UPDATE: Well, that was fun while it lasted. Just a day after we published this story, many readers report that Chase has now killed off this secret (and apparently accidental) bonus category on dining.
With travel largely on hold, banks have added new benefits to their travel rewards cards to keep customers happy. Few banks have done more than Chase with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve.
There’s the great new Pay Yourself Back feature, which allows you to use Chase points for groceries, home improvement, and dining purchases – oh, and Target, too! Chase also recently added new bonus earning categories: From July 1 through Sept. 30, you’ll earn more bonus points on streaming services, grocery delivery, and at gas stations.
But it goes even farther than that. Since July 1, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has been earning 5x at restaurants – up from the norm of 3x. The Chase Sapphire Preferred, meanwhile, is currently earning 3x on dining, up from the usual 2x. Doctor of Credit first reported the news.
Chase hasn’t officially announced this bonus dining category, so it’s unclear what’s going on here. Is this permanent or temporary? If it’s temporary, how long will it last? Could it even be a mistake?
A Chase spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.
Regardless, this could be very lucrative. Combined with bonus categories on gas and grocery services, these bigger earning bonuses can help you pile up Chase points even faster. Even with travel on hold, it should make the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve the go-to card in your wallet.
How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
There are many methods and credit cards that will help you earn Ultimate Rewards points. But with these new bonuses and other features, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve should be top of mind.
To start, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of our favorites. It typically earns 2x points per dollar spent on dining out at restaurants and travel expenses.
And Chase added some other brand new temporary bonus categories to the card, too. Through the end of September, it earns 3x points on Instacart grocery deliveries on up to $3,000 of spending – plus you get a $50 credit toward an Instacart Express membership. You’ll also earn 3x points at gas stations (on up to $1,500) and 5x points on streaming services like Netflix or Hulu (on up to $1,500).
You’ll also earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. At 1.25 cents each, those points are worth at least $750 toward travel, grocery stores, home improvement, or at Target. Considering the card has only a $95 annual fee, you can come out way ahead.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
Then there’s the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the premium version of the Sapphire Preferred Card with many more benefits that makes the annual fee on the card $550 each year.
But Chase is now reducing the annual fee to $450 for all renewals through the end of 2020. Unfortunately, that lower fee doesn’t apply to new cardholders.
Either way, you get more premium travel benefits like lounge access, a $300 travel credit, and a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, there are some new temporary bonus categories on the Reserve. Through Sept. 30, you’ll earn 5x points on Instacart grocery deliveries on up to $3,000 of spending – plus you get a $50 credit toward an Instacart Express membership. You’ll also earn 5x points at gas stations (on up to $1,500) and 10x points on streaming services like Netflix or Hulu (on up to $1,500).
And for opening the card and spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership, you can earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. But since the points redeem at a value of 1.5 cents each, these points will be worth up to $750 towards travel, groceries, restaurants, and even at home improvement stores.
Even if you have no travel planned for the foreseeable future, again, this is a heck of a deal, but starting with the Sapphire Preferred to earn more points now is likely the better option. You can always upgrade to the Sapphire Reserve at a later date.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Whatever’s happening here, it’s a win for consumers. Here’s hoping that these bigger bonuses for dining stick around long-term. If not, use them while you can!