If you’re a recurrent traveler and looking for a card with great benefits, definitely take a moment to check out the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM Card. With the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM, you have the opportunity to earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
That’s $750 toward travel when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal! To top that, you will receive up to $300 in travel credits annually as reimbursement for travel purchases.
In addition, get 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit and airport lounge access. Plus, enjoy no foreign transaction fees! The only catch is the card’s $450 annual fee. However, if you use all this card has to offer, you will come out ahead despite the hefty fee.
The Chase Sapphire ReserveSM is marketed toward the same people who’d apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express. On that end, it’s also very competitive.
For what unique features this card has to offer and how it compares to it’s sister card, the Chase Sapphire PreferredSM, continue reading below.
*Be sure to check out the current Checking and Savings promotions from Chase Bank.
Table of Contents
- 1 Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Summary
- 2 Why I Chose The Chase Sapphire Reserve
- 3 50,000 Bonus Points Offer
- 4 Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- 5 Redeeming Rewards
- 6 Additional Benefits
- 7 Bottom Line
- 8 What’s the Competition?
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Summary
|Bonus Available||50,000 Points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.|
|Travel Credit||$300 annually in travel reimbursements.|
|Ongoing Rewards/Benefits||3X Points on Travel Worldwide, immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit. 3X Points on Dining at Restaurants Worldwide. 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||No|
|Airport Lounge Access||1,200+ VIP lounges in over 500 cities worldwide with Priority Pass Select.|
|Annual Fee||$450 annual fee; $75 for each authorized user|
Why I Chose The Chase Sapphire Reserve
As a frequent traveler, I decided that I wanted to travel in style. The cards that were in my radar consisted of The Platinum Card from American Express and the Citi Prestige Card. But then, I saw the Chase Sapphire Reserve card that had all of the premium travel features I was looking for.
If you are simply looking for a nice credit card sign-up bonus, the 50,000 points that you can earn will be worth $750 towards travel booked through Chase. This offer alone more than pays for the $450 annual fee, which isn’t waived the first year. However, there are some ways you can get even more value out of our points, such as transferring your points to Ultimate Rewards travel partners. We’ll have a list below.
Because the offer is only 50,000 points now, this card isn’t the best choice if you’re only looking for the welcome bonus. If you want a card with a good bonus, check out cards with lower annual fees that are waived the first year, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
On top of the decent welcome offer, this card comes with Priority Pass lounge access, 3X points on travel/dining, and $300 in annual travel credit.
#1: Free Priority Pass Select Membership
With this card, you will have access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide with the complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. This offer is great because you’re essentially getting a membership level that is equal to the “Prestige” membership plan that would cost you upwards of $400 if you had bought it straight from the Priority Pass site.
Not only will you have access to more than 1,200 lounges, but so will up to 2 of your guests.
If you tend to fly long international flights, then this premium benefit is worth it. At these lounges, you will be able to find common amenities like showers, food buffets, refreshments, alcohol, WIFI, and comfortable seating at many lounges abroad.
Lounges can be found at international airports like PEK (Beijing, China), DXB (Dubai), LHR (London), BKK (Bangkok, Thailand), NRT (Narita, Japan), and many more. They can also be found at busy domestic airports like LAX, ATL, ORD, JFK and DFW.
To learn more, head to the Priority Pass website to find a lounge in your intended destination and terminal.
- To take advantage of your free Priority Pass membership, you must do these steps:
- Log into your Ultimate Rewards account.
- Click on either the “Use Points” or “Earn Points” menu at the top.
- Click on “Card Benefits”.
- Click to activate your Priority Pass Select membership.
- Most lounges will let you in your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, but to be safe, you should carry your Priority Pass member card during your travels. Keep in mind that it takes 2-3 weeks after activation to receive your card. Also, most lounges will accept the card digitally through the smartphone app.
- If you must travel before your Priority Pass member card arrives, you can always charge the lounge access fee to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card and you can just call it to have it reimbursed.
#2: 3X Points On Travel/Dining
Earn 3x points per $1 spent on travel worldwide from airfare and hotels to taxis and trains. You can also earn 3x points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants around the world for both fast casual to fine dining.
What are these points worth?
Although you can redeem your points towards gift cards, cash back, or Amazon.com’s “Shop with Points”, you can earn up to 50% more value when you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
Keeping in mind the 50% extra value, your rewards rate will be 4.5% on travel/dining and 1.5% on all other purchases. Even the Chase Sapphire Preferred card only earns an effective rate of 2.5% on travel/dining and 1.25% on all others.
For even more points, utilize the 1:1 points transfer ratio through Chase’s travel partners. You can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points earned through your Chase Sapphire Reserve card for an equal amount of points/miles with their transfers partners.
Depending on how you choose to use your points with these partners, your transferred points could end up being worth more. If you book with certain hotel rewards partners, you can average 2 cents per point in value. So, your 50k points could be worth up to $1,000 compared to the standard $750 value when booking for travel through Chase.
Here’s a current list of the partners:
Ultimate Rewards Airline/Hotel 1:1 Point Transfer Partners
|Airline Transfer Partners||Hotel Transfer Partners|
|Aer Lingus AerClub||IHG Rewards Club|
|British Airways Executive Club||Marriott Bonvoy (Previously Marriott Rewards)|
|Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM||The Ritz-Carlton Rewards|
|Iberia Plus||World of Hyatt|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
#3: $300 Annual Travel Credit
Lastly, another great feature that comes with this card is the $300 Annual Travel Credit. The travel credit can help justify the steep $450 annual fee by quite a bit. To address any questions about what expenses this travel credit will cover, it can reimburse you for any travel purchases including airfare and hotel charges to your card.
The credits will happen throughout the year automatically as you incur charges. On top of travel, ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft will count towards the travel credit.
The travel credit earned from this card is going to be easily used up for any traveler, especially a frequent one. Personally, I was able to utilize the whole amount on my first trip.
50,000 Bonus Points Offer
Take advantage of the 50,000 bonus points by spending at least $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening to qualify.
Experienced travelers that are always on the move will have no issues meeting the spending requirement for the bonus, but here are some ways to meet that minimum:
|• Plastiq - Using Plastiq allows you to pay for your personal expenses such as rent, tuition, mortgage, auto lease etc. Although they charge a 2.5% processing fee for using your credit card, this will contribute to the card bonus that you will receive. There is also a referral program that allows you to earn "Free-Free Dollars" that goes towards processing fees as well.|
|• Funding Checking Accounts - When it comes to funding a checking account, opening your initial deposit with a credit card is the usual way to go about it. However, if you want to have more opportunities, you should open a checking account that offers a sign-up bonus. This allows you to work towards bonuses from not one but two different sources instead. Banks like Chase, Huntington Bank, TD Bank and BBVA offers credit card funding, and for your opening deposit, you can often fund anywhere from $50-$1000 with a credit card, depending on the bank.|
|• Gift Card Purchases With Using a Credit Card - Another way to acquire the bonus is using your credit card to purchase gift cards. Buying a a gift card or an individual merchant card typically do not require a purchase fee and are used towards leisure, so gift cards are ideal. However, gift cards such as a Visa or American Express do incur purchase fees because they can be spent anywhere, but gift cards that are specifically for a certain online shopping site such as Amazon or eBay don't.|
|As for a Citi Credit Card, you should call customer service and ask them to lower your Cash Advance limit to $0 before making any purchases because Citi tends to read gift card purchases as a Cash Advance.
Ideally, you should do this with any card just to be safe. Lastly, there is such thing as a discounted gift card which can be purchased on Raise or eBay. If you use a credit card often for everyday purchases, it can build your credit score that will contribute towards paying for things such as bills and taxes.
Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
With the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM, you earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel and restaurants and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
Sapphire Reserve cardholders can get a value of 1.5 cents per point when redeeming points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. That means, travel and dining expenditures can have an effective 4.5% rewards rate. As long as your account remains open, your points don’t expire.
Redeem points for a variety of items at Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal. The best redemption option is travel, where you’ll earn a value of 1.5 cents per point. Therefore, 50,000 points is equal to to $750 in travel.
Other redemption options include cash equivalents like statement credits, gift cards, and bank account deposits, general merchandise, experiences, and more. You can also redeem points for purchases at Amazon. These other redemption options generally value points at 1 cent per point or less.
Chase Sapphire ReserveSM Lounge Access & Luxury Benefits: The Sapphire Reserve from Chase gives you complimentary access to over 900 airport lounges through Priority Pass™ Select. Once you enroll, you may enter lounges for free whenever travelling on any itinerary. Guests need to pay $27 each, every time they wish to enter. This set-up is equivalent to the Prestige tier of membership in the Priority Pass™ program – a $399 annual value.
Priority Pass™ Select is available through most premium credit cards, not just the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM. In terms of coverage, it’s one of the better lounge memberships available. There are more Priority Pass™ lounges worldwide than through other programs, like Lounge Club.
Ultimate Rewards & Transfer Partners: Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM earns you Ultimate Rewards points. This is one of the most valuable credit card reward programs on the market. Its value comes largely from the list of transfer partners. You can move your points over to 11 different airline and hotel programs. These will change from time-to-time. The current list includes:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
- United MileagePlus®
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hyatt Gold Passport®
- Marriott Rewards®
- IHG® Rewards Club
- Ritz Carlton Rewards®
All transfers are at a 1:1 ratio. If you plan your transfers right, it’s possible to increase your overall rewards rate. For example, we value Hyatt Gold Passport® at $0.021 each. Therefore, if you transfer your points over to the hotel, your rewards rate can be anywhere between 2.1% and 6.3%.
When you sign-up for a Chase Sapphire ReserveSM Card, you will earn a fantastic bonus. If you are a frequent traveler and have read through the features, I’m sure you will now surely want to be an owner of one! For one, automatically receiving up to $300 back annually in travel credits definitely makes up for the steep annual fee of $450.
The travel credits are good towards almost any and most travel purchases you make — even on parking and tolls. In addition to that, with the Elite travel benefits, you can receive up to $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck enrollment.
To conclude, this card offers a big bonus with even bigger benefits that include easy to use travel credits. But despite my ongoing rave about it, if you can not justify paying such a high annual fee for a credit card, don’t feel the need to get one just because of its high ratings. There will be other deals that will come along and will be more fitting for your spending habits.
For more information about other credit cards, review our complete list of credit card bonus promotions.
(Visit Chase for more details)
What’s the Competition?
The The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
This card comes with an annual fee of $550, but you cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings. Furthermore, you'll receive $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline. Plus, up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card® & receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts.
In addition, you can earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel & on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening (equal to $500 in travel). Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018.
You're able to earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture.
This card does come with a $95 annual fee, however, there is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year. Enjoy no foreign transaction fees and receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre?®.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card:
• Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
• 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
• Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
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The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.