Last month, there was an article on Bloomberg about how the Chase Sapphire Reserve card reduced Chase’s profit by almost $300 million dollars due to the lucrative signup bonus and features on the card. While the figure seems high at first glance, it apparently wasn’t good enough. Yesterday there was an article on CNBC (h/t Chuck) about how Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, wishes the card cost Chase even more money! Jamie was quoted as saying “The card was so successful it cost us $200 million, but we expect that to have a good return on it. I wish it was a $400 million loss.”
Now Jamie, I’m sure you have a high priced team of finance guys crunching the numbers behind this card but as a finance major myself, I’d thought I’d offer some free suggestions on how you could achieve your goal. In fact, I have 24 suggestions for you, though please pay special attention to suggestion # 5/24.
- The signup bonus – a 100,000 points. Been there, seen that. Want to be remembered as a legend in the credit card space? How about a 500,000 point signup bonus – Go big or go home.
- Make the card out of an actual sapphire (metal is so 2010).
- Increase The Points Guy commission’s to $1,000 per approved applicant so he afford another website redesign.
- Or so he can hire more staff to cover “breaking news”. I think he might have just posted about that JetBlue vacation deal.
- How about eliminating the 5/24 rule so everyone can get the card? I promise you will literally have thousands of people signing up the card the millisecond that rule is revoked.
- Amex has their own lounges – how about a network of Chase lounges accessible by Reserve members only?
- Might I suggest calling it the Sapphire Lounge? And no, do not call the JFK and/or LGA lounge Sapphire New York (might get a slightly different impression than intended….) Or if you want to do something with Sapphire New York, maybe offer 10x points earned on every dollar spent there?
- Stop having unattractive bloggers selling the shit of this card all day. Hire the Victoria Secret Angels and let them go to work.
- Every card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees these days. Take the next step and pay customers to charge items in foreign currencies!
- Run a contest and see which Boarding Area blog can sell the most Sapphire Reserve cards in a single day. Winner gets a personalized Reserve card with Jamie’s face on it.
- Increase the transfer ratio for Hyatt from 1:1 to 1:3. Chase will spend 3x more on buying Hyatt points!
- Offer a get 2 cards, annual fee on 1 is free deal?
- Every card seems to offer Global Entry credit nowadays. How about adding a benefit to skip immigration/customs altogether (note you may have to consult Mr. Trump on this…)
- Pay Lucky to rename his blog “One Chase Card at a Time”.
- Don’t give out 100,000 points. How about 100,000 dollars instead?
- Did I mention revoking the 5/24 rule already? Ya know, I’m not upset about not getting the card or anything like that….
- Increase the annual travel credit to monthly. Gamechanger.
- And instead of $300, make it $10,000. Private helicopter rides to the Hampton are very expensive Mr. Dimon.
- Remove the decimal and have points be worth 15 cents instead of 1.5 cents towards travel.
- Increase the commission you pay to MMS so they can blog like they used back in 2012 (seriously this was a great blog back in the day).
- Ditch IHG as a partner and add the Virgin Limited Edition hotels as a transfer partner. 50,000 points equals one week on Necker Island?
- Fine don’t fully revoke 5/24…just make it not applicable for this card only. Pretty please?
- 20,000 points if you add an authorized user. 30,000 points if it’s your dog.
- Lastly, don’t drop the signup bonus to 50,000 points online. Seems crazy I know but maybe keeping it at 100,000 points online will cost Chase just a bit more money like you hope. Have your finance guys double check this one.
There you go Jamie, twenty four well-thought, foolproof AND expensive suggestions to further reduce Chase’s profit. Now next time you have some big news to drop, I hope you’ll consider PointsCentric as your spokesperson instead.
At the very end of last year, IHG announced that on January 15th there would be a rather large change in award prices for many IHG hotels. In total, there are 649 hotels changing the cost of a free award night with the majority of them (488) going up in price with the remainder (151) going down. You can find the full list of hotels at this page on IHG’s website.
Some Examples of Changes
Unfortunately the hotels going up in price are definitely some of the more popular hotels and brands in the IHG portfolio, including some I’ve stayed at and represent good value. And while IHG tries to downplay the increases by noting 151 hotels are decreasing the amount of points required, many of the hotels are in Turkey, India and other less popular vacation spots in Asia. All this considered, this is definitely a devaluation for most of us collecting IHG points as I can’t imagine too many members are redeeming points in Turkey right now for example.
Here are some of the notable increases that caught my eye:
- The InterContinental Boston – from 55,000 points to 60,000 points
- The InterContinental Willard Washington DC – from 55,000 points to 60,000 points
- The InterContinental Sydney – from 55,000 points to 60,000 points
- Hotel Indingo Sarasota – from 35,000 points to 40,000 points
- Holiday Inn JFK – from 25,000 points to 35,000 points
- Holiday Inn Aruba – from 30,000 points to 35,000 points (I remember staying here when it was 25,000 points!)
View from our room at the Holiday Inn years ago…
Consider this your last notice to book these hotels before they go up in price on Sunday. Remember, quite often points reservations are refundable until a day or few days out so it doesn’t hurt to speculatively lock in a few reservations if you have your eye on any of the hotels increasing in price.
Update #3: Dead for good!
Update #2: Alive again! Here are two working links – link #1 and link #2.
This card doesn’t get much attention in the points/miles world due to a poor rewards program but it appears that Chase shortly may no longer offer the Chase Fairmont Visa for new applicants. The landing page for the official link from Chase is no longer working and there doesn’t seem to be any new link available to replace it. At this time, there is no official word from Chase about the future of this card but I wanted to highlight this issue in case one of my readers was interested in the card.
No more Fairmont Visa?
The good news is the fine folks at churning Reddit
have found a working link
that pulls up an application page but it is unsure how long this rogue link will last as I cannot find any mention of this card on Chase’s or Fairmont’s website. Furthermore even TPG, who is very closely connected with Chase, no longer has a working link for this card either.
Key Details of the Offer:
- Two Free Nights at Any Fairmont Hotel after spending $3,000 in 3 months
- Complimentary Fairmont Premier status – Basically you get 2x $25 food certificates, 1 room upgrade certificate, 1 suite upgrade certificate and some other smaller perks
- $95 Annual Fee is Waived for the 1st Year
- 5 Fairmont Reward Points for every dollar spent on Fairmont stays, 2 points for every dollar spent on airline tickets purchased directly with airlines & at car rental agencies, and 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Annual Free Night after spending $12,000 or more in a year
Basically if you want to take advantage of two free nights at any Fairmont in the world, I’d think about applying sooner rather than later. This card is not subject to the 5/24 rule. Fairmont was acquired by Accor hotels at the end of 2015 so it seems entirely plausible that Chase is losing the Fairmont account due to the acquisition by Accor – in fact, I’m personally surprised it hasn’t happened already.
I would only recommend this card for the signup bonus of two free nights and I would not put a dime of spend over the $3,000 as the rewards program is pretty awful. Fairmont is a really small hotel chain but they do have some very nice properties in the US as well as locations close to the US including Mexico and Bermuda. If say a couple were to both apply for a total of 4 free nights and had some Avios to burn for flights to Hawaii or Bermuda, this could make for a very nice long weekend.
Is anyone applying for the card in case Chase is losing the Fairmont account?
Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui
Below I’ve copied several headlines from bloggers in the points/miles blogosphere regarding the Chase Sapphire Reserve. These were all posted this week though I expect similar, additional posts today as well.
From Million Mile Secrets
From Dans Deals
Email from Award Wallet
From Travel Skills
Dans Deals for a Second Time!
Without any other background and simply reading the above headlines what do would a reasonable person assume? I would argue a reasonable, logical person would think the 100,000 point signup bonus offer on the Chase Sapphire Reserve is ending for good and the last day to apply for the current offer is today (1/11). That seems like a pretty fair conclusion no?
Guess what? It isn’t true.
In case your favorite affiliate blogger failed to mention this or buried the actual end date of the offer in 1,000 word exposé on why you need the Chase Sapphire Reserve before Thursday, this offer is available in branches till at least March 12th. There is no question this is probably one of the strongest bonus out there right now – in fact, I demonstrated how this offer was worth $1,100 CASH in your pocket at a bare minimum – but unless you don’t live near a Chase branch, there is no reason to rush into this offer especially if you have concerns about 5/24 status and/or can’t meet the required minimum spend.
I don’t know why it irks me that many of these bloggers fail to put their readers first but is it really that hard to make the headline “Last Chance to Apply Online for 100k Sapphire Reserve Bonus”, “The 100k Online Signup Bonus for the Sapphire Reserve Ends Wednesday” or something similar? Actually it’s not as I saw at least a few bloggers do the right thing.
From Pizza in Motion
Trust me I understand why bloggers are failing to do this as any in branch applications don’t make them any money. They only make money when readers apply via their links – in fact, good money as the rumored commission on this is $200 to $300 per successful application
if bloggers have direct Chase links for this card, less so if not direct links. Starting Thursday their sales pitches to readers to apply via their links gets much harder when their links will literally offer half the public, in-branch offer. So unless you don’t live/work/travel near a Chase branch before March, there is no reason to fall for all this “Last Chance” or “Hours Left” (you know some blogger will post that headline today) bullshit.
Hey bloggers be better than this…
One of my first posts of 2017 recommended that anyone who generally buys airline gift cards to take advantage of the annual airline credit on the American Express Platinum ($200) or Premier Rewards Gold ($100) cards should do so now, rather than taking a chance that American Express kills this option at some point in 2017. While reports on Flyertalk have generally been positive about this ‘trick’ still working, I can confirm firsthand that $50 Delta e-gift cards are working to generate the airline fee credit on my PRG card. Not only are they working but American Express credited my account rather quickly – in my case just a day.
If you want to try it for a different airline, please see the applicable Flyertalk threads below for other airlines. However, please make sure you update your airline selection
before January 31st or you might have to keep the airline you previously selected last year.
Links to FlyerTalk Threads with recent reports of success/failures
Any other success stories out there for 2017?