Chase Sapphire Reserve: Downgrade the Sapphire Preferred and Other Cards?
Avatar_160_hilary
Hilary Stockton
Google+

My Award Booking Service helps travelers book first class and business class with miles and points. As an independent affiliate of Cadence, I also have access to Four Seasons Preferred Partner, VirtuosoPeninsula Hotels PenClub, Dorchester Diamond Club, Belmond Bellini Club, Shangri-La Luxury Circle, Langham CoutureRitz-Carlton STARS, Starwood Luxury Privileges, Rocco Forte and other 5-star hotel partners, so I can book, for no extra cost, your perfect luxury hotel or luxury cruise with VIP amenities not available anywhere else. Become a client and upgrade your stay!

GOT A BLOG POST IDEA?
Have a travel question we haven't covered yet? Want to share your secrets for traveling well for less?

Chase Sapphire Reserve: Downgrade the Sapphire Preferred and Other Cards?

 

If you get the Chase Sapphire Reserve should you downgrade your Sapphire Preferred and other credit cards? After being approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I'm going through my existing cards and deciding whether to keep them, downgrade them to a no annual fee card, or cancel them altogether. Here's my thinking so far:

Chase Sapphire Preferred: Downgrade to Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is effectively $150 per year, since it provides a $300 per year statement credit for travel purchases; the Sapphire Preferred is $95 per year, so you're only paying $55 more for the Chase Sapphire Reserve. And for that extra $55 per year, you earn 3X on all travel and dining vs. 2X with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

I value Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a minimum of 2 cents per point, which means that if you spend at least $2500 per year in the travel and dining categories, earning 3X for a total of 7500 Ultimate Rewards points, worth $150 at a valuation of 2 cents per point, you easily recoup the $150 fee. And that doesn't take into account the card's other benefits which everyone values differently, from Priority Pass Select lounge access to enhanced travel insurance, such as trip cancellation and interruption coverage up to $10,000 and trip delay reimbursement up to $500 per ticket for travel delays over 6 hours or unplanned overnight stays.

For me, the 3X for travel and better benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve mean that I plan to use it and my existing Ink Plus for virtually all business expenses going forward, and will downgrade my existing Chase Sapphire Preferred to either a second Chase Freedom with rotating 5X categories (since I already have a Chase Freedom) or a Chase Freedom Unlimited that earns 1.5X on all spend. Currently I'm leaning towards the former, since even with maxing out both my husband's and my Chase Freedom cards for the 5X grocery bonus, we've almost exhausted our Trader Joe's gift cards. It would be great to have $4500 of Trader Joe's gift cards at 5X to cover groceries and wine for the year, since wine is a much better deal at Trader Joe's in NYC than at our local wine stores. We'll also likely increase the restaurant gift cards we buy when restaurants is a 5X category; after all, 5X for dining is better than the 3X of the Sapphire Reserve, even though this only works for U.S. restaurants in the case of the Freedom, due to the foreign exchange fees. All international dining will go on the Sapphire Reserve.

Then for other completely unbonused spend, I'll continue to use my SPG AMEX, since I need to earn some more Starpoints anyway to top up our Miles & More account for a future Lufthansa First Class award.

 

Citi Prestige: Keep for 6 Months for 7X on Travel, Then Cancel

As I mentioned in Citi Prestige Retention Offers and Tips, I received an offer of 4 additional ThankYou points per dollar spent, total of 7X on all travel, for 6 months, up to a maximum of an additional 35,000 ThankYou points. This rewards up to $8750 in travel spend, so I'll initially be maximizing this offer when it comes to travel, before cancelling the card in 2017 (after of course taking advantage of the $250 airfare credit for 2017).

 

Citi ThankYou Premier: Cancel

The main thing the Citi ThankYou Premier had going for it was its 3X on all travel. Since I'll now get that with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and consider Ultimate Rewards points more valuable than Citi ThankYou points, there's no reason to keep the Citi ThankYou Premier. I don't spend enough on entertainment, which the card bonuses at 2X, to justify the $95 annual fee.

If you've gotten the Chase Sapphire Reserve, do you plan to downgrade or cancel any of your other cards?

Related Posts

How to Get Approved for the 100K Chase Sapphire Reserve If Over 5/24

How to Check If You're Under Chase 5/24 to Qualify for the New Sapphire Reserve

Best Ways to Use 100K Ultimate Rewards Points?

100K Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Launched August 21, 2016

How to Become a TravelSort Client

Need Award Booking Help? Our fee is as low as $75 per ticket if you book your hotel through us.

If you enjoyed this, join 200,000+ readers: please follow TravelSort on Twitter or  like us on Facebook to be alerted to new posts. 

Become a TravelSort Client and Book 5-Star Hotels with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred Partner Benefits! 

  • |
  • Print
    print |
Related Articles
Comments
Picture?type=large Robert S. commented 05 Sep 2016
As always, thanks for the analysis Hilary! Now that I got my CSR, I was about to downgrade my CSP to another Freedom card, but stopped because I realized I have at least 1 pending referral bonus (5k UR pts) on my CSP. I'm going to wait another 1-2 billing cycles to give the referral bonus time to post, then downgrade. Just a reminder for those folks who may have a pending referral bonus out there! Also, I concur with you that a second Freedom card is the better choice, instead of a Freedom Unlimited. I rarely max out the category bonus, but want to leave the FU untouched so I can get the signup bonus if I decide to apply with a fresh app.
Leave a Comment
Comment
Facebook-logo
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
Square_shangri-la_luxury_circle_benefits
1/7/2017
UPDATE: Due to high demand, we are only accepting Luxury Circle Reservations of 2 nights or more from New TravelSort Clients. As usual, quotes are only available after submitting a completed and signed TravelSort New Client Form. Note the $50...
Square_75k_amex_platinum_bonus_offer
1/24/2017
  75K AMEX Platinum and 75K AMEX Business Gold Rewards bonus offers are available to many, using private browsing (Safari) or an Incognito browser window (Google Chrome). To maximize your chances of seeing the offers, be sure to clear your...
Square_200_amex_platinum_airline_fee_credits_posted-2017
1/14/2017
  The $200 AMEX Platinum Airline Fee Credit isn't as easy for most people to use as the $250 Citi Prestige airfare credit or the $300 Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit, for a couple reasons: It's restricted to one airline,...
Square_2017_and_travel_credits-which_credit_cards
1/3/2017
  It's 2017, which means a new round of airline and travel credits from credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, AMEX Platinum, and more. Here's a rundown of the main cards that offer an airline or...
Square_which_travel_credit_cards_i'm_using_most_and_why
2/10/2017
  Which credit cards should you use for which spend? TravelSort reader Ann writes "I've read many of your previous travel credit card posts, but I'm curious about which credit cards you're using most now, and why. My husband and...
Square_10000_alaska_miles_bonus_for_virgin_america_elevate_members
1/9/2017
  10,000 bonus Alaska miles is a nice present today for Virgin America Elevate members who are also Alaska Mileage Plan members. Log into your Alaska Mileage Plan account, and you may see a 10K bonus similar to the following:...
Square_review-british_airways_first_class_747-seat_2a
1/18/2017
  British Airways First Class is often panned in blogger reviews, compared to other international first class products. But the fact remains that British Airways has the most first class flights and seats between Europe and the U.S., by virtue...
Square_100k_chase_sapphire_reserve_offer_to_end_january_11_2017
1/3/2017
  The 100K Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus offer will end January 11, so just 1 week more to apply if you've been on the fence about the card. I'm assuming that the new offer, for applications on January 12 and...
Square_langham_couture_preferred_partner_benefits
1/10/2017
  Langham Couture Benefits are exclusively available when reserving a Langham Hotel as a TravelSort Client or with another Langham Couture travel advisor. Langham Couture is not a well known preferred partner program, but it has a couple of great benefits: guaranteed one-category...
Square_review-etihad_business_class_seat_a330-200
1/4/2017
  This Etihad Business Class Review on the A330-200 and Leeli Business Class Lounge, Male Review is from my husband, who was in business class on the same flight my son and I flew economy class on (see my Etihad...