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Did you know there's a no-annual-fee Sapphire card?

May 20, 2020
5 min read
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and its ultra-premium sibling, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, are two of the most popular rewards credit cards on the market today. But did you know that there is also a no-annual-fee version of these cards?

The no-annual-fee Chase Sapphire Credit Card is no longer open to new applications, but you can request a product change to this card by calling Chase.

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Card details for the no-annual-fee Sapphire card

The card earns 2x on dining and 1x on all other purchases. It’s a watered-down version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred (with no earning on travel spending; although the Sapphire Preferred card offers 3x on dining). While you do have access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, the card doesn’t get you a redemption bonus like the other Sapphire cards do. Nor will you be able to transfer points to partners — unless you also have an Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.

The card does get a few of Chase's partner benefits and travel protections, though. You'll get 5x on Lyft rides and a complimentary DashPass membership for a minimum of one year (when you enroll by March 31, 2022), both of which are part of Chase's partnership with Lyft and DoorDash, respectively.

You'll also get a solid list of protections:

Is it worth it to downgrade to the plain Sapphire card?

A common strategy for Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders who are eligible for a new bonus after 48 months is to downgrade to a no-annual-fee Chase card before re-applying to earn the bonus again. But remember that Chase only lets you have one Sapphire card at a time. If you downgrade to the Chase Sapphire, you likely won’t be eligible to apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve. In this case, it doesn’t make sense to downgrade to this card.

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

If you currently have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve that you just can’t justify the annual fee for anymore, it may be tempting to downgrade your card to the no-annual-fee Chase Sapphire Card to get the bare minimum of benefits.

However, there are also other Chase no-annual-fee credit cards that could make more sense.

Other downgrade options

Chase offers two rewards-earning, no-annual-fee credit cards that you can downgrade to from the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve: the Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants) and Chase Freedom Unlimited.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5% back on purchases, making it a great option for everyday spending. The Chase Freedom is a rotating category card that offers 5% on quarterly categories ($1,500 cap on bonus spending each quarter you enroll) — current bonus categories for Q2 2020 include streaming services, groceries, gym memberships and fitness clubs.

If you are looking to downgrade your card as an alternative to canceling but don’t plan on using the card often, the Chase Slate is another option. It doesn’t earn rewards and doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus, so you wouldn’t be sacrificing a potential bonus by downgrading. Just make sure you use any Ultimate Rewards left in your account or you could lose them.

The information for the Chase Freedom and Chase Slate has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom line

Yes, there is a no-annual-fee Chase Sapphire card out there. But 99% of the time, you’ll be better off sticking with one of the Chase Sapphire cards that charge an annual fee or one of the Chase Freedom cards.

Featured image by Chase credit cards are some of the most popular offerings available. (Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
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.