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Recently I discussed the pros and cons of paying the annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, evaluating whether it is worth it or not heading into the second year. Turns out, I technically lied. It’s not *my* Sapphire Reserve card. The account is my mom’s and I’m an AU, and we’ll actually be downgrading it. At the same time I am trying to decide…should I upgrade my Chase Sapphire Preferred to a Reserve?

Weighing the decision

Much of the factors that go into this decision have already been discussed in my previous post on whether I should keep the Sapphire Reserve open. For my parents, it doesn’t make sense. They don’t travel enough to get any real benefit out of it.

Should I upgrade my Chase Sapphire Preferred to a Reserve?

Plus, they can simply downgrade to a Freedom Unlimited. I ultimately convinced my mom to try the card since they’ve never had a travel card and I couldn’t get one due to 5/24.  They haven’t used a single UR point to date, even after me prompting them to take a little “free” getaway. So…yeah. Close that sucker. Maybe I can get them to pick up a Sapphire Preferred later this year and they can actually do something with their points.

The pros

If I upgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred I am about to get as a product change of my Fairmont card, I would be paying $450 for a $300 credit (essentially pre-paying travel), and the rest of the benefits for $150. This is an honest evaluation since we have no way of getting around a large chunk of paid travel in the near future as we are about to head to Costa Rica for nearly 2 months to adopt 3 beautiful kids! Can’t really hack an extended stay style hotel room for that long (so I’m honestly factoring in the $300 credit as an offset to the fee).

Thus, we’ll essentially be paying $55 for the remaining benefits, plus we’ll earn 3x on at least $3,000 of lodging over the time we will be in the country.

Since my wife already has a Sapphire Preferred, we’d probably downgrade that to a Freedom Unlimited (one of the Chase cards neither of us have). This will leave us with both types of Freedom cards, plus a CSR. Not bad, in my opinion.

The cons

It’s still $450 out the gate. The annual fee came due on my wife’s CSP in June, I believe, so we won’t be credited that back. I doubt Chase will be willing to pro-rate the annual fee (since the fee doesn’t technically come due on the Fairmont card until February). So…we will have paid an extra $95 for the “privilege” of having a CSR.

If they *do* pro-rate the fee, we come out ahead. But I highly doubt that will be the case.

Should I upgrade my Chase Sapphire Preferred to a Reserve?

What’s your take? Right now I think it is worth it, especially with the unavoidable travel expenses coming up. Should I just stick with the Sapphire Preferred?

[SEE: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve]

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