A little over a week ago I downgraded my Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Because my account is less than one year old my only option was to downgrade to the no annual fee Chase Sapphire card. I wanted to convert to the Chase Freedom card, but was unable due to the age of my account.
The decision to downgrade my Chase Sapphire Preferred was relatively. straightforward. I already carry the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and it simply doesn’t make sense to pay both annual fees anymore. More on that decision here.
One issues with the no annual fee Chase Sapphire card is how difficult it is to find information on the card. It’s nearly impossible to find the Chase Sapphire landing page on Chase’s website. Finally my new Chase Sapphire card arrived and with it a full list of card benefits. Additionally the welcome package included a link to Chase’s landing page for the card. You can view the no annual fee Chase Sapphire landing page here.
No Annual Fee Chase Sapphire Card Benefits
Anyone familiar with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card will see a ton of similarly between the benefits offered by both cards. Both cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points on purchases, offer bonus categories, and offer travel protection. The biggest notable difference is that the Sapphire Preferred card waives foreign transaction fees. Below is a brief summary of the no annual fee Chase Sapphire card’s benefits:
- No Annual Fee
- Earn 2X Ultimate Rewards Points on Dining
- Earn 1X Ultimate Rewards Points on all other qualifying purchases.
- Travel Protection (Visa Signature)
- Paperless Statements!
Ok, so the last benefit is a joke, but it’s actually listed on Chase’s website. Clearly the benefits with this card aren’t great and there are much better no annual fee options out there, but that’s not the point of this card (for me). The point of this card is that it allows me to maintain my account, established line of credit, and I avoid paying an annual fee. I’ll almost NEVER use this card for purchases because there are much more rewarding cards in My Wallet.
The Perfect Chase Sapphire Preferred Replacement
As I mentioned, the real value of this card is that it gives Chase Sapphire Preferred card holders a no annual fee option. Years ago when the Chase Sapphire Preferred card was introduced, it was the best travel rewards card on the market. Now, in 2017, there are significantly better travel rewards cards for the same $95 annual fee. For those who’ve had a Chase Sapphire Preferred account for many years, closing your card could negatively affect the average age of your credit accounts. My downgrading to the no annual fee Chase Sapphire card you maintain your same account, but not have to pay the $95 annual fee.
Obviously this scenario only works for those who no longer get much value from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. If the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is still your primary credit card then downgrading doesn’t make much sense. The Sapphire Preferred offers better bonus categories and waives foreign transaction fees which are great benefits to have from your primary credit card.
The no annual fee Chase Sapphire card benefits are quite underwhelming, but that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Chase has done an excellent job of building their fee based cards’ benefits up over the years. It seems they’ve left the no annual fee products behind to die. I wouldn’t have applied for the no annual fee Chase Sapphire card directly, but am glad Chase still offers the card as a downgrade option Sapphire Preferred/Reserve customers. It gives people who signed up for multiple Chase Sapphire cards an option to avoid paying two annual fees.
If you’re looking for a no annual fee credit card you’ll be better off with a Chase Freedom card. Both Freedom cards offer superior benefits than those offered from the Chase Sapphire card.
I couldn’t find an online application link for the Chase Sapphire card. You should be able to apply over the phone or in person.