Chase Sapphire Reserve<sup>®</sup> Review: A Premium All-Around Travel Card Chase Sapphire Reserve<sup>®</sup> Review: A Premium All-Around Travel Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Review: A Premium All-Around Travel Card

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the most valuable rewards cards available. Its lineup of benefits set a new standard when it launched in 2016, and many competitors quickly tried to play catch up.

The Sapphire Reserve is not for everyone, however. With an annual fee of $550, it only makes sense if you understand and use the perks, including unlimited lounge access, best-in-class travel insurance, incredible earning rates, and an annual travel credit worth more than half of the card's annual fee. Let's take a deeper look at the Sapphire Reserve to help you decide if it's right for you.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Annual Fee$550
Welcome Bonus 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 Ultimate Rewards®
Chase's flagship Ultimate Rewards card. You get a $300 travel credit, airport lounge access courtesy of a Priority Pass membership and industry-leading travel insurance benefits. New cardholders earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 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 Ultimate Rewards®
  • $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 Ultimate Rewards® 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 Ultimate Rewards®. 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
  • 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • 10X points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase
  • 10X points on Chase Dining (including prepaid reservations and prepaid takeout purchased through Chase)
  • 5X points on airfare purchased through Chase
  • 3X points on all other travel
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants
  • 1X points on all other purchases

Chase Sapphire Reserve Pros

  • Access to transfer partners for outsized redemption value
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Points are worth more in the Chase Travel portal than values from other cards
  • Primary rental car coverage
  • Travel protections

Chase Sapphire Reserve Cons

  • $550 annual fee
  • $75 annual fee per authorized user

Chase Sapphire Reserve Welcome Bonus

Approved applicants will earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Sapphire Reserve cardholders can redeem points for 1.5 cents each in the Chase Travel Portal, which means that this welcome bonus is worth a minimum of $900.

However, data from AwardWallet user redemptions shows that each point can be worth 1.97¢ on average. That makes this bonus worth nearly $2,000 through transfer partners. More on that option below.

a man in a bathroom looks out the window of his luxury hotel room
Credit: Ishan @seefromthesky/Unsplash

Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits

The Sapphire Reserve is a feature-rich card that should have you considering if your current go-to card is the most rewarding. Here are the standout benefits cardholders can enjoy.

$300 annual travel credit

While this isn't free money, it can be thought of as such. The Sapphire Reserve carries a $550 annual fee, but the $300 travel credit helps offset a significant portion of that cost. This $300 credit can be used to cover most travel expenses, including the cost of airfare. If you're spending more than $300 per year on travel, this is an excellent way to help offset the annual fee.

How do you use the credit? Simply pay for a qualifying travel expense, such as a plane ticket or subway ride, using your Sapphire Reserve and you'll receive a statement credit of up to $300 per cardmember year. It's that simple.

Keep in mind that this benefit refreshes each cardmember year — not calendar year. And it applies automatically to the first $300 of eligible expenses, whether that's one big purchase or multiple small purchases. Unfortunately, the bonus earnings on travel — discussed below — don't apply to purchases covered by the travel credit.

Related: How To Use the Chase Sapphire Reserve® $300 Travel Credit

Lounge access

Lounge access is provided through a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. This membership gives you access to 1,300+ lounges worldwide. You are not required to be flying any particular airline to gain access to Priority Pass lounges. Instead, show your same-day boarding pass and Priority Pass card to get in.

Authorized users also can use their card to sign up for an additional Priority Pass membership. Just remember that it costs $75 for each authorized user. Priority Pass members can bring up to two guests for free.

You'll also have access to Chase Sapphire Lounges and the Chase Sapphire Terrace in Austin.

Chase Lounge Boston reception
Chase Sapphire Lounge by the Club in Boston. Credit: Carissa Rawson

TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS statement credit

This benefit has become a standard across high-end travel rewards cards but has tangible value. Use your card to pay the application fee for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and you will be reimbursed through a statement credit. Remember, Global Entry members also receive the benefits associated with TSA PreCheck. So if you travel internationally a few times per year, Global Entry may be the smarter choice.

Additionally, if you're current on your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership, you can pay for someone else's application fee and be reimbursed. The name on the application does not need to be yours, so this is an excellent way to help out a spouse or family member!

Another option is the cross-border program NEXUS, which can be a good option if you travel frequently between the U.S. and Canada. Certain Chase credit cards can cover your application fee for NEXUS, including the Sapphire Reserve.

Visa Infinite benefits

Perhaps the most underrated benefits of any credit card, Visa Infinite benefits can save you thousands of dollars through insurance protections. Coverage includes primary rental car protection, purchase protection, trip delay protection, baggage delay protection, and several different types of travel insurance. Check out our article comparing Sapphire card benefits to learn more.

Lyft Pink All Access membership

Cardholders can enroll for two years of free membership to Lyft Pink All Access, worth $199 per year. Additionally, cardholders earn 10X on Lyft rides through March 2025.

DoorDash DashPass subscription and credits

Get at least 12 months of complimentary DoorDash DashPass, which typically costs $96 for a year or $9.99 monthly. This benefit offers $0 delivery fees plus lower service fees, so long as your order is at least $10 (select locations) or $12 (most locations). Furthermore, receive a monthly $5 credit redeemable at checkout, which you can roll over for two months up to a maximum of $15 credit in your account at any given time.

Instacart+ membership and credits

Receive a complimentary Instacart+ membership for one year, plus a $15 monthly statement credit against purchases. This benefit runs through July 31, 2024.

GoPuff credits

Most Chase cards include a monthly $10 credit when ordering pickup or delivery through GoPuff. If you have multiple Chase cards, this benefit can save you hundreds of dollars a year on groceries and household items. This perk ends on December 31, 2023.

a person looks at a smart phone while holding a credit card
Credit: Anete Lusina/Pexels

Chase Sapphire Reserve Earning Rates

There are a handful of elevated categories when you spend with your Sapphire Reserve, although the biggest earnings come from spending through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

  • 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • 10X points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase
  • 10X points on Chase Dining (including prepaid reservations and prepaid takeout purchased through Chase)
  • 5X points on airfare purchased through Chase
  • 3X points on all other travel
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants
  • 1X points on all other purchases

Plus, through March 31, 2025, you can earn 10x points on certain Peloton equipment purchases — up to a maximum of 50,000 points.

Redeeming Points With the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Transfer your points

The Sapphire Reserve shines when it comes to redeeming Ultimate Rewards. First, you have access to all of Chase's 14 airline and hotel transfer partners. Transferring your points is the easiest way to get the most value from them. When you move your points from Chase to one of these partners to book award travel, you can get double or triple the value offered with other redemption options.

Transfer partners include:

Transfer Ratio
Average Time
Aer Lingus (AerClub)
Air Canada (Aeroplan)
47 minutes
Air France (Flying Blue)
British Airways (Executive Club)
United States
Emirates (Skywards & Business Rewards)
Hyatt (World of Hyatt)
Iberia Plus
IHG Hotels & Resorts (One Rewards)
5 hours
JetBlue Airways (TrueBlue)
KLM (Flying Blue)
Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)
20 hours
Southwest Airlines (Rapid Rewards)
United Airlines (Mileage Plus)
Virgin Atlantic (Flying Club)

Chase Travel portal

It's possible to use your points to pay for travel bookings in the Chase Travel portal. For most cardholders, points are worth 1¢ each here. With the Sapphire Reserve, however, points can be redeemed at a value of 1.5 cents each.

Better yet, if you have another Ultimate Rewards-earning card — such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited®‎ or Ink Business Cash® Credit Card — you can combine points between your Ultimate Rewards-earning accounts. By combining your points to a Sapphire Reserve, they instantly become worth 1.5¢ per point towards travel when booked through the Chase Travel portal.

Pay Yourself Back

Another way to redeem Ultimate Rewards is to use them to Pay Yourself Back. This feature is helpful when you want to use your Ultimate Rewards for purchases you've already made. Initially, this feature offered extra value because you could redeem your points at 1.25 or 1.5 cents per point. However, the redemptions frequently change and have since lost some of their value.

For further details, see our complete guide to Pay Yourself Back, including current categories and their end dates.

Statement credit

Finally, you can redeem your points for one cent apiece as a statement credit. In this case, you're not getting the most value from your points; however, it can be a helpful way to offset costs that wouldn't be covered otherwise.

Related: 22 Different Ways To Redeem Ultimate Rewards

Application Restrictions and Strategy

There are a few things to be aware of when applying for the Sapphire Reserve:

  • You cannot have opened a Sapphire Reserve in the last 48 months. Chase has a special rule for the Sapphire family of cards, stating that you cannot open a new Sapphire card if you have opened one and received the welcome bonus in the previous 48 months.
  • You can hold only one Sapphire card at a time. There are three Sapphire cards, but you can hold only one at a time. If you hold the Chase Sapphire® Card (not open to new applicants) or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you will not be approved for the Sapphire Reserve, and vice versa. In this case, it's important to compare benefits to help you decide which Sapphire card is right for you.
  • You cannot have opened five or more personal cards in the last 24 months. Chase's infamous 5/24 rule is important to consider when applying for a new card. This rule states that you will not be approved for a new Chase card if you've opened five or more cards from any bank in the last 24 months.

Related: Why Starting With Chase Cards Matters if You’re Under 5/24

Cards That Compete with the Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • If you want a premium card with great benefits but a lower annual fee, check out the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. This premium card offers many of the same benefits like lounge access, a $300 travel credit, elevated earning potential in the Capital One Travel portal, travel insurance, purchase protections, and more, though with a much smaller $395 annual fee. See our full review Capital One Venture X for more details.
  • If you want a premium card with even more benefits, The Platinum Card® from American Express may be for you. The Amex Platinum card comes with some of the same benefits as the Sapphire Reserve but also a few extras. It includes a $200 airline incidentals credit, a $200 hotel credit (The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay), additional lounge access (including Centurion Lounges and select Lufthansa lounges), Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status, $189 CLEAR Plus membership reimbursement, and more. For comparison, the annual fee on this card is $695 (Rates & Fees). See our full Amex Platinum review for more information. Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.
  • If you want a card that earns Ultimate Rewards with a lower annual fee, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The little sibling of the Sapphire Reserve has some overlapping benefits. The Sapphire Preferred has a smaller $95 annual fee but still includes benefits like access to transfer partners, elevated redemptions in the Chase Travel portal, primary rental car coverage, purchase and travel protections, and more. Our Sapphire Preferred review has additional details.

Related: Comparison of Premium Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Bottom Line

The Sapphire Reserve and its benefits speak for themselves. The card has a fantastic sign-up bonus, great earning potential, highly flexible rewards, complimentary lounge access, and many other benefits through the Visa Infinite program. This card checks all the boxes for what makes a great travel rewards credit card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Annual Fee$550
Welcome Bonus 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 Ultimate Rewards®
Chase's flagship Ultimate Rewards card. You get a $300 travel credit, airport lounge access courtesy of a Priority Pass membership and industry-leading travel insurance benefits. New cardholders earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 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 Ultimate Rewards®
  • $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 Ultimate Rewards® 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 Ultimate Rewards®. 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
  • 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • 10X points on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase
  • 10X points on Chase Dining (including prepaid reservations and prepaid takeout purchased through Chase)
  • 5X points on airfare purchased through Chase
  • 3X points on all other travel
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants
  • 1X points on all other purchases

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)

4.3 / 5 - (256 votes)
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  • Avraham Treiger says:

    The CSR is by far the best card I ever had- and it pays for itself. Even during the pandemic, when I wasn’t travelling, they made up for the lost benefits by dousing me with free grub hub 🙂 Never cancelling my CSR.

  • I have the CSR card. What’s the best way to decide whether to redeem award flights through the Chase portal vs. transferring miles to a frequent flyer program such as United MileagePlus or Avios? I tend to compare how many miles it would cost me to purchase through the Chase portal vs. transferring miles and then go with whichever is lower.

  • Great card and benefits. Love the #300 yearly allowance! A keeper!

  • It’s an easy perk to overlook among all the others, but don’t forget about the discounted golf at participating Troon Privé clubs through the Troon Rewards program. The CSR just keeps on giving!

  • Hands down the best card out there. Don’t let the annual fee scare you!!

  • I am on the fence about renewing the CSR card in 10 days or so. Love the points, the $300 travel rebate, the insurance and the lounge pass. My new lounge pass came today, expires in 2021. I wonder if Chase notifies the lounge people if I am no longer a CSR customer? And the points and Global entry fee reimbursement, that’s to be counted against the first year’s fee, since I get to keep those benefits even if I close the CSR after year one (assuming I move the CSR points to some place I like).

    The real issue is the benefits vs. the fee. I get a straight 2% rebate from Fidelity, so the CSR points only work when they are in bonus categories. Is the $150 annual fee worth it it? (that’s net of the$300 travel reimbursement) I am on the fence.

    I don’t see the extra insurance coverages being worth that much. I gat car rental coverage with most cards. Trip cancellation? It never happened to me. The other stuff seems like more trouble than it is worth.

    All that said, I’ll probably bite the bullet and go for the renewal. I must admit that a good lounge pass is worth its weight in gold. Hopefully the Priority Pass lounges get more common in the states. I live in ABQ and would love a pre-departure PP lounge at my home airport!

  • I got this card at the beginning of last year (Jan 2017). I hadn’t yet received the $300 travel credit so I tried to buy some Southwest gift cards through Walmart. It didn’t work. I called to speak with someone from Chase and they said they would need to be purchased through the airline directly. Moreover, I was informed that I would’ve needed to buy something travel related before December 4th 2017 (which was my last statement date of the year) in order to qualify for the $300 reimbursement. Apparently it is not full calendar year or even 365 days. You need to purchase something travel related before your last statement date of the year in order to get the $300 reimbursement. So I’m stuck with an extra $300 in Southwest GC, and no $300 reimbursement for my first year with this card. Kind of a bummer, but other than that I feel like the card has some really good features. You just need to learn how to use it correctly. I’m posting this so others won’t make the same mistake as I did.

  • Still a very compelling card and can get great value from it.

  • David Spilkia says:

    You mention that you can pay for someone else’s Global Entry application fee. I received the $100 benefit for my Global Entry in my first year of having the CSR card. Now in the second year, can I get the benefit for someone else, or is that benefit a one time thing?

  • Is there a refferal for this card yet?

  • Lee Ann Bixler says:

    Love my sapphire reserve card! Especially since I don’t have to jump through hoops to get the $300 credit.

  • Trying to figure out if this card is right for me. I travel pretty extensively for work & mostly use Hilton and Delta Airlines brands… I currently have the Hilton Citi Reserve Visa Card (soon to be transferred to the Hilton AMEX Ascend Card), both the Gold & Platinum Delta AMEX Cards, and use miles each year to get access to the Delta SkyClub.

    Though I’m locked into these brands, I also travel with Marriott/IHG on occasion and rent vehicles from Hertz frequently. I spend $30-40k on travel per year on average (not counting travel meals, which is considerable as well) – with about half of that going directly to Hilton & Delta on those cards mentioned above.

    Is this card a good option or should I keep my points where they are?

    • For Hilton you should be using a Hilton co-branded card — the points earning on the top end just makes sense. For Delta, you’re better not using any Delta credit card for spending — you could get a Delta Reserve for lounge access + higher upgrade priority + ability to earn MQMs.

      For me, I’d go with the Reserve in your case.

  • In Oct. 2017 I applied for and was approved for both Chase Personal Southwest and Chase Business Southwest credit cards. I was expecting only 1 hard inquiry combined. To this date 1/4/18, my Transunion credit report shows a hard inquiry for both credit cards on that day that I applied. Is that what Chase will see when I apply for another Chase credit card? Or will Chase see just one inquiry?

  • I wish I would’ve sprung for it when it came with the 100,000-point bonus and the $300 credit was by calendar and not cardmember year. Currently, it’s already a downgraded version of its former self.

  • Pete in OC says:

    Question about the Lounge access:

    Does a spouse have to have their own card on the same account also to avoid the $27 per visit Lounge guest fee?

    • If a spouse is a +1 with a cardmember that has their priority pass card with them, there is no $27 fee.

      In fact, there is no $27 fee when using the Priority Pass membership issued with a CSR at any lounge.

      • Pete in OC says:

        I called Priority Pass to inquire why their website fees are different, and they advised me that the banks negotiate different terms than for those who purchase Priority Pass Lounge access directly.

        So in short, Chase says the primary cardholders and their guests are allowed in without charge, so no fees apply.

        This means that if my wife always travels with me, there is no need to get an additional card for her for lounge access.

  • I can’t believe how easy it is to use the CSR travel credit: local parking garages & meters trigger it, and it happens automatically. The annual fee was originally hard to swallow, but this card is a keeper.

  • After the $300 travel credit plus the pro-rated $25 for the Global Entry benefit, you’re looking at $125 in effective annual fee. Which I’m nibbling off a couple of bucks at a time with price protection claims (automated through Earny.) Ten bucks a month and you’ve amortized the entire $450 fee without even getting into the UR points themselves or the insurance benefits.

  • I have chase sapphire preferred for a few years now and was leaning towards Amex platinum as my next card but now yoI’ve got me thinking. I really like the lounge access better with the Amex platinum. I’ve heard priority pass lounges are nothing to write home about. I know this isn’t a reason in itself to choose amex over sapphire reserve but wanted your thoughts. Just seems like the perks are better with Amex platinum.

    • The lounge access on the Amex Platinum definitely wins with Delta access and Centurion access. Priority Pass is 100% hit or miss. Sometimes they’re great and other times they’re a place to sit and have a snack/drink. If you’re a big Delta flyer and/or live in a city with a Centurion lounge that you regularly use that might be a reason to sway for those benefits, but the other benefits on the CSR are superior to that on the Amex as far as I’m concerned.

  • Amazing card. I will be getting it very soon!

  • Note that some of the info. in this post is out of date now that you only get 50,000 UR points instead of the original 100,000 points that was offered when the card first came out. You can’t get 4 nights at an all-inclusive (Hyatt), you can only get 2 nights with 50,000 points.

  • Impressive amount of comments in response to this post today. I, for one, am very pleased with my CSR card and have no plans to ever close the account. It’s been so advantageous across the first year of ownership that I’m considering strongly dittching some other cc’s I have because my CSR is my go-to card now.

  • Thanks for the detailed info!

  • Compared wiith some other options available, I don’t think the annual fee makes this card worth getting. If someone is going to take full advantage of all the benefits, the signing bonus coves it for the first year, but after that, I don’t think it compares favorably.

    • If you’re someone that travels more than a handful of times per year, I have to strongly disagree with you. The benefits and insurance protection on this card are stellar — truly second to none.

    • This card is amazing as the annual fee really goes down to $150 with $300 travel credits. If you add in $100 for Global Entry which includes TSA then the annual fee goes down to only $50. Even if you do not travel alot you can easily get that back from car parking garages, Uber/Lyft etc which they are classified as travel with this card. For sure this is a keep card for me as I have enjoyed Global Entry access plus many priority lounges in different airports.

  • I only wish I could get this card

  • I love this card. The best is when I use it for a restaurant that’s attached to a hotel, and the restaurant charge comes up as travel! Whooohoo for free dinner (after travel credit)

  • I have enjoyed the Chase Sapphire Reserve for the past year. I am coming up on the renewal and I am trying to determine whether the benefits are worth paying the annual fee again. Are others keeping it or downgrading?

  • Excellent. This is my next card objective

  • one of my fav card

  • Great card, and love the UR points…

  • Will try for this someday.

  • This card is becoming really popular. While out in public, I see people with this card everywhere.

  • deerseason says:

    Wife will be getting this card sometime soon as my AF is set to kick in. Already got my 2nd $300 credit, no need to hold on to it again. We don’t have major travel plans coming up yet, and I still have my Ink Preferred for transfer partners in the meantime (though that’ll get canceled too later in the year). I’d probably have the wife get the Uber card as well which will cover us for dining expenses.

  • I love my Chase Sapphire Reserve, it is my go to credit card. I still keep my AE Delta, Citi AA and Chase UA Mileage Explorer to avoid baggage fees and get priority boarding.

  • This question is for Howie as he appears to be an “expert” in all things cards. I currently have both the AMEX Platinum and the Citi Prestige cards. I’ve been an AMEX cardholder for 40 years so not about to give that up. I live the Citi Prestige card as the $250 travel credit and the hotel 4th night free programs pay for this card every year. As we travel a lot, last year alone I saved over $1000 on just the 4th night free program.

    Given the above, in your opinion would it be worth also getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve card? Given that the only added benefit would be the $300 travel benefit, would not offset the $450 fee. However, the initial sign-up bonus coupled with the potential of getting both 2017 & 2018 $300 travel credits, would be a plus in the first year only. Not sure Chase would take kindly to one cancelling a card like this in the first year.

    your thoughts?

    • KON, do you have any other Ultimate Rewards earning cards? Personally, the earning and redemption opportunities with Ultimate Rewards keeps me engaged with my Sapphire Reserve, Ink and Freedom cards.

      • Howie: No, no other Ultimate Rewards cards.

        • It is tough to say then. The big value I receive with Ultimate Rewards is the ability to transfer to United, Singapore, Southwest, Korean and Hyatt, while at the same time knowing I can always redeem at 1.5 cents/point towards travel with my Sapphire Reserve. Ultimate Rewards are a cornerstone to my travel — more so than any other point now, so I’m a bit biased.

          I’d look at the transfer partners and see if it makes sense based on the travel it looks like you might have coming.

  • Hi! You’re very insightful, thank you.
    Any Idea of the sign on bonus potentially going back up to 100k points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months?

  • Thanks, Howie. There’s a lot of hype out there right now about the SPG (soon to expire) signup bonus and the Hilton bonuses. Something I should look at, or will I again find myself regretting not sticking to the CSR card because of the 3x travel and dining bonus with very lucrative and flexible redemption opportunities?

    • Personally, the SPG card at 35k points, while seemingly low, is as good as it gets with the cards and my gut says we’re going to lose them at some point next year. The Chase/Amex battle I think is going to be a lot bigger than the Citi/Barclaycard (AA/US) battle and I don’t think Chase is going to budge and let Amex win. Chase has been playing hard (the CSR is an example of it) and is not willing to give in to Amex. The flexibility of SPG points and the value within the SPG and Marriott program you can get from them makes them still be a the top of the list for me.

  • Hello Howie…
    I am applying for the CRC ONLINE. We were interested several weeks ago in applying to get the 100K bonus, but it only worked if you went into a Chase bank branch and the closest one was 2 1/2 hours away.
    (none in Maryland). So I understand that the current offer is 50K bonus. I currently have a CPC with 300K points and would like your opinion regarding closing that account and transferring the points to the CRC. Are the points transferrable from my current account to the new account? Will it affect my credit score if I close that account to save the CPC fee? Thanks for your input.

    • Skip, Yes you can transfer (chase calls it combining) the points. You do it online within your account and it is immediate.

      Will your credit score be affected? Yes, however, I don’t know how much. It all depends on what your credit portfolio looks like, your account history and how much available credit you otherwise have. Looking at my credit report with 20+ years of history, if I were to perform the same actions as you, I’d expect no change in my credit score at all (maybe a 1-2 point temporary dip).

  • Howie: I booked an awards trip on Southwest last week for a quick family Spring Break trip to FLL. When it came time to pay the fees I pulled out my wife’s Chase Southwest card as I always have for Southwest bookings, after all they pay 2x on Southwest purchases. Then it struck me, I get 3x on travel purchases with my CSR card, and the points are transferrable to Southwest, right? In this case it really didn’t matter much because I was only paying award booking fees, but it has me thinking there’s little benefit left to the Southwest card when you have a CSR in your pocket. Is it worth the $69 fee for 3000 bonus points annually? What are your thoughts? Thanks!

  • I went into a Chase Branch today for the final day of the 100k deal. Bank person couldn’t get to web site and corporate said it was being bombed. So the person at Chase entered data online and was told to put her Bank ID on the form and to call corporate on Monday. I may or may not get the 100k reward, but they should know on Monday. I was already approved for the card in a few moments. She said if I don’t activate the card, I won’t be charged the $450 annual fee. If I can’t get the 100k reward, I really don’t want the card.

  • Hi Howie, I just checked Chase’s Pre-Approval site with a “soft pull” of my credit and they tell me I’m eligible for CSP. Really want the CSR as I’m doing a lot of travelling this year.

    I have a credit score of 670 with only 2 cards open and am crossing my fingers hoping I can get it above 700 before the in-branch deadline in March for the 100k point bonus.

    If you were me would you get the CSP and hope to upgrade before the deadline or wait and hope the score rises enough?


  • Hello. I applied and received the Chase Reserve CC (only). But the envelop did not have the priority pass card. What happened?

    Thanks for your help.

  • I can’t seem to find out, is the fee waived for the CSR or CSP card for the first year? If not, when is the fee accessed? Beginning of the calendar year or end? And whats the application success rate if you have applied for other Chase cards in the last 24 months?

  • I have not noticed this along the way, but I am assuming there is NO foreign transaction fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, right?

  • I just received my card and I’m trying to figure out what other perks come with visa infinite? Why does visa infinite not have a US webpage? I read that other visa infinite cards offer a $100 discount on domestic airline tickets when purchasing 2 – 5?

    • Gabe – a great question about why there is no Visa Infinite page in the US — sorta frustrating to say the least. the Sapphire Reserve doesn’t come with the $100 discount as you may have seen on other cards.

  • I decided to apply for the CSR last night to get in before the big bonus ended. I was looking for a new card with better returns than the Chase Freedom I’ve had for many years and happened to stumble on the big CSR offer because of all of the media stories written about it ending. I also carry a Discover card, mostly to play the 5% categories off each each of the cards (as well as for Discover’s better point redemption for gift cards), as well as a Delta AMEX Card. My spouse has the Southwest Visa and takes care of those points. I have a decent income and an 829 FICO score, but still got the “we’ll think about it” response after completing the online application. I hope they don’t think too long because I’m holding off on several big purchases I’d like to use the CSR on to meet the minimum spend. I’m a little worried its a 5/24 issue, but I think this card still gets me in under that cutoff. Could also be a recent move. We’ll see…

    Meanwhile, I have 161,000+ Ultimate Rewards points saved up from my Freedom card (I’m a bit of a point horder). I assume my best bet will be, if approved, to transfer all of those points over to the CSR, correct? Is it also a good move to keep the Freedom and only use it for 5% category spending? What about my Delta AMEX. I very rarely use it. Should I ditch it to save the $95 annual fee (on the next statement)? Finally, I’ve had PreCheck for about a year already. Should I add global entry to take advantage of the credit right away, or use it to treat my spouse to PreCheck? I don’t do much international travel, but with all of these points???

    • Mark, thanks for sharing! You’ll want to transfer your points to the CSR; absolutely. And keep the freedom for 5x categories — otherwise, I’d use the CSR. For Delta … If you’re not using it, I’d personally ditch it. It has a fee and if it doesn’t make sense, you should save your money.

      For the PreCheck benefit — give it to your Spouse so you can both have it.

      • Howie- It’s been five days and I haven’t heard anything from Chase. I undersdand yesterday was a holiday but, as I mentioned, I’m holding off on some large purchases since I thought it would be benifical to use the CSR to meet the minimum spend. Is there a number I can call to ask about the status of the application, or is patience my best bet right now? I’m sure they were inundated with applications as the 100K point benefit closed, which may be adding to the processing delay. Thanks!

        • Recently, a friend ran into a similar situation. He called 888-245-0625 to speak with a representative.

          • Thanks, Howie. I tried that number but there’s now a message that it’s no longer active. I eneded up leaving a secure message via my Freedom accuont and got a call this morning from a member of their security team. Aparenlty I have a lingering fraud alert that required additional idenity verification. All is well now and she indicated I’ll recieve my card and welcome kit in 1-2 weeks. Thanks for the excellent advice on this card.

          • Mark, thanks for the follow-up. I don’t know if they’re playing phone number roulette or what, but that number worked earlier this month several times.

  • I tried to do this today and am only seeing the 50K signup bonus offer ?

  • I am having a hard time finding their 11 Travel Partners or the Chase Ultimate Rewards. Can you list the travel partners?

  • Mark Seelig says:

    Howie and everyone,

    Just got the CSR, 25K CL.
    Have had CSP, Mileage Explorer, and Freedom5x.
    CSP is my oldest card (2.5. years), 50K CL.
    IF I cancel the CSP my credit score will likely take a hit.
    Should I bite the bullet of the $95.00 AF and keep it, even though I won’t use it anymore having the CSR now?
    Or better downgrade the CSP to FU, and move the big credit line to the CSR?


  • Hi Howie,
    I did not find where to apply for this credit card. Would you have a ling redirecting from your blog?
    Thank you!!

  • Howie,
    Does the $300 spending credit count towards the $4000 spending requirement? Or do I have to spend $4300?
    Husband just got his card! 🙂

    • Yes, the $300 counts towards the $4,000 spend requirement. You do not need to spend $4,300. Remember though to make sure you spend $4,000 — the annual fee, which will be charged, does not count towards the $4,000.

      • Thanks Howie for the reply!

        Glad to hear that. Total spend of $3993.53 ( not including $450 AF – good reminder) and I am just 2 days away from 3rd closing and sm confirmed that I have till Jan 10 to complete my spend. 100k pts probably wont post till Jan statement.

  • Logan Rector says:

    So I applied for the CSR on December 1st, and it showed up in the mail today. If I spend my $300 credit in December, will it count for 2016 or 2017? I don’t know what my billing period is yet.

    • Logan, you need to make sure your you complete your spend before your final statement in 2016 closes. Contact Chase and they’ll confirm the date with you. You can always request they move the date as well.

  • Can the $300 yearly travel credit be applied to the Reserve’s annual fee? Probably not, but I haven’t read anything about it…

  • Do you know if the Priority Pass Select membership allows access to airport lounges to the member only or are guests flying with the member allow to use the lounge as well. Thank you for the review of this card.

    • The Priority Pass Select membership provided to Sapphire Reserve cardmembers includes the cardmember and all traveling companions. Some lounges may have limits on the number of people they will allow to enter, which can be viewed at or through the mobile app, but the card will cover anyone that the lounge will let you in. Most lounges don’t have a limit.

      • Thanks Howie! Do the travel companions have to pay a fee to access the lounges or is this benefit included with Priority Pass Select.(I believe that there is a charge with the regular Priority Pass but there weren’t any details for the Select membership).

        • So here’s where things get confusing. Probably all of the cards you’ve seen / heard about have been Priority Pass Select. The Priority Pass you get with the Amex Platinum card that allows only the primary member in for free is a Priority Pass Select — it all depends on the credit card issuer and the benefit they offer.

          With that said, ALL traveling companions are free to access the lounges (again as long as there are no limited imposed as published for an individual lounge at Hope this helps!

  • Just received my CSR. Very impressed with the process. Approved on the spot Sunday with a $34K limit, card overnighted and in my hands Tuesday. I’ve already put $1600+ in travel expenses on it. I’m not usually one to pay for cards but this seemed like a worthwhile exception.

    I have a free Hilton Amex and a Chase Marriott Visa with an annual fee (but a freen night annually) which I use only at those hotels and a Citi Double Cash which I’ve used for everything else, except occasional 5% offers on my Freedom Visa and Discover. I’ll now use CSR for travel (except Hilton and Marriott) and restaurants, while using Citi DC for most else.

    I have a lot of cards that have outlived their usefulness. In terms of FICO, is it better to cancel or leave them in a drawer, rarely used? My credit utilization is consistently <1% and my score is well in the 800's, varying based on bureau and model used. I don't ever want to be in a position of being denied on the Next Big Card because I have $150K+ of unused availability.


    • Mike, from a FICO perspective, you’ll keep a higher score with the card accounts open … but don’t get hung up on that. If you have a diverse credit portfolio with significant credit, closing a few cards won’t impact you. For example, say you have ten credit cards with a total of 100,000 of credit. If you were to close 2/3 of them and wipe out 30,000 in credit, as long as your utilization is low, you wouldn’t see an impact.

      That said, creditors rarely deny you for “too much unused credit” … that typically only becomes an issue with an individual creditor. If you have say 50k of credit with one bank, and that is all they want to provide to you, they may deny you due to the inability to approve you for more credit. You could always call and ask them to reconsider and possibly shift credit from another card account, though.

      As for me, if in your boat, if you have plenty of open cards with healthy credit limits, I’d clean up/close younger lines of credit that you’re not using. Keep the older ones open, so they’ll continue to age on your report. Hope this helps!

  • How do the CSR and CSP Cards compare with the Bank of America Preferred Travel Rewards Card?

    • Apples & Oranges. Bank of America card is a fixed-value point program. Each point is worth X, never more, never less. Ultimate Rewards (earned from the Sapphire Reserve/Preferred) can be used at a fixed-value when booking through but can also be worth more when transferring to travel partners like Hyatt or United where you pay a fixed number of points in those programs which are not dependent on the cash cost of that room / flight otherwise.

  • Justin Martinez says:

    I have the AMEX Delta Platinum card and recently just got the Chase Reserve Card. My question is, with the AMEX I get priority boarding and free checked bags when booking through Delta.
    Does the Chase Reserve offer these same perks as well?

  • Hi! Can the $300 travel credit be used for baggage fees, seat upgrades, in flight food and entertainment purchases, and Uber/taxi charges?

  • I applied for the CSR on 10/14, had instant approval with the minimum 10k limit (although this was my 5th new account in the past 24 months, so I just snuck in under the wire). The approval email said I would receive the card in 7-10 business days, but I received it via FedEx on 10/18.
    Immediately began using the $300 travel credit in various ways: $30 prepayment towards my toll bridge account, $44.40 for the cash portion of a Hilton Honors Points+Cash redemption in Fort Lauderdale, two one-way tickets on Allegiant to visit family for Thanksgiving, and I still have $14.xx left for part of my Uber ride on Saturday to the airport.
    I also decided to go with TSA Pre-check instead of Global Entry, since the nearest interview location is 2.5 hour drive away. I walked in to the Universal Enroll location on the morning of 11/11, paid the $85 fee, and the $85 credit was made to my card on Saturday, along with approval of my TSA Pre-Check by Monday. Just in time for my Thanksgiving flights starting this weekend.
    So far, I have received $374.xx in benefits for my $450 annual fee, and it’s only been 5 weeks! Not quite to the $4k minimum spend yet, but that will easily happen before Christmas. And since I am on the road for work all of the time, all of my meals out just got a 3x points boost. Love this card!!

  • Can I still apply for the credit card and get the 100,000 sign-up bonus as of today? Thanks!

  • metal card finally arrived!! Anyone know if we could continue to use Plastic? It’d be like decently convenient semi-authorized user card.

    • Tim, based on my experience, both cards continue to function without issue. All the numbers should match up — if the expiration or 3 digit codes are different then you’ll need to retire the plastic card.

  • I applied online today (Nov. 4, 2016) and got approved instantly for $35K. I also have two Ultimate Rewards cards, a United Mileage Card, and a IHG Platinum card from Chase. My FICO score is between 845-850, annual income $180K. My primary card is currently the Chase United Mileage Visa but I plan to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve as my primary card once I get it in the mail. However, I will still keep the United Mileage Visa for Group 2 boarding privileges on United. I also have an AAdvantage mileage earning card from another bank which I also keep for the Group 1 boarding privilege on American Airlines. I travel by air for vacation about 5X a year so I think the $300 travel credit and the 1:1points to miles conversion to United Airlines miles are a plus. Likewise, free access to the Priority Pass lounges will be a great perk.

  • Hi Howie
    Since I have the chase freedom, CSP and now CSR, would you recommend downgrading to the chase freedom unlimited? Would I have to pay off the balance first? Thanks

    • Neal, a strategy that we took in my family was to downgrade a CSP to Freedom Unlimited. You wouldn’t need to pay the balance first and your card number should stay the same too. Card conversions are done on an individual basis, but this is the plan I’d recommend without a doubt.

  • I have the Freedom and Sapphire Preferred card from chase. If I get the Reserve can I move my credit limit from my Preferred to my Reserve or can I only move it to the freedom?

    • Bobby, each scenario is done on a case-by-case basis. However, the Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, and Sapphire Reserve are all a part of the same family and are all personal credit cards (thus eligible for such movement and even product conversion). A member of my family moved some credit from his Sapphire Preferred to his Sapphire Reserve without issue.

  • Hi Howie! Do you know the miles transfer rates for this card? If I want to transfer 50,000 reward points to my mileage plus account how much I have to pay i.e.?

  • Will the $300 credit go toward rental cars as long they are charged to the card. This is the only thing I can see me using to recoup the $450 fee over a 18 month period ( using the$600 credit for 2016 and 2017).

  • Howie,
    I own a Reserve Card and I made an inquiry regarding your point about someone else could get Global Entry using my card – they said no!
    Would you confirm your sources on this? I was thinking that I could get my wife to get the global entry but they are telling me I can’t.

    • Tim, this is an excellent example of HUCA (Hang Up Call Again). You might try specifically asking the question, “Does the Global Entry $100 statement credit have to be used for the Primary Cardholder?” The charge for Global Entry does not contain the applicant’s name and works the same as it does with the Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige benefit. Once the charge hits, it initiates a statement credit within a short period. It does not need to be used for the Primary Cardholder or Authorized user and can be used for anyone.

      • Thanks Howie,
        Your answer falls within my knowledge. I asked them a question via online message just to be sure but they answered as below. I think you are absolutely right but I got the confirmation from them on two different messages. I cannot see how they would figure out who got the global entry so I completely agree that you are right. Maybe I got two of the message agents who were not educated correctly. One of their messages below.
        * Thank you for contacting Chase about the Global Entry benefit.
        Let me share that you receive a statement credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to the card. However this is only eligible for primary and authorized users on the account.

        • Tim, the crazy thing about this is technically the answer is correct, but I don’t think the answer provided answers the question with which you’ve asked. The primary or authorized users must use their card to pay for Global Entry, but no where does it state that the recipient of the Global Entry benefit must be the primary or authorized user. Long story short, as we both know it and based on experience of others, it works just the way we want it to work 🙂

          • Got it. I guess Chase agents had no choice but to answer that way. This is one of the rare cases that the agents and we are both right, but in a different way. Thanks!

  • Howie. I just got approved for the Reserve card with a CL of $31000. I am a current Sapphire Preferred cardholder and plan on downgrading it to a non AF card next year before the AF posts . With regards to the miles, I usually do not purchase my airline tickets through the Ultimate Rewards portal right now as I find I get a better value doing the 1:1 transfer to United and getting a domestic Super Saver ticket which usually requires I burn only 25000 miles. What is your take on this?

    • Tony, it all depends on what your tickets would otherwise cost. If they’re > $375 then you’re better off transferring to United, but if less, you’ll spend less as 25,000 Ultimate Rewards with the Sapphire Reserve will get you $375 in travel (25,000 * $.015).

  • Howie, Does Road Scholar trips count as travel with this card? We recently went on a Road Scholar trip to Africa and our Wells Fargo CC didn’t apply 3X points for that trip. According to WF, Road Scholar code was that for educational services and not for travel. After 2 hours over 2 weeks, this issue did get resolved in our favor.

    • It all depends on how the transaction is coded. If indeed it is coded as education services, assuming your Wells Fargo card is a Visa, this would likely code the same with Chase and it wouldn’t count at 3x.

      • says:

        This classification suggests that Road Scholar trips might qualify as educational expenses for income tax deduction purposes. Does anyone reading this have experience with that interpretation?

  • Howie,
    I upgraded from Preferred to Reserve, so the same card numbers on the account, uninterrupted length of credit history and no “hard pull” credit score check. Just new expiration dates.
    No $4k spend, no 100k bonus points (my choice). The Reserve card does not yet appear on my account.

    My questions: does Chase move my existing 200k UR points earned from the Preferred card to the Reserve? Should I move my UR points to my Unlimited and Freedom cards while I wait, then when the Reserve appears, move them to it? Chase SM hasn’t answered me (3 days). I don’t want to lose them!

  • I applied and my application got denied because of the 5/24 rule. I called the number above immediately after applying online when I received this message: “We’ll let you know our decision in writing as soon as we can. If we approve your application, you’ll receive your card in the mail in 7-10 business days. Please don’t resubmit your application”. The Chase representative said he could see my application was not approved and that I would get a letter in the mail confirming it. I have a credit score of 800+ and several chase CC accounts all active which is why I thought I might get approved. Turns out I was wrong.

  • Applied today for a CSR at 5/24. Was temporarily denied. When i called the recon number, they told me they had to verify my address since i recently moved. Once i provided proof to the bank in person, i called them back after 4 hours. Was approved for $20,500 CL. I earn around $76,000 per year and have a credit score of over 740. I was hesitant to apply due to the 5/24 rule. But looks like if you have a store card(macy’s), that doesn’t count.
    I already have a CSP and Freedom unlimited. Do you think i should cancel CSP or downgrade it to chase freedom?

  • Charles Gdowski says:


    Do you get the travel credit of 300 once you get to spend 300 or if I spend only 150 will they credit that?

    Also is it worth it to have canceling my Preferred card when getting this one? I was just charged my 95 for membership last month, they will not refund that if I cancel correct?

    • Charles, you get the travel credit as you spend towards the $300. For Example, on my card, I charged an $8.15 Uber ride and $8.15 was provided as a statement credit the same day. As for the Sapphire Preferred, you need to look at the card and decide. For me, I decided that the $95 fee didn’t make sense as the Sapphire Reserve provided equal or better benefits across the board and I was happy to pay the premium to have the card for both myself and my wife ($75 authorized user fee as well). You should call or contact Chase through a secure message about the annual fee — they might provide you a credit, but it would be done on a case by case basis.

      • Charles Gdowski says:

        Thanks Howie.

        I am have to book some flights next month so this would be a good time to do it. Plus is will contribute to the 4K I need to spend in the first three months. I am going to cancel the preferred card. I will also apply for the Freedom Unlimited card. That way I will have the freedom for the 5 percent categories, Chase sapphire reserve for dining and travel, and Unlimited for everything else.

  • If you cancel inside of one year (say 11 months from initial card opening), is there any type of clawback for the bonus points or 300.00 annual travel credit?

    • Matt, as no one has had the card for this amount of time, I cannot provide any experience that has been shared, nor has Chase provided specific guidance on this scenario. That said, I would personally operate under the assumption that as long as you meet the spend requirement and keep the card open for 6+ months, you’ll not be at risk for losing any of the points or the $300 travel credit. Think long and hard before you contemplate cancelling this card with all of its perks.

  • HI,
    I just got approved for the reserve card, is the 4k spending required 3 months from when I got approved or from when I activate my card ?

  • Irving Twaff says:

    Just got my Sapphire Reserve card in the mail! I had to call the reconsideration line, but they were very nice.

    One point I want to make is that using UR points for airline miles has proved to be greatly more valuable to me than spending them at 1.25 cents per point or whatever. We always use miles to fly to Europe or Asia, and the value of a point is at least 4 cents and in many cases 6 or 7 cents. If you fly business class to Asia, you can get a round trip for those 100,000 UR points, and that’s worth many thousands of dollars. I might not actually buy a business class ticket with my own money, but such travel (with lie-flat seats) is so much more comfortable than staying up all night in coach class that it’s a no-brainer to use miles that way. Taking the value of a business class ticket as just half the actual cash price gets me to 6 cents per point. In other words, for the kind of travel I do, using this card gives me a 6% discount on most anything I buy, and if I use it for hotels or other travel expenses, I’m getting an 18 to 20% discount. Now that’s what I like!

  • In your primary post you mentioned “guests are complimentary” on the lounge access. Upon activation of that benefit on it says “you and your authorized users” have access. Can you confirm which is correct?

    • Kyle, as confirmed by Chase, the Priority Pass membership provided allows you and your traveling companions complimentary access. Authorized users get their own membership, and can travel without you, while at the same time bringing in their travelling companions. Hope this clears it up.

    • I signed up 2 days before trip. Called chase on day of flying and them gave me my Priority pass membership card and expiry date. I gave it at the lounge and had no trouble what so ever. They did not ask for physical card. Used it in US as well as internationally. I got PP team to post my card to my international address so that after a 1 month trip I had the physical card just in case they did no allow without the actual card. And bingo on the very day of my return the card arrived at the international address and on the way back I used the physical card. They allowed all my traveling members no questions asked. Took a chance and it worked !!!

  • I am new to all of this. How much does applying for new cards and then possibly closing them before the new year begins. Also will the annual fee occur one year from when the account is open or January each year

    • Patrice, not sure what your first question is — could you elaborate? As for your second question, the annual fee is based on a rolling year. You’ll pay the fee when you first open the card account and then next year at a similar time.

  • Hi. Quick question: Bill Usher in the first comment above wrote “I was at the limit of the 5/24 rule, with a card due to fall off..”

    What does this refer to? Can you elucidate?

  • Does this offer have an ending date?

  • The terms and conditions for this offer state: “Chase cardmembers who currently have or have had a Chase credit card in any Rewards Program associated with this offer, may not be eligible for a second Chase credit card in the same Rewards Program.”
    I assume the rewards program they are referring to is Ultimate Rewards. I have had the Chase Sapphire in the past and currently have a Chase Ink biz card. it looks like that disqualifies me for the Chase sapphire Reserve infinite card.

    • Carol, these terms DO NOT exclude you from receiving this card and all associated benefits. If you are concerned about that you can call Chase and they will confirm that for you. You would be ineligible for this card if you are either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.

  • Never received reply to application. Suspect denial under 5/24 despite 800 credit rating, $500k income, more than $250k on deposit with Chase, and $1.2 million mortage with Chase.

    • John, you applied but received no response at all? I would definitely call up if you haven’t received at least a letter in the mail explaining the results of your application.

    • Hey man you need to check out chases private client relationship. You have well over the required quarter million to be a private client. The best news for you is that private clients bypass 5/24 rule and get better offers. Check it out good luck man.

  • What does 5/24 mean? If I pay my timeshare maintenance fee with the Chase Reserve, does that count toward the $300 travel requirement?

    • Emily, 5/24 means 5 new credit card accounts listed on your credit reports within the last 24 months. Your timeshare maintenance fee, if categorized as travel, would count towards the $300. That said, this categorization is done at the credit card merchant processing level and could be different depending on the credit card provider. You could do a test charge of $1 to see.

  • Hello,

    Thanks very much for your blog.
    I am curious about your and anyone’s input on the following re denied application for the CSR card:
    Denied due to 9/24. Credit score 765. Income 120K.
    Already have CSP, Mileage Explorer, and Freedom by Chase.
    Will drop to 4/24 by Jan 2017. Will re-apply for CSR then.
    Any insight whether closing the CSP (with a 50K credit line) would be an advantage?

    Thanks – Mark

  • Thanks, Howie. I will call, and I’ll let you know what I find out.

  • Do you know if both my business cards and my personal cards are considered when figuring the 5/24? I’ll be over if that’s the case.

    • Jonnie, the decision process is not officially published. However, based on experience provided by others, all new accounts published to your credit reports count. Additionally, while Chase business credit card accounts won’t report to your personal credit report, feedback provided by others indicates it is in the count.

      You should contact Chase directly with any questions about your specific scenario, but based on the information you provided, it looks like it’d be tough to get an approval.

  • Gage Farinacci says:

    I got approved instantly and I only make 40,000/yr. My credit is in the high 700’s. My approved credit limit is 10,000.

  • Howie – boy it seems like you know a ton about all of these cards – thanks you for all of the insight! I am new to this site and just wondering if I get approved for this card and charge a flight immediately, and then use the $300 travel credit to offset that charge, does the cost of the flight still count towards my $4000 that I need to spend in the first 3 months to get the 100K in points?

    • Dan, glad we can help 🙂 Yes, the $300 travel credit counts towards your $4,000 minimum spend requirement. Remember, if you return any purchases of that $4,000 it’d count against your spend, and you’d need to spend up. Additionally, the annual fee DOES NOT count towards your spend requirement.

  • What about Gold membership @ Hilton & Marriot?

  • This card is an awesome addition to the Chase family of cards. Let me compare here the overall value difference between the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) and Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP). I will take my own spending analysis as an example. I am not a huge traveler, I travel once in a while with family or buy tickets to my parents to travel. When I sat down to do the Math to see if it makes sense for me to apply for this card (I already have CSP card). Let me admit the fact that I also have Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards and my wife and I know which card to use when to earn maximum Ultimate Reward (UR) Points. 

    Let’s look at my spending closely. The first thing I analyzed was my expenditure over the past 4 years (I referred to year-end summaries) and I found that I have consistently spent around $350 on “Transit” which included- Parking (street and occasional airport), E-Z Pass tolls, occasional river cruise, occasional Uber etc which I am sure will do every year. So this pattern of my spending qualifies for the $300 “Travel Credit”. This takes away around 65% of $450 annual fee that the CSR has. Needless to say that the person reading this is ready to use the UR points ONLY FOR travel. 

    Then I looked at the UR Points that I earn from my Freedom and Freedom Unlimited card. In the worst case scenario every year I earn 175K from Freedom (We religiously use this card only for 5% cash back categories only and nothing else) and 220K from Unlimited card (I use it for all other expenditure other than Travel and Dining for which I used CSP). 

    Let me break it down further to see if it makes sense for me to apply for CSR card with my low travel spending. Let me assume that I have CSR card with me for the next 1 year.  I spend around $2300 on dining outside which will earn 6900 UR Points with CSR card and even if I spend around $350 bare minimum on travel it will earn me 1050 UR points (this is the worst case scenario). Once I add this up it gives me a total of 47400 UR Points ($474). If I use this for my occasional Travel via Chase Portal the value is up by 1.5 times which is $474 X 1.5 = $711. Let’s take away the remaining annual fee out of this ($711-$150) which gives us the net gain of $561 which is awesome!! Let me add my wife as an authorized user so the net will go down to $ 486 ($75 annual fee for an authorized user) which is nothing less than awesome and even in the worst of the worst case scenario where you do not even qualify for $1 of Travel Credit in one of those years (extremely unlikely) you will not spend anything out of pocket. Happy?? 🙂

    Now let’s do the same math with one of my favorites Chase Sapphire Preferred. If you do the math as above with 2 points earning per $ spent on travel and dining I would have earned 4600 UR points for dining outside and 700 UR points on travel. Let’s put everything together, which gives me $448 ( $220+ $175+ $46+ $7). Now let’s redeem this for travel, remember Chase Sapphire Preferred gives is 1.2 times more value. So $448 X 1.2= $537. Now let’s look at the net value by taking away the annual fee of $95 which gives me $446. This card does not charge for authorized user.

    Conclusion: There is no question that Reserve card has superior benefits compared to Preferred. Here I conclude that for anyone like me who does not travel much at all and have Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards (both earn UR Points) the overall net benefit is more with $450 annual fee CSR card when compared to lower fee CSP card (Please see the math above). 

    Now guys! Take a pen and a paper and do the Math and check if you could have CSR instead of CSP without spending even a $ more. Don’t be scared by $450 annual fee thing. Of course needless to say that you need to have both Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards and know when to use which of these 3 cards. All you need is these 3 cards!! Makes sense? I hope so.

    Good luck! Keep rocking!

    • I’m speechless. Thank you for taking the time to comment, share your experience, and hopefully inspire others to see this card for really how awesome it is!

    • The object of the rewards credit card game is to put the most money in your pocket at years end by optimizing your credit card selection to your spending.

      With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it takes $6000 annual spend in travel/dining to net a 2% return after the $450 (annual fee) – $300 (travel credit) = $150 (net annual fee) assuming a point redemption value of $0.015/point.


      100*120/6000 = 2%

      Thus, if you are spending less than $6000 annually on travel/dining, your net return is less than 2% and you could be putting more money in your pocket with a no annual fee 2% cash back card.

      The uncertainty in achieving a redeemed $0.015 per point value is where the credit card companies make much of their profits. Chase is in business to make money – first and foremost. There is no guarantee that the Ultimate Rewards travel portal will be competitive with other options or provide the same travel alternatives.

      • But you’re forgetting the $100 per 4 years global entry reimbursement, which equals $25 per year in effect. Plus there’s an annual fee of 95 bucks for sapphire preferred which you save if you cancel that card in favor of this one. Not even counting the 100k points and airport lounge membership, it is only $30 more per year net then.

    • Funny how you mention that you earn 175K points every year from the 5% on the Freedom card. You must somehow eliminated the $1,500 CAP/quarter limit. That means you can only earn a maximum of 7500 points per QUARTER!! X4 = 30,000 points/year Please explain how you get past the cap. Thx.

    • I agree with everything you said. In my opinion, if you only carry one card, CSR is the one to carry! Thanks for this post. It really puts it in perspective.

  • What are some of the lounges does this card give you access to?

  • Thanks again! Have you tried it with any other Chase cards and do you think it would be the same for all Chase cards?

  • Does application hurt in any way of rejected for 5/24?

  • Thanks for your reply, Howie. Do you know if hotels typically post as travel? Has anyone tried purchasing an airline or hotel gift card and received credit for it?

    • Heck yes, hotels post as travel! 🙂 — at least in every experience, I have had. I know, on other credit cards that I have, that gift cards from AA and Delta have posted as travel and I have received credit for it. I haven’t tried it on the Sapphire Reserve yet personally however.

  • This sounds pretty awesome! I would like to know more about the $300 travel credit. Which travel expenses, besides airfare, qualify? Baggage fees? Hotels? Taxis? Anything else? If I receive the card in September 2016 and am not able to use the $300 credit by January 1, will it roll over to 2017 and will I also get a $300 credit for 2017? Can I get a total of $600 in travel credit (2016 & 2017) even if I cancel my card before the first-year anniversary? Thanks so much for this information!

    • Carol, it is pretty awesome 🙂

      The $300 travel credit is SUPER flexible — it is the first $300 in charges made to your card categorized as “travel”. That includes things such as plane tickets, bag fees, change fees, uber, tolls, taxis — anything coded as travel when it posts to your credit card!

      If you don’t use the credit by the time your December 2016 statement posts (important to note that if your statement closes on December 12, 2016 for example, you have to make sure your charges post to that statement to count on your 2016 credit. Another example: If you pay for baggage fees, but the airline does not post the transaction until after your December statement date, the cost of the baggage fees will be allocated towards the following year’s Annual Travel Credit maximum of $300.

      And yes, you can receive a total of $600 credit ($300 in 2016 and $300 in 2017) before the anniversary of the card hits.

  • I just charged $15,000 travel to my Chase Mileage Plus Explorer card. Any chance I could transfer those dollars?

    • You’d need to work with the merchant where you purchased the travel to have them process the request. It isn’t something completely unheard of, but most vendors wouldn’t do something like this under normal circumstances.

  • Just applied. Did not get approved online like I generally do. They need to review my application longer. I think that means NO. I have credit score > 800 but do fall into 5/24. Also, currently have chase Ink card active.

    • Kvilledrummer says:

      V Suchak, call the customer reconsideration line at 888-270-2127 or 888-245-0625. I didn’t get instantly approved because they didn’t want to give me more credit limit than I have with them because I have many Chase cards. I was able to get them to shift credit line from multiple other cards and meet the 10k min credit line necessary for this card and was approved while talking to them. Worked perfectly as my card showed up 2 days before leaving for vacation and made all my 2016 travel reimbursement.

    • I applied for the card on a Saturday and was not immediately approved. I kept an eye on my Chase online account, however, and on the Wednesday immediately following saw that the Chase Sapphire Reserve account had been added to my profile with a credit line of $25,000. My credit score hovers around 810-820. The next day, Thursday, I received an email letting me know I’d been approved and should expect my card soon. So, if you’re not approved immediately on line don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you won’t be approved, and perhaps quite quickly.

  • Will the $300 credit work on AA Gift Cards? AMEX Plat Card works fine on Gift Cards and so was curious. If it does then this will be the best card out there.

    • Sam, while we haven’t tested this, I would *think* it would work. That said, why bother buying a gift card when you can instead use this card to make the purchase directly with AA or any other travel provider … including Uber?

      • I would imagine a gift card would be advantageous if you were nearing the end of the year and hadn’t used all of the $300 credit.

  • George Kauffman says:

    Applied online on 8-24 and was accepted with a $32k limit based on a family income of $124k and FICO score ranging from 820-850 depending on how much I have charged in a particular month.

    I have been using an AE Delta Platinum for a few years, and love the perks, especially the yearly companion certificate, the priority seating and the first bag checked free for everyone in my party. It is fun to board early and watch others fighting for overhead space.

    Those 3 factors have been what has kept me with that card for so long. Taking 3-4 flights per year with my wife saves me $300-$400 in baggage fees. Switching to the Reserve will take some getting used to. My best bet may be to use AE when I’m checking bags and CSR when I’m not.

    • @George appreciate you sharing your experience and congrats! Everyone has a different strategy when it comes to maximizing the value from their cards — sounds like you’ve got yours figured out 🙂

  • Bill Usher says:

    Hi Howie:
    Like your new blog here on Award Wallet. Some info for other readers. Today I applied and was approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. I was at the limit of the 5/24 rule, with a card due to fall off on Sept 1st. All my Fico scores are in the 825 range. I was instantly approved for a modest $10,000 line of credit. My income is in the low $60,000 range. Hope this information is of some help to those considering this new card. Keep up the good work.
    Bill U

    • @Bill great to hear about your approval (I think everyone that loves points/miles is drooling over this card) and thanks for sharing your experience.

      Enjoy the card and its “infinite” perks 😉

      • Howie, I currently have a mileage plus explorer card. I live in NJ and Newark is my home base. I use United almost everytime I travel. I travel 2 -3x/year with my family and spend on the average 10k a year on travel. I enjoy the free 1st baggage for me and 1 companion. The priority boarding and the 2 free passes each year to the United club. I’m considering moving up to the more expensive United club card for the benefits, unlimited use it United lounges, 2 bags each free, potentially being bumped to 1st class, etc. I only used the card for travel. I use my bank of America cash back card for all other expenses. What are your thoughts? Stick with bumping up to the $450 United explorer card? It perhaps the Sapphire reserve? I keep hearing about a travel portal in these comments. Not sure if that’s different then going to United website and using my points from my card for travel. Your reply is greatly appreciated.

        • Bobby, based on your use of the benefits on the United card(s) I’d be hard-pressed to suggest you move your points elsewhere.

          Personally, I’d run the number on the value you’re getting out of the benefits on the United card(s) and then do a comparison of what you’d get from the Sapphire Reserve. United lounges will be Priority Pass lounges out of Newark ( and the free bags are tough to pass up.

          I’d look to see how much you’d otherwise earn with the Sapphire Reserve by moving your travel + dining (both 3x earners) and then run the numbers. As for the Chae Travel Portal, its like going to Expedia or Orbitz to book your flights. You can pay with your credit card directly and earn 3x points or you can use Ultimate Rewards at 1.5 cents/point in value when you book through it.

          Hope this helps!

      • Howie, I just received an offer from Chase for the United mileage plus club card. The $450 annual fee is waived for the 1st year but there are no bonus miles offered. What do you think?