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The information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ has been collected by AwardWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

When the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ hit the market late in August 2016, it set a new benchmark for rewards earning credit cards. The card featured an introductory signup bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months, and premium perks that have set it at the top of travelers ‘must have’ list of cards.

In fact, even with its $450 annual fee, the card has been so popular in the first few months that Chase ran out of the original metal cards and had to issue temporary plastic cards to meet demand.

Chase Bank

Sapphire Reserve highlights include:

  • 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth up to $1,500 when redeemed through Ultimate Rewards
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit
  • 3X Points on travel and dining
  • Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
  • 50% more value when you redeem Sapphire Reserve points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1:1 Point Transfers to Ultimate Rewards travel partners
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre ® Fee Credit
  • Access the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection℠
  • Travel Insurance and Primary Auto CDW

As happens to all introductory offers, however, the 100K signup is entering its final days. Chase has set the last day it’s accepting online applications with that bonus to be January 11, 2017.  So if you’ve been tossing up whether the Sapphire Reserve is the card to help achieve your travel goals, time is running out to secure the 100K offer.

The good news is that all the Sapphire Reserve benefits we’ve grown to love will remain untouched for now, the only thing changing is the signup bonus which drops to 50K, still worth a cool $750 if redeemed through Ultimate Rewards and potentially much more when transferred to one of Chase’s 11 travel partners.

Applications will still be available for the 100K offer in-branch until March 11, 2017, but if you’re applying online, the signup bonus will drop to 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points on January 12, 2017.

Chance to Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Also Ending in January

It didn’t take long for Amex to introduce some fantastic upgrades to its two Platinum cards in response to the Sapphire Reservemaking The Platinum Card® from American Express the new go-to rewards card for purchasing airline tickets by introducing 5X points on airfare.

Amex focused the majority of its upgrades on The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, adding:

  • 1.5X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on any purchase of $5,000 or more
  • 50% points back when using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points to book an economy flight with your selected airline or book first/business class with any airline

Just days after announcing the new earning structures for the Platinum cards, Amex unveiled a 100,000-point signup package on the Business Platinum Amex. Cardholders can earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $5,000, and an additional 50,000 points after spending another $10,000 on the Business Platinum Card within the first 3 months.

The spending requirement is comparatively high, and the card has a $450 annual fee, but combined with the 50% extra Membership Rewards points on purchases over $5K, the Business Platinum Amex is perfect for any small business with large purchases to make in the next three months.

In addition to the new perks announced, benefits of the Business Platinum Amex include:

The current 100K signup offer expires January 25, 2017, so if the Business Platinum Card has been on your radar, but you haven’t yet pulled the trigger, now’s the time to do so.

Don’t think you’ll qualify for a business credit card? You may be more qualified than you think, check out our post on how (almost) anyone can get a business credit card for details.

Ink Business Preferred℠‎ Credit Card Now Has the Biggest Ultimate Rewards Signup Bonus

With the Sapphire Reserve signup offer dropping to 50K, the Ink Preferred becomes the fastest way of accumulating a substantial balance of Ultimate Rewards points.

The Ink Preferred entered the market with an impressive 80,000-point signup bonus after cardholders spend $5,000 on qualifying purchases in the first 3 months, and earns 3X points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent on combined purchases in the following categories each calendar year:

The Ink Preferred also offers some of the best card benefits available including Primary Auto CDW when hiring for business purposes and a great Cell Phone Protection package. The Trip Interruption and Cancellation insurance also covers employees of the account holder, so in addition to earning 3X points on travel purchases, employee travel is covered when purchased using your Ink Preferred.

And all of this for an annual fee of only $95. It’s a hard value proposition to beat.

2 Credit Cards with a 50K Signup Bonus but over $350 Difference in Annual Fees

When the Sapphire Reserve signup bonus drops to 50K, it will shine the spotlight back on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The card will share the same 50K welcome bonus but attract less than quarter the annual fee at only $95, waived for the first year.

The Sapphire Preferred still holds it’s ground as the best mid-tier credit card in the market and the best beginners card for rewards travelers, and dependant on your needs, plenty of situations would make the Sapphire Preferred a better travel rewards card than the Sapphire Reserve.

The card has a 50,000-point signup bonus after you spend $4,000 within the first three months, plus an additional 5,000 points for adding an authorised user and making an initial purchase, earns a solid 2X points on travel and dining, has fantastic perks, and points are worth 1.25 cents per point when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve been holding off on signing up for the Sapphire Reserve or Business Platinum Card to take advantage of the current 100K signup bonuses, you need to get in before Jan 12 for the Sapphire Reserve and Jan 25 for the Business Platinum Card. These are industry leading bonuses that I don’t think we’ll see for some time to come.

An alternative to the ultra-premium travel credit cards is to mix up a combination of cards like the Sapphire Preferred and the Ink Preferred. With both annual fee’s combined totaling less than half a premium card’s fee of $450 per year, you can enjoy many of the same perks, a combined 130,000 in bonus Ultimate Rewards after meeting minimum spend requirements and earn 3X points on bonus categories via the Ink Preferred.

Now is the time to plan your 2017 rewards travel strategies and start kicking some travel goals for the year ahead.


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Last Days for These 100,000 Point Signup Bonuses
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Comments

  • Too bad I am over 5/24 for Chase and cannot apply.

    • Have you tried visiting a branch? I was way over 5/24 but got pre-approved in branch. I do know many people had the same luck.

  • one of the best sign up bonuses still available

  • Brian Gallagher says:

    We just signed up over the weekend.
    Super excited to gain access to lounges when we fly. Have no idea what we’ll do with the points yet. I’m thinking maybe airfare to S. America. But, I was reading somewhere that perhaps using the transfer for hotel points is more worthwhile. Very excited about this.

  • Bertrand Say says:

    Is this worth it if I am not a frequent traveller?

  • how interesting that American Express is trying to match some of the bonuses that Chase is doing! lol! I am assuming that this would apply to customers already having an American Express Plat card? The Chase Sapphire Reserve is very tempting, but I’ll pass for now. My kids just make it not as useful right now. In the future if I get a Sapphire card then what makes me want to get a Sapphire Reserve, instead? Have they given any hints as to what they might do in the future to keep it juicy? I love my Freedom card but now that my kids are older travel is a bigger thing and need to earn points faster. I didn’t get to travel so much as a kid so I want to give my kids the travel bug and let them see the world!

    • Hey Karen, I have 3 boys, 5-year-old, 3-year-old and 7-week-old. I just used 150k UR Points (100K of them was from this CSR bonus) for airline tickets – a trip to Honolulu for 6 people. It’s a lot harder to travel with kids, but they will have so much fun traveling which will make all the hard work worth it. ?

      • oh my! 7wk old all the way to hawaii?congrats on the new addition! 6 people? that’s amazing! Maybe it would be worth it! Thank you for the info! Lots of people seem to be going to hawaii. did you get nonstop flights?

    • Karen,

      If you get either of the Sapphire cards, you can convert the cash back from your Freedom into Ultimate Rewards at a rate of 1:1 (cash back cents:UR points). That alone may make it worth getting for you. If you skip the Preferred, you’ll still get that 50k signup with Reserve AND convert that cash back to UR (which will make them more valuable depending on how you redeem). It also gives you access to UR booming page which sometimes has really good travel deals (just be patient, one will come around). At that point, you would just want to weigh the additional perks the Reserve would give you (lounge access, etc) and determine if it’s worth the extra $355 annually. One more thing to consider: Reserve’s annual fee is waved the first year where the Preferred is NOT waved (as far as I can tell).

      Basically, adding either of these cards will give you a sort of multiplier with the Freedom card you already have.

      • wait a min! no annual fee on the CSR for the first year? how did I miss this?! Oh this makes the pot of honey sweeter! Can I get the CSR with the bonus and after the year downgrade to the Sapphire, but keep all my points? I probably would have to transfer them to my Freedom first? You seem very knowledgeable about this so I’ll pick your brain ;o) Would you usually redeem for whatever in the UR area or cash it out? I haven’t heard of the “boom”, what’s this? I have so much to learn! lol! Thank you for your help!

  • Sadly now the Amex Plat is more appealing to me. I still love the travel credit on the CSR but the lounge access on the Plat just can’t be beat

    • Rob, I have both Chase Reserve and Amex Business Platinum cards. Chase’s lounge access stands out in one aspect: their contract with Priority Pass allows you to bring on any number of guests with you whereas Amex card allows only the cardholder in for free, guests have to pay to get in.

    • The CSR lounge access is better than the Platinum’s, with the exception of Centurion lounge access. You can bring a guest for free with the Chase PP membership.

  • martin kane says:

    I am interested in this offer, please contact me, thanks

  • Janet Hartleben says:

    Has anyone applied for the Sapphire Reserve online, not received any information about status, and then gone on to apply at a branch bank? I applied last Friday evening and haven’t heard a thing.

  • I guess I better get moving and decide. Thanks for the heads up.

  • So appreciative of this post reminding me of the Chase Reserve deadline for applying for the hefty bonus offer! It nearly got passed me!

  • Why is this offer not on the Hot Deals section?

  • Harsimran Chabbewal says:

    Janet, you can call Chase’s phone reconsideration line instead of walking into a branch. I think the number is 1 888-245-0625

  • Extremely helpful comparisons between cards. Thanks.

  • I recommend the Chase card. Sign up was easy and it has already paid for itself in travel credits (300 per year- which resets in December billing so I have already received $600 in travel credits); not to mention the 3x points on travel and dining or the 100,000 bonus points.

    • Ditto on the $600 in credits received in calendar year 2016. Even though half of that is the AF offset for 2017, this card is definitely still a keeper for me this year. Our two highest spend categories are easily travel & dining, so earning at 3x, the points add up fast.

  • Kripal Singh says:

    $1500 is a lost of money but you have to spend at least $450 to get it

    • It’s actually far more than $1500.

      So, you’ll pay $450 but you get $300 in statement credits for travel-related purchases each calendar year, so that’s $600 within the first 12 months. Then you’ll get at least $1500 in value from the Ultimate Rewards but you could do much better by transferring to partners like United/Hyatt/etc.

      • Howie, these travel/statement credits do go in effect from the posting date, correct?

        Since we’re cutting it close to the start of the calendar year, if you apply and are approved tomorrow, 1/11/17, as long as the credit posted before 1/11/18, you’d get $600 in value for the first card year. But would that be the end of your credits for 2018?

        Would you then be able to get another $300 in 2018 after 1/11/18? Or have to wait until 2019?

        • Jamie –

          We actually have a post explaining all of this coming up tomorrow … here’s a snip from it:

          While the Sapphire Reserve’s $300 travel credit renews every calendar year, the reset is based on the timing of your December statement. For example, if your December statement closes on December 20, 2017, any purchases posting after December 20 will be credited to your 2018 $300 travel credit. To credit charges towards your 2017 travel credit, purchases must have posted (not show as pending) before December 20. Charges after your December 2017 statement closes will count towards 2018. Yes, a charge that posts, in this scenario on December 25, 2017, would count towards 2018.

          I hope this clarifies things.

          • Thanks Howie, that does clarify that.

            So really, if this is a long term card in someone’s wallet, it’s $300 per yer in the statement credit. You could work it out to where you get $600 in one calendar year, but you’d then basically have to skip the rest of the calendar year and go “empty” on your next annual fee cycle. Hope that made sense.

            So really, people who say $600 in value is there, are really people who would be canceling after one year (or at least eventually before their AF cycle comes due down the road). Because if it posted in January 2018, you’d have to wait until 2019 for your next credit anyhow.

          • You got it. Effectively, the fee on this card, as long as you’re making $300 in travel related purchases a year, is $150. Compared to the Sapphire Preferred at $95, for a $55 bump, it seems worth it to me. The only drawback is you’ll pay $75 for authorized users, where on the Sapphire Preferred it is $0.

      • Kripal Singh says:

        do you know if lounge access is limited to card holder only or companion /all members travelling ?

  • ADAM PARSONS says:

    Another massive chase point bonus, just love Chase for mile collecting.

  • Guy Bardsley says:

    Even though I have the American Visa card and Holiday Inn and Hilton cards, this card looks a great deal, especially in the first year with the 100k travel bonus. I assume you need a partner card to both get access to club lounges?

  • Love the bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card but most importantly the card itself. As a cardholder you can earn 3x the points for dining and traveling as well as a massive $300 travel credit for your annual travel plans. Amazing offer!

  • Brandon Ketron says:

    I applied for the reserve and got the bonus. Do you know if I can also sign up my wife and her the bonus for her with a separate account?

  • Hoping this is available for overseas applicants as well

  • Especially when considering double dipping the travel credit, this card is an amazing value. I’ve been trying to convince many friends who are frequent travelers to take the plunge before the 100k bonus goes away!

    I think the big question will be whether or not the card will be worth keeping past the first year. At the moment, I think it will be. But let’s see what other offers come along!

  • Avinainder Singh says:

    I’ve applied for 5 new credit cards this year. Do you think I can still apply for the Chase Reserve card?
    Is the 5/24 rule a myth?

    • 5/24 is not a myth. If you have 5 or more new credit cards reporting on your credit report within the last 24 months you’ll be over the limit and stand little chance of being approved with all other things equal.

  • I’m waiting to apply in-branch next month. Have more time to do 2018’s travel credits in full before cancellation. Plus, right at 5/24 right now, so not worth risking the online rejection.

  • I would recommend waiting to do in-branch. More time to cash out the 2018 travel credit.

  • My husband and I are planning to travel to Argentina in August 2017 and Delta is the best airline for that. It doesn’t think these Chase cards’ points will work for Delta, will they? If not, what would be a good card for Delta right now? Is there time to get the points in time to book for then? Thank you!

    • Heather, if you can find award availability offered to their partners, you can redeem miles through Korean SKYPASS. I wouldn’t commit solely to flying Delta and their partners. Korean would only charge you 110,000 miles, which convert from Chase Ultimate Rewards — the same for United. Or even better, transfer to Singapore and redeem on United for only 100k miles with Singapore.

  • I saw that James Corden will start filming ads for CSR…that seems like a new evolution of the cash back marketing game.

  • The Business Platinum 100k offer is also ending. Hmm to apply or not to apply.

  • Szeman Chang says:

    I’ve typically saved the travel credits for travel (by buying gift cards) but over the holidays I was in NYC and because of timing and traffic, I had to park at a parking garage in Midtown. I was already so frustrated with the whole situation but then I remembered the charge to CSR would be covered with the travel credit. Saved my day.

  • I applied and got approved for the CSR card just before the sign-up bonus change!
    Very happy. 🙂

  • I applied on-line late November. The card showed up in my mailbox in less than two weeks – but also appeared in my on-line account management in less than a week. The Priority Pass card has to be applied for separately after you receive your card. That card took about a week to appear in my mailbox. I was worried that it would not arrive in time, but Chase told me to just charge the lounge access to my credit card and they would reimburse me the charges for both myself and my wife. I was also able to cash in on the 2016 and 2017 $300 reimbursement credits since the statement closing date had been set to 20th. So that more than covered the annual fee for the card. Also, if you meet spending requirements in the first month the 100K miles are credited so you have them available for use in month 2. That’s a great deal. Just wishing I had waited to apply for Global Entry. Oh well, maybe a friend will decide to apply and I can leverage my credit for them since it is my understanding that it is the charge that gets reimbursed – doesn’t matter who is applying.

  • Applied last night at 9. Approved immediately. Just made the cut 🙂
    Hope I can get the card before my Sat flight.

  • How do all these travel cards compare to Citi’s all-too-simple 2% cash back on EVERYTHING card? It seems like they have a lot of teasers and gimmicks but also some tricky pitfalls (like things you might not use e.g. the lounges). And $450 in annual fees does get expensive, especially in year 2 when you don’t get the initial huge point bonus.

    I dunno. I’m thinking just keep things simple and get 2% cash back on everything with no annual fee. Thoughts?

    • Bud, it all comes to running the numbers. You need to look at how you’d use points/miles and YES, the 2% is the standard with which you must compare. Most people don’t do this and in many cases, in the long run, they’re possibly better off with that scenario of a flat 2% cash back.

      That said, look at your priorities and see what works for you. For me, I do better than 2% cash back overall, but I still have a 2% cash back card (Citi Double Cash) and I use it at times because cash is an important part of my travel strategy where/when I can’t use points and miles.

  • My mind is swimming trying to figure this all out. I probably need a strategy coach and/or a crystal ball to help me navigate these waters – it’s all very overwhelming. But kudos to all of you fearless to jump in and give it a try.

  • Feeling good: got the wife in under the wire for the CSR. For us, the best-earngin travel card going at the moment.

  • Robin Gronsky says:

    These big offers look great but I’m having trouble figuring out how to do the minimum spends.

  • These are a nice amount of points but I agree with Robin that it seems the minimum spends are quite significant.

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