Sapphire Reserve Changes Will Kick In This Month

by Shelli

Chase is implementing a number of programatic changes to its top-tier Chase Sapphire Reserve travel card beginning this month. The changes were announced earlier in the summer, but will kick in the 26th of this month, affecting both new and existing Reserve cardholders.

The changes overall are a mixed bag, but some may impact user experience and are useful to understand.

First, The Improvements…

Mobile Priority Pass Select

Reserve cardholders already get complimentary Priority Pass membership, which enables complimentary access to more than 1,200 airport lounges. Chase is making a slight improvement to this perk, however.

Previously, Chase cardholders had to activate their Priority Pass membership online and then wait for their Priority Pass card to arrive in the mail. Priority Pass will now afford Chase cardholders digital Priority Pass membership, eliminating the need for a physical card.

To activate the digital membership, cardholders need to input their Priority Pass membership number and expiration date in the Priority Pass mobile app.

With lounges all over the world, the complimentary Priority Pass Select membership that comes with your card has you covered wherever you travel.

Those who do not have a membership card can trek over to the Chase Ultimate Rewards benefits page to first activate your membership, then visit to to create a digital account.

The Club at SJC. Source: Priority Pass

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will be able to use the Priority Pass mobile app to access lounges like The Club at SJC. Image by Priority Pass

One other thing to note is that digital membership is not accepted at all lounges, so there are still some advantages to carrying the physical membership card (really, is it 1998?)

Expanded Options Through The Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal

Chase is working on expanding their Ultimate Rewards Portal. In particular, they are growing their list of hotels and vacation rentals that you can book using the Ultimate Reward travel portal, which allows cardholders to redeem points toward a cash fare or hotel stay at a fixed 1.5 cent-per-point rate.

Chase says it is working to increase the number of airlines and hotels bookable in the portal. They recently added Iberia and Aer Lingus as transfer partners. Other than saying “coming soon” there is no date yet for when these enhancements will be available.

Use your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and you’ll be seeing the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House in person before you know it!

Minor Negative Changes

1. Somewhat Reduced Reward Points

Cardholders will no longer earn points on purchases that qualify for the $300 annual travel credit. Cardholders will earn 3 points for each $1 spent after the $300 is spent annually when the card is used for purchases in the travel category.

This is a very minor overall change, as it really only affects $300 per year in spend.

2. Price Protection

Price protection benefits are being dropped from the Reserve card.

Previously, the card included protection in the event that prices dropped after purchases were made .

3. Priority Pass Select

Priority Pass Select complimentary access to lounges is granted to both the cardholder and authorized users of the card, and was previously extended to an unlimited number of guests.

There will now be a maximum of two guests per Priority Pass Select membership card. Additional guests will be charged $27 per visit.


These updates and changes to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card are a mixed bag. Chase taketh away and Chase giveth more options and benefits. Always good to stay up to date and know what’s coming down the road.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Jay August 3, 2018 - 12:12 pm

The Priority Pass Select change is not minor :S

Shelli August 3, 2018 - 2:39 pm

Great point, and I agree. For some folks it’s a major change.

Patrick August 3, 2018 - 12:29 pm

You mentioned Vacation Rentals can be made using Chase Points… I am having trouble locating those.
Can you point me to the right place?

Shelli August 4, 2018 - 10:29 am

Patrick, Did you log into your Chase UR account and look there? Under the Travel Benefits you might find what you’re looking for. Hope that helps.

Patrick August 4, 2018 - 12:03 pm

I looked under travel benefits and there isn’t ANY mention of “vacation rentals” that I can find. Care to provide a link?

Shelli August 4, 2018 - 1:54 pm

Sorry, Patrick, don’t have a specific link. You might want to contact Chase portal help directly.

DaninMCI August 3, 2018 - 12:53 pm

I wish they would add cruise bookings on the portal but kinda minor. Not earning points on the $300 makes sense but is kinda nickel and dime in a bad way. For 900 UR’s it makes me feel bad as a customer. Funny how Amex seems to be improving price protection and warranty stuff but others are devaluing in this area.

Shelli August 4, 2018 - 10:32 am

I hadn’t thought much about the nickel and diming on the $300, Dan. True though. It’s not like we can do much with 900 UR’s, but they all do add up and create a feeling of liking Chase a wee bit better.

Patrick August 3, 2018 - 1:10 pm

They do have cruises… you just can’t book them online. And maybe that’s what you were referring to.

PeterW August 3, 2018 - 3:48 pm

Will definitely keep the card but not for my daily spending or big purchases. I will put only dining out and travel purchases on the card…

Shelli August 4, 2018 - 10:23 am

I agree, Peter. None of the changes make me put this card in the sock drawer…..yet.


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