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:
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:
- 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.
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.
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.