Chase has made a change to the Sapphire Reserve. No, benefits haven’t change so far, a change to UltimateRewards earning rates have changed. Chase adjusts UltimateRewards dining earnings a little. Rather than being broadly defined, with just about any dining establishment earning 3x points, they’ve decided to narrow the category down a little.
According to Dan’s Deals, the category change affects 3 merchant types: bakeries, caterers, and dairy products stores. Any negative changes are bad, but all things considered this isn’t so bad… depending who you are. Caterers no longer qualifying for accelerated earnings kind of sucks for me, as I usually put these types of charges onto my card on behalf of my employer. Bakeries is another category that may sting for some, especially if you’ve got a large birthday, wedding, etc. coming up. I suppose the dairy products stores doesn’t really matter, as you wouldn’t usually spend a ton on ice cream… maybe cheese, but for myself, we’ve got no actual cheesemonger in Hawaii, so it doesn’t matter.
The stated reason for the change according to Dan’s Deals is to “keep all Chase product fair and consistent.” I’m not sure what they mean by this, as the Sapphire Preferred and Marriott Rewards Premier card both earned double points on the aforementioned categories. What peeves me most about this change, though, is the fact that Chase gave no notice at all. Prior notice would have been nice… but an after-the-fact notice should have been made at minimum, in my opinion. The change, by the way, was effective as of 08/30/16. Now we know, though, so simply don’t use your Chase Sapphire card(s) at any of these three merchant types. Not sure? Just use your Freedom Unlimited if you want to be safe.