Happy Friday! Since today is not only Friday (woohoo!), but the First Friday of the month, I wanted to offer a reminder that you can earn an extra point on dining charges put on your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Normally dining charges put on the Sapphire Preferred (even those at a fast food restaurant or coffee shop) will earn you 2x Ultimate Reward points, but on First Fridays you get 3x on all dining charges. Not huge for sure, but hey every point counts in this house!
Other Updates to Chase Sapphire Preferred:
While we are on the subject of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, I also want to mention that the changes to the card I talked about last week have now officially been communicated by Chase on their website. As expected, the loss of the 7% annual points bonus is confirmed to be on the way out and the auto rental collision damage waiver is enhanced from secondary to primary.
Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance Coverage Increased:
Coverage has been increased from a maximum of $5,000 to $10,000 per covered trip. If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather or other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels.
Auto Rental Coverage Enhanced:
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver has been enhanced from secondary coverage to primary. Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
New Ultimate Rewards Site Launching in September:
You will reportedly be able to access rewards from your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, in-depth travel guides, and the site will be tailored for you based on your previous redemptions and where you like to shop.
Discontinuing 7% Annual Points Dividend:
After 12/31/2015, you will no longer earn the 7% annual points dividend. You will be awarded your final 7% points dividend in early 2016. The card will still earn 2X points on travel and dining and 1 point on all other purchases.
Getting Cash via Statement Credit:
You can continue to redeem your points for cash through a statement credit or direct deposit into an eligible checking or savings account. However, Pay Yourself Back will no longer be available after 9/20/2014 and paper checks will no longer be available after 11/15/2014.
Earn on Travel Changes:
You will continue to earn an extra 1 point for each $1 of airfare and hotel accommodations booked through Chase.com/UltimateRewards until 12/31/2015. After that, you will no longer earn an extra point. This does not mean the card no longer earns 2x on travel, it just means that booking via the Ultimate Rewards portal will no longer give the extra point.
- Merchandise may be offered directly through Chase or third-party merchants
- The Ultimate Rewards Mall will be referred to as Shop through Chase℠
Discontinuing underutilized features:
- Purchasing Ultimate Rewards points (though this seems to have been gone for a while anyway)
Obviously I’m sad to see the 7% points bonus on its way out, but the $10,000 in trip interruption coverage, no foreign transaction fees, 2x earning on travel, and primary auto rental coverage are enough to have this card be my #1 go-to card when traveling, which I suppose is their goal!