Chase Steps Up With Enhancements For Cardmembers During COVID Crisis

As we all adjust to the new normal, credit card companies have expanded their offerings to accommodate customers.  Chase is the latest bank to offer enhancements, with a slate of positive changes to the Ultimate Rewards program and Sapphire card family.

Spend Ultimate Rewards Where You’re Currently Shopping

Ultimate Rewards, offered with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve personal cards as well as the Ink Preferred Business Card, are valuable partly due to the ability to redeem them for a bonus in the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.  However, when most of us aren’t traveling, the points may lose some of their value.

Chase has taken our homebound habits into account. From May 31 to September 30, 2020 the bonuses you can utilize in the travel portal can also be redeemed for statement credit in categories that make sense right now.  During this period Chase Sapphire Preferred customers will receive 1.25 cents per point and Sapphire Reserve customers will receive 1.5 cents per point when used to offset purchases at grocery stores, restaurants and home improvement stores. Even better, delivery services for both groceries and dining are included. 

Increased Earning Rates on Gas and Some Grocery Spending

If you are doing most of your grocery shopping from home, Chase is here to help with special credits and earning rates at Instacart from July 1 to September 30, 2020.

  • Sapphire Reserve cardmembers will earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar and Sapphire Preferred will earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on all Instacart delivery and pickup orders—up to $3,000 in spend across the three months. This is an evolution of the expanded grocery earnings benefit that expires on June 30.
  • Cardmembers will also receive up to $50 in statement credits towards an Instacart Express membership (annual or monthly).

Chase also has an expanded perk for those of you who are craving road trips for summer vacation. Sapphire cardmembers will earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points for Reserve and 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for Preferred at gas stations—on up to $1,500 in spend across the three months.

Travel Credit Rebate Extended for Use on Gas and Grocery Purchases

Additionally, from June 1 through December 31, 2020, gas station and grocery store purchases will also count toward earning your $300 Travel Credit while still earning points for the purchases. These offers rival the generous benefits extended by American Express

Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee Rebate Extended to All Cardmembers

In January, Chase announced that the annual fee for Chase Sapphire Reserve would increase from $450 to $550, starting with renewals on April 1, 2020. Customers who have card renewal through July 31, 2020 may see a $550 charge for the annual fee, but will also see a $100 credit.  Renewals from August to December 2020 will automatically bill at $450.  

Bottom Line

In the last year credit cards have tried to raise fees and roll back benefits, but the COVID crisis has brought that process to an abrupt halt. As banks race to keep consumers from cutting up their cards, we can expect to see more consumer-friendly incentives rolled out.

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