Time to change cards

Old Jun 2, 20, 2:08 pm
  #1  
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Time to change cards

We have had a CSR since it was introduced in 2016. It's served us well but we are thinking of changing things up. With the recent annual fee increase and the fact that we never use Doordash or Lyft it's just not as attractive as it used to be. Can someone please suggest alternatives? Ideas include:
  • Downgrade to CSP (what we had before CSR)
  • Switch to Amex (which one?)
  • Switch to something else
We like the CSR because when there isn't a pandemic we eat out a fair amount and like to travel. I have redeemed Chase points for airfare and hotel in the past. Currently only have around 70k points, though.

Thanks for any ideas/thoughts.
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Old Jun 2, 20, 4:39 pm
  #2  
mia
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
....recent annual fee increase....
Note that Chase has delayed implementation of the fee increase, and added temporary bonuses in non-travel categories. See these threads:

Chase Temporary Offers & Bonus Boosts (Covid/lockdown) All cards (I would review the Wikipost first.)

Sapphire Reserve higher annual fee, Lyft, Doordash benefits. (Fee increase delayed)
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Old Jun 4, 20, 10:57 am
  #3  
 
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I'm in the exact same situation as you. With the decrease in travel, I'm considering cards focused on rebates or cash back vs. travel benefits. But CSR has served me pretty well so I'm torn.
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Old Jun 4, 20, 6:22 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
We have had a CSR since it was introduced in 2016. It's served us well but we are thinking of changing things up. With the recent annual fee increase and the fact that we never use Doordash or Lyft it's just not as attractive as it used to be. Can someone please suggest alternatives? Ideas include:
  • Downgrade to CSP (what we had before CSR)
  • Switch to Amex (which one?)
  • Switch to something else
We like the CSR because when there isn't a pandemic we eat out a fair amount and like to travel. I have redeemed Chase points for airfare and hotel in the past. Currently only have around 70k points, though.

Thanks for any ideas/thoughts.
If you decide to D/G to the CSP I'd suggest spending your 70K UR first. You'll lose $175 in value if you use them after you D/G. Lots of folks dealing with this dilemma.
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Old Jun 4, 20, 8:02 pm
  #5  
 
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For the OP—Is earning the main thing that is important to you, or are the benefits more important? They will influence which card if any you want as a replacement.

If you believe the pandemic will be over in a year or so, and things will return to normal, I assume you’ll want the CSR back when that day comes. It may be worth it to suck up the annual fee for a year, maintain your UR points, and build up a few more on spending with this card and on the Freedom card you may have. If you fear this will last a long time, and travel is out of the picture for a few years, you may want to go to cash back.

Before the pandemic, the fee increase made me plan to cancel the CSR, as I have too many premium cards. For several mostly idiosyncratic reasons, I decided to keep the CSR and ride it out for the year. The main reasons of wide applicability for me were that I do like the card, I have an outsized credit limit on it for my income (not reduced yet), and from Chase’s view I’m probably not a very profitable customer on the card (almost all CSR spend is at 3x). So I’m actually not sure I would be approved again, especially in a tight economic environment. So after Chase announced the $100 credit I decided to keep the card.
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Old Jun 5, 20, 8:29 am
  #6  
 
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You may wish to consider temporarily downgrading to either CSP/FU/Freedom to save on annual fees while preserving your UR points balance.

When you are ready to travel again (and presumably cash out UR points to pay for that travel) you can upgrade the downgraded card back to the CSR for the higher redemption opportunities and increased travel benefits. If you do pursue this strategy, be sure to retain a minimum of $10,000 credit limit on the downgraded card as that is the minimum credit limit required to transition back to the CSR.

As OP specifically mentioned dining and travel, AMEX Gold ($250 annual fee) comes with 4x MR points for grocery stores and restaurants and 3x MR points for flights booked directly with airlines. (If you buy a lot from Amazon, you can use this to buy Amazon gift cards at a grocery store, turning Amazon purchases into 4x MR points.)
Diplomatico is offline  

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