Chase announces new sapphire benefitsTravel credit card favorites, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® , are now offering cardholders new and improved benefits effective Aug. 16, 2021.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® recently wooed travelers with it largest welcome bonus offer ever – 100,000 points earned once spending $4,000 in the first three months of opening an account, a bonus worth as much as $1,250 in travel – and is now targeting a wider audience with bonus rewards offered in more everyday categories.

New Chase Sapphire Preferred® benefits

Chase Sapphire Preferred® cardholders can now enjoy:

  • 5X total points on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 3X points on dining, including eligible delivery services and takeout (previously, cardholders earned 2X points in this category)
  • 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 3X points on select streaming services
  • 2X points on travel purchases
  • 1X point on all other purchases

Previously cardholders earned 2X points on travel and dining, and 1X point on everything else, so this new offering is certainly a welcome improvement, particularly for those cardholders who aren’t traveling quite as much right now due to COVID-19 restrictions. These new benefits give cardholders an easy opportunity to earn bonus rewards whether traveling afar or staying close to home.

Additionally, Chase Sapphire Preferred® cardholders can look forward to:

  • A $50 annual credit on hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. New cardholders will start earning towards the credit immediately and existing cardholders (who had the card prior to the Aug. 16 update) will start earning after their next account anniversary.
  • A 10% anniversary bonus each account anniversary, equal to 10% of total purchases made the previous year. That means $25,000 in spend will earn an additional 2,500 bonus points.
  • A sleek new card design which is available to new and existing cardholders. 

New Chase Sapphire Reserve® benefits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card previously provided 3X points on dining and travel purchases and 1X point on everything else, as well as a $300 annual travel credit; a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck; special benefits through the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection; 50% more value on points when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards; and an opportunity to earn 60,000 bonus points once spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, a bonus worth as much as $900 toward travel. Now, cardholders can look forward to these same great benefits, as well as: 

  • 10X total points on Chase Dining purchased through Ultimate Rewards
  • 10X total points on hotel stays and car rentals purchased through Ultimate Rewards
  • 5X total points on air travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards

The big change here is the increase on travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Instead of the standard 3X points earned on all travel purchases, now cardholders have the opportunity to boost the rewards-earning potential by booking travel directly through Chase. If you regularly book your travel through Chase, this perk is beneficial, but for those who like the flexibility of being able to book travel elsewhere, these new benefits could be limiting.

In addition to earning more points, later this year Reserve cardholders will have access to “Reserved by Sapphire,” which features exclusive opportunities to book reservations at sought-after restaurants across the country.

Furthermore, Chase is expected to soon unveil new Chase Sapphire Lounge™ by The Club locations at New York LaGuardia Airport, Boston Logan International Airport, and Hong Kong International airport. Reserve cardholders will have access to these new lounges, in addition to Priority Pass Select lounge access, which is an existing Reserve cardholder perk.

Are the new Sapphire updates worth it?

If you’re already an existing Sapphire cardholder, these are exciting changes. And if you’ve been considering applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, now is a great time to apply. The welcome bonus is the largest we’ve ever seen it, and the new reward categories make it a good everyday card in addition to being a great travel card.

The changes to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card are nice if you regularly book travel through Chase, but otherwise, the annual fee charged by the card is hard to offset if you aren’t regularly traveling. It’s still a top choice of ours for premium travel credit cards, but for those seeking more than just travel rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card updates are more exciting.    

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