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Downgrading from Chase Sapphire Reserve
Old 01-03-2018, 12:50 PM   #1
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Downgrading from Chase Sapphire Reserve

I downgraded from the Sapphire Reserve card (450 annual fee) to Chase Freedom (no annual fee) both to avoid the fee, and to preserve points. The following may be of interest:

1. The points stop being worth 1.5% for travel. This is OK; there weren't that many points left. And I have a Citi Master Card that gives 3% for travel, with only a $95 annual fee.

2. I had to give back the second year's $300 travel reward, that I had just received.

3. I lose the Priority Pass benefit. We never used it during the year we had the Sapphire Reserve card.

Now to close out Mr. A.'s Sapphire Reserve (he already has a Chase Freedom card, so we will just ask them to transfer the points).
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:39 PM   #2
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Thanks, that's good information to know!

I was just evaluating this one myself...

This card seemed like a obvious one to sign up for last year when they were giving a bonus of 100,000 points (at 1.5 cents a point, that's like $1500 for travel for signing up) for new cards. Those points allowed me to book 3 round trip tickets to California from the east coast last year.

Looking ahead now the $450 yearly fee is offset by the $300 voucher for my first airfare charge to the card for the year... so in a sense the fee is in reality $150 annually to make up.

With x3 on airfare and restaurants (and points being worth 1.5 cents towards travel from their site), this one ends up breaking even once I've reached $3,335 in spending on those two categories in the year.

The reality is, when comparing to the $0 fee cards one actually needs to hit at least $10,010 in spending in those two categories (travel and dining) to make up what the same spending would have gotten from the no fee cards that offered 2 points instead of 3.

That said, it seems there are much better reward options out there (cash back)... I guess that's why they offer the bonus to get you on board. It's a sign that one should get out after meeting the qualifications for it

I think I may transfer what I have left in points to my united account and close this one out as well.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:51 PM   #3
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2. I had to give back the second year's $300 travel reward, that I had just received.
Aw, really? I was under the impression that you could squeeze out a second bonus. I guess I'll find out soon enough as I'm doing the same thing.
Quote:

3. I lose the Priority Pass benefit. We never used it during the year we had the Sapphire Reserve card.
I think I used it twice, tried two other times and was shut out due to the lounge being too busy. I wasn't that impressed, though it was better than waiting at a gate. I put very little value on that card.
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Old 01-03-2018, 02:57 PM   #4
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I have the card and am keeping it because i spend more on travel than the 60000 points it takes to make up at .0025 cents. I use my other Chase cards to accrue the points and transfer them into the account.
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:14 PM   #5
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Last week, i spent some investigating the other benefits to the Sapphire Reserve (I have had the card for a year or so). There are some great benefits, not as well promoted. Here are two: $100,000 reimbursement for medical air evacuation/transport while travelling, $1500 reimbursement for emergency medical care while travelling.
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:37 PM   #6
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I had been thinking about getting this for a couple of weeks since I am scheduling two rather large vacations this year. Just did it about an hour ago. I hope I never come close to the limit they gave me.

I've had Chase checking/savings/credit cards for 20+ years so I guess that is why I got that limit. I have not been a Chase customer purposely, they just swallowed up the previous banks along the way.

I was really on the fence due to the giant fee but as posted, it is only about $150 net--and then the first year getting global entry will only be about $50. So I will see how it goes for a year.

I'm pretty credit-adverse and only use it for vacations and larger items. I'll see how comfortable I am using it for non-vacation dining.

I'll have to look at the details for med-evac, etc. I buy it through Med-Jet Assist currently.
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:38 PM   #7
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OP, why did you have to give up your 2nd $300 travel bonus? I'm about to cancel my Sapphire Reserve this month to avoid the annual fee on 2/1/2018 and I've already received my 2nd $300 travel credit. When I cancel are they going to try to claw back that $300 travel credit? Or is it because you downgraded after the $450 fee was imposed?
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:41 PM   #8
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I'm going to roll the dice on this one another year. We also have the Chase Freedom card for slightly better non-travel benefits. And we combine points.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:34 PM   #9
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Very pleased with our experience with this card in 2017 and am keeping it another year as we are traveling overseas in 2018 and the card provides free trip insurance and no foreign transaction fees.

The Thursday before Xmas, we were traveling on flights booked using points on the site to the west coast. We missed our flights that morning and they were able to rebook us later that day with no rebooking fees. Dodged a bullet!!
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:52 PM   #10
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The rep warned me that I would lose my second $300 travel credit if I canceled or downgraded the card; that's all I know. He cautioned that the $450 fee may appear on my balance, but that it would get credited back.

For me, the $150 remaining annual fee (after the $300 credit) can't compare with Citi Thank You Premier's $95 fee. That card gives 3% back for travel and dining, and points are worth 1.5x toward travel and air fare, just as with Sapphire Reserve. I made hotel reservations with the Citi card, and the prices quoted on hotel web sites were absolutely 1.5X what I paid.

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OP, why did you have to give up your 2nd $300 travel bonus? I'm about to cancel my Sapphire Reserve this month to avoid the annual fee on 2/1/2018 and I've already received my 2nd $300 travel credit. When I cancel are they going to try to claw back that $300 travel credit? Or is it because you downgraded after the $450 fee was imposed?
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:01 PM   #11
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Amethyst, so you're saying you spent the $300 on travel recently and it was reimbursed. Then you cancelled and you think the rep is saying they'll take it back?

Good to hear about the Citi as an option. I might need to change my "regular spending" card to focus on the higher value travel options at 1.5x. I've enjoyed the Chase 1.5x since it lets me shop for cheap flights and hotels for the dates I actually need them and then use pts to get the 50% bonus. Using my UR pts, I recently bought 5 RT tickets to the Bahamas for this summer that weren't cheap at all and not available at a reasonable price or schedule using other airlines' frequent flyer programs.

By the way, the Priority Pass Select membership for you and all guests traveling with you is a very valuable perk that comes with the sapphire reserve. We used it a ton this past year all over Europe and several times flying through Miami. Great way to blow a few hours in relative luxury if you need a bite to eat or a place to relax before/after a flight or during a layover. Quality of the lounges vary but we were generally impressed, though domestic availability is somewhat limited. The kids thought it was cool too (unlimited soda what what?!?!). The Priority pass would be worth $150 alone if we were planning to fly more internationally in the next year (only planning on flying through Ft Lauderdale 2x and they don't have a lounge, nor does our home airport of RDU ).
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:09 PM   #12
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I had one of those Chase cards but not the one with the $450, however it had the same special value on using points for travel.

You can (at least I did) transfer the points from 1 chase card to another so that when you cancel the card you keep the points.

I figure maybe later I might get one of these great cards, and I will transfer in the points to get some super value from them.
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:40 PM   #13
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I had one of those Chase cards but not the one with the $450, however it had the same special value on using points for travel.

You can (at least I did) transfer the points from 1 chase card to another so that when you cancel the card you keep the points.

I figure maybe later I might get one of these great cards, and I will transfer in the points to get some super value from them.
That's my plan. Transfer all these points I have left over to my Chase Freedom card I've had for 10-15 years (it used to be something else prior to auto-conversion to Freedom). I got a Reserve and an Ink Biz card each for DW and for me, so we ended up with almost 400,000 UR points and have only spent 150k or so on various hotels and and flights. I'll dump the 250k points onto my Freedom card for the time being, and might open a new Sapphire Reserve next year then redeem the points for big travel $$$ at that point.
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:11 PM   #14
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Yikes..had to give back $300 credit you just rec'd?
Had I known that, I wouldn't have charged that $300 gift card! How far back would they claw this from me? My annual fee is due March 2 which is when I would cancel the card. I don't see myself doing the kind of travel that would allow me to really benefit. Lounges are nice but I try to have short layovers at airports. I don't generate points like some do (just hit my spend thresholds and then move on). I did use the travel portal a couple of times for hotel bookings which was nice. Bummer that portal is no longer available after downgrading
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:04 PM   #15
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Yikes..had to give back $300 credit you just rec'd?
Had I known that, I wouldn't have charged that $300 gift card! How far back would they claw this from me? My annual fee is due March 2 which is when I would cancel the card. I don't see myself doing the kind of travel that would allow me to really benefit. Lounges are nice but I try to have short layovers at airports. I don't generate points like some do (just hit my spend thresholds and then move on). I did use the travel portal a couple of times for hotel bookings which was nice. Bummer that portal is no longer available after downgrading
card.
Well, here is one data point that our $300 did not get clawed back, and the $450 annual fee is refunded back.

My DW's Reserve card statement date was 12/1/17. $450 annual fee was charged and we paid soon after. Then, the $300 travel record became available. We used it to buy $300 Southwest gift cards. Two weeks later on 12/16/17, we called to product change to Chase Freedom card. Few days later, the $450 annual fee was refunded. We just checked that account and $300 did not get clawed back.

What we did was product change to Freedom and they did not claw back the $300, but I am not sure if you simply call to cancel if they will claw back the $300 travel credit, or not.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:49 PM   #16
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Yikes..had to give back $300 credit you just rec'd?
Had I known that, I wouldn't have charged that $300 gift card! How far back would they claw this from me? My annual fee is due March 2 which is when I would cancel the card. I don't see myself doing the kind of travel that would allow me to really benefit. Lounges are nice but I try to have short layovers at airports. I don't generate points like some do (just hit my spend thresholds and then move on). I did use the travel portal a couple of times for hotel bookings which was nice. Bummer that portal is no longer available after downgrading
card.
We're almost that way with the lounges. We're only flying once in 2018 I think. Raleigh to Ft Lauderdale to Freeport Bahamas. None of those 3 airports have lounges. On the return flight we're passing through the same airports plus a very short layover in Baltimore (which has lounges but we won't have time to enjoy).

They were great in Europe. Even tiny airports like Malaga and Seville in Spain had lounges. We have 3 kids and they all got in for free so it was a huge savings vs. paying airport prices for drinks, snacks, meals, etc. And a nice place to rest for a couple hours if you get through security much faster than expected (in some airports they suggest 3 hours for international flights but it often takes under 1 hr to get to your gate, so we go to the lounge for 1-1.5 hrs to eat, drink, and relax).
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:52 PM   #17
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What we did was product change to Freedom and they did not claw back the $300, but I am not sure if you simply call to cancel if they will claw back the $300 travel credit, or not.
They aren't supposed to if you cancel as long as you cancel before the annual fee hits. I could see if you call up right after the fee hits, then they might negotiate away your recent $300 travel credit in exchange for waiving the $450 fee, but I've heard many report they got out of the $450 fee if they cancelled soon after it was applied (and they didn't lose the $300 travel credit). Guess I'll see when I cancel in a few weeks.
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:56 PM   #18
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3. I lose the Priority Pass benefit. We never used it during the year we had the Sapphire Reserve card.
Same here. I find that lounge access has been one of the least used benefits of these cards.

I don't travel that much anymore, and it's almost exclusively domestic travel. There are two Priority Pass lounges at my home airport (O'Hare) and they are both in the international terminal and, therefore, not much use to me.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:20 AM   #19
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we will keep ours . we roll the 5% categories on the other cards over and get 7.50% for travel . the travel insurance they give you already saved us hundreds.

we got our tsa paid for too .

we charge everything we can on the other chase cards and transfer. the 1.50% on the unlimited with the 50% boost for travel when transferred beats my 2% back fidelity card.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:26 AM   #20
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They aren't supposed to if you cancel as long as you cancel before the annual fee hits. I could see if you call up right after the fee hits, then they might negotiate away your recent $300 travel credit in exchange for waiving the $450 fee, but I've heard many report they got out of the $450 fee if they cancelled soon after it was applied (and they didn't lose the $300 travel credit). Guess I'll see when I cancel in a few weeks.
The annual fee would not have hit until Feb. The rep was very definite, however, that I lose the $300. He doesn't make the rules..
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