Why I’m Keeping My Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Despite the Higher Fees

The recent news seems to suggest Chase is increasing the annual fee for its popular Chase Sapphire Card from $450/year to $550/year starting in April this year.

My renewal comes later this year, and at that point, I’ll have to make the decision whether to renew the card. Right now, the math seems to suggest it’s still the best travel card I can get, so the answer is yes. Here’s how I’m making my decision.

 FeesCreditsTotal Value
Annual Fee$550-$450
Annual Travel Credits$300+$300
Points earned from Travel. I value points at 1.64 cents/point.42,000+$688
Points earned from dining24,300+$398
Points from other purcahses2,300+$37
Total Net Value of 2019+$973

As you can see, based on this quick analysis, I gain a net of about $973 based on my spending in 2019. Usually the spend on dining and travel vary quite a bit and I’ve earned much more points in the past, but this is a great starting point given my recent spending. So this means that even if the annual fee went up another $100, I’d still be net positive $873.

Now the alternative I have is to consider a few other cards. Here’s a few scenarios I played out if I have similar spend in 2020. There are also many other cards that gives miles, points, and rewards for dining and travel, but none provide the 3x that CSR provides.

 Sapphire ReserveVenture MilesCapital One Savor CardAlliant Credit Union 2.5% Back Card
Annual Fees-$550-$95-$95-$99
Travel Credits+$300
Value from Travel Related+$694+$282+$141$353
Value from Dining Related+$398+$162+$324$203
Total Value+$842+$349+$370+$457

Based on this quick and dirty analysis on my dining and travel spending alone, it makes sense for me to stick with the Sapphire Reserve Card despite the higher fees. I do also spend more than a thousand a year on ride-shares, and with the extra Lyft cash-back, maybe it’ll also give me some additional value in 2020.

I also will have the Southwest Companion Pass for 2020 and 2021. When I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve to pay the $5.5/leg/person fee, I get the full travel, trip-delay insurance, for both myself and my companion. Ironically despite the Business Performance Card giving 3 points on Southwest flights, it’s still better to use the CSR for any actual monetary purchases — since I value CSR points at 1.64 cents and Southwest points at 1.58 cents each.

Cheers,

Hai / Deals.app