Can You Still Double Dip Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit?

By | May 16, 2017

One of the most generous benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is its $300 annual travel credit. Right now, since the credit resets each December, you could receive the full travel credit twice–that’s $600–while paying only one annual fee of $450.

Earlier today, news broke of a change in the reset timing of the annual credit. Instead of the travel credit resetting each December, it will reset based on the anniversary of the date you opened your account.  This change takes effect for new applications starting on May 21, 2017.

I’ve highlighted the relevant definitions in the Benefit Terms below:

A statement credit will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for purchases in the travel category, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $300. Annual means the year beginning with your account open date through the first statement date after your account open date anniversary, and the 12 monthly billing cycles after that each year. (For applications submitted before May 21, 2017, annual means the year beginning with your account open date through the first December statement date of that same year, and the 12 billing cycles starting after your December statement date through the following December statement date each year.)

The End of the Double-Dip?

Does this mean that you can no longer get the annual $300 credit twice in the first year you have the card? Although the new terms are designed to make it look as though you can’t double-dip, you still can. You just have less time. Read on to learn how.

If you already have the card, or are approved between now and May 20, 2017, nothing has changed. The double-dipping strategy I explained in this post still applies. After that date, you’ll need some discipline, but you can make it work. Consider the following hypothetical timeline as an example:

  • June 2, 2017 – Apply and are instantly approved
  • July 1, 2017 – First annual fee posts (it always posts on the first day of the month following your approval)
  • At any point – contact Chase to change your Statement Closing date to 1 day after the date you were approved, in this example the 3rd of each month.
  • June 3, 2018 – Your travel credit resets. You have until June 2, 2018 for your first $300 in travel credits to post. Don’t cut it that close
  • July 1, 2018 – Second annual fee posts.
  • July 30, 2018 – Last day to cancel Sapphire Reserve and have the annual fee refunded.

The magic is in the two dates in red above. You have from June 3, 2018 through July 30, 2018, to receive your second $300 travel credit while only being on the hook for your first annual fee.

Double-dipping is still very much alive. The change in terms by Chase make it a little more difficult, but plan accordingly, and you can get the $300 travel credit twice while only paying one $450 annual fee.

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16 thoughts on “Can You Still Double Dip Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit?

  1. Chris

    Hi,

    Not sure if this changes anything but what if I was unlucky enough to have gotten approved on the 1st of the month. ( i got approved 1st of july).

    Reply
    1. Yak Post author

      It’s only unlucky if you were billed your annual fee on that same day, which I think shouldn’t be the case. Assuming your first annual fee was billed on August 1, you can just add 1 month to the example in my post. Change your statement date to either the 2nd or the 3rd of each month. Your travel credit should reset on July 2 or 3, 2018. Your 2nd annual fee won’t bill until August 1, 2018. So you should have almost all of July and August 2018 to use your 2nd travel credit and still cancel without being on the hook for the 2nd AF.

      Reply
      1. Chris

        Thanks for the quick response. Unlucky as always, I was billed july 1st. Does this mean i have no window anymore or my window shortens to only 1 month.

        Reply
        1. Yak Post author

          You know, when I wrote this post, I wasn’t sure what would happen with approvals on the 1st of the month, so I intentionally used June 2 for the example just in case. Looks like I was right.

          You still do have a window, but it’s shorter. Change your statement date to the 2nd to give you the longest opportunity. You’ll have pretty much all of July. Plan ahead and you can do it. Think about airline, hotel or cruiseline gift cards that you can purchase next July to trigger the credit, yet use sometime in the future. Research before you buy to make sure your chosen gift card will work. Good luck!

          Reply
  2. Matt

    If I applied and was approved late in the month, 23rd of August, do I still need the change the statement closing date to the 24th? Will my window still be the entire month of September to get the $300 travel credit prior to cancelling? I figure I can just buy a $300 AirBNB gift card.

    Reply
    1. Yak Post author

      @Matt, I would change it. Your 2nd AF will be billed on 9/1/18 and you’ll have until 9/30/18 to cancel for a full refund. Nothing will change that. However, here’s 2 scenarios with the statement date:

      Scenario 1 – Your statement date is the 22nd of each month. Your travel credit will reset on 9/22/18 (first statement after your anniversary) giving you only a week to monetize your 2nd travel credit.

      Scenario 2 – Your statement date is the 24th of each month. Your travel credit will reset on 8/24/18 (first statement after your anniversary) giving you over a month to monetize your 2nd travel credit.

      Big difference.

      Reply
      1. Matt

        Ahhh, did not get that it resets after the first statement after anniversary and that is the reason for changing the date. Thanks for the reply.

        Reply
  3. enzo

    I’m still confused as to if I can squeak out another travel credit before I downgrade my card to a freedom:

    I applied for the card on 24Oct16, annual fee posted 1Nov16. I’ve received a travel credit for 2016 and 2017.

    Nov statement was from 10/24/16 – 11/15/16, due on 12/12/16.
    Dec statement 11/16/16 – 12/15/16, due on 1/12/17.

    I assume my annual fee will post on 1Nov17.

    If I book some travel after Dec 15, and then downgrade my card before Jan 15. 2018, will I receive the travel credit and would the annual fee be reimbursed? or do I need to downgrade before Jan 1 (Nov1 + 60 days)?

    Reply
    1. Yak Post author

      Your next annual fee will post on Nov 1. Your travel purchases need to post after Dec 15 and you should (to be safe) downgrade by Dec 30. I’m still not 100% of how to answer your last question so I always recommend the more conservative earlier date (AF post + 60).

      Note the comment prior to yours. If Chase changes the rules mid-stream, this won’t work. However, if you downgrade before Dec 30, it should cost you nothing to try.

      Reply
      1. enzo

        Thank you for the rapid reply! I’ll give it a shot, as you say, it doesn’t hurt to try.

        Reply
  4. Mark

    If i apply today and am approved i assume i wont have the extra month next year to double dip? Is it best i wait until Oct 2nd to apply?

    Reply
    1. Yak Post author

      @Mark, better to wait. If you are approved today, your annual fee will post on October 1. Waiting 2 more days gives you an extra month.

      Reply
  5. Jason

    Do you think I can use this method (change closing date (annually)) every year to double dip?

    Reply
    1. Yak Post author

      @Jason, I don’t think so. The credit will reset only once per year. By changing the closing date, you can sort of dictate when during the month it will reset, but not the number of times it will reset.

      Reply

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