7% Annual Bonus Is No Longer Offered.
Last week I flagged that one of the really neat benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, a 7% annual bonus on points earned in the previous year, was no longer being listed on the Chase website.
At the time I wrote that one of the things that makes points less valuable than cash is that you can earn a return (interest, investment gain) on cash but points have a tendency to lose value over time (award chart inflation). Chase’s solution to that, with its Sapphire Preferred Card, is the 7% annual bonus on all the points you earned in the previous year.
- The card has a great signup bonus — 40,000 points after $3000 spend within 3 months plus 5000 more points for adding an authorized user and making a purchase within that same period.
- It earns double points on all travel and dining, so earning especially for travelers is really fast.
- Points transfer to a wide variety of airlines (United, British Airways, Korean, Singapore, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic) and hotels (Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, IHG Rewards), plus Amtrak.
Add an EMV chip for worldwide acceptance plus no foreign transaction fees and it’s a great all-around product, probably the best for most readers.
Removing the 7% annual bonus from the website led to speculation about whether they were preparing to pull it at least from new cardholders.
That’s how American Express went about updating their Platinum cardholder benefits before announcing the end of American/US Airways lounge access as a benefit of that card.
They have to be very careful about promised benefits, given all of the federal scrutiny of card marketing. So it’s important to make sure all materials are cleansed of a benefit before actually eliminating it.
Speculation about the future of this annual benefit is heating up, and commenter DorG reports,
[M]y [Chase] banker mentioned starting 7/20/2014, the 7% annual dividend is going away. If you want to apply, better hurry.
If you get the card now, it’s fairly certain that you will receive this bonus for points earned in the current year.
And it’s possible that if Chase eliminates the benefit that they will only do so for new cardholders, grandfathering existing ones.
We don’t know the future of the benefit exactly, Chase hasn’t made an official announcement, but it seems likely that the benefits are better if you get this card now rather than later.
(Products referenced here offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine and not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered.)
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