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First, let me preference this by saying that the $300 travel credit is only changing for NEW APPLICANTS. If you already have the card, nothing is changing! However, if you apply on or before May 20, 2017, you’ll be grandfathered into the old rule.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card you receive up to $300 in statement credits for any travel related purchases. This includes airfare, hotels, cruises, trains, taxes, amtrak, etc. All you have to do is charge your travel related purchase to your card and you’ll automatically receive the statement credit. Currently, this $300 in statement credit is per calendar year. That means, if you applied for the card in October 2016, for example, you had the opportunity to receive $300 in credits in 2016 and another $300 in credits in 2017. So within your first year of having the card (and paying the $450 annual fee) you can theoretically get reimbursed $600! This made the $450 fee for the first year not so bad since you were actually coming out ahead $150 plus the sign up bonus. Of course, getting the $300 twice only happens in the first year the card is open, not every year thereafter if you decide to keep the card.
With that being said, the “per calendar year” rule is changing and starting on May 21, 2017 it will change to a “cardmember year”. That means if you were to apply for the card on May 21, 2017, you have until May 2018 to receive the $300 statement credit. The travel reimbursement then resets every anniversary year. Due to this change, you are no longer able to earn the $300 statement credit twice within the first year of having the card.
Since this change does not start until May 21st, you have a few more days to apply for the card to be grandfathered into the old rules. This means there is still time to get the $300 statement credit twice within the first year. If you were to apply tomorrow, you’ll have until your statement close date in December 2017 to spend the $300 and then you’ll get another $300 in reimbursements between your December statement close date and then you have another $300 to spend in 2018. If you were thinking of applying in the near future, I suggest looking into it now! Ultimately, this is getting you another $300 in “free” travel and makes up for the high annual fee! While the sign up bonus is only 50,000 points (it used to be 100,000 points when the card first launched), I do not foresee it going back up that high again for a long time. Here are the top 10 questions I put together regarding this card.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points after you spend $4,000 on the card within the first three months.
H/T: Travel After Work