Back in 2017, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offered a sky-high 100,000-point bonus.
While that offer has come and (long) gone, you can now take advantage of a pretty great deal in its own right: 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for new cardholders.
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.
Why We Like It
Annual Fee: $550
Bonus: 80,000 Points
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-10X Points
- Sign-Up Bonus
- Rewards Rate
- Annual Fee
- Credit Score
- Redeeming Points
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 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months — that’s worth $1,200 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 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after they spend $4,000 during the first three months of account opening. This limited-time bonus is worth $1,200 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 and car rentals earn 10x points when purchased through Ultimate Rewards, and air travel booked through Ultimate Rewards is worth 5x points per dollar spent. Note that this bonus rate is offered immediately after the cardholder spends $300 on travel purchases annually.
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.
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, NEXUS and TSA Pre✓® Credits
The Sapphire Reserve Global Entry, NEXUS or 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
With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
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 2.2 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 benefit 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.
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 One Rewards
- 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.