The best cards get better, plus 5000 points

I love when great cards get even better.  Chase already surprised us recently by changing the benefits guides for most of their cards for the better.  You now receive automatic travel insurance benefits (except for rental car coverage) and purchase protections even if you pay only partially with your Chase card, or if you pay with points.  I think that’s a great enhancement.  Almost all other banks require that you pay entirely with their card to get any coverage.  I reported these changes in the following earlier posts:

Now, according to reliable source, Chase has a few new nice surprises for us…

Chip & Signature

When travelling abroad, you may encounter situations where your regular credit card doesn’t work.  Automated ticket counters, in particular, often require cards with EMV chips.  While it would be nice to have cards with full “chip and PIN” capabilities, it is more common for US banks to offer “chip and signature” options.  Chase already supplies several of their cards with EMV chips: Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and British Airways cards are some examples.  Now, finally, Chase is planning to roll out Chip & Signature to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Ink cards.

By mid-November (probably Nov 17th), all new Sapphire Preferred® Card applicants will automatically receive cards with EMV chips.  Existing cardholders will have to request the new cards (and can do so now, according to The Points Guy).  To me, this is a great enhancement because I like to use my Sapphire Preferred® Card when travelling (since it offers 2X for travel and dining), but I occasionally run into a situation where a card with a chip is needed.

I don’t yet have any information about when the Chase Ink cards will get chips, but I’ve been told that the enhancement is “coming soon”.  I also don’t know if the chip will be available for all 4 varieties of the Chase Ink card.  My bet is that it will be limited to the premium cards: the Chase Ink Plus® and Chase Ink Bold®.  We’ll see.

What if you run into a spot where not just a chip, but a PIN is required as well?  I’ve been told that these chip and signature cards have a default PIN.  Before travelling, ask your customer service representative for details.

Authorized user bonus

Another enhancement expected with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is that they will offer an extra 5000 point sign-up bonus for those who add an authorized user.  Chase has offered this same deal for a while now with their United MileagePlus card.  It’s great that the same offer will be coming soon to the Sapphire Preferred® Card!

Ultimate travel cards

It seems like I’ve written a lot of posts lately about card perks going away.  For example, a few Citibank cards are no longer as valuable as they were before (details here and here).  And, American Express is dropping OfficeMax from the OPEN Savings program (details here).  It’s great to see the opposite happening with some of the best cards on the market.  The Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Plus®, and Ink Bold® were already awesome cards thanks to having best in-class earnings (2X travel and dining for Sapphire Preferred®; 2X and 5X categories for Ink), best rewards program (Ultimate Rewards), one of the best shopping portals (Ultimate Rewards Mall), no foreign transaction fees, etc.  Now, with the addition of better automatic travel protections and chip & signature, the cards will be even better. 


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Comments

  1. Too bad the massive United devaluation that was just announced makes chase cards far less lucrative and probably no longer your favorite cards!

    • Yo: The United devaluation definitely hurts the value of Ultimate Rewards points, but remember that they are still invaluable for domestic awards (United, BA, SWA), South America (United, BA), train travel, Hyatt stays, and travel with many other award partners.
      .
      Paul S: Maybe the chip could be used instead of swipe in Japan.
      .
      MikeO: The fact that Chase is now charging cash advance fees for Amex purchases sucks, but I wouldn’t throw out these excellent cards because of it. Amex changed the way they code the purchases and that had the negative effect of causing Chase to treat them as cash advances. The worst part is that call center agents refuse to one-time waive the fees. That is extremely customer unfriendly.

      • Agree. Would never throw these cards out as long as 5x for office supplies. Amex swears they didn’t change the coding so someone’s not telling the truth. Given that Chase benefits from the change, I suspect it’s them.

  2. If Chase really wants the Sapphire to become a travel friendly card, they need to change it to a plastic card. I gave up quite a few points on dining and travel purchases when I was in Japan because it wouldn’t swipe in about half of their machines where I tried to use it.

  3. Ok, but what about them changing their policy with respect to Amex gift cards and treating them as cash advances? There was no notification, and when questioned, they lie and say it was Amex that changed its coding and refuse to waive the fees. Doesn’t sound like an ethical company.

  4. The Chase agent I just spoke to had no clue about the 5000 points. I will call again and try another rep but it may indeed be only for new applicants. They are sending the new EMV card out second day air. I took a moment to register my dissatisfaction about the United devaluation and my decreased likelihood of using the Explorer Cards as a result. Can’t hurt.

  5. I got a call on Monday from the “Relationship Banker” at my Chase branch, who knows that I am always on the lookout for good bonuses. She told me that after Nov. 17 if you apply for a CSP card at the branch you can get 40,000 points for a $2000 spend in 3 mos. and if you add an authorized signer you can get 5000 more. Not sure if this is limited to account holders or not but may be worth checking if you are in the market for a CSP. Best CSP offer I know of right now.

  6. Paul S: It’s very easy to request a plastic version of the Sapphire Preferred from Chase. I have a plastic version that I take with me when I travel overseas. You can request a plastic one via phone or secure message in your account.

  7. My wife received her CSP in the mail a week ago and added me as an authorized user. Do you think Chase will match her to the 5,000 point offer for authorized user via secured message?

  8. Regarding the CSP fail in Japan, I was there for two weeks this summer and frustrated to be unable to use it. Upon return to the States I SM ed Chase that they had missed out on 15k on travel charges by being unusable over there … And they have me 5k UR without being asked. Maybe shoot them a note.

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