these changes. After all, one of the key selling points of the Chase Sapphire Reserve has been that its Priority Pass membership includes unlimited guests.
If this was being abused by some cardholders, why not settle for a high-but-reasonable number of four or five guests? Dropping it all the way down to two feels punitive for cardholders that may have relied on this benefit when traveling with family.
Also, it's understandable why Chase might be interested in cutting the price protection benefit on no annual fee cards such as the Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants) and Chase Freedom Unlimited. The Chase Sapphire Reserve, however, is meant to be a premium card (and with an annual fee of $550, it certainly has a premium price tag). It seems like a cheap cutback to remove this benefit entirely.
H/T: Doctor of Credit