Major Chase Updates! | Changes to the Travel Portal, Partners & Sapphire Bonus Rules

Hey, it’s Ernest from Trip Astute In this video, I wanted to do a quick summary of some big changes occurring with Chase that affects those of you who collect points

For those of you in the US, we hope you had a great Labor Day! Today, I wanted to do a quick video on some changes that have occurred with Chase As some of you might know, there’s been a lot of activity and changes with Chase lately, some of which might really affect those of you who are in the points and miles hobby Before we get started, if you’re new here, I want to welcome you to our channel Trip Astute is a travel channel that is focused on sharing ways to make travel easier, affordable, and more enjoyable Traveling can be stressful and expensive, so we’re looking for ways to help you maximize your experience through travel tips, points and miles, and innovative gear

If that sounds interesting to you, please consider subscribing Let’s jump straight into the changes We’ll go in the order of the good, the bad, and the ugly 1 The good news — the Chase Travel Portal is now being hosted by Expedia

If you use the Chase Travel Portal, you may notice that the look and feel of the portal has changed a bit I say “may” since it’s only live when using the portal on the Freedom cards If you’re a Sapphire cardmember, then you’re probably using the portal under that account, which still has the old interface that is managed by Connexions Loyalty Though it looks like Chase is planning to roll it out to all their Ultimate Rewards card accounts soon While there are definitely some differences when searching for flights, I think the biggest change is that you can now book and price flights up to eleven months in advance under the new portal, whereas the old portal only allowed up to nine months

You’ll also have access to some of Expedia’s discounted and seasonal offers, as well as more access to seats when booking flights That’s a big one for me since we usually can’t select our seats when using the Chase Travel Portal and have to wait either a week before or at check-in to select our seats with the airline A few folks online have been complaining that some previously available hotels, particularly Disney World resorts, are now unavailable under the new portal If you happen to experience this situation, I recommend calling Chase and seeing if they can still book it In fact, this is a good rule of thumb any time you hit a roadblock when trying to book travel using points on the portal

Also, if you have both a Sapphire card and a Freedom card, and are debating on which to use when booking, it’s probably going to make more sense to use your Sapphire Preferred or Reserve card since they have a higher per point value For example, redeeming the same roundtrip flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas would cost $179 on both versions of the travel portal, but one costs 17,900 in points while the other is only 11,933 This is because the redemption rate for the Chase Freedom is one cent per point, while the Sapphire Reserve is 15 cents per point If you have the Sapphire Preferred, it’s 1

25 cents per point So it’s definitely worth using your Sapphire card for the redemption assuming that the cash price is the same for the booking 2 The bad news is there are some updates to Chase’s travel partners Sadly, Chase lost Korean Air as one of their travel partners

This is definitely bad news, but there is a silver lining Chase picked up JetBlue as a new travel partner, which is pretty awesome JetBlue has some reasonably priced business lie-flat seats so this new partnership could come in very handy 3 And now the ugly … Chase has quietly implemented a new opening bonus rule for Sapphire cards

Chase has increased the Sapphire bonus waiting period from 24 months to 48 months The Points Guy recently wrote that the issuer updated their terms on the Chase Sapphire Reserve application It also seems to be in the Sapphire Preferred application, but not from all sources When I checked both the Sapphire Preferred and Reserve card off the Chase website, they both now include a 48-month restriction on earning a new bonus This makes it even harder to earn the bonus, especially if you were planning on downgrading your current Sapphire card to one of the Freedom cards, then reapply for a new Sapphire card

My recommendation is that if you are applying for either of these cards, check the offer details to see what they list I think what often happens is since Chase has so many offer links floating out there, they sometimes have ones where the details have not been updated If you happen to find one where the offer details shows 24 months instead of the 48 months, I would take a screenshot of it before applying That way you have proof in case you don’t receive your bonus and Chase cites the new policy as the reasoning Also, I know I probably sound like a broken record, but this is a great reminder that the game changes all the time

If anything, this is a good opportunity to start looking at other points programs and card products Just because Chase and American Express are arguably the top issuers when it comes to rewards, I definitely wouldn’t discount some of the other players in the market who are really ramping up their travel rewards cards What do you think about these new changes? Does it change your credit card strategy and approach? Let us know in the comment section below If you enjoyed this video or found it useful, please give us a thumbs up and consider sharing the video with others who might benefit or enjoy our content Until next time, travel safe and travel smart