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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Card Summary Table

The Ideal Cardholder

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℠ Card, 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.

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

Card Bonus and Earnings Categories

Signing up to 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.

Bottom Line: The new Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card 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 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: The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ 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. Like The Platinum Card® from American Express, 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. It isn’t specified in the terms and conditions, but according to The Points Guy you can bring in guests with this membership. (Whether or not you have to pay is unknown.)

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℠ Card 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 Chase Sapphire ReserveCard

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, price, return, and warranty protections.

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

Comparing the Chase Sapphire ReserveCard to The Platinum Card® from American Express

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

Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express cost $450 per year, have Priority Pass lounge access, 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’s also worth noting that The Platinum Card® from American Express only earns 1x points for all purchases, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card will earn 3x points in travel and dining, which can make a huge difference.

Finally, the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card 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, 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 and getting a Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card 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

U.P. Pro Tips

Replacing your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with the new Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ 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℠ Card (over the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card) can make a huge difference over the year if you like to go out to eat with your friends!

How To Use Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card: The Upgraded Way™

Best Way To Maximize Chase Points

Maximizing Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ 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 Chase Sapphire 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.

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 the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ 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.

Partners

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 Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners

Airline Program Transfer Ratio
Flying Blue AirFrance/KLM 1:1
British Airways Executive Club 1:1
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 1:1
United Airlines MileagePlus 1:1
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 1:1
Korean Air SKYPASS 1:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 1:1

Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners

Hotel Program Transfer Ratio
Marriott Rewards  1:1
Hyatt Gold Passport  1:1
IHG Rewards Club  1:1
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards  1:1

Card Math

So far in this review, you’ve seen the various benefits that the card offers. But what about the true value of the points it earns compared to the benefits?

Let’s do some card math to find out.

Quickly Recapping the Card

Annual Fee Points for Travel/Dining Points for Everything Else
$450 per year 3x Points 1x Points

Unlike the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, this card’s annual fee is not waived the first year, and is $450.

You should make sure the benefits and points make up for this larger fee. At $0.01 per reward point, it would take 45,000 points to pay off the annual fee.

Of course, we always recommend getting a minimum of $0.02 per point for any redemption!

Calculating the Potential Points Earned in a Year

Using the model spending families, we can calculate out how many points they will earn in a year from their normal, everyday spending.

Family Travel / Dining Spend Other Spend Total Points
Kennedys $13,000 $32,300 71,300
Jetsons $25,800 $36,700 114,100
Hartnells $25,300 $92,400 168,300

*Calculations assume all spending the families have is put onto the card.

Pretty good! At this level of spending, the families will make 71,300 to 168,300 points per year. In all cases, this more than pays for the $450 annual fee.

At $0.01 per point, these points are worth $713-$1,683. But again, we want to try to boost the value of these points beyond that.

The Value of the Points at Higher Redemption Values

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card, you get a 50% bonus on the value of your points when you use them in the Chase Travel Portal.

We also recommend transferring to travel partners to try to get at least $0.02 each for the points. The following table shows you how much these points are worth.

Family Total Points Net Point Value (50% Discount) Net Value (Travel Partner at $0.02)
Kennedys 71,300 $1,069.50 $1,426
Jetsons 114,100 $1,711.50 $2,282
Hartnells 168,300 $2,524.50 $3,366

*Travel value of using the card for a year at the above spending.

This shows that the card can be very valuable when you utilize your points in the Chase Travel Portal or through travel partners.

At between $1,069.50 and $3,366, you will more than make up for the $450 annual fee! And that’s before considering the value of the other benefits.

The Value of the Card Benefits

The benefits worth looking at are:

  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
  • $300 travel credit

A Priority Pass Select membership can be valued at $399, which is what an equivalent membership would cost if you purchased it on your own.

Since the Global Entry fee is $100 versus the $85 for the TSA PreCheck, we will utilize that figure to calculate. Over 4 years, this can be valued at $25 per year.

Finally, the $300 travel credit is obviously worth exactly that!

In total, these extra benefits are worth $784! This also more than makes up for the annual fee of the card without accounting for point earnings at all. Overall, the combination of points and benefits is fantastic.

Total Value of the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card

Of course, the total value of the card will depend on what you spend on the card and how you utilize the benefits.

Based on our model family calculations and the benefits we think they would utilize, the card can be valued at between $1,497-$4,150 per year!

We think you’ll agree that this number is pretty convincing to help you decide whether the card is worth it!

chase-sapphire-reserve-total-card-value
The total value is immense when you look at all the reward points and benefits you get!

Final Thoughts on the Card

Do your own calculations for the amount you’ll spend on the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card, taking into account the benefits you utilize in order find the value for you.

As long as you make more than $450 in value on the card each year, we think you’ll find it worth it.

If not, a great alternative is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card!

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 Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ 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 cancelled 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.

Price protection – For 90 days after a purchase, if you find a price advertised in the U.S. (in print or online), you can get up to $500 back per item, $2,500 per year.

Return protection – If you cannot return an item within 90 days to the original vendor, you can get coverage up to $500 per item and $1,000 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 

The information related to Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card has been collected independently by UpgradedPoints.com. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.


 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card? 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℠ Card 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℠ Card 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℠ Card 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 a bonus, you still earn the 3x points for your purchase!

How does the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ 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℠ Card 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 Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card earns for all travel-related purchases.