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Chase Sapphire Reserve Card — How To Use the $300 Travel Credit

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Christine Krzyszton
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Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

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Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
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If you travel, a premium travel rewards card can be an essential tool for earning rewards, having flexible redemption options, and accessing premium travel benefits.

Unfortunately, premium travel rewards cards come with high annual fees. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can quickly help offset that fee with an easy-to-use benefit.

The $300 yearly travel credit automatically reimburses your qualifying travel purchases with a statement credit.

We’ll get into the details of how the credit works, which purchases count, and how to track your progress, but first, here’s a quick overview of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
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The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)
A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
60,000 points
$1,200
$550
22.49%-29.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

Pros
  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
Cons
  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 22.49%-29.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Key Benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

The $300 travel credit is just one of the key benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. It also has a strong earning structure and flexible redemption options. Several protections and benefits can also provide peace of mind when traveling and save you money.

Here are some additional benefits that make the card one of the best premium travel rewards cards:

  • A generous welcome bonus offer that can be worth over $1,000 in travel
  • 5x points on flights via Chase Travel and 10x points on hotels and rental cars via Chase Travel (after the $300 in purchases that qualify for the travel credit)
  • 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • 3x points on travel and dining
  • Points redeemable for 1.5 cents each via Chase Travel or transferable to airline and hotel partners for potentially greater value
  • Priority Pass Select membership with access to over 1,400 lounges worldwide
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS, fee reimbursement, up to $100
  • Premium travel insurance, including primary car rental insurance; trip cancellation, interruption, and delay; emergency evacuation; and $2,500 incidental medical and dental

How Does the $300 Travel Credit Work?

Using the $300 travel credit couldn’t be easier. Make a travel purchase with your card and receive an automatic statement credit for the exact amount, up to $300.

There is no need to preregister or enroll your card before making a purchase.

Statement credits are typically applied immediately as purchases are processed in your card account.

A partial credit is applied if a qualifying travel purchase exceeds the remaining unused credit. For example, if your travel purchase is $40 and you have $25 remaining credit, you receive the $25 credit.

Chase Travel Credit Screenshot
Travel credits are applied as a statement credit. Image Credit: Chase

It’s important to note that travel purchases qualifying for the travel credit do not earn Ultimate Rewards points. After the $300 credit is used, you earn the regular rates of 5x points on flights via Chase Travel, 10x points on hotels and car rentals via Chase Travel, 10x points on Lyft rides through March 2025, and 3x on general travel purchases.

Bottom Line:

The $300 travel credit is applied immediately to qualifying travel purchases. No preregistering or card enrollment is necessary. You do not earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points on purchases that qualify for the credit, and once the credit is exhausted, you continue to receive the applicable bonus earnings.

Timing Is Important

When you’re initially approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, your $300 travel credit is immediately available. Any travel purchases made qualify for the statement credit.

Once used, the $300 travel credit will be available again after your card renewal anniversary. Any travel purchases made once your card renewal date has passed and the statement has closed count toward the credit.

For example, in the previous screenshot, the card renewal date was January 10. Every travel purchase after that date counted toward the credit.

Cardholders who have older cards (over 7 years) may have a calendar year period to utilize their travel credit.

Bottom Line:

New Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders may use the $300 travel credit immediately. The credit resets annually after the card anniversary statement closes.

What Counts as Travel for the Credit?

AC Hotel Palma Mallorca Train
Most transit tickets, even abroad, count toward the $300 travel credit. Image Credit: Christine Krzyszton

Any purchase that codes as travel counts for the $300 travel statement credit. Here are examples of purchases that could qualify.

  • Airline incidental fees
  • Bus or train tickets
  • Campground fees
  • Car rental agencies
  • Cruises
  • Flights purchased from an airline or Chase Travel
  • Hotels
  • Timeshares
  • Tours
  • Travel agencies

This list is not all-inclusive, as any purchase that posts to your account as a travel purchase is eligible.

Bottom Line:

Chase has one of the broadest definitions of what counts as a travel purchase. Any purchase that posts to your account that codes as a travel purchase receives the credit.

How To Determine if You’ve Used the Credit

Tracking your progress to ensure you’ve used the entire $300 credit is easy. Log in to your online Chase Sapphire Reserve card account. After accessing your account, select the Redeem option or select Benefits from the More drop-down box. Either will take you to Chase Travel.

Chase 300 Travel Credit Find Tracker
The $300 travel credit tracker is in your Ultimate Rewards account. Image Credit: Chase

Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see your tracker. It shows how much credit you’ve used and when the annual credit will be available again.

Chase Travel Credit Tracker
The annual travel credit tracker helps ensure you maximize the benefit. Image Credit: Chase

Is the $300 Annual Travel Credit Worth It?

Utilizing the $300 annual travel credit easily helps offset the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s annual fee. While the annual fee is $550, the credit effectively brings it down to a net $250.

The card has several valuable benefits, but the annual travel credit is simple to use and provides immediate value. Unlike other premium travel rewards cards where only airline incidental fees qualify for travel statement credits, any travel purchase triggers the Chase Sapphire Reserve card travel credit.

Final Thoughts

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card provides a stellar earning structure for travelers, outsized redemptions, and premium travel protections and benefits.

The $300 travel credit is one of the unique benefits that results in immediate economic value to the cardholder.

Selecting the Chase Sapphire Reserve card just for the travel credit may not make sense, but if you’ll use even 1 or 2 of the other benefits, you can come out ahead. Priority Pass Select membership, flexible transferable points, 1.5 cents in value for point redemptions via Chase Travel, and premium travel benefits make the card a strong travel rewards card choice.

Here’s our take on the best travel rewards cards for a broader view of the available travel credit cards.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 travel credit?

The $300 travel credit is applied as a statement credit for any travel purchases made with the card immediately following card approval or after each card renewal anniversary. Any purchase that codes as travel is reimbursed up to $300 each card anniversary year.

Will I earn Ultimate Rewards points on my travel purchases that count for the Chase $300 travel credit?

No. You do not earn Ultimate Rewards points on travel purchases that qualify for the $300 travel credit. After $300 in travel purchases have been reimbursed with statement credits, you earn 5x points on flights booked via Chase Travel, 10x points for hotels and car rentals via Chase Travel, and 3x points on all other travel.

What counts as travel for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card $300 travel credit?

Any purchase that codes as travel receives the statement credit, up to $300 each card anniversary year. Examples of purchases that can count include airfare, Chase Travel, car rentals, cruises, transit, hotels, and tour companies.

When does the Chase Sapphire Reserve card $300 travel credit reset?

The $300 travel credit resets after the card anniversary statement closing. You can check the month and year your credit resets in the tracker in your online card account. For those cardholders who have older cards, the qualifying year may be a calendar year. Accessing the tracker confirms the actual reset date.

Christine Krzyszton's image

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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