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Does the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Still Belong in My Wallet?

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Carissa Rawson
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Carissa Rawson

Senior Content Contributor

268 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 51U.S. States Visited: 36

Carissa served in the U.S. Air Force where she developed her love for travel and new cultures. She started her own blog and eventually joined The Points Guy. Since then, she’s contributed to Business ...
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Keri Stooksbury

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...
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Kellie’s professional experience has led her to a deep passion for compliance, data reporting, and process improvement. Kellie’s learned the ins and outs of the points and miles world and leads UP’s c...

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I remember the buzz when the Chase Sapphire Reserve® was launched. Although I was well over 5/24, Chase’s restriction for whether you’d be approved for a new card, I had heard that you could still have a chance to get approved if you visited a Chase bank in person.

Without locations in Georgia, where I lived at the time, I made the 6-hour trek down to central Florida to find myself a Chase branch — and score the 100,000-point welcome bonus offer.

Since then, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card has been my ride-or-die, the one whose numbers I have memorized and my absolute favorite overall. But as new cards enter the market and my spending strategy shifts, is it still worth it? Let’s talk about it.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card — Overview

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
U.P. Rating 
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.

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 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth $1,125 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$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 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • $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 TravelSM 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 TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $1125 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 PassTM 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: $0
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Do the Rewards Still Make Sense?

I used to use my Chase Sapphire Reserve card for almost everything, even when there were better cards available. I know, I know, a point not maximized is truly a point lost.

Over the last few years I’ve revamped the way I use my credit cards (mostly because I finally got a large enough wallet to do so). Because of this, my Chase Sapphire Reserve card doesn’t see as much spending as it used to.

While it excels at many things, there aren’t many categories left for me where I still need to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Instead, American Express, Capital One, and Citi do the heavy lifting for most of my purchases.

That being said, I still use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card for general travel purchases. This includes anything from rental cars to Lyft rides to hotels, and I’ll be honest with you guys: I have a lot of those expenses.

So, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve card isn’t my main spending card anymore, it still gets a lot of use.

That’s not enough of a reason to keep it, but it gets me closer.

Are the Points Worth Earning?

This probably goes without saying, but obviously, Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth earning. Points and miles are a fickle beast, which means being as flexible as possible is key to getting where you want to go, when you want to go there.

This comes in many forms, but among the most important is diversifying the types of points you have. There are 5 main flexible point currencies: American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One Miles, and Bilt Rewards.

Because each of these currencies has a different list of hotel and airline transfer partners, it’s important to have them all. That way, when you decide you want to visit Prague in the middle of summer, you have as many choices as possible for flights and hotels.

It doesn’t hurt that I’ve been a huge fan of Hyatt since becoming a World of Hyatt Globalist in 2020.

I now make a point of staying at Hyatt properties as much as possible, which means that those Chase points really come in handy because they transfer over to World of Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.

Hyatt Place Kyoto exterior front entry
I’ll always make an effort to find a Hyatt hotel. Hyatt Place Kyoto. Image Credit: Ryan Smith

Do the Benefits Justify the Fee?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has a $550 annual fee, which is more than anyone should feasibly spend in a year. However, I’m the queen of rationalizing purchases to myself (as you can see via this article), which is one reason I’ve held on to this card for so long.

That being said, there are a few other benefits of which I regularly take advantage.

Airport Lounge Access

Despite the upcoming devaluation of Chase’s Priority Pass Select membership, which will result in the loss of access to Priority Pass restaurants, I find the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s lounge access valuable.

I’ll admit that the network is not as good as Amex’s Global Lounge Collection, but I really dig Chase’s new Sapphire Lounges. I’ve been to 2 locations so far: Boston (BOS) and Hong Kong (HKG), but there are 5 currently open.

Most importantly, there are a few in the works and 1 in particular that I hope will open soon.

My home base is in San Diego (SAN), which is a beautiful but fairly small airport. When it comes to lounge access (unless you pay for a lounge membership), there isn’t a lot of choice. We’ve got a Priority Pass lounge, Priority Pass restaurant, Delta Sky Club, United Club, and 2 Be Relax Spas that are almost never open.

Suffice it to say that lounge offerings in San Diego are lackluster.

That’s all going to change when Chase opens its San Diego Sapphire Lounge. I can’t wait, and that in and of itself is going to be reason for me to keep my card. Unlimited visits to the Chase Sapphire Lounge at my home airport? Sign. Me. Up.

Chase Saphire Lounge Entrance
These lounges are incredibly designed. Sapphire Lounge by The Club in Boston. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

Travel Insurance

I may not use my Chase Sapphire Reserve card for most of my flights (that honor goes to The Platinum Card® from American Express), but I make sure to do so whenever I’m booking an award flight. That’s because its complimentary travel insurance kicks in even when you use it to pay taxes and fees.

This is also true when you use it to pay for rental cars, which is great news because the rental car insurance it offers is among the best available.

Hot Tip:

Don’t have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card? Check out other options with our guide to the best credit cards for travel insurance coverage and protection!

Statement Credits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card doesn’t have as many statement credits as, say, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, but the ones it does have a highly valuable.

Most importantly for me, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a $300 annual statement credit toward travel. It’s applied automatically toward any travel purchases you make, which means that I basically use it up by January 2nd of each year.

This effectively drops my annual fee down to $250. And that clinches it for me.

Final Thoughts

I may not rely on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card as much as I used to, and I certainly don’t love the loss of benefits it’s facing. However, the generous $300 annual travel credit, partnership with World of Hyatt, and upcoming Chase Sapphire Lounge at my home airport make a compelling enough argument for keeping it around. I’ll catch you guys in San Diego when the lounge opens.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

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About Carissa Rawson

Carissa served in the U.S. Air Force where she developed her love for travel and new cultures. She started her own blog and eventually joined The Points Guy. Since then, she’s contributed to Business Insider, Forbes, and more.

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