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The ultra-competitive credit card market shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Today, Chase announced new benefits and bonus point opportunities on its Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card without any increases in the annual fees. The changes will launch on Aug. 16, 2021 for all new and existing card holders.
The biggest additions are to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which gets three brand-new bonus categories:
- 5 points for every dollar you spend on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3 points per dollar on select streaming services
- 3 points per dollar on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
Also, the existing dining category on the Chase Sapphire Preferred will increase from 2 points per dollar to 3 points per dollar, and will continue to include not just restaurants but also eligible delivery services and takeout. Travel purchases outside of Chase Ultimate Rewards earn 2 points per dollar as before.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred will also now feature a 10% anniversary point bonus. At each account anniversary (meaning each year on the date you first opened the card), card holders will get bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made in the previous year. This 10% bonus is awarded on your overall spending, not on how many points you earned. So if you spent $25,000 in a year across all categories — including the bonus categories — you’ll get 2,500 extra points.
Finally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred will have a new $50 annual hotel credit that can be used for any booking made via the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. This is the one new benefit that existing Sapphire Preferred card holders won’t get until after their next account anniversary, while new Sapphire Preferred card holders can start using it immediately after receiving their card.
The annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred remains unchanged at $95, and new card holders can currently earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months after opening the account.
New Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits
The ultra-premium Chase Sapphire Reserve card is also getting some new bonus points and perks, but the card’s additional bonus categories are focused entirely around purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The new bonus categories include:
- 10 points per dollar on Chase Dining purchases through Ultimate Rewards
- 10 points per dollar on hotel stays and car rentals booked through Ultimate Rewards
- 5 points per dollar on air travel booked through Ultimate Rewards
Chase Sapphire Reserve card holders will continue to earn 3 points for every dollar spent on dining and travel purchases made outside of Chase Ultimate Rewards. Other existing benefits of the Sapphire Reserve also remain unchanged, including the card’s annual $300 travel credit, complimentary access to Priority Pass lounges and a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
However, two new future benefits are also in store for Chase Sapphire Reserve card holders. Previously, the issuer announced its intention to build its own airport lounge network, and today, it revealed the first three lounge locations will be at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Boston Logan International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport.
Called the “Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club,” this group of lounges will be accessible by Chase Sapphire Reserve and Priority Pass card holders, and will feature food, drink, art, entertainment and wellness experiences. Opening dates and additional lounge details will be announced over time, as will additional locations at other major airports.
Finally, later this year, Chase Sapphire Reserve card holders will have access to “Reserved by Sapphire,” which will provide exclusive opportunities to book reservations at popular restaurants across the country. Some examples provided by the issuer include Canlis in Seattle, Washington; Redbird in Los Angeles, California; Reverence in New York, New York; and One Off Hospitality in Chicago, Illinois.
The annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve will continue to be $550, and the card currently offers 60,000 bonus points to new applicants after spending $4,000 in the first three months after opening the account.
The value of these new Chase Sapphire benefits
Since the annual fees on the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve remain unchanged, there’s only upside when it comes to these new perks and bonus categories. That’s noteworthy compared to the recent relaunch of The Platinum Card® from American Express, which featured several new credits but also came with a significant annual fee increase.
The Sapphire Preferred’s new bonus categories — and increased dining bonus multiplier — are likely to be more valuable to many people than the Sapphire Reserve’s new Ultimate Rewards-based categories, since the latter requires booking travel exclusively through Chase Ultimate Rewards in order to earn the bonus points. However, the upcoming Chase Sapphire Lounge network won’t be accessible with a Sapphire Preferred card, so your preference on these additions may depend on how much you value exclusive lounge access.
If you don’t have either of these cards and are thinking about whether to get one, both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve are on CNN Underscored’s list of the best travel credit cards for 2021. In particular, the current 60,000-point bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred is worth at least $750 in travel, making it a great reason to get the card now.
Looking for a new credit card? Find out which cards CNN Underscored chose as its best credit cards of 2021.