Chase upgrades Chase Sapphire and Reserve card offerings

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Chase is among many card issuers revamping their card offerings to suit evolving consumer spending habits. For many issuers, rewarding lifestyle spending in addition to travel spending has been a consistent theme in revised card offerings. So it makes sense that boosted rewards for things like dining, streaming services and online grocery purchases would make it into Chase’s updated rewards structure for its line of Sapphire cards.

Starting August 17th, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® will feature some new card benefits along with increased rewards available to both new and existing cardholders.

Another notable development related to this announcement involves Chase’s entry into the airport lounge space—scheduled to open at a number of select international locations in the coming months.

Whether you are an existing Chase Sapphire cardholder or considering getting one or more of these cards, here are some highlights of the changes that might be useful.

What changes are coming to the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards?

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has long been known as an entry-level travel credit card, mainly due to its decent rewards rate on travel and dining along with a low annual fee. Other features of the card like travel-oriented redemption options through Ultimate Rewards and transfer partners have also been a big hit for frequent travelers.

Adding rewards for lifestyle spending will only boost the card’s potential value:

  • 5X total points on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3X points on general dining purchases , including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out (previously 2X)
  • 3X points on select streaming services
  • 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards.
  • 10 percent anniversary point bonus. Each account anniversary, cardmembers will earn bonus points equal to 10 percent of total purchases in points made the previous year.

Although the welcome bonus has been in effect for a while, you should know that new cardmembers can currently earn 60,000 bonus points, after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, worth $750 in travel booked through Ultimate Rewards.

Finally, new and existing cardholders can request the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s new card design after August 17, 2021.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve still reserves most of its perks for avid travelers, but there are some increased rewards to take note of:

  • 10X total points on Chase Dining purchases through Ultimate Rewards
  • 10X total points on hotel stays and car rentals purchased through Ultimate Rewards
  • 5X total points on air travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards
  • 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Earn the elevated rewards rates after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.
  • Later this year Reserve cardmembers will have access to Reserved by Sapphire, which features exclusive opportunities to book reservations at some of the most sought-after restaurants across the country

New Sapphire Reserve cardmembers can currently earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening, worth $750 when redeemed for travel in Ultimate Rewards.

Additionally, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can add a new airport lounge option to their complimentary Priority Pass Select membership: Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club. So far Chase has announced plans to open lounges in at least three international airports which include New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and later this year, Hong Kong International Airport (HKG).

What else should I know about changes to the Chase Sapphire Cards?

So far, Chase has announced that the upgraded benefits, perks and revised rewards structure won’t remove any existing features for either card. In other words, depending on the card you have (or may apply for) you’ll still get to enjoy existing card benefits:

  • 3X points on general dining and general travel purchases (Reserve)
  • $300 annual travel credit (Reserve)
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (Reserve)
  • Special benefits through the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (Reserve)
  • Rewards flexibility in Ultimate Rewards portal i.e. Pay Yourself Back and 1:1 point transfer to airline and hotel partners  (Both cards)
  • One year of DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service which must be activated by December 31, 2021 (Both cards)
  • Up to $60 or $120 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through December 2021 (Preferred, Reserve, respectively)
  • 5X or 10X total points on Lyft rides through March 2022 (Preferred, Reserve, respectively)

Our take

If you were ever looking for a reason to get a Chase Sapphire card, the recent changes offer some compelling reasons to do so—especially with the addition of lifestyle-heavier rewards rates.

The upgraded rewards on purchases like dining, takeout and grocery with the Sapphire Preferred could even make this duo an ideal card pairing that could conceivably even replace the well-known Chase trifecta strategy.

With both cards, not only can you earn more toward common spending categories, but you can also redeem points for boosted value through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Don’t forget that the Reserve also boasts several valuable premium travel benefits.

In all, if you’d like your lifestyle spending to help support your travel addiction, these cards could do the job. If you do decide that one or both of Chase’s Sapphire cards could work for you, the recent upgrades would make it an ideal time to do so.

Written by
Aja McClanahan
Personal Finance Writer
Aja McClanahan is an author, blogger and speaker on personal finance and entrepreneurship. Aja is the author of "How a Mother Should Talk About Money with Her Daughter."
Edited by
Senior Editor, Credit Card Product News