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If you have a high annual fee card, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you may be worried about getting billed for the card's annual fee while also struggling to pay other bills during this period of economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But you may be in luck.
"Given this very unique time, we are providing a one-time, automatic $100 credit towards the new annual fee," a Chase spokesperson told CNBC Select. That would effectively reduce the Chase Sapphire Reserve's fee from $550 to $450.
Reports began circulating on Reddit early this morning about Chase sending secure messages to select Sapphire Reserve cardholders about a $100 credit to offset the card's steep annual fee. A Chase spokesperson confirmed that at this time, only cardholders with account renewal dates between April 1 and July 1, 2020 are eligible for the $100 annual fee credit.
If that's you, expect to receive a notification about the $100 statement credit that looks like this:
"We recognize this is a difficult time for everyone. As a way to help, we're providing you a one-time $100 statement credit toward the 2020 $550 annual fee on your Reserve credit card. On an upcoming billing statement (based on your renewal date), you'll see a $550 charge for the annual fee, followed by a $100 statement credit. We will continue to bill the $550 annual fee in 2021.
Because this credit only applies to open Reserve accounts, if you've closed your Reserve account or traded to another credit card before your renewal, you will not receive the $100 statement credit. We know COVID-19 has affected people in many different ways. Please check chase.com/StayConnected for updates and helpful ways to stay connected to your accounts."
No action is needed on your part to get the $100 statement credit, if you meet the account renewal terms.
The $100 statement credit is a generous offer from Chase, especially since the Sapphire Reserve's new $550 annual fee was going into effect on April 1 for existing cardholders. It will be interesting to see if other luxury travel cards, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, which has a $550 annual fee, will offer a similar credit (see rates and fees).
Beyond the annual fee increase, Chase introduced a variety of new benefits last year, such as Lyft and DoorDash perks. While you may not being using Lyft amid the coronavirus outbreak, the DoorDash benefits can come in handy.
Cardholders receive a complimentary DashPass membership, which provides free delivery and lower service fees from hundreds of restaurants on orders of $12 or more (valid through December 31, 2021). Cardholders can also benefit from a $60 DoorDash credit in 2020 and an additional $60 credit in 2021 to offset the cost of food delivery.
If $450 still seems like more than you can afford right now, you can consider downgrading your card to a no annual fee Chase card. The Chase Freedom® has no annual fee and just released new bonus cash-back categories: Take advantage of earning 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending across purchases made at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market from July to September (then 1%).
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
Information about the Chase Freedom® has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.
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