/Some people are balking at the higher annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but I’m keeping my card for 3 reasons
Some people are balking at the higher annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but I’m keeping my card for 3 reasons

Some people are balking at the higher annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but I’m keeping my card for 3 reasons

Everyone hates it when card issuers change up the details on their favorite rewards products, which is why many are already balking at the Chase Sapphire Reserve‘s new $550 annual fee, up from $450. The official fee change went into effect for new cardholders on January 12, 2020, but existing cardmembers won’t pay the higher fee until their next renewal date after April 1, 2020.

Personally, though, I’m happy to pay the higher annual fee. Here’s why.

Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will far outweigh the value of any points or miles. It’s important to practice financial discipline when using credit cards by paying your balances in full each month, making payments on time, and only spending what you can afford to pay back. 

The latest changes to the Sapphire Reserve

Before we dive into my reasons for keeping this card, let’s recap what you get for the extra $100 per year.

For starters, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will receive a year of complimentary Lyft Pink membership, which is valued at $239. With this membership, you’ll receive 15% off rides, priority airport pick up, and three free 30-minute bike or scooter rides per month. You’ll also automatically earn 10x points on Lyft with the Chase Sapphire Reserve when you link your credit card to your account. As a side note, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Freedom Student, and Ink cards will also earn 5x total points or 5% back on Lyft rides.

Read more: Chase Sapphire Reserve review

Why I’m keeping my Chase Sapphire Reserve

I mostly shrugged at this change and have no plans to cancel my card. Why? It mostly boils down to the immense value I receive and my commitment to Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards in general.

I’m not shy about the fact that I love Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners more than those offered by comparable programs like American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards. To earn as many Ultimate Rewards points as possible, I put all my business expenses on another Chase card, the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.

Here are the main reasons I plan to keep the Chase Sapphire Reserve despite the higher annual fee:

I use DoorDash and Lyft

The main reason I’m not upset over the additional $100 annual fee is the fact that I already use DoorDash and Lyft. I take a lot of Lyft rides when I travel within the US, as well as back and forth to my home airport in Indianapolis. I’m actually pretty happy about the prospect of scoring 15% off Lyft rides for a year, and of course earning 10 points for each dollar I spend with Lyft.

I also use DoorDash for food delivery once every couple of months. I have no doubt I’ll easily use the $60 credit in 2020 and 2021, so that brings in $120 in value on its own.

I love booking travel through the Chase portal

While many people rack up flexible rewards like Chase Ultimate Rewards points in order to transfer to airline partners, I actually book a ton of travel through the Chase portal. Because I buy a lot of economy fares to Europe, I frequently find lower costs through the Chase portal than what airline partners offer within their loyalty programs. I also love booking excursions and other travel splurges through the Chase portal because, well, it’s fun.

Keeping the Chase Sapphire Reserve lets me get 50% more value when I use points to book through the Chase portal versus 25% more travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, so it’s a great deal.

Priority Pass Select membership is crucial for me

While I also have a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership through my Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, I don’t think I’ll renew that card when the annual fee is charged this year. That will leave me with my Chase Sapphire Reserve as the only card I have offering this benefit, which makes keeping it a no-brainer.

I travel around 20 weeks of the year, so I spend a few hours in airport lounges every month. In times when I have a long layover or my flight is delayed, airport lounges have been a lifesaver, allowing me to work and relax away from the noisy airport gate.

Considering a Priority Pass membership with unlimited visits starts at $429 if you purchase it at full price, that makes the Chase Sapphire Reserve an excellent value.

Click here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve card »

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