Some Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders will get $100 off when their annual fee renews this year, as the slowdown in travel wrought by coronavirus limits just how valuable those benefits are.
Chase is informing customers that it will automatically apply a $100 statement credit after paying the card's $550 annual fee. A Chase spokesperson confirmed this is only available for current cardholders whose renewal date falls between April 1 and July 1 – but it's not out of the question that could eventually be extended as the coronavirus pandemic drags on. One Mile at a Time first reported the news.
“We recognize this is a difficult time for everyone. As a way to help, we’re providing you a one-time $100 statement credit toward the 2020 $550 annual fee on your Reserve credit card,” Chase wrote in a direct message to cardholders. “On an upcoming billing statement (based on your renewal date), you’ll see a $550 charge for the annual fee, followed by a $100 statement credit.”
Travelers who apply for a new Chase Sapphire Reserve during this period will not be eligible for the discount.
The discount for existing cardmembers coincides with a big, $100 increase to the card's annual fee. While Chase bumped the annual fee for new applicants from $450 to $550 back in January, it only took effect for renewals starting today, April 1.
“We will continue to bill the $550 annual fee in 2021,” Chase said.
It's among the first moves major banks have made to satisfy cardholders with top-dollar travel cards as travel has ground to a halt and the economy is hurting. And the Chase Sapphire Reserve is regarded among the absolute best for frequent travelers.
The card comes with an easy-to-use $300 annual travel credit, which automatically applies to almost any travel purchase. It gets a Priority Pass membership that gets you into more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide – or free meals at airport restaurants. It has a $100 credit that will cover the cost of applying for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
The Sapphire Reserve also earns 3x points on all travel and dining purchases. And you can redeem those points for 1.5 cents each toward travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal – or get even more out of them by transferring to airline and hotel partners.
Click Here to get more information about the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
With this $100 statement credit, your annual fee would effectively drop back down to $450 for another year. Factor in that $300 travel credit, and you can easily view it as just a $150 annual fee.
Meanwhile, American Express hasn't yet made any similar moves to satisfy travelers with the Platinum Card® from American Express, which carries a $695 annual fee.
This is great news if you've got a Chase Sapphire Reserve card. While this discounted annual fee is only available to cardholders whose fee comes due between now and July 1, that could eventually expand.
American Express Platinum should do the same especially since the Centurion Lounge is closed.
My annual fee is charged on April 1 each year. I waited until March 31 to cancel my card (actually, I downgraded). Then, of course, I received the email from Chase *on* April 1 saying I was eligible for the credit (nice work Chase!). The rep I spoke with on 3/31 did not tell me about any credit, so my product change was already processed. Even though I would have probably changed anyway, I would have appreciated knowing about this option before I decided.