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.