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This article was last updated Jan 14, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
Chase has increased the annual fee for the iconic Chase Sapphire Reserve® by $100. Starting Jan. 12, 2020, new card members will pay $550 annually, instead of $450. Existing cardholders will see the updated fee on their next renewal date after April 1.
While the annual fee hike may seem high to many, Chase has added a few card benefits to help offset the new price tag. Whether or not those benefits will make it worthwhile to keep or apply for the card will depend on if you’ll use actually use them.
In this post:
- What has changed?
- Is it the Chase Sapphire Reserve® worth the higher fee?
- Alternative to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- The bottom line
What has changed?
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 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
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®
In addition to the annual fee increase, Chase has implemented several updates to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, including the following:
10x points on Lyft rides. As of Jan. 12, 2020, Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders earn an elevated rewards rate on Lyft rides (including scooters and bikes). Now, cardholders earn 10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on travel and dining worldwide and 1x points on all other purchases.
Complimentary Lyft Pink membership. Starting Jan. 12, cardholders receive a free one-year membership to Lyft Pink, which includes 15% savings on every ride, three free 30-minute bike or scooter rentals each month (in select markets), priority Lyft dispatch at airports, ride cancellation fee protection and more.
Lyft Pink costs $19.99 per month — making this perk worth nearly $240 each year.
DoorDash statement credits. Card members will automatically receive statement credits of up to $60 in 2020 and $60 in 2021 on DoorDash purchases.
Complimentary DashPass membership. Cardholders will receive a complimentary DashPass membership for a minimum of one year. This gives you unlimited $0 food delivery fees and reduced service fees on DoorDash orders of $12 or more. Chase values this perk at more than $100.
Note, cardholders must activate the DashPass benefit (available as of Jan. 7) by Dec. 31, 2021.
Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve® worth it?
While the addition of the Lyft and DoorDash benefits can certainly help offset the cost of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card’s higher annual fee, you may still be wondering if the card is worth the $550 price tag. That all depends on whether or not you plan to take advantage of the new benefits.
“If you use DoorDash and Lyft regularly, it’ll be easy to get more than $100 worth of value from these new benefits,” said CompareCards Chief Industry Analyst Matt Schulz. “Everyone else will have to look at their spending and what other perks the card offers and decide whether the card still gives them good value with the higher annual fee.”
That said, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® does offer a number of other valuable benefits, including a $300 travel credit, up to a $100 statement credit for either TSA PreCheck/ Global Entry, a 50% increase in rewards value when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Priority Pass Select access.
“For frequent travelers, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® still offers so much value that it can definitely still be worth keeping despite the higher price tag,” said Schulz. “It is still my favorite premium rewards card, primarily because of the flexibility it offers, but the $100 fee increase is a big deal.”
Alternative to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card
If you just can’t justify paying a $550 annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, Schulz recommends considering the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card instead. “The rewards rate and the benefits are a step down from the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, but the annual fee is just $95. The difference in annual fee can more than make up for the reduced rewards for some cardholders.”
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also added new Lyft and DoorDash benefits on Jan. 12 — although not as robust as those from the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card members now earn 5x points on Lyft rides (including scooters and bikes). Plus, cardholders have access to complimentary DashPass membership for a minimum of one year.
The bottom line
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card’s high $550 annual fee will no doubt be a turnoff to many. But if you plan to take advantage of the new Lyft and DoorDash benefits, you can easily cover the additional $100 added to the annual fee prior to January 12, 2020.
That said, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great alternative to those who want some of the same benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card — albeit on a lower level — while paying a much lower annual fee of $95.