Chase Adds Limited-Time Offers to Sapphire Cards in Response to Coronavirus

Chase has added limited-time offers to both Sapphire cards to offset travel benefits in the wake of COVID-19.
couple putting away groceries

Chase has announced limited-time benefits for both of its Sapphire products, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The updated offers include new options for redeeming travel credit and rewards, and a lower annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

These are the latest in a string of limited-time offers on travel credit cards, including revised benefits for American Express cards in May 2020. As the coronavirus pandemic has upended the travel industry, travel credit cardholders have been left with nearly unusable benefits such as airport lounge access and travel credits on cards that charge annual fees.

Similar to other issuers, Chase is responding to the crisis by adjusting its card benefits to make the cards more usable until travel resumes.

New Chase Sapphire limited-time offers

The Chase Sapphire products are Chase’s cornerstone travel credit cards. Famous for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards, both cards are excellent for travelers as you can transfer points to Chase travel partners. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Chase is offering the following limited-time benefits:

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$550

16.99%-23.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
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New limited-time offer:

  • Pay Yourself Back, with each Chase Ultimate Rewards point worth 1.5 cents towards a statement credit used to offset purchases at:
    • Grocery stores
    • Home improvement stores
    • Dining establishments
    • This benefit lasts from May 31 through Sept. 30.
  • $300 credit will apply to purchases at grocery stores and gas stations from June 1 through Dec. 31.
  • Renewal annual fee lowered to $450 after July 1 through the end of 2020 (currently, cardholders get a $100 statement credit toward the $550 annual fee when they renew their membership) 5X per dollar spent at gas stations from July 1 to Sept. 30, with a maximum of $1,500 in bonus rewards 10X per dollar spent on qualifying streaming services from July 1 to Sept. 30 5X per dollar on Instacart orders, up to $3,000 in total purchases $50 off Instacart Express

New limited-time offer is meant to offset:

  • $300 travel credit
  • $550 annual fee

Thoughts on this limited-time offer:

Expanding the travel credit to grocery store and gas station purchases is a great benefit to cardholders. It gives consumers an easy way to ensure most of their annual fee is recouped on necessary expenses like groceries and gas.

The Pay Yourself Back feature is an outstanding benefit for cardholders, especially for those financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. While we value Chase Ultimate Rewards at 2 cents per point, a redemption rate of 1.5 cents is nothing to scoff at. However, if you do not need to dip into your points, it is best to leave those alone until traveling returns.

Lowering the annual fee is a fair concession as many cardholders will not be using benefits like travel insurance, airport lounge access or hotel benefits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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New limited-time offer:

  • Pay Yourself Back, with each Chase Ultimate Rewards point worth 1.25 cents toward a statement credit used to offset purchases at:
  • Grocery stores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Dining establishments
  • This benefit lasts from May 31 through Sept. 30.
  • 3X per dollar spent at gas stations from July 1 to Sept. 30, with a maximum of $1,500 in bonus rewards
  • 3X per dollar spent on qualifying streaming services from July 1 to Sept. 30
  • 3X per dollar on Instacart orders, up to $3,000 in total purchases
  • $50 off Instacart Express

New limited-time offer is meant to offset:

  • Redeeming points for travel

Thoughts on this limited-time offer:

Similar to above, it is best to hold onto your points for travel for the highest value possible. But if you are in a tough financial position, or simply want to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards for a decent value, it is worth considering.

How to take make the most of these offers

The new Chase credit card limited-time offer is very simple to maximize. If you are a Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholder, be sure to use your $300 credit for either travel purchases, grocery stores or gas stations.

And if you are considering the Pay Yourself Back option for either card, be sure to crunch the numbers. Using your points for purchases like groceries or home improvement materials can impact your points and miles strategy significantly. Even at a value of 1.5 cents per point for statement credits, you may lose value on your points by redeeming them this way. However, if you're in a financial crunch, it could make sense to have the cash in your pocket rather than points.

While both Chase Sapphire products still have annual fees that consumers need to pay, it is important to think long-term. As Americans begin to plan trips, traveling will return to normal in time. The benefits offered by both Chase Sapphire products are some of the best on the market. It is disappointing to be unable to use these products to their fullest potential, but a time will come when you can use them for travel again.

Brett Holzhauer

Brett Holzhauer is ValuePenguin’s travel rewards expert, focusing on credit card rewards maximization, consumer travel trends, and personal finance news. He has earned and burned over 5 million points and miles throughout his travels, saving him roughly $75,000 in travel expenses.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).