Chase has announced that effective August 16, 2021, they will be unveiling new and improved benefits to the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) Card. AMEX recently announced the new benefits offered with its Platinum Card, but unlike AMEX who raised the annual fee to $695, Chase is keeping the annual fee for the CSR at $550 (which they increased from $450 last year).

What Stays the Same

CSR cardholders will continue to earn 3X Chase Ultimate Reward Points on delivery services, takeout, dining and travel. With each point valued at $0.02 each, that’s the equivalent of 6% back on these purchases, without caps. In addition, your first $300 in travel expenses (a broad, easy to earn category) are credited back to you each year. As is standard with most premium travel cards these days, you will also receive statement credits that cover 100% of your TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fees, as well as Priority Pass Membership.

What Changes

In addition to the spend promotions above, Chase is further incentivizing cardholders to book through the Ultimate Rewards Portal for their dining and travel needs. In exchange, Chase is offering 10X points (20% back) on Dining, Hotels and Car Rentals booked through the Ultimate Rewards site; and 5X points (10% back) on Air Travel book through the Ultimate Rewards site.

Chase’s push for customers to use their custom portal for booking deepens the customer loyalty aspect of the brand. One step further in this regard, is Chase’s announcement that they are opening their first “Chase Sapphire Lounge by The Club” later this year. But although card members will receive free access to these clubs, so too will any Priority Pass members.

In an attempt to compete with American Express’ partnership with Resy, Chase is also planning a reservation service for restaurants across the country. By booking through their portal, cardholders will now have access to exclusive reservations that traditionally come with heightened attention during the visit.

The Welcome Bonus

Currently, the welcome bonus for the CSR Card is 60,000 points. Valued at $1,200, you will more than make up for your annual fee in the first year. But if you’ve applied for several cards in the recent future, remember that Chase will automatically reject any applicant who has applied for any credit card more than five times in the last 24 months; commonly referred to as the 5/24 rule.