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Chase recently made news by introducing new bonus categories and improved earning rates on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® cards. Previously, the cards had offered straightforward bonus earning in the travel and dining categories, but things have become a little more complicated, albeit more rewarding.
Read more: The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve are adding lucrative new bonus categories and benefits — with no change in annual fees
The new categories include 3x points on select streaming services and grocery delivery services with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and 10x points on Chase Dining purchases with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. These changes are active now for existing and new cardholders.
It’s important to know which purchases qualify in each of the refreshed categories so that you can make an informed decision about which card to use for your expenses. For example, the list of eligible streaming services that will earn bonus points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card isn’t as broad as what some other issuers classify as streaming.
Here’s a look at the updated Chase Sapphire categories and what purchases will (and won’t) trigger bonus points.
New Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus categories
Until recently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offered 2x points on travel and dining purchases, and 1 point per dollar on everything else — along with a temporary 5x points on Lyft purchases through March 2022.
Now, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns points at the following rates:
- 5x points on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out
- 3x points on select streaming services
- 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
- 2x points on all other travel purchases
- 1x points on everything else
Read more: Chase Sapphire Preferred card review
Some of these categories are easy to navigate, but others have very specific restrictions.
5x points on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
The Chase Travel Portal functions much like an online travel agency (OTA) and you can use it to book flights, hotels, rental cars, vacation rentals, activities, and cruises. You have the option to redeem Ultimate Rewards points, pay with your Chase card, or a combination of the two when you make your booking.
Read more: How to use the Chase Travel Portal to book flights, hotels, rental cars and more — and get the most from your points
When you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to pay for your booking — either online through UltimateRewards.com or by calling the Chase Travel phone number on the back of your card — you’ll earn 5 points per dollar. Prepaid airline tickets, hotels, car rentals, vacation rentals, and cruises qualify, but Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection purchases are not eligible.
You won’t earn anything for the portion of your travel you pay for with points.
3x points on dining
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has always earned bonus points for dining purchases, but instead of 2x it now earns 3x. Chase classifies dining as purchases at merchants whose primary business is sit-down or eat-in dining, including fast-food restaurants and fine dining establishments.
In practice, this also includes some places that don’t serve food as their primary business — think bars, breweries, and coffee shops. Food delivery services qualify if they’re classified as a restaurant merchant — so most popular delivery services, like GrubHub and DoorDash, should count.
Read more: The best dining credit cards in 2021
However, if the location is inside a larger establishment — such as a vendor at a sports stadium or hotel restaurant — it won’t qualify as a dining purchase unless the merchant has set up such purchases to be classified in a restaurant category. Bakeries, caterers, and gift card merchants are also excluded.
3x points on select streaming services
Earning bonus points on streaming services is timely since many of us are still spending a lot of time at home. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card now earns 3x points on select streaming services, but the important word here is select — only purchases from eligible services will qualify.
- Fubo TV
- Apple Music
- YouTube TV
If you subscribe to other popular services that aren’t on the list, like
or Amazon Music, you’ll want to use a card with a wider definition of streaming, like the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which earns 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services. Here’s our review of the Blue Cash Preferred for more details.
Read more: The best credit cards for streaming services in 2021
3x points on online grocery purchases
Online grocery purchases are another new pandemic-friendly category on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You’ll earn 3x points when you use your card to pay for grocery pickup and delivery orders that are placed online with grocery stores, specialty food stores, or delivery service merchants that classify as grocery store merchants (excluding membership and subscription fees).
Read more: The best credit cards for groceries in 2021
Meal kit delivery services are included as well, but purchases from Walmart, Target, wholesale clubs, liquor stores, and merchants that specialize in only a few grocery items do not qualify. Pharmacy purchases (even from those located in supermarkets), gift cards, gift boxes, and gift baskets aren’t eligible, either.
2x points on all other travel
The good news is Chase defines travel very broadly, and (outside of Chase Travel Portal purchases, which earn 5x) you’ll earn 2x points for these travel purchases:
- Airlines (including airfare, baggage fees, taxes and fees on award tickets, and most other incidental fees)
- Hotels (including room rate, resort fees, and taxes and fees on award stays — and in practice, some vacation rentals, like Airbnb, will trigger the credit too)
- Car rental agencies (including third-party sites such as Autoslash)
- Cruise lines
- Travel agencies (including online travel agencies like Orbitz and Expedia)
- Discount travel sites (like Hotwire)
- Passenger trains (including subways)
- Buses (including local transit)
- Taxis (including ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft)
- Toll bridges and highways (including prepaid tolls like E-Zpass and SunPass)
- Parking lots and garages
Keep in mind there are some expenses you might assume would count as travel that actually don’t. These purchases won’t earn travel bonus points:
- Merchants that sell points, miles, or travel gift cards
- Inflight goods and services (like Wi-Fi)
- Onboard cruise line goods and services
- Restaurants or other merchants inside a hotel (these can qualify if you bill them to your room and pay at checkout, though)
- Tourist attractions and excursions (unless you purchase the tickets through an online travel agency, then they may count)
- Merchants in airports
- RV and boat rentals
- Real estate agents and merchants that rent vehicles for the purpose of hauling (like U-Haul)
Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards points
New Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus categories
Previously, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® had simple bonus categories as well — 3x points on travel and dining, and temporarily 10x points on Lyft purchases through March 2022.
Now you’ll earn points as follows with your Chase Sapphire Reserve®:
- 10x points on Chase Dining purchases through Ultimate Rewards
- 10x points on hotel stays and car rentals purchased through Ultimate Rewards
- 5x points on air travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards
- 3x points on all other travel and dining purchases
- 1x points on everything else
Read more: Chase Sapphire Reserve card review
Some of these categories also have restrictions (and others are identical to parallel categories on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card).
10x points on Chase Dining purchases
Chase Dining is a relatively new platform, in partnership with Tock, which allows Sapphire cardholders to make reservations at participating fine-dining establishments, order takeout or produce, take part in private dining events, and more.
Read more: Chase’s new dining platform lets you order delivery and book virtual culinary events with points — and Chase Sapphire cardholders get bonus value
When you use your Chase Sapphire Reserve® for prepaid Chase Dining purchases through Ultimate Rewards, you’ll earn 10 points per dollar. This includes delivery, pickup, prepaid reservations, or reservation deposits if you pay for the purchase on UltimateRewards.com.
However, any reservation-related purchases made directly at the restaurant will not qualify, nor will any portion of your purchase paid for with points.
10x points on hotel stays and car rentals purchased through Ultimate Rewards
If you use your Chase Sapphire Reserve® for prepaid car rentals or hotel stays through Chase Ultimate Rewards (either online or by calling the number on the back of your card), you’ll earn 10 points per dollar. Like other Chase Travel Portal purchases, you won’t earn anything for the portion of your transaction you’ve paid for with points.
Read more: The best hotel credit cards of 2021
Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection purchases are not eligible, and you won’t earn bonus points on hotel or car rental-related purchases that aren’t made through Ultimate Rewards (such as hotel restaurants or car rental agency add-ons at the counter).
5x points on air travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards
Similarly, you’ll earn 5x points on airfare as long as you’ve made the purchase with your Chase Sapphire Reserve® through the Chase online portal or by calling the number on the back of your card.
Read more: The best airline credit cards of 2021
Any air travel-related purchases made outside of the Ultimate Rewards portal — such as inflight purchases, airline miles purchases, or purchases made at the airport — won’t qualify to earn 5x points. And any portion of your purchase paid for with points won’t earn anything.
3x points on all other travel and dining purchases
All other travel and dining purchases not included in the categories above will earn 3x points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® — and the purchases that qualify are identical to those on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card as listed above.
Chase Sapphire card comparison
If you’re considering either of the Sapphire cards, be sure to read our comparison of the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve for a detailed rundown of their differences.
Here’s a quick side-by-side look at both cards, including recently added benefits and bonus categories, to help you decide which is best for you.
Good to Excellent
3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months
Good to Excellent
$200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
Good to Excellent