Chase has announced it’s adding a grocery store category to two of it’s most popular travel credit cards.
Beginning Nov. 1, 2020, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® will offer 3X points on grocery store purchases, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will offer 2X points (up to $1,000 in purchases per month). This limited-time offer ends April 30, 2021.
Additionally, you’ll now have even more flexibility to earn the Sapphire Reserve’s $300 travel credit. Gas and grocery purchases will now qualify toward the credit through June 30, 2021, (six months longer than the offer’s initial timeline).
Note, the Sapphire Reserve’s travel credit resets every year on the first statement date post-account anniversary. For cardmembers who signed up prior to May 21, 2017, the travel credit resets each calendar year.
The Sapphire cards’ new, limited-time bonus grocery category will automatically apply for both existing and new Sapphire cardmembers.
It’s also worth noting the Sapphire Preferred’s 60,000-point welcome offer (earned after spending $4,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening).
For more information on recent changes made to the Sapphire credit cards, you can visit the following informational page.
Here’s a look at each card’s rewards structure and welcome bonus offerings (not including the various statement credit-earning opportunities):
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Welcome bonus: 50,000 points (worth $750 in travel) when you spend $4,000 on your card within three months of account opening
Rewards: Starting Nov 1, 2020, earn 3X points on grocery store purchases through April 30, 2021, (up to $1,000 in purchases each month); 3X points on travel and dining worldwide (after earning your $300 travel credit); 1X points everything else; through March 2022, earn 10X total points on Lyft purchases
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Welcome bonus: 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 on your card within three months of account opening
Rewards: Starting Nov. 1, 2020, earn 2X points on grocery store purchases through April 30, 2021, (up to $1,000 in purchases per month); 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants; 1X points on all other purchases; through March 2022, 5X points on Lyft rides (3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel)
What these changes mean for cardmembers
Now that the Sapphire Reserve and Preferred have a limited-time grocery store category, as a potential new cardmember, you may be wondering which Chase credit card is right for you.
“I think a lot of this comes down to how you spend, what you want to get out of the card and which other cards you have,” says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at Bankrate.
Rossman notes that new cardmembers can get great rewards from the Chase Freedom FlexSM and Chase Freedom Unlimited®, but those hoping to downgrade from a higher-tier Chase card to receive the Freedom Flex and Unlimited’s limited-time bonus offers should think twice.
“If you downgrade (product change), you’re not eligible for those,” Rossman says. “You could consider a fresh application if you think you’d get approved and if you want a new card.”
Is the Sapphire Reserve worth keeping?
Given the Sapphire Reserve’s hefty annual fee and Chase’s recent additions to its no-annual-fee cards, you may be wondering if the Reserve is worth holding onto. According to Rossman, the card’s “near-term cash back incentives and longer-term travel benefits” make it worth the yearly charge for some.
“If you max out the $1,000 monthly spending at grocery stores from Nov. to April, you’ll get 18,000 points,” Rossman says. “The Pay Yourself Back feature (getting a 50 percent bonus on groceries, dining and home improvements besides just travel) is scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2020, although I think there’s a good chance it will be extended, especially as Chase is now rolling other promos well into 2021. If you’re able to get 1.5 cents per point, that’s $270 in rewards generated from your grocery spending.”
A note on the Sapphire Preferred
While Rossman believes the Reserve is worth keeping amid the pandemic, the Sapphire Preferred’s rewards structure is comparable to no-annual-fee cards, such as the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card and Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, while the Preferred itself charges a $95 annual fee.
“I know some people love the transferability of the Sapphire Preferred points, I just think there are better and cheaper cards for that kind of spending,” Rossman says.