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CSR cardholders: You can now activate your free Lyft Pink membership. Here's how.

Jan. 12, 2020
5 min read
CSR cardholders: You can now activate your free Lyft Pink membership. Here's how.
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Starting Jan. 12, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can activate one free year of Lyft Pink membership. Along with $60 per year in DoorDash credits, this is one of the major benefits recently added to the card as part of increasing the annual fee to $550 per year.

Should I activate Lyft Pink now?

Before we get into how you can activate the benefit, let's talk about whether or not you should. The new benefit is for one free year of Lyft Pink membership, and the deadline for activating the benefit is March 31, 2022. That means that you can activate the free year anytime in the next 27 months. So, there's certainly no hurry to activate now.

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If you aren't planning on using Lyft anytime soon, you should wait until you're going to use it before activating the membership. Personally, I primarily use Uber within the U.S. thanks to the monthly Uber credits and other Uber benefits from The Platinum Card® from American Express. And I have found that Lyft's coverage overseas is limited.

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Since the new CSR Lyft Pink benefit will be available for a few more years, I'm planning to hold off on activating until I'm ready to take advantage of it.

How to activate your free year of Lyft Pink

Currently, there doesn't seem to be a way to activate the free year of Lyft Pink using the Lyft website. When I go to the Lyft Pink website, Lyft will let me sign up for Lyft Pink using my Chase Sapphire Reserve. However, it's at the standard rate of $20 (plus tax) per month:

Instead, you'll need to open your Lyft app. As I had already had my Chase Sapphire Reserve entered as a payment card in my Lyft profile, I was prompted immediately to "tap to activate a free year of Lyft Pink":

Clicking on this prompt loaded the following page listing the benefits of Lyft Pink with the option to "activate for free" with the click of a button.

If you haven't added your Chase Sapphire Reserve to your Lyft account, you're going to need to do so and set the CSR as your primary payment method before you can activate the free membership.

What are the benefits of Lyft Pink?

Without the Chase Sapphire Reserve benefit, Lyft Pink costs $20 (plus tax) per month, and it provides 15% off rides, priority airport pickups, three free cancellations per month (as long as you rebook within 15 minutes of canceling), three free bike or scooter rides per month and "surprise offers and upgrades."

TPG's Liz Hund recently put Lyft Pink to the test and found that it saved her $63 in a month before subtracting the standard monthly subscription. For those that live in big cities and rely on ride-hailing services, Lyft Pink is going to be a very valuable benefit and the savings may easily cover the increased annual fee -- at least for the first year.

However, there are certainly other cardholders -- from expats overseas to car owners who don't use ride-hailing services -- that find that the new perks on the CSR aren't worth the increased annual fee.

What are the other benefits of the Lyft partnership?

Whether or not you activate Lyft Pink, the Chase Sapphire Reserve should become your go-to for Lyft rides. Starting today, you'll earn 10x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on Lyft. At current TPG valuations, that's a return of 20% on your Lyft rides.

Even if you don't maximize your Ultimate Rewards through transferrable partners, CSR cardholders can redeem Ultimate Rewards through the Chase Travel Portal at 1.5 cents each. So, you'll get 15 cents toward your next flight or hotel stay for every $1 you spend on Lyft using your Chase Sapphire Reserve.

If you don't have a CSR, you'll still get 5% cash back for cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

What are the other new benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve?

In addition to the Lyft benefit, the new DoorDash benefits kick in Jan. 12, 2020. For both 2020 and 2021, CSR cardholders will receive up to $60 in credits toward DoorDash orders. Unlike the Lyft Pink benefit, the new DoorDash benefit doesn't require activation.

If you haven't read all of the coverage of the new benefits and annual fee increase on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, catch up here:

Featured image by AFP/Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.