Final call: Get the Chase Sapphire Reserve before January 12

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is widely regarded as one of the absolute best premium credit cards on the market. This week, Chase announced a series of changes that would be going into effect January 12th, including a $100 annual fee increase. So if the Sapphire Reserve has been on your credit card bucket list, make sure you apply before January 12th to lock in the lower annual fee.

What’s changing?

Annual fee increasing to $550

As nothing good ever quite lasts forever, the annual membership fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve is increasing by $100 to $550 per cardmember year. While some will see this as a pure devaluation, the raised annual fee is accompanied by some pretty major changes. Chase is piloting two new benefits with the Sapphire Reserve over the next 27 months, thanks to recent partnerships with Lyft and DoorDash.

Lyft Pink membership

Effective January 12, 2020, Sapphire Reserve cardholders will receive one year of complementary Lyft Pink membership.

Lyft Pink typically costs $19.99/mo and offers the following benefits:
  • 15% off Lyft rides
  • Priority airport pickups 
  • 3 waived cancellation fees per month, as long as you rebook within 15 minutes
  • Seasonal discounts and savings
  • Waived lost and found fees
  • 3 free 30-minute bike or scooter rides per month

Honestly, I’m not sure how these benefits warrant a $19.99 membership fee. The only real benefit here is the 15% savings, but ordinarily, you’d have to spend $135/mo with Lyft just to break even. Perhaps there’s a greater value here for those who don’t have a car and are ride-share dependent.

10x Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft

However, the sweetener here is that in addition to Lyft Pink, Chase is also offering 10x Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft rides through March 2022. This is a huge lift (pun intended) from the typical 3x points earned on travel with the Sapphire Reserve. No matter what your valuation of Ultimate Rewards points is, this is a phenomenal return and I imagine this will cause some major ripples in ride-share loyalty over the next two years.

Doordash DashPass membership

Effective January 12, 2020, Chase is also introducing complementary DoorDash DashPass membership for Sapphire Reserve cardholders.

DashPass typically costs $9.99/mo and offers the following benefits:
  • $0 delivery fees at DashPass restaurants for orders over $12
  • Reduced service fees (down to 5% from 11%)

Interestingly, Chase leaves the membership duration somewhat open-ended. Their initial media release seems to suggest that they may extend it or keep it as a renewing benefit: “cardmembers will have access to complimentary DashPass for minimum of one year.”

To enroll, simply add your Chase Sapphire Reserve as a payment method on DoorDash, and you’ll be prompted to activate your complementary membership. I activated my DashPass membership this week, and the app is showing I have a two-year membership through 12/31/2021, so YMMV.

Similar to the Lyft Pink membership, I’m not completely sold on the value of DashPass for $9.99/mo. Given how over saturated the market is right now with third party delivery companies (Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates, etc), this doesn’t strike me as a particularly compelling benefit — and I imagine it’s probably worthless for those who don’t live in a big city.

DoorDash credits

But the DashPass membership isn’t what makes the benefit compelling. The sweetener here is that Chase is introducing $60 annual statement credits on DoorDash purchases. It appears their agreement only goes through 2021, as the statement credit is currently only offered in 2020 and 2021. But a $60 annual statement credit certainly takes a large chunk out of the $100 annual fee hike.

Bottom line

If you’ve been thinking about applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, this is the absolute best time to do it. By applying before January 12th, you’ll lock in the $450 annual fee and be able to take advantage of the new benefits for 2020. Click here to be redirected to the application page.

As for the changes — I can see how this is a $100 throwaway for those who don’t ride-share and use food delivery services. For me personally, this isn’t too significant of a change and will just require some minor lifestyle adjustments. Historically, I built a habit of using Uber but won’t have any problem switching to Lyft moving forward (after using my American Express Platinum Uber credits). I also don’t think it’ll be hard to find a way to burn through $60 in DoorDash credits.

Let us know what you think of the new Sapphire Reserve changes, or if you plan to apply before January 12!

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