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Is there a point to the Chase Sapphire Reserve anymore?

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Frequent Contributor

Is there a point to the Chase Sapphire Reserve anymore?

Hey all,

 

Since there are so many new changes to coming to so many Amex cards lately, I was thinking about my combination of cards (see signature) and really what role the Sapphire Reserve would play going forward. What kept it in my wallet before was:

  • the trip insurance
  • 3x back on travel which Amex doesn't really give multipliers on (trains, Ubers, parking meters, etc).

Dining is bested by 4x on the Amex Gold, and the 1.5cpp redemption really doesn't matter if I transfer them out to get at least 2cpp. And now with the new Amex Platinum benefits, trip insurance is covered now too. As I start to fall under 5/24, the Chase Ink Preferred is on my radar, so the 3x travel will be taken care of by that also.

 

So with all that said, is there really a spot for it anymore? For those of you that have all these cards (Amex Plat, Amex Gold, Chase Ink Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve) how do you justify having all of these?

Message 1 of 8
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Valued Contributor

Re: Is there a point to the Chase Sapphire Reserve anymore?


@mkhan1093 wrote:

Since there are so many new changes to coming to so many Amex cards lately, I was thinking about my combination of cards (see signature) and really what role the Sapphire Reserve would play going forward. What kept it in my wallet before was:

  • the trip insurance
  • 3x back on travel which Amex doesn't really give multipliers on (trains, Ubers, parking meters, etc).

Dining is bested by 4x on the Amex Gold, and the 1.5cpp redemption really doesn't matter if I transfer them out to get at least 2cpp. And now with the new Amex Platinum benefits, trip insurance is covered now too. As I start to fall under 5/24, the Chase Ink Preferred is on my radar, so the 3x travel will be taken care of by that also.

 

So with all that said, is there really a spot for it anymore? For those of you that have all these cards (Amex Plat, Amex Gold, Chase Ink Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve) how do you justify having all of these?


For someone who travels enough and has sufficient spend, I could see benefits in being diversified in both MRs and URs.  But for most people, staying primarily in one point currency is probably the better choice.

 

Even with AMEX's recent changes, there are still some things that CSR has that AMEX Platinum doesn't.  AMEX is apparently competing directly on a couple of items with the threat from CSR, however, since they basically matched Chase on trip cancellation and delay coverage.  CSR still offers (PRIMARY) rental car coverage for no additional fee, as opposed to secondary coverage or primary at additonal fee like many cards.  Meanwhile, AMEX just nerfed their AD&D insurance coverage while CSR still covers up to $1 Million per trip.  Also, AMEX just nerfed their Roadside Assistance and CSR still offers 4 paid calls (@ $50 per call) per year.   And as you mentioned, CSR still has a much wider definition of "travel" than PLAT or some other luxury cards that are focused on airfare and frequent fliers.  I value that highly.  IMO, that's just a few areas where CSR is still better, depending on your valuation of those features.

 

Moreover, the PLAT/GOLD together is $800 AF vs $450 AF on CSR.  In my situation, I can justify that $450 Af because the offsets are easier to lower it to $150 or less per year.  I can't get AMEX anywhere near that with my lifestyle and spend, but I can see how some people could.  AMEX offsets just don't work for me like CSR does.  By the way, with adding the Chase INK Business Preferred, that's another $95 AF to factor in before you benefit from the 3% back on travel, and if you cancel the CSR, you're also losing out on the 50% bonus in redemption on the UR portal.  Depending on spend level, that might not work out best in the long run.  Just a thought.

 

Of course, that 2ccp with either the CSR or AMEX cards is dependent on redemption methods.  One thing I like about CSR is it still offers me no less than a flat 1ccp value at worst case scenario which MR points don't.  While GOLD might outshine CSR depending on redemption method, YMMV.  The keywords for me are more flexibility and more value for my circumstances.

 

All-in-all, to me it seems AMEX sweetened the pot for its' exisiting customers but the upgrades in travel benefits (combined with nerfing others) is not truly significant and a game changer.  For someone on the fence, it's unlikely to push them in one direction, much less entice anyone to jump over. 



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Message 2 of 8
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Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Is there a point to the Chase Sapphire Reserve anymore?

For me I think this would be a moot point if Chase allowed referrals for the CSR like they do the CSP because I would consider it a keeper for that. My fiancee's CSP we're keeping despite having the CSR because of that since one refereral pays for the AF and a little extra. With that said I have some consideration on what to do with that card too with others taking its place in my Altitude Reserve and Premium Rewards cards

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Message 3 of 8
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Super Contributor

Re: Is there a point to the Chase Sapphire Reserve anymore?

The counter argument would be is csr worth the annual fee with a the nerfs to ur program. I personally have cip that replaced my csr but even that's not getting much use mostly have it for the cell phone insurance and 3x travel


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Message 4 of 8
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Is there a point to the Chase Sapphire Reserve anymore?

A huge value for me is the primary car rental insurance. If you rent cars, this will save you $30/day. The CSP has it too but if you're just looking for that you might as well pay an extra 50$ for the extra multipliers and the Priority Pass that actually still has the Restaurant benefit that AMEX nixed. This is another $29/meal.

AMEX CS Plat | NSL -- Chase Freedom | $19,000
AMEX Gold | NSL -- Citi Double Cash | $10,000
AMEX HH NAF | $1,000 -- Uber Visa | $5,000
CSR | $29,000 -- USAA Plat | $8,000
USAA AMEX | $23,000
Message 5 of 8
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Valued Contributor

Re: Is there a point to the Chase Sapphire Reserve anymore?


@mkhan1093 wrote:

Hey all,

 

Since there are so many new changes to coming to so many Amex cards lately, I was thinking about my combination of cards (see signature) and really what role the Sapphire Reserve would play going forward. What kept it in my wallet before was:

  • the trip insurance
  • 3x back on travel which Amex doesn't really give multipliers on (trains, Ubers, parking meters, etc).

Dining is bested by 4x on the Amex Gold, and the 1.5cpp redemption really doesn't matter if I transfer them out to get at least 2cpp. And now with the new Amex Platinum benefits, trip insurance is covered now too. As I start to fall under 5/24, the Chase Ink Preferred is on my radar, so the 3x travel will be taken care of by that also.

 

So with all that said, is there really a spot for it anymore? For those of you that have all these cards (Amex Plat, Amex Gold, Chase Ink Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve) how do you justify having all of these?


CSR is the strongest with its 1.5 cpps redemption value.  This is the highest you can get.

 

I've had quite a few occasions where mile redemptioins would not work at all.  So I'd either have to spend $2,000 on air tickets out of pocket, or I turn to point redemption.  I always turn to CSR for its 1.5 cpps.  Never any regret.

 

I do not buy the case that UR transfer value is about 2 cpps.  Sometimes you can, either hotel or some expensive air tickets.  But always never any economy tickets.  So I never transfer UR to airlines.

 

Travel portal with fixed point value always has a spot in my portfolio.

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Valued Contributor

Re: Is there a point to the Chase Sapphire Reserve anymore?


@BronzeTrader wrote:


CSR is the strongest with its 1.5 cpps redemption value.  This is the highest you can get.

 

I've had quite a few occasions where mile redemptioins would not work at all.  So I'd either have to spend $2,000 on air tickets out of pocket, or I turn to point redemption.  I always turn to CSR for its 1.5 cpps.  Never any regret.

 

I do not buy the case that UR transfer value is about 2 cpps.  Sometimes you can, either hotel or some expensive air tickets.  But always never any economy tickets.  So I never transfer UR to airlines.

 

Travel portal with fixed point value always has a spot in my portfolio.


Earlier this year, Chase did a transfer bonus to BA avios (30% bonus). If they keep doing this, it is possible for 2cpp on economy flight. Otherwise, I would agree 1.5-1.6 through chase portal is generally better than transfer for economy tickets.

 

For OP, if someone already has plat, gold, only things for CSR would be

  1. its a more accepted VISA card (its still true, our vending machine doesn't take amex, lol)
  2. it has PP restaurant (it could be valuable if you go through one of these airports)
  3. primary CDW (if you rent cars)
  4. magnify other chase card's value (if you have decent spending on other chase cards)

If these can justify extra 150 a year, then its fine to keep it.

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Valued Contributor

Re: Is there a point to the Chase Sapphire Reserve anymore?

I remember someone did some math in spreadsheet about Chase CSP and CIP vs CSR.  The result comes up to be $68 AF difference.  This turns out to be 27,200 UR difference if you are going to redeem the UR via Chase travel portal.  That is about $400 to $500 flight tickets.

 

So if you think you can redeem average 30,000 UR via Chase portal for two domestic or one overseas air ticket per year, then the CSR is well worth the AF.  

 

To me, this is no brainer.  By choosing redeeming 60,000 miles for a $700 flight ticket, I'll take to Chase portal and redeem my UR points instead of spending cold cash.  The UR + CSR is cash equivalent for travel.  It is the money bank.  We can always earn more points.

 

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