Some Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders reporting $550 renewals — here’s why

Mar 8, 2021

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In early February, Chase confirmed with TPG that existing Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders should have their cards renewed at $450 in 2021 through the end of March. It was meant to be an extension of a benefit offered in the second half of 2020 to help convince cardholders to hold onto their cards while travel was on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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While many cardholders have reported their cards renewing at $450 without issue, others have had a different experience. For some, their Chase Sapphire Reserve renewals in January and February have been processing at the full $550. And talking to a customer service representative didn’t yield any results on getting that changed.

So why are some cardholders able to renew at $450 while others are being charged the full $550?

We haven’t received official confirmation from Chase on any exclusions to the lowered annual fee benefit for the first quarter of 2021, but based on reader reports, it seems like it depends on how long you’ve carried the card. Readers who have had their Chase Sapphire Reserve for more than at least one year seem to be the ones seeing that $450 renewal. But those who applied in 2020 and are renewing their cards for the first time seem to be the group seeing the $550 annual fee.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of Chase’s top-tier travel credit cards. Still, many cardholders have considered canceling or downgrading in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the CDC’s continued recommendation to limit nonessential travel whenever possible.

Over the past year, Chase has made many adjustments to help cardholders continue to get value from its travel-centric cards, including extending the $300 travel credit on the CSR to also cover gas and grocery purchases through Dec. 31, 2021 and allowing cardholders to redeem points through the Pay Yourself Back program at 1.5 cents each for eligible non-travel purchases through Sept. 30, 2021.

And don’t forget that last year, the Chase Sapphire Reserve added new perks, including a complimentary year of Lyft Pink, 10x points on all Lyft rides, up to $120 in DoorDash credits, and a complimentary year of DashPass (which includes $0 delivery and reduced fees on eligible orders).

Bottom line

If you’ve only had the Chase Sapphire Reserve for a year, it looks like you may be excluded from the $100 annual fee discount that is currently in effect for Chase Sapphire cardholders with renewal dates through March 2021.

For those who are seeing the $450 renewal price, this temporary annual fee discount can help justify keeping the card even if you aren’t traveling as much. But for newer cardholders who haven’t been able to use their benefits and who may be stuck paying full price for their renewal — not all hope is lost.

Some cardholders have seen success requesting a retention offer for their Chase Sapphire Reserve in 2021. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll receive a retention offer, it never hurts to call customer service to ask.

Related: TPG readers find success with retention bonuses

Additional reporting by Victoria Walker. 

Featured photo by The Points Guy. 

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