PSA: Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee Post Date May Not Match Start of $300 Travel Credit Period

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  A few weeks ago, Chase announced a few changes regarding the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card.  Among the changes were the ability to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for 1.5 cents per point toward restaurant, grocery store, and home improvement purchases from May 31 through September 30 and the ability to redeem the $300 travel credit toward grocery and gas station purchases from June 1 through December 31.  Since my annual fee posted in April, I was excited to take advantage of the $300 travel credit toward those new categories.  I used my Chase Sapphire Reserve at Raley’s (my local grocery store) and patiently waited for the travel credit to apply.  Unfortunately, after waiting a few days, the statement credit did not post.  I did some digging and found out that I had already used my $300 travel credit in October 2019.  Let me explain what happened.

For the record, here are the details of my Raley’s grocery store purchase on June 1.  It coded as groceries and I earned 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards Points on the transaction.

I checked the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel benefits section.  Much to my surprise, I already received the full $300 travel credit.  At the bottom, it says “Next year’s $300 Annual Travel Credit will begin after your statement closing date in 10/2020*”.

As I mentioned earlier, my $550 annual fee posted on April 1 and I received an automatic $100 annual membership fee adjustment on April 2.  By my logic and understanding, I thought that was the beginning of a new cardmember year and the start of another $300 travel credit period.

After digging back into my 2019 statements, I saw that I received $300 in travel credit from October 5-12 for eligible travel purchases.

After checking my credit card spreadsheet, it appears that I opened a Chase Freedom in November 2013 and then product changed that card into a Chase Sapphire Reserve in September 2017, so that might be why my $300 travel credit begins in October.  And in fact, the first round of $300 travel credit started posting in October 2017 shortly after the product change was completed.  If I originally opened a card in November and product changed to a new card in September, why does my annual fee post in April?  That is probably the biggest mystery of all.

Long story short, if you product changed to a Chase Sapphire Reserve, your annual fee date may not line up with when your $300 travel credit begins.  When in doubt, check your old credit card statements or the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel benefits section.  Since the ability to redeem the $300 travel credit for restaurant and gas station purchases runs through December 31, I should be able to use my credit from October through December.  If you have any questions about the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, please leave a comment below.  Have a great weekend everyone!

17 thoughts on “PSA: Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee Post Date May Not Match Start of $300 Travel Credit Period

  1. Pingback: My June 1 Checklist of Credit Card Credits (Shipping, Wireless, Restaurants, Groceries & More)

  2. Joseph N.

    You know Chase changed this, right? At first the $300 credit was based on calendar year, but after May 21st 2017 Chase changed it. All CSR cards after that date get the $300 based on cardmember anniversary.

    The confusion Chase caused is compounded because sometimes Chase uses sign up date as the anniversary date, and other times uses the statement date as the anniversary date. A difference Chase’s own customer service reps get wrong. Every company should know that when you makes things so complicated that your own employees get it wrong, it is too complicated.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Joseph, yes it is quite complicated now. I know most AMEX CC benefits are based on calendar year, but I think most Chase CC benefits are based on cardmember year. One day I’ll ask Chase why my CSR AF is in April but my $300 travel credit starts in October. I’m curious what the reasoning will be. Enjoy your weekend :)

      Reply
      1. Joseph N.

        For sure the really odd thing about your situation is that both your original sign up and your conversion to CSR were in Fall, but the AF is due in April.

        It’s weird but maybe with Chase that isn’t unusual. Years ago I signed up for the Southwest Visa card in February and for years my annual fee was in March. Then one year it switched to October and has been their ever sense. However the 3000 pt credit continued to post in March. Don’t ask me why.

        If you ever get a good answer, let us know. I think Chase’s computers are not as glitch free as Chase thinks.

        Reply
  3. Lisa T.

    I was always really confused because my annual fee is in March but my travel credits get reset in December (shrug) Oh well!

    Reply
  4. K Johnson

    Good info to know, but should ‘$300 travel credit toward restaurant’ in the first paragraph be grocery?

    Reply
  5. Island Miler

    Same here. For the past few years, my annual fee posts in June but I get my travel credit in December. It’s really strange, but that’s ok.

    They didn’t charge me my authorized user fee for the past couple of years, but this year they began charging it. I almost forgot that it’s a thing lol

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Yes, I forgot about those authorized user annual fees. Seems strange to charge $75 for each authorized user card. I’m glad you weren’t charge for them one year :)

      Reply
  6. Norman

    I PCed my CSP to CSR in Oct 2019 (one year anniversary) and proceeded to use the $300 credit in November. I waited and waited months thinking I’d be charged the annual fee. Didn’t happen until April 2020. I don’t know If this was done to realign all the cards after they announced the AF increase to $550. For me, it’ll allow me to double dip on the $300 travel credit (probably as a GC purchase at a supermarket) *if* I decide to downgrade the card back to the CSP on or before April 2021 (will depend on how travel opens up)

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Norman, you would think Chase would have charged you the annual fee around the time of your product change, but who knows why that happened.

      Reply
  7. Jana

    This is a situation where AwardWallet helps me keep track of what is available and what has been used.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Jana, you’re absolutely right. Ironically, I hid those items in AwardWallet and forgot to unhide them after my annual fee posted. Let me unhide them now :)

      Reply
  8. Amber

    Mine is the same! My travel credit starts in September (when I product changed from CSP to CSR) but much annual fee is may 1? What do you think would happen if after I get my travel credit in September, I decide to product change down to Chase Freedom? Free travel credit? It’s been well over 48 months for a Sapphire bonus so want to resign up for Reserve anyway. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      I think you have to use your $300 travel credit while you have your CSR. After that, you can downgrade to Chase Freedom and probably get a prorated annual fee refund.

      Reply

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