[POLL] Sapphire Preferred Loses First Friday Benefit – Did You Use It & Why Haven’t You Switched to Freedom Yet?

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sapphire preferred first friday ending

Sapphire Preferred to end First Friday’s in 2016

Ever since Chase launched 3X points for dining on the “First Friday” of every month, we have seen the benefit highly touted by a lot of people. To be truthful, how much do you actually spend on food on the first Friday over the course of a year?

Even if you go out to a nice dinner and spend $100 every “First Friday” (which I am assuming is being way too generous), you will earn an extra 1,200 points over the course of a year. For me, that is worth $20.40 based on my valuation of Ultimate Rewards at 1.7 cents each. I guess it is something.

On the flip side, I highly value the Freedom’s 5X categories each quarter and find that I would rather earn 2X ThankYou points on dining (and 3X on travel) with the ThankYou Premier and convert my Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom. That has been my stance for a long time and I even mentioned it in my review of the Sapphire Preferred awhile ago.

The End Is Near

sapphire preferred first friday ending
Most people will get more value from the Freedom.

Today Gary Leff has confirmed with Chase that the “First Friday” benefit will be ending in 2016. This is just a continuation of the product tweaking that I have written about and another reason that the Freedom card is probably a better value in the long term.

With the end of this highly written about benefit, I thought it would be a perfect time for a poll. Answer away and feel free to leave your thoughts about the loss of this great benefit in the comments.

[poll id=”6″]


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30 COMMENTS

  1. The only reason I have the Preferred card is to transfer my points to Hyatt, Southwest, and other travel companies. I do like the card for it’s international perks too. Other than that, I would not have the Preferred card. Is there another Chase card that allows Ultimate Rewards points to be transferred out of Chase to my favorite travel partners?

  2. I’ve thought about switching before Chase’s new rules came into play in May, but now will keep the card and see if there’s a retention. I have 3 of Chase’s main cards besides the Ink Cash, so might lay low and see if I can get that one before moving onto applying for other Amex and finally, Citi! I don’t see myself as a “churner” since I do want to keep my cards and establish that history, but have A LOT more cards than a year ago.

    I don’t dine often myself, so I will miss that benefit because… sometimes an extra 10points/3x or volunteering my card (in a sea of debit cards or cash) is enough to get me out. Besides, now this has me reconsidering other cards that may have a similar benefit. Not happy about Sapphire’s devaluing left and right.

    If I were to downgrade, probably would make it a Freedom. Just worried about not being able to get that instant approval again.

  3. Why are bloggers so quick to downplay the loss of a benefit? It might not add up to a ton of points, but I thought every point counts when playing this game??? Do you pay cash for non-bonus category $5 purchases? I don’t, but maybe that’s just me…

    • You are missing my point. I am saying this downgrade is another reason why this card is overhyped. I am not downplaying the change at all. Unlike many others, I believe there are better cards.

    • It’s not fair to lump bloggers together. In all honesty one of the main reasons I follow this blog over others is the fact that I feel the content of his blog posts are honest and his opinions aren’t driven by self-interest.

      • Exactly, I think he goes further by analyzing the content than just showing us and expecting us to jump on it. I applied for this card shortly after they took away the 7% dividend (kinda sucked to find out after the fact) and in the following year since Chase offered the card… there was more benefits taken away than added. Primary is cool…. for those of us that rented cars regularly (haven’t at all, so it’s almost a moot benefit), but it’s disappointing that Chase is taking away many benefits that this card is known for. It’s been mediocre for a while, and it just feels more mediocre. That’s what Shawn is saying.

        Out of all the boardingarea blogs, I think I comment most on this one and the one he coauthors on FrequentMiler.

        I don’t have a Citi card yet, and I might just jump soon. The Premier almost complement this card in every way.

  4. I would take advantage of it as my gf and I do eat out a lot. I downgraded my CSP to Unpreferred Sapphire (they wouldn’t let me downgrade to the Freedom…I was told the Sapphire was the only option) and still kept the benefit and used it in July for a nice Ethiopian dinner 🙂

    I’m also making that switch over to TYP as I have the Premier and mulling over whether to get the Prestige as well.

  5. The first fridays bonus was nothing more than a gimmick, so losing it means next to nothing. Besides, this card is good for the sign up bonus, and that’s it. I consider this change nothing more than a mediocre card becoming more mediocre.

      • But the Sapphire (and the United MileagePlus Explorer) have primary insurance. Most cards require you report the accident to your insurance and they only cover what your insurance doesn’t. The Sapphire covers everything, meaning you wouldn’t need to report it to your insurance and thus could hope to avoid an increase in rates. A nice benefit but not a life changer.

        • Thank Shawn. Well just goes to show you, you learn something new every day! I just got hooked up to your website approximately 7 to 10 days ago & I have made so much money. So I really want to thank you. I recently retired so this is a great hobby for me! ( Plus I’m very frugal and that’s why I was able to retire at this age) P.S. I hear ya, I’m going slow!

  6. I usually eat out every Friday and would use the CSP for the 1st Friday otherwise I would use the 6x dining HH Amex Surpass as I am nearing an award I need. Have yet to get the Freedom, too many other Chase cards right now and I need the CSP for transferring.

  7. I loved the occasional accidental bonus on a Friday, but didn’t go out of my way to spend money and eat out just to earn a few points. I did just switch my husband’s CSP to a Freedom yesterday, so we now have both in the family!

  8. Never used the Friday offer. There’s a few reasons.

    1) We rarely eat out. Mainly due to the (imo) wasteful costs that add up when eating out. But also because it’s more time efficient (especially with a 1 year old) to prepare meals at home. It’s also much healthier and tastes better. It’s like quitting a bad habit. Once you acclimate to the initial shock, it wears off and becomes not only easier, but preferred.

    2) When we do eat out I’m using either a 5% card (Discover/Freedom) or a Amex gift card (4% minimum). Or if it’s a place we know we’re going to ahead of time I’ll buy a gift card through some of our favorite sites. For example I still have a balance of a Chipotle gift card purchased at 10% discount.

    Not that I’d ever encourage anyone to read other blogs (you’re still my favorite!) but mr money moustache is a must subscribe to blog. One thing learned is the rule of 10. Anything that you do or don’t do that saves you money, extrapolate to 10 years. Think that $30 meal 3x a month isn’t a big deal? Well, maybe it is or isn’t. Obviously it’s YMMV as everyone has different wants. But $10,080 isn’t pocket change and 10 years will go quicker than you think.

    I tried to explain this idea to my sister in law (who has budgeting issues) and her daily starbucks coffee and breakfast run. Even at $5 (she spends more) that’s $18,000 using the 10 year rule! Note, we’re not even factoring in the vehicle costs (assume time is equal b/c you’d have to make your own coffee and throw a bagel in the toaster at home).

  9. I just got a Sapphire Preferred card last month and on the First Friday of this month I made sure to do things like recharge my Starbucks card with enough money to last a couple weeks. It’s a shame to hear they’re taking away another benefit (I heard they removed the “dividend” benefit not too long ago). Hopefully if they take away another benefit or two they will go ahead and drop the annual fee!

  10. I agree it’s not a big deal to me, although it was a nice bonus when I accidentally did it.

    The reason I haven’t downgraded is because it’s my only premium UR card right now and I know they won’t approve me in the future if I cancel this one (for denied last month for Freedom for too many recent accounts). Luckily between my wife and I, we have a Freedom, an Ink, and a CSP. So we’re converted, but have pay the CSP annual fee later this year 🙁

  11. I have the regular version of this card and never use it. Would I be better off closing it or “upgrading” to a Freedom? Can I have more than 1 Freedom?

    • YMMV, in the past… it seems like you can to avoid paying the annual fee, people would downgrade to either the Sapphire or Freedom. I’ve heard at least once CSP -> CS was forced since Chase’s new rules. And then you would be free to churn again.

      Depends on the agent altogether, but a Freedom would prob see more use than the CSP, but not sure if you’ll lose UR points if your accounts aren’t linked to another card (like Ink).

      • I don’t have the CSP. Like I said I have the CS (with no annual fee). I don’t have an Ink and I won’t lose many UR points as I almost never used the card. Is there any advantage to closing it rather than switching to Freedom? I’m not sure why you would consider this a “downgrade” as I don’t see any advantage to the CS at all.

        • I saw, my understanding of downgrade is annual fee vs. no annual fee. Also was speaking from CSP. In any case, there are slight differences between CS and CSP.. mostly the rates points are awarded and not sure primary rental is included. I would say you would get far more use of having another Freedom.. I prob would.

          That said, I’ve seen ppl recently denied trying to go down to Freedom either from CSP or CS. I would venture if you wanted Freedom more, you’re not as concerned about UR points.

          • You are correct that I don’t care about UR points. I am probably in the (very small) minority here but I’ve only cashed out for cash or gift cards at a discount from my Chase Freedom. I remember years ago when my CSP’s annual fee was coming due I called to cancel and the rep convinced me to downgrade to the CS. I think I asked at the time if I could transfer my credit limit to my Freedom instead and they wouldn’t let me.

        • The Freedom is a good card to keep long term for your average age of accounts plus the rotating categories are nice. I don’t know why you wouldn’t want one to be honest.

          The regular Sapphire to the Freedom is sort of a sidegrade. The CSP to the Freedom is called a downgrade since the CSP is considered a premium product. I actually think Freedom is better though in the long term so a downgrade in many ways is an upgrade.

  12. I recently got a chase Freedom with a cash rebate of $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 mos. (the cash rebate is currently $100, so need to wait for $200 to return) and right now it is 5% for gas. I also love their “alerts” which I have set for $0.01 change in either debit or credit amoung others. It shows up in my email within seconds of a transaction. Forgot how much I love Chase!

  13. We just recently acquired the Sapphire Preferred card but we have realized that we can budget our entire month of dining by purchasing restaurant gift cards so most all our meals earn the 3X reward. I will miss the bonus but hopefully find other ways to make up for it.

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