The Chase Sapphire Reserve is Chase’s top travel card. However, some points and miles enthusiasts say that its not competing very with other premium cards like the Citi Prestige and American Express Platinum Card. This post suggests how Chase can possibly improve the Sapphire Reserve and better compete in the premium card market.
Sapphire Reserve Overview
The Sapphire Reserve is a great card that earns versatile and valuable Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. It also comes with some nice benefits for travelers.
This card earns 3x UR points on dining and travel and just one point on non-bonus spend. That’s not bad as a standalone card. But the Reserve’s power is amplified when coupled with other Chase UR-earning cards. These cards compensate for the categories that the Reserve lacks.
The Reserve comes with primary car rental insurance and other travel insurances that make life easier if something goes wrong on a trip. Other perks include the $300 general travel credit, Priority Pass airport lounge access, and a Pre-TSA / Global Entry fee waiver credit. Altogether, these perks should justify the card’s $450 annual fee, which is NOT waived the first year.
The Sapphire Reserve is not perfect by any means, but neither is any credit card. However, improvements can be made. This is especially true because the card has not changed much since its release in 2016.
Chase can take some inspiration from Citi and American Express like I did to write this post. The bank of Morgan has some excellent partnerships with over a dozen hotels and airlines. So why not extend the olive branch and add some dimension to the partnerships?
Add Complimentary Hyatt Discoverist Status
The Reserve does not have a signature hotel perk besides their newly added SBE hotel perks. Most SBE properties are luxury hotels. But what about a hotel perk that extends to more people?
Enter Hyatt Discoverist Status. Discoverist status is the lowest earned level of status from Hyatt. It comes as a perk on the Chase World of Hyatt card, but not on the Sapphire Reserve. This works nicely because Hyatt is already a Chase transfer partner and because the bank already offers the hotel chain’s credit card.
Furthermore, the American Express Platinum card offers Hilton and Marriott Gold statuses. It’s the only premium transferrable points card that offers any hotel status. Therefore, Chase could better compete with Amex by offering Hyatt Discoverist status.
Include Gas Stations in the Travel Bonus Category
This change is taking a page from the Citibank playbook. The Citi Premier already includes gas stations in its travel category. So why can’t Chase?
Adding gas to the travel category would make the Reserve a lot more lucrative and a better earner for many people. It will continue to be great for hotel and air travel. But those who want to take a road trip will be thrilled with the expanded travel category. Plus, it could be used at Costco because it’s a Visa card. The Citi Premier cannot as it’s a MasterCard.
There is only one Chase card that offers Gas Stations as a bonus category. That would be the Chase Ink Business Cash. The problem is that not everyone has a side gig or owns a business. Therefore, a gas station category would be a welcome addition for most consumers.
Add Grocery Store Bonus Category
American Express dominates the grocery store bonus category. But Chase can take some their market share by adding a 2x or 3x grocery store category. The Reserve can also compete with the Amex Gold by adding this category as both cards would have a dining and grocery store category.
Furthermore, grocery stores are a common expense for many people. Having one card that’s for all types of food is convenient and easy to remember. While the Amex Gold does this already, the Sapphire Reserve is a Visa, meaning that its accepted at more grocery stores.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a great card, but its by no means perfect. Some of the card’s critics wish that it had more perks and earning opportunities. This post hopefully addresses some of those concerns with some possibilities for improvements.
Apply Today: Chase Sapphire Reserve