I Imagined a New Premium Chase Card… How’d I Do?

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Back in March, I imagined what a new premium Chase card would look like. By August, we had a new bundle of joy: the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Are you the premium Chase card of my dreamz?

Are you the premium Chase card of my dreamz?

I had high hopes for such an offering. So I thought it’d be fun to look back and compare what I wanted at the time to what actually came about.

And because my points & miles predictions for 2016 aren’t doing so hot. Oops.

Chase Sapphire Reserve: What it is

Here’s what I predicted way back when about a premium Chase card:

  • It would have a $450 annual fee
  • And United Club lounge access
  • $200 or $250 in travel credits
  • 3X, 4X, or 5X bonus categories
  • At least 1 seriously amazing perk
  • Primary car rental insurance worldwide
  • Several ancillary bennies
  • Airline and/or hotel elite status
  • Premium Ultimate Rewards points (make them worth 1.5 cents each)
  • A great sign-up bonus
  • Priority Pass, Global Entry, no forex fees, great phone service

So how’d I do?

What I got right

The Chase Sapphire Reserve did indeed have a $450 annual fee (it’s now $550).

And they bested my desire: you actually get $300 annually to use toward any type of travel

The 3X category for travel and dining (but not gas) is seriously welcome.

Yes! Just what I wanted!

Yes! Just what I wanted!

Yes to primary car rental insurance.

The points ARE worth 1.5 cents each, when you book travel through Chase. That one was spot on!

So was a great sign-up bonus. I’d even call it huge.

And yes to Priority Pass, Global Entry, no forex fees, and great phone service.

Out of the list of 11, I got 7 things correct. A pretty good run!

What I got wrong

Lounge access

There is no United Club lounge access. For lounge access, I must say, the Platinum Amex leads the pack. Because they have an excellent private lounge network. And you can get into Delta SkyClubs, in addition to Priority Pass and Airspace lounges.

Hahaha! You are NOT getting in here!

Hahaha! You are NOT getting in here!

Citi Prestige nixed Admirals Club access. So I guess Chase didn’t feel compelled to add United Club access.

American, Delta, and United all have $450-annual-fee co-branded cards with lounge membership included. So it’s not surprising for them to siphon it off other cards.

One seriously amazing perk

I was thinking something in the vein of Citi Prestige’s 4th night free perk, which I’ve used over and over this year. While that perk will remain (for now), it’s changing to a 25% discount on July 23, 2017. Still pretty great, though.

Chase didn’t add anything too mind-blowing to the CSR.

Several ancillary bennies

Again, to compare with Citi Prestige, I was thinking something along the lines of 3 free rounds of golf per year. And Citi Price Rewind.

But also again, the golf perk is going away next year. And I don’t count the addition of The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection as an an ancillary bennie. Cuz I’ll never use it (I think most of us have our chains we’re loyal to).


Airline and/or hotel elite status

A la Platinum Amex, which gets you Gold elite status with Hilton and Starwood.


For now, AMEX Platinum is still a back door to Marriott Gold elite status

Chase could’ve added elite status with Hyatt and/or Marriott. Or even IHG. But it didn’t happen.

Or maybe a fast track with United, because they are so intertwined? It would’ve put the card over the edge, IMO.

But Citi Prestige never had this, either. Still, it would’ve been a nice play against Amex, especially for Marriott status, given the Marriott-Starwood merger.

Bottom line

Can’t win ’em all. Chase did a fantastic job putting together the Sapphire Reserve card. I got 7/11 right. And 4 wrong.

But upon reflection now, the Sapphire Reserve does have enough perks. Because too many would be unsustainable long-term. And only lead to cuts and changes, as we’ve seen with Citi Prestige.

I got my chance to imagine. And saw the end result.

Is it worth the $550 annual fee? I think so, if only for the 3X categories and $300 travel credit alone.

What would you like to’ve seen added to the Chase Sapphire Reserve? Do the current perks make it worth keeping it year after year?

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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