Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card Review

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"The Latest Premium Card from Chase"

A new player in the high-end premium luxury travel credit card, which earns 3x points in travel and dining while offering the perks of other premium cards.

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If you’re looking for a new card in the luxury travel category, then you’ve come to the right place.

Chase now offers the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which helps those who travel frequently do so in a little more comfort and style, all while earning plenty of points to fuel your points account for a free trip.

Card Snapshot

The Ideal Cardholder

Luxury travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card
If you’re looking for a new luxury travel reward card, then the Chase Sapphire Reserve® may be just what you’re looking for!

Card Bonus and Earnings Categories

Signing up for this reward card will give you access to the sign-up bonus stated above in the card summary table.

With this card, points are earned in Chase Ultimate Rewards, which can combine with the other Chase travel rewards cards to be used in the Chase Travel Portal or through transfer partners. Transfer partners include British Airways Executive Club and United Airlines MileagePlus.

Bonus points categories are travel and dining, and they earn at 3x points per dollar, foreign and domestic. Travel covers airlines, hotels, taxis, and much, much more. For all other purchases, you will earn 1x points.

The annual fee on the card is $450 per year, with no first-year waiver. However, for many people, there are tons of benefits that make this card worth the hefty annual fee.

Bottom Line: The new Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns 3x points in Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel and dining purchases, 1x points everywhere else, and costs $450 per year.

Main Travel Benefits

Unlike other Chase cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, this card comes with many additional travel benefits outside of just earning points.

Most notably, perhaps, is the $300 annual travel credit. Every year, you will automatically be credited up to $300 for all travel purchases. Consider that this offsets the $450 annual fee to a great extent, effectively giving this card a $150 per year fee!

Additionally, you will get a $100 credit for your Global Entry application fee or an $85 credit for your TSA PreCheck application fee. You can use this credit every 4 years, as opposed to every 5 years on The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Finally, you will get a Priority Pass Select Membership, which gives you free lounge access to over 900 lounges in airports around the world. Even if you only use this a couple of times, you will easily make up the remaining cost of the card’s annual fee.

Note that Priority Pass Select is a new partnership between financial institutions and Priority Pass that gives you access to the same lounges.

Bottom Line: This Chase card will come with a $300 travel credit annually, a $100 credit for Global Entry, and Priority Pass membership. These travel benefits easily equal a $450 annual fee!

Rental Car Privileges and Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection

The reward card has a unique partnership with 3 rental car agencies: National, Avis, and Silvercar. While you won’t get Elite Status, you do have discounts available to you as a cardmember.

The Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection offers deals on hand-selected high-end hotels and resorts around the world. When you book with them, you get benefits such as complimentary upgrades and early check-in.

This is similar to The Hotel Collection offered by American Express.

Other Benefits of the New Chase Reward Card

First, the card has no foreign transaction fees, which aligns with the other travel rewards cards by this credit card issuer.

Any Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned are transferable to all the Chase Travel Partners, which include British Airways, Air France, Southwest Airlines, and more.

For a $75 fee per year, you can add an authorized user to the card, such as a family member or business partner. Each user of the card shares in the $300 travel credit (in total, not per user).

Authorized users are able to sign up for a Priority Pass Select Membership, which would save money if used just a few times a year. Priority Pass members are generally allowed to bring guests into most lounges unless otherwise stated on the lounge directory/information page. For visits from 8/26/18, two complimentary guests are allowed.

Finally, it’s worth noting again that the 50% extra value in the Chase Travel Portal is pretty excellent. Comparatively, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card only get a 20% bonus.

Bottom Line: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has no foreign transaction fees, includes the ability to transfer points to travel partners, and allows you to add authorized users. Don’t forget the 50% Chase portal bonus as well!

Questions About The Card

Some of this card’s benefits may bring up some questions, and this section is dedicated to clearing those up.

The $300 travel credit is automatically applied to your card, much like with The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.

Authorized users will have access to their own Priority Pass Select membership, but it doesn’t appear that they get access to the Global Entry credit. However, all authorized users do get access to the card’s insurance offerings.

This card’s insurances include trip cancellation and interruption, auto rental collision, emergency evacuation and transportation, and trip delay reimbursement. These are similar to those offered on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Also similar are the purchase and warranty protections.

Bottom Line: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® automatically credits you for the $300 travel credit, gives authorized users Priority Pass Select Membership, and has a variety of travel insurances.

Comparing To The Platinum Card® from American Express

Obviously, this card is Chase’s attempt to take some of American Express’ customer base in the luxury travel market.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® costs $450 while The Platinum Card® from American Express costs $550 per year. Both have lounge access programs, Global Entry credits, and travel fee credits.

However, whereas The Platinum Card® from American Express only has a $200 airline fee credit, the new Chase card has a $300 credit. It also now comes with a $200 per year Uber credit.

It’s also worth noting that The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 5x points for flights purchased directly with the airline, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve® will earn 3x points in all travel and dining, which can make a huge difference.

Finally, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® also comes with a concierge through Visa Infinity, which is similar to the Platinum Concierge offered by American Express.

Should You Get the New Chase Card?

With the variety of benefits like the $300 travel credit and lounge access, among others, the $450 annual fee becomes much less intimidating no matter what your level of spending.

Don’t forget that points are worth 50% more in the Chase Travel Portal, and can be worth over $0.02 per point on airline partners if redeemed well.

Bottom Line: While there are slight differences between the cards, replacing your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® could be a great choice!

Great Card If

  • You are looking for a new card in the luxury travel space
  • You want to earn more points while still getting great travel benefits
  • You can make use of Priority Pass and a $300 travel credit

Don't Get If

  • You won’t use the Global Entry or other travel benefits
  • You have already surpassed Chase’s infamous 5/24 card sign-up rule

Card Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $450
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Interest Rates
    • 17.99% - 24.99% Variable
  • Balance Transfers
    • 17.99% - 24.99% Variable
    • Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR
    • 26.99% Variable
    • Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

U.P. Pro Tips

Replacing your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with this new Chase rewards card may be an excellent choice!

If used well, you will essentially make up for the card’s high fee in travel benefits and earn an extra 1x points on your travel and dining purchases, which can really add up!

Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card gets 3x points at restaurants
The extra 1x point you earn on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® (over the Chase Sapphire Preferred®) can make a huge difference over the year if you like to go out to eat with your friends!

Best Way to Maximize Chase Points

Maximizing Ultimate Rewards points with this credit card can be done in similar fashion to any of the other Chase cards.

Here are some great ways to earn more UR points:

Tip #1:  Because you get 3x points in travel and dining using the Sapphire Reserve card, you should always use it for these categories!

This goes for restaurants, fast food, taxis, airfare, tours, and everything that could possibly fall into this category.

Even better, you’ll earn points and then get a statement credit on your first $300 in travel purchases every year!

Tip #2:  Combine strategies by using the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ card in tandem with the Reserve Card.

The Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5% cash-back for all purchases (which is the equivalent of 1.5x points), whereas the Sapphire Reserve only earns 1x points.

Tip #3:  Utilize the Chase Shopping Mall to earn even more point when using an Ultimate Rewards credit card.

Bonus points range from 2x up to potentially 25x extra points per dollar! All the latest deals can be found in the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Tip #4:  Refer a friend to the card! You may not always have this option available, but when it is, you could earn quite a few bonus points for fairly little work.

Bonus Tip:  We’ve also written a guide to earning 100k Chase points in just 3 months!

chase sapphire reserve card refer a friend
Chase usually offers a great Refer a Friend bonus when you refer them to one of their credit cards. Don’t pass up on the great opportunity!

Best Way to Redeem Chase Points

There are multiple options for using Chase points, but we recommend Tips #1 and #2 for the best value!

Tip #1:  Perhaps the best way to use your Ultimate Rewards points with this rewards card is to utilize the 50% points discount in the Chase travel rewards portal.

For instance, a flight that costs $300 in cash will only cost 15,000 points! That is an incredible deal, and it might even be worth it for more expensive flights, depending on your situation.

Tip #2:  The other recommended way to use your points is to transfer them to airline or hotel partners. Reward points could be worth $0.015 to $0.02 or more when you do so!

We have an entire article on redeeming Chase points where you can find out lots of options for using your points with travel partners.

Tip #3:  You can redeem points for cash-back / statement credit, or with Amazon or the Chase Experience portal.

Perhaps this would be of value to you, and if so, then by all means do it. Typical point to cash value comes out to $0.01 per point.

The nice sign-up bonus and all the points you earn with the reward card are transferable at a 1:1 ratio to all of the Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, including airlines and hotels.

Maximize the value of each reward point by transferring to your favorite transfer partner!

Chase Airline Transfer Partners

Chase Airline Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer Lingus AerClub1,0001:1Almost Instant
British Airways Executive Club1,0001:1Almost Instant
1,0001:11-7 days
Iberia Plus1,0001:1Almost Instant
JetBlue1,0001:1Almost Instant
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
1,0001:1Up To 24 Hours
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards1,0001:1Almost Instant
United Airlines MileagePlus1,0001:1Almost Instant
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1,0001:1Almost Instant

Chase Hotel Transfer Partners

Chase Hotel Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer RatioTransfer Time
World of Hyatt
1,0001:1Almost Instant
IHG Rewards Club1,0001:11 day
Marriott Rewards1,0001:12 days

The Gritty Details: Everything Else You Need to Know

Most of the information about the card is explained in the review above. Of note is the fact that the $450 annual fee is not waived the first year like for some other cards.

Also note that the card does not have access to the United Club, Delta Sky Club, or American Express Centurion lounge, which limits some of the lounges you can use.

Other Unique Features

Trip cancellation and interruption insurance – If your flight is canceled or interrupted for any reason, you will be able to request up to $10,000 back. This includes cancellation for illness and severe weather, but your tickets have to be non-refundable.

Auto rental collision damage waiver – You can get reimbursed for up to $75,000 in damages as long as you decline the rental car agency’s insurance policy. Coverage is primary.

Emergency evacuation and transportation – During a trip, if anyone gets seriously injured or sick and has to have an emergency evacuation, you can get coverage for up to $100,000.

Trip delay reimbursement – If your carrier is delayed more than 6 hours or requires you to stay overnight, you can get up to $500 reimbursed per ticket for unplanned expenses like additional meals and lodging.

Purchase protection – For your new purchases, you will be covered up to 120 days against damage or theft, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.

Extended warranty protection – For warranties of 3 years or less, you will get an additional year added to your warranty on purchased items.

Photo Credits/Credit/Copyright Attribution:
Beautiful Serene Resort: Velvet ocean/Shutterstock
Refer a Friend:  Melpomene/Shutterstock
Girls Night Out: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Money and Keys: Baramee Chongchaeng/Shutterstock


What is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®? Is it worth it?

This card is Chase’s new luxury travel card in their Ultimate Rewards lineup.

Similar to The Platinum Card® from American Express and Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, the card has Priority Pass Select lounge access and a $300 travel credit each year.

Additionally, you will get credited for a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee every 4 years.

The card earns 3x points in travel and dining, which beats the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card‘s 2x points in the same categories. However, because there are so many benefits to the card, it costs $450 per year.

Does the Chase Sapphire Reserve® fall under the Chase 5/24 rule?

Unfortunately it does. So if you have signed up for more than 5 Chase cards in the last 2 years, you will have to wait to sign up for the card.

Does the Chase Sapphire Reserve® have lounge access?

Yes, the card has a Priority Pass Select Membership, which is the newest version of the Priority Pass Membership specific to financial institutions that provide memberships via reward cards.

Unfortunately, you will not have access to other airline lounges outside of Priority Pass such as Delta Sky Club, American Airlines Admirals Club, and United Club lounges.

How does the Chase Sapphire Reserve® travel credit work?

You simply make purchases in the travel category with your card, and the credit card issuer will automatically reimburse for the purchases until you reach the $300 limit. As of 8/26/18, you no longer earn the 3x points for your purchase!

How does the card stack up versus the Citi Prestige Card?

The Citi Prestige Card is in the similar luxury travel space, also costing $450 per year. However, instead of a $300 airline fee credit, the Citi Prestige Card only has a $250 credit.

One unique feature of the Citi Prestige Card is that you get a 5th night free when you book hotels with the card.

Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Citi Prestige Card have travel-related 3x point categories. However, the Citi Prestige Card only earns 3x points for airfare and hotels, whereas the CSR earns for all travel-related purchases.

What is the Chase Sapphire Reserve® annual fee?

The card has an annual fee of $450.

What is the Global Entry credit?

The Global Entry credit allows you to get credited for the $100 fee once every 4 years.

What are the car rental benefits that come with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®?

You can redeem your reward points in the Chase travel portal for a 50% discount on car rentals as well as other travel.


Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Need More Info? This powerhouse of a rewards card has 29 valuable benefits for cardholders, many of which you probably haven’t heard of!

Here are 5 reasons to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

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