Yesterday I got charged the annual fee for my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, a quite hefty sum of $450 dollars. My Asian mother would never approve of paying a yearly fee for a card, much less one in the hundreds. Indeed, on the surface I do not fit the salary profile of a person who carries credit cards with high annual fee, but the beauty of Chase Sapphire Reserve is that it literally (?) pays for itself.
It’s just one of those things that catches you off guard when it shows up on your bank statements, like the annual membership for Amazon Prime. Just yesterday I wrote about being austere through the rest of 2019, and this charge was certainly a sudden shock. Thankfully, unlike Amazon Prime which has hiked its rates many times (I can remember when Prime membership was only $70 dollars), at least the Sapphire Reserve card has stayed consistently at $450 per year since inception. I’m very glad Chase did not follow the footsteps of American Express, who raised the fee of their premium Platinum card to $550.
It’ll be my fourth year with the Sapphire Reserve card, and as long as I remain traveling on a consistent basis, I completely make the annual fee back through points accrued. The $300 travel credit is still there, and that not only can reimburse for obvious stuff like airfare and hotel, but Uber rides and public transportation also count. Via rudimentary math, that cuts the net annual fee down to a manageable $150, which will get canceled out once I spend a cumulative $4,000 on travel and restaurants next year (a very easy target for me to hit.)
I reckon there will come a time when I will divorce from the Sapphire Reserve card and switch over to a pure cash-back variety (hello, Capital One!) I don’t suppose I’ll keep on traveling as I have done for the past few years, and at that juncture there won’t be enough appropriate spending to offset the annual fee. In the meantime I think Chase would be smart to split up the annual charge into monthly payments, because us millennials love that sort of accounting: my phone only costs me $40 dollars a month!