More Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Changes Announced

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!

Early last week I wrote about some changes that were announced to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is my all around favorite credit card.

At the time I wrote about the most major changes that were coming to the card. These included:

Elimination of the 7% annual points dividend for new card members:

After 12/31/2015, you will no longer earn the 7% Annual Points Dividend. You will be awarded your final 7% points dividend in early 2016. You can still continue to enjoy the many other ways to be awarded rewards such as 2X points on travel and dining and 1 point on all other purchases.

Improved trip cancellation/insurance coverage:

Your coverage has been increased from a maximum of $5,000 to $10,000 per covered trip. If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather or other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels.*

New primary auto rental collision damage waiver:

Your Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver has been enhanced from secondary coverage to primary. So if the unexpected occurs, you can now rely on an enhanced level of coverage. Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.*

Then there are some other minor changes that are happening, though none that are game changers:

Chase-Ultimate-Rewards-Changes

You’ll no longer be able to redeem points to “pay yourself back:”

You can continue to redeem your points for cash through a statement credit or direct deposit into an eligible checking or savings account. However, Pay Yourself Back will no longer be available after 9/20/2014 and paper checks will no longer be available after 11/15/2014.

Extra point for travel booked through Ultimate Rewards Mall going away after next year:

You will continue to earn an extra 1 point for each $1 of airfare and hotel accommodations booked through Chase.com/Ultimate Rewards until 12/31/2015. After that, you will no longer earn an extra point. We may periodically offer ways for you to earn bonus points through the program.

They’re also making some other changes that are of no consequence, in my opinion:

We modified some of the existing features:

  • Merchandise may be offered directly through Chase or third-party merchants
  • The Ultimate Rewards Mall will be referred to as Shop through Chase℠

We’re discontinuing underutilized features:

  • Auctions
  • Purchasing Ultimate Rewards points

Of the above, the only thing that actually matters to me is that starting in 2016 you’ll no longer earn an extra Ultimate Rewards point per dollar of travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards Mall. But they’re literally giving nearly 18 months notice of this change, so that’s impressive.

You can also still earn extra points per dollar if you’re booking travel through Ultimate Rewards Mall retailers, such as hotels.com and Expedia, so while not as convenient it’s still an option in some cases.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 11.58.55 AM

Does this change the value proposition of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?

In terms of the card benefits that matter to me, we’re basically losing the 7% annual points dividend after next year and losing one Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent on travel through the Ultimate Rewards Mall.

At the same time, we’re picking up primary auto rental collision coverage, which is awesome.

Primary-Collision-Coverage
Admittedly, collision coverage is more valuable to some of us than others 😉

I’d say for some these changes are a wash, for some picking up primarily coverage is a net gain (since it makes this even more of a “super” card), and for others it’s a net loss.

All things considered I don’t think it fundamentally changes the value proposition of the card.

An incredibly flexible points currency, double points on dining and travel, no foreign transaction fees, and primary auto rental collision coverage is tough to beat for a $95 annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been and will continue to be at the top of my wallet.

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. You can still redeem for cash, you just can’t “pay yourself back” or get a paper check.

  2. Hey Scott,
    I think I know the answer, but just want to be sure…my go to card for most purchases (unless a bonus category on another card) is the chase freedom card, and I always take cash back.

    I have a variety of travel cards, and use those for their benefits and any time I book travel with them. However, most of my flying is actually on an airline that has a terrible credit card, and the miles aren’t terribly useful (but I get treated well as an elite, and can fly almost everywhere I need to nonstop). To take advantage of booking those flights, is the chase sapphire the best option?

  3. @ BJ Lanser — Yes, I’d say it’s tough to beat three Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent, so as long as the extra point for booking through the mall is still an option, I’d do that.

  4. I have the Sapphire card, but the car insurance I have in Japan doesn’t cover rental cars in America.

    If I pay for the SLI from the rental car company, will the Sapphire cars benefits cover any other issues that I might have?

  5. Extra point for travel booked through Ultimate Rewards Mall going away after next year:

    You will continue to earn an extra 1 point for each $1 of airfare and hotel accommodations booked through Chase.com/UltimateRewards until 12/31/2015. After that, you will no longer earn an extra point. We may periodically offer ways for you to earn bonus points through the program.

    -Sorry if I am slow, does that mean after 12/31/15, using the chase portal to book through expedia, and hotels.com will not yield any bonus points? Or will they drop those two merchants after 12/31/2015?

    But the normal 2x for the CSP is still in effect for travel? Is that correct?

  6. @ LindaK — The link has the dates where everything is effective. The additional car coverage is available immediately.

  7. Something maybe you could explain that I don’t understand… Are these new benefits from Visa Signature? The double in coverage and the primary on the car rental? I see bloggers talk about updates in benefits but they never provide the documentation (PDF) that is put out by Chase.

    I think a lot of people will have the situation of if they should keep their Chase Sapphire Preferred or downgrade to the Chase Sapphire. It seems they are no longer giving retention bonuses. So benefits wise how do the Preferred and non-Preferred compare? I cannot find the new benefits documentation to know what travel benefits are different between the two card.

    Someone pointed out in another boardingarea blog that the Fairmont card has the primary car rental coverage as well. So I am wondering what real benefits the Preferred card has over the non-Preferred so that I can compare to other cards that I have in my wallet. It seems the baggage coverage is on both Sapphire cards.

  8. @ Ginny — These changes don’t impact their partners, so if you used the Ultimate Rewards Mall to book with a partner, you could still earn bonus points. This applies specifically to the extra point you get if going through the Ultimate Rewards Mall.

  9. Primary coverage doesn’t matter AT ALL for people who live in cities and don’t drive a car (and don’t have personal insurance) — which is presumably their target audience.

    These changes are all negative/neutral. Nothing good here. Sad to see this once-great card watered down.

  10. Lose the 7% annual points dividend but primary auto collision is “awesome” and it’s a possibly a “wash”? Hmmm….

  11. The trip cancellation insurance is not really much of a plus. The limit was always $10,000 per trip on Sapphire but it used to be just $5,000 per person. If you travel as a couple nothing has changes. The Chase United Explorer card already gives $20,000 per trip ($10,000 per person) coverage.

    Sapphire will loose much of my business, The Chase Ink cards (if they remain the same) will get much more of my spend with their 2% back on hotels and 1% from Visa Rewards.

  12. @joel If you look at p.17 of the terms, it still says that there is a $20,000 per trip maximum so I think $10,000 is still per person although the language on p.14 is less than clear.

    For many of us, primary rental car coverage is huge. I’ve held onto the united explorer card solely for this reason and now I can cancel it which saves $95 per year, offsetting the Sapphire fee. I think it is up for renewal next month, so the timing on this is fortuitous.

  13. Just as an update… all of the travel benefits one obtains from the Sapphire Preferred are given to the Sapphire. I was told by Chase that the fee gives you the metal card, the 7% bonus per year, and the waived foreign transaction fee.

  14. The “primary” coverage is still just CDW, right? A great deal, for sure, if you merely manage to rip a side mirror off the car in the parking garage. But in the event you’re in an actual accident where somebody is hurt or you damage somebody else’s car or property, you’re still on the hook for that, I think. This isn’t liability coverage you’re getting, primary or otherwise. It still seems like an unacceptable risk to drive off the lot without actual insurance in place.

  15. This makes sense. They needed to have great benefits to create a customer base and now that they have the base, they can drop the extra perks. This card definitely will not be worth the fee after 2015, so I’ll just keep it for one more year and hopefully by then there is a comparable product. Lucky, could you please do a post on what other CC options are available for those who want to jump ship?

  16. Didn’t they already remove purchase points feature? Makes sense that it’s underutilized but I liked knowing that if I ever needed points fast that was available, never really compared the price though to buying points direct from hyatt, united, etc though.

  17. Hey Lucky,

    It looks like Chase has dropped Hotels.com, Expedia and Hotwire from “Shop Through Chase”. I just tried booking a hotel on Hotels.com via STC and there is no longer even a travel category in the “All Stores” menu. Any idea what’s going on here?

    Thanks!

  18. Lucky,

    Saw this post on Flyertalk, it’s a response from Chase customer service in regards to the now missing travel category at the Shop Through Chase portal:

    “Thank you for taking the time to contact us again in
    regards to Hotels.com.

    I have confirmed that as of 2/18/2015, Hotels.com
    was removed as a participating merchant on Shop through
    Chase. This update was processed during the same timeframe
    your inquiry was received. Regretfully, there is no
    information available as to the return of this Merchant. I
    apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

    Looks like this is yet another benefit lost with the CSP card. With the loss of the 7% dividend, loss of a number of stores on STC and now no travel category this card is becoming less and less valuable to me. What are your thoughts Lucky?

    Rob

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *