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I’ve held the Chase Sapphire Reserve since the card was first introduced but after a number of great years during which the card never left my wallet, it’s time for us to part ways. The Reserve card has been a card that I’ve loved for most of the years that I’ve held it, but the simple fact is that when I take a look at all the other cards that I hold, I cannot justify the Reserve card’s place in my portfolio. It has to go.
The annual fee that I’ll have to pay will drop from $550 to $95, I’ll get to keep the same account number, and thanks to the other cards in my portfolio, there’s not that much that I’ll be giving up.
How I’m replacing the Chase Sapphire Reserve
I already hold the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card (review) and once I downgrade the Reserve card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (review), I’ll have a card paring that more than matches the earning rates that the Reserve Card offers.
The only time when I would be better off having the Chase Sapphire Reserve would be if I was booking a rental car through Chase, and as that isn’t something I’ve done more than once or twice in all the time that I’ve held the card, I don’t see this being an issue.
Key travel benefits
Priority Pass membership
As part of my credit card portfolio, I hold the Ritz-Carlton Credit Card which gives me a Priority Pass membership just like the Chase Sapphire Reserve. In fact, the Ritz-Carlton Card’s membership is actually better.
Firstly, the Ritz-Carlton Card allows me to add authorized users free of charge and each authorized user can have their own Priority Pass membership. This beats the Chase Sapphire Reserve which charges a $75 annual fee for the same privilege.
Secondly, while the Priority Pass membership that comes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card allows the member to bring two guests with them into the lounge, the membership offered by the Ritz-Carlton card comes with no guesting cap at all.
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit
My Ritz-Carlton credit card has me covered here too and because I also hold the Platinum Card® from American Express (review) and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (review) I still have enough Global Entry credits to cover the fees for Joanna and MJ’s memberships too.
Redeeming points through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Holders of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card can redeem all Ultimate Rewards Points they earn at a rate of 1.5 cents/point when booking travel through the Ultimate Rewards Portal, and this is one benefit that I’m not going to be able to replace fully.
By holding the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card I will still be able to redeem my points at a rate of 1.25 cents each should I wish to, but as no other card other than the Reserve card grants a redemption rate as high as 1.5 cents/point, I’m going to have to give up 0.25 cents/point every time I redeem through the UP portal.
Key travel insurances
An area in which the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is very strong is in the area of travel protections and insurances so this was something I looked at very closely before deciding that it was safe to downgrade to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
When booking any travel other than flights, I’ll mostly be using my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or my Ink Business Preferred Card as between them, they’ll cover me as well as the Reserve card for the following:
- Trip cancellation/interruption
- Rental car collision
- Lost luggage
- Baggage delay
They will not cover me as well as the Reserve card for trip delays, emergency evacuation, emergency medical and dental, or travel accident insurance but as I don’t go on cruises (where better coverage in these areas may be useful) and as I’ve already suggested that I’ll be using a different card for flight bookings, this doesn’t really bother me.
If I’m booking airfares, I’ll be using my Platinum Card® from American Express to pay for the flights (I like the 5 points/dollar the card offers me when I book directly with an airline – terms apply) and this card should serve me pretty well when it comes to covering for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
As far as the levels of cover go, the Platinum Card will cover me just as well as the Reserve card for the following:
- Trip cancellation/interruption
- Trip delay
- Lost luggage
It will not cover me as well as the Reserve card for emergency medical and dental, baggage delay, or travel accident insurance, but it will offer me better emergency evacuation and transportation cover.
Yes, the Platinum Card requires me to put the full cost of my trip on the card to get all of these benefits while the Reserve allows me to part-pay, and yes, the Platinum Card will not cover me on one-way bookings while the Chase Reserve card will, but as neither of those issues has stopped me from using my Platinum Card for most of my flight bookings in the past few years, they’re not a reason to keep hold of the Reserve card now.
In fact, if I’m feeling particularly worried about a one-way booking (I rarely book one-way fares), I can always forgo the 5 points/dollar that the Platinum Card offers me and make the booking with my Ritz-Carlton card. That will cover me just as well as the Reserve.
Key shopping insurances
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card covers cardholders for returns made within 90 days of purchase on items worth up to $500 with a maximum level of cover set at $1,000 per year.
Not a lot of cards offer a level of protection as good as this but, once again, my Ritz-Carlton Card will cover me just as well as the Reserve Card when I’m buying something that I think I may need to return.
Extended warranty protection
This is another easy insurance policy to cover as most of the cards that I hold (other than cards issued by Citi) will cover me to the same extent as the Reserve card.
I have to admit that I really hoped that I’d find a reason to keep my Chase Sapphire Reserve Card because I’ve developed an irrational attachment to it. I don’t know how or why this has happened – it may be down to the fact that it has been the one card never to leave my wallet in the past few years – but it’s something I have to ignore as the facts speak for themselves.
As long as I downgrade to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, I’ll have enough good cards in my portfolio to cover for most of what the Chase Sapphire Reserve has been offering me, and as I can still justify holding all of those other cards, the Reserve card has to go.