The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is among the best travel credit cards available. Not only does it offer one of the best credit card sign-up bonuses, but the card also comes packed with a number of valuable benefits that warrant its premium price tag. However, many people aren’t using all of the amazing Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits. Read on to discover how you can improve your travel experience and save money when you use it to its full potential.
Secure application on issuer’s website.
Annual Fee: $550
Bonus: 50,000 Points
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-10X Points
Details: Full Review
Terms and restrictions apply
Annual Fee: $550
APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.
Rewards Rate: The card offers you 10x points per dollar spent on hotels, rental cars and Chase Dining experiences booked directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Additionally, it awards 5x points on flights booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3x points per dollar spent on all travel and dining purchases and 1x everywhere else.
Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after using their card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening.
Who Should Use This Credit Card? Frequent travelers who are serious about earning travel awards.
Why We Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Right off the bat, Chase Sapphire Reserve features a $300 annual credit for travel purchases. That means the annual fee is effectively just $250 per year for frequent travelers. You also get free access to more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges and restaurant options around the world. Those lounges usually give you free food and drinks, cleaner bathrooms, fast internet and a comfortable place to sit outside of the ruckus of an airport terminal. Plus, the Sapphire Reserve will get you access to the upcoming Chase Sapphire Lounge network.
If you’re looking to elevate your travel experience, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. When you first get approved, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months — that’s worth $750 in travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and potentially more if you transfer your rewards to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Review
If you’re looking to elevate your travel experience, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. When you first get approved, you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months — that’s worth $750 in travel-related spending booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and potentially more if you transfer your rewards to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners.
Right off the bat, Chase Sapphire Reserve card features a $300 annual credit for travel purchases. That means the annual fee is effectively just $250 per year for frequent travelers. You also get free access to more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges and restaurant options around the world. Those lounges usually give you free food and drinks, cleaner bathrooms, fast internet and a comfortable place to sit outside of the ruckus of an airport terminal.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve sign-up bonus rewards new cardholders with 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after they spend $4,000 during the first three months of account opening. This limited-time bonus is worth $750 in travel redemptions when booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
|Bonus Category||Rewards Rate|
|Hotels and Car Rentals Through Chase||10x|
|Air Travel Through Chase||5x|
The Sapphire Reserve rewards rate is 3x points per dollar spent on travel and dining worldwide, plus 1x point per dollar on all other purchases.
Cardholders can also earn bonus points by using the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Hotel stays, car rentals and Chase Dining purchases all earn 10x points when purchased through Ultimate Rewards, and air travel booked through Ultimate Rewards is worth 5x points per dollar spent.
On top of that, points are worth 50% more when booking travel through Ultimate Rewards. Or you can transfer points on a 1:1 basis to 14 Chase airline and hotel transfer partners.
Additionally, cardmembers earn 3x points on worldwide travel purchases and dining, which includes takeout, dining out and select delivery services.
The card also earns 10x points per dollar spent on Lyft rideshares, including bikes and scooters.
Annual Fee and APR
This credit card has an annual fee of $550 each cardholder anniversary. However, if you take full advantage of travel credits, it’s like a $300 discount on the annual fee.
An annual fee is a set charge that occurs yearly. For credit cards with annual fees, the charge is applied to your account as soon as you are approved. You will see that same charge on your card anniversary. If you do not pay the annual fee in the billing statement you receive it, you will start to pay interest on it.
Additionally, the credit card issuer charges a variable regular APR based on your creditworthiness. Also known as average percentage rate, a regular APR is the interest rate you will pay on your credit card balance expressed as a yearly rate. It’s important to understand that APR can fluctuate throughout the calendar year.
If you’re excited about elevating your travel experience, then the Chase Sapphire Reserve may be the premium travel card that you’ve been looking for. Although it charges a hefty annual fee, this credit card offers a host of travel benefits that are designed to get you through the airport as quickly and luxuriously as possible.
Annual Travel Credit
The Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit reimburses cardholders up to $300 worth of travel-related purchases. You can use this credit to book travel, pay fees and even pay taxes on award reservations. Eligible purchases are automatically wiped off of your balance through statement credits.
Global Entry and TSA Pre✓® Credits
The Sapphire Reserve Global Entry and TSA Pre✓® credits offer cardholders a $100 reimbursement to cover the cost of services every four years.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a Priority Pass benefit, which allows account holders to enjoy airport lounge access with a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership.
Foreign Transaction Fee
What about Sapphire Reserve foreign transaction fees? Well, there are none. So make as many international purchases as you like on your next holiday.
Rental Car Insurance
Chase Sapphire Reserve carries car rental insurance, which allows you to decline the rental company’s collision insurance. As long as the rental car is paid for with the card, you can enjoy up to $75,000 in theft and collision damage for car rentals worldwide.
Pay Yourself Back
Ultimate Rewards Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for purchases in current categories of grocery, dining, home improvement and contributions to select charities.
Purchases made through the Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards are worth 10x their normal value. Cardmembers can explore the Chase Dining Hub’s secure website.
Required Credit Score
While there is no hard rule to qualify for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you stand a better chance of being approved with an excellent credit score, which is typically in the range of 800-850.
However, there are reports of people qualifying with a credit score between 740-799. Fill out an application directly with the issuer and find out if you qualify in minutes.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are travel rewards points from the card issuer Chase. They are best redeemed for travel either through the Ultimate Rewards website or transferring to travel partners. According to our points and miles valuation guide, Chase points are worth 2.1 cents each. That’s in the top tier of rewards points.
Do Chase Points Expire?
Ultimate Rewards points never expire as long as your account remains active and in good standing. When redeemed through the Chase website, you can use them for virtually any flight, hotel, rental car and other travel.
Can You Transfer Chase Points?
Chase travel rewards are powered by Expedia, so you can book just about anything through their portal directly with your Chase points. You can also transfer points to an airline or hotel partner at a 1:1 ratio. That means one Chase point is worth one United mile, one Marriott point or one point in any of the participating programs. Use Expedia promo codes and status-based discounts to potentially decrease your overall travel expenses.
Another benefits to consider is that the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a vital part of what many people think of as the “Chase Ecosystem.” This refers to a number of credit cards offered by Chase that feature reward points that can be combined.
For example, when you have the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you can earn 5x points per dollar for purchases from select retailers and merchant categories. By itself, the rewards that you earn from the Chase Freedom are worth just 1 cent each. But when you also have a Chase Sapphire Reserve, then you can combine those rewards and redeem them for 1.5 cents each for travel reservations.
Or, you can transfer your rewards to airline miles or hotel points. The same ability to combine points is true of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card.
Redeeming and Transferring Sapphire Reserve Points
Points are worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel center. There, points are worth 50% more than their cash value. But they can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio. When you’re able to redeem these rewards for premium class international flights or hotel reservations during peak season, then it’s often possible to realize several cents in value per point redeemed.
For example, it’s not uncommon to redeem 15,000 points for a free night in a Hyatt hotel that costs several hundred dollars a night. Or, you can transfer 150,000 points to frequent flyer miles, which you can redeem for a business class ticket to Europe that would have cost over $5,000.
How To Transfer Chase Sapphire Points to Chase Travel Partners
The very best value and use for points usually comes from moving your Chase points to a transfer partner. Don’t move a point until you have a plan to use the resulting miles or points. Keeping them in the bank at Chase is the best strategy until you’re ready to book.
Chase Ultimate Rewards gives you access to all of the three big airline alliances. For example, you could use British Airways points to book flights on American Airlines. Thankfully, all points transfer to partners in a 1:1 ratio, and most transfers are instantaneous once confirmed. However, Singapore Airlines tend to take up to a day, and Marriott Bonvoy can take up to two days.
Airline partners include
Aer Lingus AerClub
Air France/KLM Flying Blue
British Airway Avios
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
United Airlines MileagePlus
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Hotel partners include
- World of Hyatt
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
Hotel partners include mega-brands Hyatt, IHG and Marriott. Marriott has the biggest list of properties of any hotel chain in the world. The Hyatt program has gained popularity since Marriott launched its new Bonvoy program, however. IHG also offers a large list of popular and luxury brands. In fact, Chase offers a fee-free IHG co-branded card that offers great value and a big signup bonus for a no-annual-fee credit car.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve?
Secure application on issuer’s website.
Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 60,000 Points
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-5X Points
Details: Full Review
Terms and restrictions apply
Annual Fee: $95
APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.
Rewards Rate: The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), 3x points on select streaming services, 3x points on online groceries (excluding Target and Walmart), 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too. Also, the card earns 5x points per dollar spent on Lyft rides through March 2022.
Sign-Up Bonus: New applicants can earn 60,000 bonus points after using their card to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. That’s $750 when redeeming points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who are beginning with travel rewards cards.
Why We Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred actually works like having over a dozen different rewards credit cards. That’s because this credit card allows you to transfer your rewards points into miles with 11 airlines and points with three hotel programs.
Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred might not be ideal for the most frequent travelers and highest spenders, it’s part of a family of Chase cards that has a built-in upgrade path. So when it comes time to take your travel rewards game to the next level, you won’t have to start from scratch with an entirely different credit card and rewards program.
The card has a $95 annual fee, but the $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit effectively reduces that fee to $45. Plus, the credit card allows you to continue earning points through bonus categories and a 10% anniversary points boost. But when it comes time to redeem your rewards for travel, this card really shines. You can take advantage of some really strong transfer partners such as United, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Hyatt. Similarly, you can just book any reservation you want through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel center.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those who are just getting started earning travel rewards, and the Sapphire Preferred continues to be a solid choice for all but the most frequent travelers and hardcore award travel enthusiasts.
Even though the Chase Sapphire Preferred has some similar benefits, there are some important differences between these two credit cards. The Sapphire Preferred has a more affordable annual fee, but because of the cheaper price tag, it does not offer as many travel benefits that the Reserve does.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns fewer points per dollar spent on purchases, and it also does not offer TSA or Global Entry credits, travel reimbursement credits or DoorDash credits. Similarly, Chase Sapphire Preferred does not provide cardholders the coveted Priority Pass membership. Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Platinum Card from American Express or Chase Sapphire Reserve?
Much like its rival, the Platinum Card by American Express, the Chase Sapphire Reserve also features a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership and a $300 annual travel credit. However, a side-by-side comparison of these three popular credit cards shows that both the Sapphire Preferred and the Sapphire Reserve are high-value travel cards for consumers.
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Chase Sapphire Reserve||Platinum Card from American Express|
|Sign-Up Bonus||60,000 bonus points||50,000 bonus points||60,000 Membership Rewards Points|
|Bonus Requirement||Spend $4,000 in first 3 months of account opening||Spend $4,000 in first 3 months of account opening||Spend $5,000 in first 3 months of account opening|
|Rewards Rates|| ||10x points on hotels, rental cars and Chase Dining experiences booked via Chase, 10x points on Lyft, 5x points on air travel booked through Chase, 3x points on dining and travel and 1x points on other purchases|| |
|Annual Credits||$50 hotel credit|| |
|Global Entry Credit||No||$100||$100|
|Lounge Access||No||Priority Pass Select Membership||Priority Pass Select Membership|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||No||No||No|
The Bottom Line
Even with the recent increase in annual fee from $450 to $550, the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve justify paying the annual fee. Not only are you earning 3x points per dollar on travel and dining, but the points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel. Plus, the annual $300 annual travel credit reduces the net cost of the card to $250.
First Things to Do With Your Chase Sapphire Reserve
Although there are automatic benefits from the Chase Sapphire Reserve, some require activation before they start working. And there are several other perks that you should be aware of so you can really maximize your rewards credit card.
1. Activate Priority Pass Select Membership
Airport lounge access provides a way to get away from the terminal and enjoy complimentary drinks, snacks, WiFi, and more. A Priority Pass Select membership allows you to visit over 1,000 airport lounges for free with two guests. Additional guests are $27 each. But, before you can enjoy the Sapphire Reserve lounge access, you need to call Chase customer service to activate your membership.
2. Apply for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
Global Entry and TSA Pre✓® are government programs that speed you through customs and airport security, respectively. When you charge your application fees to your credit card, you are automatically reimbursed with a statement credit up to $100. This benefit can be used once every four years. If you already have an active membership, you can pay for a friend or family member’s application fee instead.
The Global Entry and TSA Pre✓® credit is essentially a $25 annual credit, since it’s awarded every four years.
3. Use Your $300 Annual Travel Credit
Each calendar year, your annual travel credit resets. Eligible purchases include flights, hotel reservations, taxis and rideshare, transit and subways and other purchases coded as travel. Taxes and fees on award reservations also count as travel purchases.
If you haven’t used your Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit by the end of December, book prepaid travel into the next year. This credit needs to be spent each calendar year, but your travel can be in the future.
Keep in mind that you will not earn bonus points on the first $300 in travel-related expenses covered by this credit. Once the annual travel credit is used up, all additional travel purchases earn 3x points per dollar.
4. Book Hotels with The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection offers exclusive benefits at participating hotels around the world. There are over 1,000 luxury hotels, resorts, lodges, and spas to choose from. You’ll receive daily breakfast for two, a unique amenity, Wi-Fi and a room upgrade, if available. Plus, early check-in and check-out are also complimentary if your room is available.
5. Register for the DoorDash DashPash
Chase recently added this DoorDash perk. Primary cardholders and authorized users receive at least 12 months of complimentary DashPash when you activate your subscription by December 31st, 2021. With the DashPash, delivery fees are waived on orders over $12.
You’ll also receive up to $60 in statement credits from DoorDash through 2021. Statement credits are applied automatically when you make qualifying DoorDash purchases on the primary or authorized user cards through the DoorDash app.
6. Activate Lyft Pink Elite Status
Complimentary Lyft Pink elite status is another new benefit added to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Cardholders receive one year of Lyft Pink status, which has a value of $199. You can activate at a time of your choosing, but you must do so before March 31st, 2022. It is best to wait to activate until a couple of days before you plan to use the Lyft ridesharing service for the first time.
With Lyft Pink, you receive 15% off every car ride, priority airport pickups, relaxed cancellations and exclusive savings opportunities. Plus, you’ll earn 10x Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar you spend. Call Chase customer service to activate your Lyft Pink elite status. Then, make the creidt card your primary payment method in the Lyft app.
7. Make Chase Sapphire Reserve Primary Payment Method
To ensure that you maximize your rewards and receive statement credits, ensure that your Sapphire Reserve is set as the default payment method in Lyft and DoorDash. While you’re at it, do the same for Uber and other travel and dining apps to earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent.
8. Sign Up for Rental Car Insurance Elite Status
Not only will you earn 10x points on rental car reservations with the Sapphire Reserve when booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, but you can save money and receive elite status as well.
National Car Rental provides complimentary Emerald Club Executive Level status. With this status, you can choose any car from the Emerald or Executive aisles. Plus, you will save up to 25% on qualifying rentals with code 5030849.
Avis gives Preferred status to cardholders, which allows you to earn 75% more points on each reservation. When you use your card and AWD code S107100 to book your car, you’ll receive a 30% discount.
Cardmembers save 30% off Silvercar rentals as part of the Visa Infinite benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
9. Link Your Card for Extra Rewards
Several third-party apps allow you to stack the rewards earned with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
The Dosh cash-back app earns cash back at participating dining and retail locations. Plus, you can save up to 40% hotel reservations booked through its app. With Rewards Network, you can choose to earn cash back with iDine or airline miles from seven different airlines.
You can stack these programs to triple-dip and earn points, miles and cash back on your purchases. You’ll earn points from your card, cash back from Dosh and cash back or airline miles from Rewards Dining.
10. Shop Online With the Chase Rewards Portal
Shopping through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal is a way to earn points from your credit card and additional points from the shopping portal. Many of your favorite online stores are available, including Nike, Sephora, Macy’s and The Home Depot.
11. Transfer Points for Extra Value
If you have other credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, transfer those points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. There are no fees to transfer points between accounts and points transfer immediately.
12. Add Authorized Users
Spending by authorized users helps you accumulate Ultimate Rewards points faster. Sapphire Reserve authorized users earn points at the same rate as the primary cardholder and are $75 per person each year. Authorized users receive their own Priority Pass Select membership, primary rental car insurance and all other travel protections afforded to the primary cardmember. They’ll also receive their own DoorDash DashPash subscription.
13. Use the Travel Insurance Benefits
When booking travel with your credit card, you’re automatically covered with certain travel insurance protections. Trip interruption and cancellation insurance covers up to $20,000 in prepaid travel expenses in case of illness, severe weather and other covered situations. If your flight is delayed more than six hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses up to $500.
The primary auto rental collision damage waiver covers the rental car in case of theft or collision damage to the car. Lost luggage reimbursement covers you for up to $3,000 per passenger for luggage that is lost or damaged by the carrier.
By paying the taxes and fees on award reservations, you’ll receive the same travel benefits as if you paid the full transaction on the card.
14. Enjoy Purchase Protection Benefits
You can shop with confidence knowing that the Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits have you covered. Purchase protection covers new purchases against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year for 120 days from the date of purchase.
With return protection, the purchase protection benefit reimburses you for eligible items the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase. This benefit is good up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year. Your item’s manufacturer’s warranty is extended up to an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less.