While many consumers sign up for the best credit cards almost entirely for the rewards and perks they offer, those can and often do change. Anytime you receive a new credit card, you may not read through the agreement that comes with it, but it’s going to state that features and benefits of the rewards program can change at any time.
Recently Discover eliminated many of the perks associated with their Discover credit cards, including purchase protection and car rental insurance. A Chase United Airlines co-branded card lost its price and return protection. Then, most recently, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders were given notice they were losing some benefits. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a high-end card, and to be approved you need an average FICO score of 750 and an average spend of $39,000. The annual fee is $450.
It wasn’t only the Sapphire Reserve Card that took a hit. Certain perks, including price and return protection, were cut from all Chase credit cards.
What Changes Are Being Made to the Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits?
Multiple changes are being made to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, including:
- Price Protection will no longer be available (this is something many card companies are scaling back on).
- With Priority Pass Select, access is going to be limited to two guests for each visit. For each additional guest, there will be a fee of $27 charged to the card.
- Customers won’t be earning 3X points on travel purchases that qualify for the annual travel credit of $300.
Customers were notified of the change in May and the changes are set to go into effect at the end of August.
Travel Rewards Benefits
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, accountholders would previously receive an automatic $300 statement credit, which was a travel purchase reimbursement when they made certain purchases using the card.
The difference now is that when cardholders use their cards for travel purchases that qualify for the $300 travel credit, they won’t also earn 3X points on those purchases.
That’s estimated to be a loss of about 900 points. Based on the point valuation system for Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits, that’s only around $9 in cash value or $13.50 in travel purchase value.
Sapphire Reserve Price Protection
Price Protection was a feature that was offered with a lot of credit cards and it’s one of the first perks many companies are slashing. With the Sapphire Reserve card, if you purchased something with your card, and then you found it for a lower price within 90 days, you could be reimbursed for the difference.
To do so, you had to file a claim, and reimbursements were available for up to $500 per item. The now-ending benefit went up to $2,500 a year.
Access to Airport Lounges
Cardholders have access to Priority Pass Select lounges. Before the announced changes, people could bring an unlimited number of guests with them to the Priority Pass-eligible airport lounges where they were traveling. If you travel with your family frequently, that could have been a big selling point with the Sapphire Reserve Card.
Now, rather than unlimited guests, only two guests are allowed per visit. You then pay for additional guests beyond the permitted two.
Check out our guide, to view some of the best credit cards with airport lounge access for additional options.
How much these changes will affect cardholders will really depend on the individual. For some cardholders it could make them think twice about using it, especially considering the high annual fee. At $450 a year, the limitations that are now being placed on the perks and rewards could cause cardholders to cut their relationship with Chase.
Author: Ashley Sutphin
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