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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® represents the most feature-rich Chase Ultimate Rewards® earning credit card released to date. This article was initially published shortly after the Sapphire Reserve was released in 2016; we've tweaked it a bit and updated it to reflect current offers.
Summary of Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits
The Sapphire Reserve is a feature-rich card that should have you considering if the current card you're using is the most rewarding. Here are the standout benefits that come with the Sapphire Reserve:
- 50,000-point Signup Bonus – After you meet the spend requirement of $4,000 within the first three months of account opening, you'll be awarded 50,000 Ultimate Rewards. Depending on how you choose to redeem these points you could have two nights at an all-inclusive luxury resort, a round-trip business class ticket to Europe, and many other options — check out 19 different ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards. Remember, always check award availability before transferring your points.
- $300 Annual Travel Credit – While this isn't free money, it can colloquially be thought of as such. The Sapphire Reserve carries a $450 annual fee, but the $300 travel credit helps offset a significant portion of that cost. Some cards, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express offer a $200 travel credit (against a $550 annual fee) but come with more restrictions on its use. 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. Keep in mind; this benefit refreshes each cardmember year.
- 3x Points on Travel & Dining – Simply Unprecedented. The Sapphire Reserve builds upon the 2x points on dining and travel that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers, adding another point earned in each category. There are no limits to how much you earn at 3x in either category. At that earning rate, you'd be hard-pressed to find a card better well suited to be the #1 out of your wallet with such a return. Sure, there may be cards that earn 3x on some travel expenses, such as the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (which earns 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines) or the Citi Prestige® Card, but this is a first for an Ultimate Rewards earning card.
- $100 Global Entry Statement Credit – This benefit has become a standard across high-end travel rewards cards but nonetheless has tangible value. Remember, when approved for Global Entry, you're also eligible for the benefits associated with TSA Pre✓ — hopefully no more waiting in any lines. If you're current on your Global Entry membership, you can pay for someone else's Global Entry application fee and be reimbursed. The name on the application does not need to be yours; an excellent way to help out a spouse or family member!
- Makes Ultimate Rewards More Valuable – With a Sapphire Preferred, if you choose to redeem your Ultimate Rewards directly through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal you'll receive a cash-equivalent value of 1.25 cents per point. Instead, with the Sapphire Reserve, those Ultimate Rewards will get you 1.5 cents per point. Better yet, if you have another Ultimate Rewards-earning card, including the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, New! Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card, 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 cents/point towards travel when booked through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
- Visa Infinite Benefits – Perhaps the most underrated benefits of any credit card are those associated with the class of card within the payment processing network. For example, the Chase Slate® credit card is a Visa Platinum card, whereas the Sapphire Preferred is a Visa Signature and the Sapphire Reserve carries the Visa Infinite logo. Each class of card brings increasingly impressive benefits, some of which can generate significant savings!
Can I Have the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?
As an authorized user, yes. However, if you are already the primary cardmember of a Sapphire card, or have received a signup bonus on a Sapphire card in the previous 24 months, you will not be approved for another card in the Sapphire family.
Chase has updated the rules for the Sapphire family of cards to state that you cannot receive a new Sapphire card if you already hold one, or if you've received a Sapphire card welcome bonus in the previous 2 years. For example, if you have Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you will not be approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You can read the details of Chase's new policy in our updated credit card application post.
Are Ultimate Rewards more valuable with the Sapphire Reserve?
Yes! Ultimate Rewards associated with a Sapphire Reserve has the same transferability as those earned with the Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Preferred, but when booking travel directly through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, you'll net an increased value of each point. With the Sapphire Preferredand Ink Preferred you'll get 1.25 cents/point, however with the Sapphire Reserve, you'll receive 1.5 cents/point when booking directly through the Travel Portal. Note: When leveraging travel partners by transferring Ultimate Rewards to programs such as United or Hyatt, points transfer at a 1:1 ratio in 1,000-point increments.
How Does the $300 Travel Credit Work?
Use your card, and wait for a statement credit. It is that easy. You simply pay for qualified travel expense, such as a plane ticket, using your Sapphire Reserve, and you'll receive a statement credit of up to $300 per cardmember year. The plane ticket doesn't even need to be for you! Authorized users do not receive their own $300 credit; all users on the same card account share the $300 credit.
What Sort of Lounge Access Do I Get?
Lounge access is provided through a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. You are not required to be flying any particular airline to gain access to Priority Pass lounges. Unlimited guests are complimentary, and authorized cardholders receive their own complimentary membership with Priority Pass.
Why Should I Care About Visa Infinite?
Because you like not having to pay for useful benefits! Rental car protection, purchase protection, trip delay protection, baggage delay protection, and several different types of travel insurance, including medical and dental insurance (check out page 49 of the guide). Here's a full write-up on all of the Sapphire Reserve benefits compared with those on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Why Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve® the Right Card for Me?
The card and its benefits speak for itself. This card hits all the key factors of what makes a perfect travel rewards credit card. It has a fantastic signup bonus, great earning potential (3x points on travel and dining), highly flexible rewards (Ultimate Rewards with 13 travel partners), complimentary lounge access (Priority Pass Select) and many other benefits through the Visa Infinite program.
This card and its benefits are game-changing. It fits all the categories of what a traveler should look for in a travel rewards credit card. We're thrilled that Chase has stepped up its offering and provided a card with so many benefits.
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