Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Benefits & Review (March 2023)
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Despite its $550 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is among the most popular travel-focused credit cards. The card features a multitude of benefits, including up to a $300 annual travel credit, airport lounge access, a $100 reimbursement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, 10x points on Lyft rides, and primary rental car insurance. Learn How to Apply Here.
It earns a minimum of 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel (after spending $300 on travel annually) and dining with most other purchases earning 1x points. Each point is worth 1.5 cents per point when booking travel through the Chase portal. Points are worth as much as 2 cents per point when transferred to partner hotels and airlines.
While there is a lot to like about the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it is not the right credit card for everyone. The card originally came with a 100,000 point new account bonus, which has been decreased to a still-solid 60,000 points (minimum $600 value). You must spend $4,000 within the first three months of being approved for the card to earn the bonus. Additionally, Chase increased the annual fee from $450 to $550 in January of 2020.
Regardless of the annual fee increase and a smaller bonus, the Sapphire Reserve may be the perfect card for you.
Who is the Chase Sapphire Reserve For?
The ideal Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder is someone who travels and eats out enough to justify the $550 annual fee. As discussed above, cardholders earn a minimum of 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining, which can be redeemed for as much as 2 cents per point. Additionally, the card includes a variety of travel protections, including trip cancellation/interruption insurance and trip delay insurance.
While the $550 annual fee may seem steep, it is offset by a few credits. The first is the $300 annual travel credit. This credit is easy to use and usually appears instantly in your account. Using this credit essentially drops the annual fee down to $250 ($550 – $300 = $250).
If you are eligible for the Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS reimbursement (once every four years), that reduces the annual fee further in a given year. The 60,000 point bonus is also worth a minimum of $600 in cash ($900 when redeeming travel via Chase), which wipes out the annual fee entirely for the first year when using the other credits.
Featured Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits
While the Chase Sapphire Reserve includes a ton of benefits, here are our top picks.
$300 Annual Travel Credit
The Chase Sapphire Reserve’s most important benefit is its $300 annual travel credit. The credit reimburses cardholders for the first $300 spent on travel every single year. You do not have to opt-in to receive the credit, and it usually appears on your online statement after a travel transaction posts. Please note, the first $300 spent on travel in a year will not earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. After the first $300 is spent, cardholders will then earn a minimum of 3x points per dollar spent on travel.
See our full tutorial on How to Use The Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Annual Travel Credit.
The Vacationer Tip
If you have opened more than five credit cards in the past 24 months, you are unlikely to get approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve. This is because of Chase’s unofficial, but widely reported, 5/24 rule.
Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS $100 Application Fee Reimbursement
One of our favorite features of the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the $100 application fee credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS. The credit can be used once every four years, and it instantly appears in your online account after paying the application fee for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS. Those applying for Global Entry will receive a $100 credit. Those applying for TSA PreCheck will receive an $85 credit. Finally, those applying for NEXUS will receive a $50 credit.
We value this benefit at $25 per year since it can only be used once every four years. See our article on the best credit cards offering Global Entry and TSA PreCheck reimbursement.
Free Airport Lounge Access via Priority Pass
All Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders receive a free Priority Pass membership. Upon activation, members and up to two guests (this is the advertised number of allowed guests, but we have seen higher numbers) have access to over 1,300 airport lounges around the world.
Lounges vary by location, with some looking like traditional lounges while others are restaurants or bars. Amenities may include free Wi-Fi, daybed sofas with pillows, televisions, air conditioning, food, and drinks. Additional guests ($27 per guest) and additional time in the lounge will be billed to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Some lounges provide free food and drink credits for you and your guests.
If you want to take advantage of Priority Pass and its many lounges, you must enroll within your Chase account. Enrollment is simple and you will receive your physical Priority Pass card within a few weeks. We recommend downloading the Priority Pass app so you can search for lounges and benefits as well as gain access to a digital membership card.
For the average traveler, we value this benefit at $200 per year, but it can be worth much more for the frequent traveler.
Further Reading: Best Credit Cards Offering Airport Lounge Access
Primary Rental Car Insurance
One of the most underrated benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the free Primary Rental Car Insurance. Also known as Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), this insurance protects you for up to $75,000 if your rental car is damaged or stolen. To activate coverage, simply pay for your rental car with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card and decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver.
Unlike many other credit cards, which simply offer secondary coverage, the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s primary coverage can save you thousands of dollars in the event of theft or damage to your rental car. With primary coverage, you file a claim with Chase before your own insurance company. With secondary coverage, you still always have to file a claim with your own insurance company. Coverage is valid for car rentals 31 days or shorter.
While this coverage will cover your rental car, you still have to use your personal liability insurance in the event you get into an accident with another driver. Coverage is valid for the cardholder and any additional drivers on the rental agreement.
Many car rental companies charge up to $40 per day for Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). The fact that Chase provides this for free to Sapphire Reserve cardholders is a huge benefit for those who frequently rent cars. We value this benefit at $250 per year for the average traveler. Those traveling more can potentially save thousands if they would otherwise buy CDW from the car rental company.
Further Reading: Best Credit Cards for Car Rentals
The Vacationer Tip
When renting a car with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, always be sure to decline the rental company’s CDW. This will save you a ton of money and ensure your Chase Primary Rental Car Insurance kicks in.
60,000 Point New Account Bonus
The Sapphire Reserve’s current welcome bonus is a solid 60,000 points. You can earn this bonus by spending $4,000 in the first three months after your approval date. You can keep track of how close you are to reaching the bonus in the Rewards Activity section within your Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Here is how much this bonus may be worth depending on how you redeem it.
- Cash – $600
- Pay Your Self Back Program – Up to $900
- Travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal – $900
- Transfer to a Chase Partner Hotel or Airline – Up to $1,200
As you can see, we never recommend taking the cash redemption. You should aim to redeem for at least a $900 value. The Pay Yourself Back Program and booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal both offer 1.5 cents per point (50% more value). To earn a $1,200 value, you will likely have to transfer to one of Chase’s top partners, such as Hyatt.
To be eligible for the bonus, you must meet the following requirements.
- You must not currently have a Sapphire card (Reserve or Preferred).
- You must not have received a Sapphire bonus in the previous 48 months.
- You cannot receive the bonus if you do a product change from another Sapphire card.
Pay Yourself Back Program (Points Are Worth Up to 50% More)
The Pay Yourself Back program allows cardholders to redeem Ultimate Rewards Points for 1.5 cents per point for purchases at select charities in the past 90 days. For example, a $40 purchase would only require 2,666 points instead of 4,000 points. Select charities are the only category eligible for the 50% extra redemption rate. Select charity purchases are eligible through December 31, 2023.
Chase recently changed this feature for other categories. Gas station purchases, grocery store purchases, and the annual membership fee paid for in the past 90 days can now be paid back at 25% more value. After redeeming, you will receive a statement credit within a few business days for the full amount. Gas station purchases, grocery store purchases, and the annual membership fee are eligible through March 31, 2023.
The Vacationer Tip
While it is possible to earn more points transferring to travel partners, the Pay Yourself Back program is a great way to redeem points until travel goes back to normal. We highly recommend redeeming your points this way.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Benefits
In addition to the benefits discussed above, here are more Chase Sapphire Reserve travel benefits
3X Points on Travel Purchases
Cardholders earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all purchases that code as travel. As previously mentioned, you will not earn 3x rewards points on your first $300 spent on travel. This is because the first $300 goes directly towards your annual travel credit.
After spending $300 on travel annually, you can expect to earn 3x points on the following purchases.
- Hotels & Motels
- Airlines (tickets, seat upgrades, bags)
- Car Rental Agencies
- Travel Agencies & Discount Travel Sites
- Parking Lots & Parking Garages
- Toll Bridges, Highways, & Tunnels
- Car Services (including Buses, Taxis, Lyft, and Uber)
The good news is Chase has a very broad definition of what counts as travel. The bad news is sometimes merchants do not code purchases correctly. For example, Vrbo generally codes its transactions as Real Estate or Professional Services. If this happens to you, you will not receive a travel credit or 3x rewards points. We recommend contacting Chase for a points adjustment, but they will not always agree to it.
The 3x points per dollar spent on travel can be worth anywhere from 3 cents to 6 cents depending on how you redeem. For example, booking travel through Chase makes the redemption of 3x points worth 4.5 cents (or 1.5 cents per point).
Earn up to 10x Points Booking Travel Through Ultimate Rewards
Cardholders now earn 10x points per dollar spent (after spending $300 on travel annually) when booking hotel stays and car rentals through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. While 10x point is very generous, there is a drawback. Since you are not booking directly with the hotel or rental car agency, you may not be eligible for elite status benefits.
Cardholders also earn 5x points per dollar spent (after spending $300 on travel annually) when booking flights via the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. While that is an improvement from 3x points, there are drawbacks to booking flights through Ultimate Rewards as opposed to directly with the airline. One such drawback is you do not get to deal directly with the airline’s customer service in the event you need to change or cancel your flight.
Points Are Worth 50% More (or 1.5 cents per point) When Redeeming Through Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal
One of the best things about the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the ability to redeem travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Points are worth 50% more (or 1.5 cents) when booking flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises directly with Chase. For example, if you have 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you will have $1,500 in value when booking travel. There are no blackout dates or restrictions.
That means 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned on travel and dining are worth 4.5 cents (1.5 cent per point) if you decide to redeem them via the portal. Compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (points are worth 25% more or 1.25 cents per point), the Sapphire Reserve provides the highest value out of all of the Chase personal credit cards.
1:1 Point Transfer to 10 Airlines and 3 Hotels
Chase allows you to potentially get even more out of your points by offering a 1:1 point transfer to 11 airlines and 3 hotels. Depending on the transfer partner, this may be a better option than booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. For example, Hyatt points may be worth as much as 2 cents per point depending on the time of year, the location, and the room.
Transferring directly to airlines and hotels also allows you to gain status for even more benefits. Please note, you must have a minimum of 1,000 points to transfer. Here are Chase’s current transfer partners
Chase Airline & Hotel Transfer Partners
|AerClub (Aer Lingus)||IHG® One Rewards|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||Marriott Bonvoy™|
|British Airways Executive Club||World of Hyatt®|
|Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
To transfer points to a Chase partner, you must register for the airline or hotel’s loyalty or rewards program. Remember, transferring to a partner allows you to gain status and special benefits at the airline or hotel in question. If you book through the Chase portal, you will not receive the same benefits.
Further reading: Best Hotel Credit Cards and Best Airline Credit Cards
Special Hotel Benefits
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders enjoy special benefits at a variety of different hotels. To receive the benefits, you must book with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Since it is a luxury brand, you will only find sbe hotels in a few cities. Regardless, here are the benefits you will receive as a Sapphire Reserve cardholder.
- Free Upgrades – One level room upgrade
- Food Voucher – $30 credit per room
- Free Breakfast – Two people per room
- Free Room – 4th night is free when booking at least four nights
- Late Check-out – When available
See the sbe hotels portal to find eligible locations. Brands include SLS, Delano, Mondrian, The House of Originals, Hyde, and The Redbury.
Relais & Châteaux Hotels
As another luxury brand, you will not find Relais & Châteaux hotels everywhere. While it is a smaller chain, there are locations in over 60 countries. Here are a few benefits Sapphire Reserve cardholders enjoy.
- VIP Welcome
- Complimentary Breakfast
For details on locations, see the official website.
The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
Sapphire Reserve cardholders can enjoy special benefits at over 1,000 luxury hotels as a part of the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection. All of the properties are reservation-only, and you must use your Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card as payment upon check-out. Points are not accepted as payment. Here are some of the benefits for cardholders only.
- Free Room Upgrade – When available
- Free Breakfast – Two people per room
- Complimentary WiFi
- Early Check-In and Late Check-Out – When available
- Special Unique Benefit – Different for each property
Examples of special unique benefits include spa treatment credits, resort credits, and free bottles of wine.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Dining Benefits
In addition to the benefits discussed above, here are more Chase Sapphire Reserve dining benefits
3X Points on Dining Purchases
Cardholders earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on all purchases that code as Food & Drink. Chase has a very broad definition of dining, so anything from fine dining establishments to fast-food restaurants usually counts.
Some restaurants do not properly code their transactions, so you should regularly check your statement. Moe’s Southwest Grill, for example, recently coded as “Caterers” for me. While Moe’s does catering, it is also a fast-casual restaurant. After contacting Chase, I was awarded the full 3x rewards points.
The 3x points per dollar spent on dining can be worth anywhere from 3 cents to 6 cents depending on how you redeem. If you redeem the 3 points for cash, each point is only worth 1 cent. The 3x points earned per dollar spent on dining is equal to what the Chase Sapphire Preferred – (Learn How to Apply Here), the Chase Freedom Unlimited® – (Learn How to Apply Here), and the Chase Freedom Flex℠ – (Learn How to Apply Here) earn.
Free DoorDash DashPass Subscription + $5 Monthly DoorDash Credit
Cardholders are eligible for a free one-year DashPass subscription (activate by December 31, 2024). This provides free delivery (for orders of $12 or more) when using DoorDash or Caviar, and it is valued at over $100 per year. The subscription period begins the day you activate the membership, and it is valid for you and any authorized users. To activate, simply add your Chase Sapphire Reserve card information in the app for either DoorDash or Caviar. You will then be prompted to begin your free subscription.
Cardholders are now eligible for a $5 per month DoorDash credit. See our guide on How to Use the Chase Sapphire Reserve DoorDash Credit. The credit comes at the beginning of each month and expires after three months.
The Vacationer Tip
Even if you do not want to use DoorDash for delivery, DashPass also offers a discounted pickup option. Additionally, I recommend using the $5 monthly credits at the end of every quarter so you have $15 to spend.
Earn 10x Points on Chase Dining Purchases
Earn 10x Ultimate Rewards Points when using Chase dining. This is excellent value, and it is not easy to earn this many points on dining with a credit card. Valid for takeout and prepaid reservations.
Instacart+ Free Membership for 1 Year and $15 Monthly Statement Credit
Cardholders are entitled to one year of free Instacart+. Enroll by 7/31/2024 to enjoy membership benefits such as free delivery and discounted service fees for orders over $35.
Additionally, cardholders can earn up to $15 per month in Instacart statement credits after signing up for the complimentary Instacart+ membership. This benefit is available through July 2024.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Rideshare & Car Rental Benefits
Car rentals and rideshare services are an essential part of travel these days. The Chase Sapphire Reserve shines in this area and offers an assortment of benefits and ways to save.
10X Points on Lyft Rides
With the 10x Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft rides through March of 2025, Chase is making it difficult for Sapphire Reserve cardholders to use Uber. Usually, cardholders earn 3x points on Lyft rides since it codes as travel. Cardholders continue to earn 3x points on Uber and other rideshare services, but Lyft is the clear winner here.
The value of this benefit is going to depend on how often you use rideshare services. Those living in urban areas should see a much greater benefit than those living in more rural areas.
The Vacationer Tip
If possible, we highly recommend using Lyft over Uber if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Not only will you get better prices with Lyft, but you will also earn 10x points instead of 3x with Uber.
Car Rental Discounts and Status
In addition to primary rental car insurance, the Sapphire Reserve provides discounts and status for a few major car rental companies.
National Car Rental
Cardholders enjoy savings of 25% on qualifying rentals with code 5030849. Additionally, you can enroll in a complimentary Emerald Club Executive Level membership to enjoy free upgrades and other perks.
While the status and discounts are great, we find National usually still has higher prices than competitors. Regardless, National is a reliable rental car company, so we recommend enrolling in the Emerald Club Executive Level membership and checking the rates before each rental.
Avis Car Rental
Cardholders enjoy savings of 30% on qualifying rentals with Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) Number S107100. Additionally, cardholders can enroll in a complimentary Avis Preferred membership for special benefits and upgrades. Qualifying vehicles are also eligible for a complimentary two-day weekend rental.
Compared to National, Avis usually has lower prices on similar vehicles.
Silvercar by Audi
Silvercar is a car rental service featuring premium Audi vehicles. Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders receive up to 30% off on select rentals. This is a great deal if you are in the market for a premium rental. Otherwise, stick with Avis or National for the best possible deal.
Further reading: Best Websites to Book Cheap Car Rentals
Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Insurance Benefits
Traveling is financially risky, and there is always a chance your flight is canceled or your airline loses a bag. Additionally, accidents happen, and it is always better to be covered before departing for your trip. One of the best features of the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the assortment of travel insurance benefits and other protections.
The following is just an outline of all of the various trip protections and insurance options. You should read Chase’s Guide to Benefits for complete information before filing any claim. In many cases, these benefits will only kick in after any travel insurance that you have purchased provides payment. We recommend charging your entire trip to your Sapphire Reserve card so you can take advantage of the following benefits.
Further reading: Best Credit Cards Offering Travel Insurance
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
Cardholders can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person or up to $20,000 for the entire trip in the event it is canceled or interrupted for covered reasons. The maximum benefit amount for 12 months is $40,000. A few covered reasons include illness, terrorism, jury duty, and a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.
As the name implies, trip cancellation insurance comes into play when a covered event prevents the trip from happening. Trip interruption insurance comes into play when a covered event happens on the way to departure or after departure has taken place. It may also cover fees incurred if a trip is postponed.
Benefits are paid for non-refundable and pre-paid travel expenses, and only the cardholder and immediate family members are covered. Benefits are in excess of any travel insurance purchased. Since you are unlikely to use this benefit often, we value it between $0 and $1,000.
Trip Delay Reimbursement
Trip delay reimbursement kicks in for essential costs like meals, clothing, lodging, toiletries, and medicine in the event travel is delayed longer than six hours or requires an overnight stay. The cardholder, cardholder’s spouse, and dependent children under 22 are covered for $500 per ticket.
Publicly known delays and prepaid expenses are not covered. Eligible carriers include airlines, trains, buses, and cruise ships. Coverage kicks in after any purchased travel insurance has paid benefits.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
While it is fairly rare, airlines and other carriers sometimes lose luggage. Lost luggage reimbursement provides cardholders and immediate family members up to $3,000 per person in coverage. This includes checked and/or carry-on baggage as well as up to $500 for electronics, jewelry, and watches inside the bags.
To be eligible, you must use your Sapphire Reserve card when paying for the transportation carrier. Additionally, reimbursement comes after any travel insurance payments that you may receive.
Baggage Delay Insurance
Baggage delay insurance kicks in for clothing, toiletries, cell phone charging cables, and other essential items purchased when luggage is delayed for longer than six hours. This insurance covers the cardholder, the cardholder’s spouse, and immediate family.
Your ticket for the transportation must be purchased with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, and $100 in coverage is available for up to five days. Eligible carriers include airlines, trains, buses, and cruise ships.
Travel and Emergency Assistance
This offers cardholders free referrals in the event you require travel and/or emergency assistance. To receive the advice and referral, you must call the number provided in your Guide to Benefits. While the referral is free, you are responsible for any medical costs and transportation. The cardholder, cardholder’s spouse, and dependent children under 22 are covered for the following services.
- Medical Referral Assistance
- Legal Referral Assistance
- Pre-Trip Assistance
- Emergency Message Service
- Emergency Transportation Assistance
- Emergency Ticket Replacement
- Lost Luggage Locator Service
- Emergency Translation Service
- Prescription Assistance and Valuable Document Delivery Arrangements
This service is available 24/7, so do not hesitate to call in the event of an emergency.
Travel Accident Insurance
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers the following two types of travel accident insurance for cardholders and immediate family members of the cardholders. Please note, only one of them can be used for the same accident.
- 24 Hour Travel Accident Insurance – This provides a maximum of $100,000 payout beginning on the departure date on the ticket and ending on the return date on the ticket.
- Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance – This provides a maximum of $1,000,000 payout when entering, riding on, or exiting airplanes, trains, buses, and cruise ships.
Both coverages provide for accidental death or dismemberment as well as the loss of hearing, sight, and speech. While you are unlikely and hopefully never need to use this coverage, it is available if you use your Chase Sapphire Reserve card to pay for your trip.
Emergency Evacuation and Transportation
While rare, there is a chance you or a family member may need to be evacuated on a trip because of illness or injury. This benefit provides the cardholder, the cardholder’s spouse, and children under 18 (or 25 if a full-time student) $100,000 in coverage for an emergency evacuation.
Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit
Falling sick on a vacation is no fun, but it does happen. This benefit provides the cardholder, the cardholder’s spouse, and children under 18 (or 25 if a full-time student) a $2,500 reimbursement ($50 deductible) for medical expenses.
To qualify, the cardholder and family members must be at least 100 miles away from home, and only expenses not covered by medical insurance will be reimbursed. Additionally, it provides $75 per day for a hotel if a physician says you should not travel.
The Vacationer Tip
Before relying on any of the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s travel insurance and protection options, we highly recommend reading your complete Guide to Benefits.
Other Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits
While most of the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s benefits are related to travel and dining, it does offer a few other things that further enhance the card’s value.
Exclusive Events & Experiences
Cardholders can take advantage of a variety of exclusive events and experiences. This includes sporting events, concerts, festivals, and dining. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, experiences have been limited, but we have seen a few virtual ones. As the pandemic eventually wanes, expect Chase to add more experiences and events.
Emergency Roadside Assistance
Whether you are driving your own car or a lease, your Chase Sapphire Card offers complimentary emergency roadside assistance. Available 24 hours per day and 365 days per year, this benefit provides up to $50 in reimbursement per incident four times per year. Here is what is covered.
- Flat Tire Service
- Battery Boost
- Lockout Assistance
All additional fees will be charged to your Sapphire Reserve card.
For cardholders and recipients of gifts purchased by cardholders, the Sapphire Reserve offers purchase protection of up to $10,000 per claim for 120 days against damage or theft. This coverage is in excess of any homeowner’s insurance, and the maximum is $50,000 per account. For stolen items, you must report it to the police within 48 hours to be eligible for a claim.
For cardholders only, the Sapphire Reserve provides reimbursement for up to $500 for items a store will not take back within 90 days of purchase. The item must still be in good condition, and various items are not covered. Here a few examples.
- Motorized Vehicles
- Living Plants
Extended Warranty Protection
For cardholders and recipients of gifts purchased by cardholders, the Sapphire Reserve provides a one-year extension for manufacture’s warranties of three years or less. As usual, the purchase must be made with your Sapphire Reserve card, and a maximum of $10,000 per claim is available.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Compared to Other Similar Cards
Despite being a great travel-focused credit card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve does fall short in a few areas compared to competing cards. Ultimately, it is going to depend on how much you travel and go out to eat, the annual fee you feel comfortable spending, and how much the other benefits are worth to you.
Chase Sapphire Preferred – The biggest difference is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card only has a $95 annual fee compared to the Reserve’s $550 annual fee. Both cards have a 60,000 point bonus. For the additional annual fee, the Reserve earns a minimum of 3x on travel (after the first $300) compared to only a minimum of 2x for the Preferred. Both cards now earn a minimum of 3x points on dining.
The Reserve also offers a $300 travel credit and a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck reimbursement credit. Both cards offer primary rental car insurance, which is a huge benefit for the Preferred. Finally, the Reserve offers lounge access, better roadside assistance, and 1.5 cents per point when redeeming through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal compared to 1.25 points for the Preferred.
See our complete Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comparison article for more details.
The Platinum Card® from American Express – American Express recently increased the American Express Platinum Card’s – (Learn How to Apply Here) annual fee from $550 to $695 (Terms Apply – See Rates & Fees). The Amex Platinum card earns 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines and with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 per calendar year). The Reserve now earns 5x points for flights booked through Ultimate Rewards. Since the Amex Platinum also earns 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines, it is the more versatile card for airfare. Prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel earn 5x points, which is less than the Reserve’s 10x rate for hotels booked via Ultimate Rewards . For more general travel purchases and dining, the Amex Platinum only earns 1x points compared to 3x points for the Reserve.
The Amex Platinum offers up to a yearly $200 travel credit, but it is much more restrictive (airline incidentals only) than the Reserve’s $300 travel credit. Both cards offer a $100 reimbursement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. The Platinum Card also offers a variety of other credits, including up to a $189 annual CLEAR® credit, up to a yearly $200 hotel credit back in statement credits (minimum two-night stay at Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection), up to $200 per year in Uber Cash (paid monthly) Centurion Lounge access, and more. Finally, the Amex Platinum offers an 80,000 point welcome bonus after spending $6,000 in the first six months compared to a 60,000 point bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months for the Reserve.
See our complete Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Amex Platinum Card comparison article for more details.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card – The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card – (Learn How to Apply Here) is Capital One’s premium travel credit card. It is viewed by many as a cheaper alternative to the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum Card with similar benefits.
See our complete Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Capital One Venture X Rewards Card comparison article for more details.
The annual fee is $550.
For new users, the annual fee appears on your first or second statement. After that, it will appear yearly on your account anniversary.
After the first $300 spent on travel, cardholders earn a minimum 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points for purchases that code as travel. It also earns 10x points on hotels and rental cars booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Finally, it earns 5x points on flights booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
Cardholders earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points for purchases that code as food & drink.
The annual travel credit is worth $300.
The following transactions code as travel for Chase credit cards.
– Hotels & Motels
– Airlines (tickets, seat upgrades, bags)
– Car Rental Agencies
– Travel Agencies & Discount Travel Sites
– Parking Lots & Parking Garages
– Toll Bridges, Highways, & Tunnels
– Car Services (including Buses, Taxis, Lyft, and Uber)
There are many ways to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but some are better than others.
Cash – This is the worst way to redeem Chase points. Each point is worth 1 cent, so you receive no additional value.
Booking Travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal – Points are worth 1.5 cents per point. This is a solid way to redeem points.
Chase Pay Yourself Back Feature – Points are worth up to 1.5 cents per point via a statement credit. This is a solid way to redeem points.
Transferring to Chase Airline and Hotel Partners – Points may be worth as much as 2 cents per point. Depending on the situation, this can be the best way to redeem points.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points do not expire as long as the account stays open.
The following statement credits are currently available.
– $300 travel credit
– $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS application fee reimbursement (every four years)
– $5 monthly DoorDash credits
– $15 monthly Instacart Statementc redits (after signing up for a complimentary 1-year Instacart+ membership)
The current bonus is 60,000 points. You earn the bonus by spending at least $4,000 in the first three months after approval. Its value depends on how you redeem the points. Here are a few examples.
– Cash – $600
– Pay Your Self Back Program – $900
– Travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal – $900
– Transfer to a Chase Partner Hotel or Airline – Up to $1,200
No, the first $300 spent on travel earns 0 points. Instead, you will receive a total of $300 in travel statement credits.
It is designed for users with excellent credit (above 740).
Think of the Chase Sapphire Preferred as a cheaper and stripped-down version of the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Here are a few of the main differences between the cards.
Bonus – Both cards have a 60,000 point bonus.
Annual Fee – Sapphire Reserve: $550. Sapphire Preferred: $95
Travel Credit – Sapphire Reserve: $300. Sapphire Preferred: $50 (hotel credit)
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Reimbursement – Sapphire Reserve: $100. Sapphire Preferred: $0.
Minimum Points on Travel – Sapphire Reserve: 3x Points. Sapphire Preferred: 2x Points
Point on Dining – Both earn 3x points.
Lyft Earning Rates – Sapphire Reserve: 10x Points. Sapphire Preferred: 5x Points
Point Redemption Value in Chase Rewards Portal – Sapphire Reserve: 1.5 Cents. Sapphire Preferred: 1.25 Cents
Lounge Access – The Sapphire Preferred does not offer lounge access
Authorized User Fee – Sapphire Reserve: $75. Sapphire Preferred: $0
It may, but no one knows at the moment. Chase says it has no immediate plans to offer the 100,000 point bonus again, but that can change.
Yes, Chase’s 5/24 rule will affect your Sapphire Reserve approval odds. If you have been approved for five or more cards in the past 24 months, you are unlikely to get approved for the Reserve.
No, you can only have one of the two Chase Sapphire credit cards.
A point is worth 1 cent (or $.01) when redeeming for cash or a statement credit
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a great credit card for those who like a lot of benefits and are willing to pay for them. Despite the pandemic slowing travel, Chase has added a ton of benefits to make the $550 annual fee worth it. Taking advantage of the $300 travel credit, $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck reimbursement, and $5 monthly DoorDash credit brings the annual fee down to only $105 in 2022 and $90 in 2023 and 2024. Add in the 60,000 point bonus, and you are easily coming out ahead in the first year.
The Vacationer’s Phil Dengler and Eric Jones both regularly use the Sapphire Reserve and will continue to do so as travel resumes.
Don’t have a travel-focused credit card yet? Check out The Vacationer’s Recommended Travel Card Picks for the best offers from Chase, Capital One, American Express, and other top issuers. You can also check out the CardMatch tool (Read More: Learn How to Use CardMatch) to see what cards and offers you may already be prequalified for.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply
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