8 Best Ways to Use Your Chase Sapphire Reserve® Sign-up Bonus

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the most popular credit cards on the market and has been for several years.

This card earns valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to both airline and hotel partners for award flights and hotel stays.

Additionally, you can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase travel portal at a rate of 1.5 cents per point, which can be particularly useful when there are cheap cash flights available. For example, a 50,000-point sign-up bonus (if used via Chase’s travel portal) is worth $750.

Let’s take a look at how many Ultimate Rewards points you can expect to earn quickly once you have been approved for the card — and how you can get some great value out of those points.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Sign-up and Authorized User Bonuses

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® generally has a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points. To earn the sign-up bonus, you must meet the minimum spending requirement of $4,000 within your first 90 days from your approval date.

For many people, this will be as simple as putting all purchases on the card. Some might find it helpful to use a service such as Plastiq to pay bills that otherwise don’t accept credit card payments.

Plastiq can make a hitting minimum spending requirement a breeze, since it allows you to pay bills like rent, utilities, and more with a credit card.

Not only can you earn a big chunk of Ultimate Rewards points with the sign-up bonus, but you can also earn a bonus for adding an authorized user to your account. If you add an authorized user within 90 days of opening your account, you will receive an additional 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

Now, the authorized user bonus is a one-time thing…so you won’t be able to add multiple authorized users and receive multiple bonuses. It’s still a great way to get a nice chunk of extra points!

There are a few things you should keep in mind when adding an authorized user to your Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

    1. You’re responsible for the spending put on the card, not the authorized user — so make sure you trust them. On a more positive note, they can help you reach the minimum spending requirement to earn the sign-up bonus.
    2. If the person you add as an authorized user plans on getting their own Chase Sapphire Reserve® (or other credit cards provided by Chase), keep in mind that the authorized user card will show on their personal credit report. This is important to remember as the Chase 5/24 rule will prevent them from being approved for their own card if they’ve opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months.

Authorized user accounts can be removed from your personal credit reports by asking Chase to reach out to the 3 credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and remove them if you are no longer an authorized user.

So, with 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points from your sign-up bonus, at least 4,000 more from the minimum spending done to earn it (probably more due to travel and dining bonus categories), and 5,000 from the authorized user bonus, you should have right around 60,000 points.

8 Best Ways to Use Your First 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Points

You might be wondering what exactly 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points can really get you. With several airline and hotel partners, you have tons of options to redeem Ultimate Rewards points.

Here are 10 great ways you can use your first 60,000 points so you can start traveling right away!

1. Round-Trip to Hawaii For 2 People (Singapore KrisFlyer Miles)

United Airlines 777 LAX
With Singapore KrisFlyer miles, you can fly 2 people to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines in economy class for less than 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

For many, a dream trip to Hawaii often feels out of reach because of expensive cash tickets for flights. However, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program to book 2 economy class award tickets to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines.

Not only can you fly to Hawaii with points, but at round-trip economy class redemption rates on Alaska Airlines of no more than 50,000 KrisFlyer miles, you can take your significant other or a friend with you!

Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer program divides the 48 contiguous states into 5 zones. You can fly to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines from Zones 1, 2, 3, and 5.

Here are few departure city options and the KrisFlyer miles required for a round-trip award ticket to Hawaii:

ZoneDeparture CityDestination CityRound-Trip Miles Required
1Los Angeles (LAX)Honolulu (HNL)24,000 KrisFlyer miles
2Denver (DEN)Kahului (OGG)23,000 KrisFlyer miles
3Chicago (ORD)Honolulu (HNL)25,000 KrisFlyer miles
5Anchorage (ANC)Kahului (OGG)25,000 KrisFlyer miles

Hot Tip: Make sure you check out our best ways to redeem Singapore KrisFlyer miles and see how you can fly in style!

2. Fly Round-Trip To London For $0, Inc. Taxes & Fees! (Chase Travel Portal)

Each of your Chase Sapphire Reserve® points are worth 1.5cents when used for travel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

This means that the 50,000 point sign up bonus is worth $750.

The portal works just like any other does, such as Expedia or Booking.com except you can use your Chase points instead of paying cash.

All you have to do is log in to Chase’s portal, find the flight that you want to purchase and use your points!

50k points gets you a flight that would cost up to $750, and it turns out that the average price of a round-trip flight to London is more like $500-$600 so you probably won’t have to use all of your points in any case!

Bottom Line: Book round-trip flights to London for $0 (inclusive of ALL taxes) by using your sign up bonus within the Chase portal. Plus, you’ll get the 1st bag checked for free in most cases!

3. Business Class to Europe With Promo Awards (Air France/KLM Flying Blue)

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With Air France/KLM Flying Blue’s promo awards, you can book a one-way business class award ticket to Europe for less than 50,000 Flying Blue miles. Image courtesy of Air France.

If you want to try business class to or from Europe on Air France or KLM, it will be just out of reach at the standard rate of 62,500 Flying Blue miles. Fortunately, Air France/KLM Flying Blue runs Promo Awards every month.

Promo Awards are listed at 25%-50% off the standard award price. While it has been a long time since we’ve seen a 50% business class promo for a flight between Europe and the U.S., 25% off is still a great deal. Rather than needing 62,500 Flying Blue miles, you’ll only need 46,875 miles. Chase Ultimate Rewards requires transfers to be in chunks of 1,000 points, so you’ll need to transfer 47,000 points to Air France/KLM Flying Blue.

Very often, there will be at least 1 city in the United States on the list of options, which could make this the perfect chance for you to try business class to Europe!

Hot Tip: There are tons of great ways to redeem Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles for award travel.

4. Short Flights While Traveling Abroad (British Airways Avios)

Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class Seat
Using British Airways Avios is a great way to book award flights within Asia. You might even get a lie-flat business class seat on Cathay Pacific. Image courtesy of Spencer Howard.

If you fly all the way to Europe, Asia, or even Australia, you might want to see more than 1 amazing city after traveling such a long way. Fortunately, you can use British Airways Avios to hop around from city to city on several continents rather than using cash for each additional flight.

For flights under 650 miles, you will only need 4,500 Avios for an economy award ticket. Make sure you’re looking for non-stop flights whenever possible since British Airways uses a distance-based award chart. This means they will add up the flight distance of each segment, which could push you into the next redemption tier of their chart and require more Avios.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of how you can use Avios to see even more fun places on your next trip.

If you visit Hong Kong (HKG), you could then book a flight on Cathay Pacific to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) for 4,500 Avios. Next, you could hop over to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines for another 4,500 Avios.

Because British Airways uses a distance-based chart, you could even book a very short round-trip ticket for 4,500 Avios. This is a great way to include London on a European adventure without getting hit with high taxes and fees flying out of the United Kingdom.

Here’s how you can make it work:

If you fly from the United States to Amsterdam, Brussels, Munich, or Paris (there are more options too), you can book a round-trip ticket from one of these cities to London for only 4,500 Avios total.

This is particularly useful when flying with multiple people since cash ticket prices can add up quickly in some of these European cities.

If your flights are more than 650 miles, you can still find some great value with British Airways Avios when flying within Asia and Europe, as they often have some of the better redemption rates for both economy class and business class.

Hot Tip: Check out some of the best ways to redeem British Airways Avios for some more inspiration.

5. Round-trip to Europe on a Star Alliance Airline (United MileagePlus)

Air Canada Boeing 787-9
If you connect in Canada, you might be able to try one of Air Canada’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on your flight to Europe for only 60,000 United MileagePlus miles round-trip. Image courtesy of Air Canada.

One of the easiest ways to book a trip to Europe is with United MileagePlus miles. With 60,000 Ultimate Rewards from your Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can transfer them to your United account and book a round-trip economy class award ticket to Europe.

Many of United’s Star Alliance partners will require you to pay carrier-imposed surcharges when you book awards through their respective programs. Fortunately, United MileagePlus does not hit you with these surcharges, so you’ll only need to take care of the taxes and fees.

That’s not all that makes this a great redemption, though. If you book a round-trip award with United MileagePlus miles, you can take advantage of the Excursionist Perk — United’s version of a stopover.

With the Excursionist Perk, you are allowed a free one-way ticket in the same region as your destination. This means you could book a flight from Chicago (ORD) to Zurich (ZRH) on Swiss Air, and then book your free one-way flight to Copenhagen (CPH) on either Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) or Swiss Air. Copenhagen would be your destination, while Zurich would be your stopover. You could then return to Chicago from Copenhagen on SAS.

If that sounds complicated, don’t worry. You can handle the entire booking process online by choosing “multi-city” on the booking page and entering each leg of the journey and your desired travel dates.

Hot Tip: Want some more fun travel inspiration? Take a look at some great ways to redeem United MileagePlus miles.

 

6. Crazy Cheap Award Flights to Israel, Morocco, and More (Air France/KLM Flying Blue)

Air France A380
You can fly from anywhere in the United States to Morocco or even Israel for 50,000 Flying Blue miles in economy class on Air France, KLM, or one of their SkyTeam partners.

Another great sweet spot for an economy class award is with Air France/KLM Flying Blue. You can fly from the United States to places like Israel and Morocco for only 50,000 Flying Blue miles. That’s not the total for a one-way award ticket, though: it’s the total miles required for a round-trip economy class award.

You might be wondering how this is possible! Well, Air France/KLM Flying Blue classifies both of these countries — as well as a few other countries in northern Africa — as part of the European region. This classification makes Flying Blue a go-to program for booking economy class award flights to Israel, Morocco, and more.

If you earn a few more Ultimate Rewards points, you could even book a one-way business class award ticket for 62,500 Flying Blue miles.

7. Turn the Southwest Companion Pass Into Even More Trips (Southwest Rapid Rewards)

Southwest Airlines Fort Lauderdale
You can use your Ultimate Rewards points to boost your Southwest Rapid Rewards balance and book tons of 2-for-1 award tickets when you have the Southwest Companion Pass.

For those who have the Southwest Companion Pass, earning the sign-up bonus and authorized user bonus from the Chase Sapphire Reserve® instantly opens up a ton of options for you.

Sure, you can book 2-for-1 cash tickets to take advantage of the Companion Pass, but you can also book the same flights by transferring Ultimate Rewards to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account and booking award flights. In other words, the 2-for-1 applies to award flights as well!

With flights operating across the United States and to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America, you and your designated companion will be able to have some serious fun.

Your Companion Pass will get even better in 2018 too: Southwest Airlines has announced that they will begin flying to Hawaii from several cities on the West Coast. Does it get any better than 2-for-1 award flights to Hawaii?!

Hot Tip: Take a look at some great ways to use the Southwest Companion Pass, and you’ll be booking 2-for-1 awards before you know it!

8. 2 Nights at the Park Hyatt Sydney (World of Hyatt)

The Park Hyatt Sydney
The Park Hyatt Sydney is without a doubt one of the most famous Hyatt properties in the world, with its amazing views of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House.

One of the biggest advantages of Chase Ultimate Rewards points is that they can be transferred to your World of Hyatt account to book award stays. Hyatt has some amazing properties around the world that you won’t want to miss.

A favorite of many is the Park Hyatt Sydney, with its amazing view of the Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House. Not only do you get a fantastic view, but the rooms are phenomenal and the service is top-notch.

You also have easy access to ferries that can take you across the harbor to Manly Beach and the Sydney Zoo. If you like heights, you can go just around the corner to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can even schedule a tour of the bridge and climb to the top!

Final Thoughts

There are so many ways to utilize the sign-up bonus and authorized user bonus from the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Any of the options above will be a blast, and there are plenty more fun ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards points.

Make sure you have a plan to hit the minimum spending requirement to earn the sign-up bonus, so you don’t miss out on a large chunk of points. It will all be worth it once you book your next amazing vacation or getaway!


Featured Image: Courtesy of Air France

Alex Miller

About Alex Miller

Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug. Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most points possible on each dollar spent.

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