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The rumors are true.  The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is increasing the annual fee from $450 per year to $550.  The pitchforks are out, people are saying the CSR is “garbage” and it is time to cancel the card.  I hate to pay more than I need to for anything but are the CSR changes really that bad?  Let’s take a look.

What is Changing?

All the current benefits of the CSR will remain intact.  There are several new changes to the card as outlined below.

  • All cardholders will be eligible for one year of Lyft Pink which costs $19.99 per month; this gives 15% off on all rides, priority airport pickups, relaxed cancellations, 3 free bike or scooter rides per month and surprise offers (whatever that means)
  • All Lyft rides will earn 10x points per dollar spent on rides
  • All cardholders will be eligible for DashPass which costs $9.99 per month which gives no delivery fee and lower service fees from restaurants
  • All cardholders will receive $60 in annual DoorDash statement credits in 2020 AND 2021
  • The annual fee will increase from $450 to $550

When Does this Start?

The new benefits listed above will be available to all cardholders this Sunday, January 12.  New applicants to the CSR will be charged the $550 annual fee starting this day as well.  Current cardholders will be charged the new $550 rate starting on April 1, 2020.

You can still apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve with this link for the $450 annual fee through Sunday, January 12th.

What Does this Mean?

If you do not already hold the CSR it may make sense to sign up now before the annual fee increases.  With the $300 annual travel credit you could take advantage of the current benefits PLUS the added benefits for an effective $150 out of pocket before renewal next year.  If you are a CSR cardholder with a renewal that is due to post before April 1 and you had planned to keep the card another year you should be happy.  The new benefits can be used with no additional out of pocket expense.  My CSR card renewal date is January 9 so I will definitely keep the card at least one more year since I will receive the new benefits at the current annual fee of $450.

Is the New $550 Annual Fee Worth It?

This is a much tougher question and is a case of YMMV.  If you are a moderate user of Lyft and/ or DoorDash then you could certainly take advantage of the new benefits and squeeze more than $100 of value out of the CSR.  Personally, I don’t use Lyft more than a handful of times a year and the DoorDash credit is not something I would value at the stated cost either.  I will wait to see if any other changes occur over the next year but if we were in 2021 and my CSR was set to renew at $550 for the next year I would highly consider downgrading to the CSP or Freedom.

What are your thoughts on the CSR change?  Is there enough value in the fee increase to keep the card or will you ditch it?  Let us know in the comments!

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