A new partnership with SBE hotels will make Chase's Sapphire Reserve card slightly more competitive with American Express and its Platinum line of cards. But SBE's limited footprint and any potential booking cost differences may not be enough to satisfy Chase's most hungry travelers.
Chase is scaling up the hotel perks that come with its Sapphire credit cards.
On Tuesday, the bank, which runs the popular Sapphire Reserve and Preferred credit cards, launched a hotel partnership with SBE hotels, a Los Angeles-based hospitality group, to offer a suite of perks for cardholders booking through a new reservation portal and staying at the properties. In addition to various restaurant and entertainment venues, SBE operates a portfolio of 24 hotel properties (and is 50 percent owned by Accor hotels), though only 19 of them will participate in the partnership.
As of Tuesday, Sapphire Reserve cardholders who book a SBE hotel through its dedicated reservation page will receive the following perks:
- Fourth night free at participating SBE properties, for 4 consecutive nights booked
- $30 hotel credit per room eligible towards food and beverage
- Complimentary upgrades for hotel rooms at participating SBE properties
- Daily continental breakfast for two people
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access
- Late checkout
Chase’s Sapphire Reserve credit card is a high-end, premium product and comes with a $450 annual fee. In addition to the new SBE benefits, cardholders enjoy an annual travel credit as well as a battery of other related perks.
Sapphire Preferred cardholders, who pay a $95 annual fee, will also receive some benefits at SBE hotels, though those are limited to participation in various “activations” that the group puts on over the course of the year. As an example, SBE shared that it is working on a special “Taste of SBE” event planned for later this year, though it couldn’t provide further details.
In launching the new partnership, Chase appears to be bringing its card products closer to the luxury selection that American Express offers with its suite of Fine Hotels & Resorts properties. That product offers AmEx Platinum cardholders with a range of perks including in-house credit and other goodies for every reservation made through its cobranded booking engine. At large, the Fine Hotels & Resorts functionality is also viewed as a premium part of membership with American Express.
Like the suite of Fine Hotels & Resorts properties, it’s also not clear whether pricing through SBE’s booking engine will be identical to off-the-shelf prices from an OTA like Kayak or Expedia. Michele Caniato, chief brand officer of SBE, shared that “SBE can 100 percent guarantee that these benefits will be incomparable and cannot be obtained from booking anywhere other than directly via the SBE website.” As that statement doesn’t include a guarantee around pricing, frugal travelers may want to comparison shop before strictly booking through SBE’s portal.
Despite the potential cost differentials, Chase Sapphire and Reserve members undoubtedly now have a new tool for leveraging their credit cards’ benefits. And if the pricing from SBE’s booking engine isn’t prohibitive, savvy travelers may even be able to save some money.
SBE’s reservation system opened for business Tuesday morning.
The SBE properties participating include: Hudson, Delano South Beach, Delano Las Vegas, Shore Club, Mondrian South Beach, Mondrian Park Avenue, Mondrian West Hollywood, Mondrian Doha, Saint Martins Lane, Sanderson, 10 Karakoy, Hyde Midtown, SLS Baha Mar, SLS Lux Brickell, SLS Brickell, SLS South Beach, Redbury NY, Redbury South Beach, and The Raleigh.
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Photo credit: The landing page of SBE's new booking portal through which Chase cardholders can earn special perks. sbe hotels