Chase has recently announced that they will be adding some new SBE hotel perks to their flagship Sapphire Reserve card. These perks have made Chase more competitive with American Express and Citi in the premium card market. And for consumers, the changes are welcome.
SBE is a hotel management and hospitality company that owns a nice “suite” of luxury hotels. They also own nightclubs, restaurants, and subsidiary businesses that are related to their hotels.
What’s Going On?
You will receive the following benefits at one of participating properties:
- Fourth night free (only applies to if four consecutive nights are booked)
- $30 hotel credit per room (eligible towards food and beverage)
- Complimentary hotel room upgrades (when available)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Daily continental breakfast for two people
- Late check out (when available)
All you have to do is book a room at one of the hotels one SBE’s reservation page.
However, there are some caveats. The benefits will not work if you book through Chase’s travel portal. Also, you must pay for the reservations with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card and then present the card when you check in. This is the hotel’s way of making sure its you and that you’re participating in the program.
Furthermore, you will love the new SBE benefits as well if you love culture. Both the Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred will have access to select SBE exclusive activities and events surrounding popular music, culture and art festivals.
Which Hotels Are Participating?
There are currently 19 hotels that are participating in this program. Hopefully, more will join in the future.
- Delano South Beach
- Hyde Midtown
- Mondrian South Beach
- Redbury South B each
- Shore Club
- SLS Brickell & LUX Brickell
- SLS South Beach
- The Raleigh
New York, New York
- Mondrian Park Avenue
- Redbury New York
- St Martins Lane
- SLS Baha Mar, The Bahamas
- Mondrian Doha, Doha
- 10 Karokoy, Istanbul
- Delano Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Mondrian Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
Do These Benefits Improve the Sapphire Reserve?
The short answer is a resounding “yes”. Before March 2019, the Reserve’s primary benefit is its $300 annual travel credit. Now it will have something more for customers to lean on when trying to justify its $450 annual fee.
Is This A Good Deal?
Although it sounds cliché, your mileage may vary. That depends on how you travel. Those who love to travel to luxury resorts will have a field day with this benefit. You will save a few dollars per night (or hundreds for your entire trip) if you book using your Sapphire Reserve.
The $30 resort credit, Wi-Fi, and complimentary breakfast are nice incentives to book. But the icing on the cake are the complimentary room upgrades. Room upgrades are some of my favorite hotel perks as they can save you hundreds of dollars per night. These upgrades could even justify the Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee for some.
Also, there are competitors to Chase and SBE. American Express’ Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) and Virtuoso are two of the most popular. Chase and SBE’s competitors are established and have access to more than 19 properties. I hope that Chase and SBE expand this partnership into the next decade to compete while attracting wealthy customers.
It’s not that the Sapphire Reserve lacks benefits, but Chase noticed that the Reserve lacks benefits compared to premium competitors. I agree with Chase’s analysis, knowing about all three issuers’ premium cards. However, the Reserve is a nice earner, which is not always the case with premium cards.
This series of benefits is likely Chase’s way of competing with the Citi Prestige and the American Express Platinum Card while targeting more wealthy customers. Some of the SBE benefits are clear reminders of those from the Citi Prestige. The most obvious being the Fourth Night Free, which is the Prestige’s signature benefit.
The SBE hotel benefits are welcome, bringing Chase more on par with Citi in terms of benefits. Citi is known for “nerfing” (or taking away) benefits, especially within the last five years. Meanwhile, Chase has been investing more in benefits than any other card issuer within the same time period. Either way, I still find this move interesting.
However, the king of credit card benefits is still the American Express Platinum card. That card is the only one that offer thousands of dollars in benefits for a slightly higher annual fee. Chase and Citi are merely battling for second place.