Chase Sapphire (Reserve, Preferred, JP Reserve) temporary Covid benefits and new permanent (?) benefit

summary:
1.5cpp (reserve)/1.25cpp (preferred) option for redemptions in select categories against purchases. Looks like a new permanent feature, with potentially rotating categories. Not sure what part is permanent, either the categories or maybe only the 1.5/1.25 redemption rates are only temporary.

grocery stores 5xUR up to $1500/mo thru 6/30/2020 (I missed this for May, it was announced weeks ago :frowning: ).
Temporarily, other options for spending the $300 travel credit.
Renewal fees through end of 2020 are back to $450 (I didn’t see referenced on chase site, but several “blogs” reference this).

Press Release on pay yourself back

Info Page with info on the travel credit temporary change

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Surprisingly good news. I no longer have to agonize over my UR point hoard and the AF increase.

At launch and through September 30, 2020, Sapphire Reserve cardmembers’ points will be worth 50% more, and 25% more for Sapphire Preferred cardmembers, when redeemed in eligible categories.

It sounds like the the redemption bonus is temporary. The “Pay Yourself Back” feature could be permanent, even though it does not make sense as points can already be redeemed for account credit without having to select a purchase. Unless they plan to take away the account credit…

Well they also already allow you to pay with points through chase pay and at Amazon (i think), so it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll take away an option.

For the 5X UR, it includes instacart grocery, I’m not sure if Instacart Costco would work… From my other chase card, I think the charges process through Instacart (not Costco) but have Costco in the line.

I need to figure out if I should cash out some points (such as… maybe prepaid cards from a grocery store). I previously was hoarding in case a Hyatt would come up with a good redemption value, or to use for some Singapore Airlines suites, or Southwest Rapid Rewards at slightly less than 1.5cpp value but added flexibility. But I’m less confident in the long-term prospects for any of those programs, and I have another 90k+ Southwest points already sitting there now from a Southwest Priority card I added early this year. I also currently have ~500k UR points.

Edit:
Checked my Chase Southwest Priority’s Costco By Instacart charges and they DID code as grocery, with 3X southwest points. So it looks like that works. 7.5% covers about 2/3 of the costs of ordering Costco instacart (5% tip + ~5-10% upcharge depending on item).
Amazon Fresh, however, does NOT code as grocery.

New temporary COVID-19 benefits on the CSR and CSP: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-adds-temporary-categories-to-sapphire-reserve-preferred-cards-gas-streaming-instacart/

Gas Stations are 5x on CSR, 3x on CSP, up to $1500 for the quarter.
Streaming services are 10x on the CSR, 5x on the CSP, up to $1500 for the quarter.
Instacart is 5x on the CSR, 3x on the CSP, up to $3000 for the quarter. Chase will also pay $50 towards an annual Instacart subscription, or up to $50 in credits towards their monthly subscription.

I don’t think these are that great. Streaming is really hard to rack up large charges to. $1500 in gas station spend is OK but you have to find one that sells gift cards to make this worth your while, particularly during a pandemic.

Instacart is OK in my experience if you really are averse to going to a grocery store, but the need to tip the shopper negates any savings and I find the quality of the shoppers to vary greatly. I don’t really use the service although I could see this being valuable to certain segments.

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It also (can) qualify with the travel credit. Unclear if instacart will stack (they don’t for the normal “travel” category). It’s a little sad they reduced it from the 5X for all grocery including instacart (that was valid through end of June).
And you can use the 1.5X redemption to pay with points.

Overall not terrible. I don’t have that many groceries though and some wouldn’t qualify for other reasons. 5X points covers about half the instacart costs for Costco, by my rough estimation.

Yeah, that’s where I’m kind of at. Instacart is gonna be more expensive, so if you don’t care whether you go to the store or use Instacart, you have to calculate your margin and figure out if it’s worth it.

Hilton Aspire at 12x per dollar at grocery stores thru July is better for us.

If you value that at over 7.5%… that’s 0.625cpp
I’ve got about a million Hilton pesos, unfortunately.

Edit: right, forgot, as I mentioned already they dropped the “grocery stores” in general and just insta now

The need to tip Instacart employees is what pushes us towards the Hilton card - otherwise I would agree with you that the Chase deal is better. That, and we like to pick our meat and produce, or at least the QFC/Fred Meyer Clicklist employees have a good track record of doing a good job on our behalf. The Instacart drivers around here aren’t as good.

The Hilton points are literally pesos, yes, and we have 750k Hilton points ourselves… but there are enough chances to redeem at .05-.06cpp that it is better than the Chase Instacart deal for our situation.

We pushed $4500 worth of grocery spend through over the last 2 months with $3k on the CSR and $1.5k on the CF… so we’ve milked Chase pretty good over the last couple of months :slight_smile:.

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That’s a lot of groceries! (Or was it ice cream?)

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Do grocery stores sell ice cream now? I thought only drugstores did…

HEB did. Dunno if they still allow CC or only debit

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Gift card spend. Safeway had a few $10 off coupons on variable Visa/MC gift cards that presented good opportunities to bump that value up. Was able to cash those out on estimated tax payments we needed to make. Those IRS payments on gift cards code as debit so we actually made a measly $3 profit on those deals after the fee, plus netted the 5x points.

We also have been wanting a few things around the house now that we spend a ton of time here, so we grabbed a few HD and Wayfair gift cards too.

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I haven’t seen “ice cream” in grocery stores around here in quite some time. Like I said, the only real deal I was able to muster was the Safeway deal ($495 for a $500 VGC or MGC) and liquidate via the IRS. That was good enough for us after we netted some capital gains resulting from the bump up in the market.

Update - there are data points that the 5x for CSR has been extended to dining for this quarter. It’s unclear if it’s subject to the $1500 cap or not.

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Data point: Costco thru instacart posted as groceries.

Travel credit posted and points (5x instacart) posted.

Statement hasn’t cut yet to see if the points remain.

Haven’t seen that reported myself. I have a jun30 charge that posted jul 2 that was the normal 3 points. Jul1 charge probably will post tomorrow and I’ll update.

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I will say - I’m actually a little torn between my Hilton AMEX and the CSR now on dining. The $5 off $10 promo for local biz on the AMEX hits most of the restaurants we frequent, including the local pizza place, teriyaki restaurant, and some of the fancier places we’ve been getting takeout from. For low-value purchases though, like the pizza or Asian takeout, that AMEX promo is pretty dang hard to beat, even if the resulting Hilton points are worthless.

There are so many covid credit card promos going on right now that it feels like a full time job just to track all of them.

Data point: July 1 restaurant transaction posted to my account this morning. Still 3X points for me…