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 June 30, 2021, adding a temporary 3x bonus category for groceries (on up to $1,000 per month) through April 30, 2021, and allowing cardholders to redeem points through the Pay Yourself Back program at 1.5 cents each for eligible non-travel purchases through April 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. 

2020 TPG Award Winner: Premium Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Reserve

SIGN-UP BONUS: 60,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on all travel and dining, $300 annual travel credit, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners and Reserve cardmembers will earn 3x points on grocery purchases until the end of April.

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
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