- Frequent travelers and foodies earn 3x more points on related purchases
- Earn an automatic $300 statement credit for travel purchases throughout the year (every year)
- Get rewards on your rewards when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which becomes up to 4.5% back according to Value Penguin
If you travel a lot, especially for business, the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card may be your perfect fit. Automatically receive $300 in statement credits for travel purchases this year, in addition to access to over 1,000 travel lounges worldwide.
Even if you don't frequently travel, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a great rewards program and high bonuses. No foreign transaction fees are the cherry on top of an excellent credit card option.
Even for the best of the best Chase credit cards, it can certainly be hard to justify the high annual fee and high spending required to get bonus rewards. While the Chase Sapphire Reserve is generous in the rewards it offers users, it’s only recommended for people that extensively travel, spend a lot on dining, and can earn enough rewards to balance out the hefty $450 annual fee.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® may be the single best travel rewards credit card on the market today. While it does carry a large annual fee, it offers cardholders huge benefits including a $300 annual travel credit, up to 3x points per dollar on common purchases, and access to airport lounges around the world with Priority Pass. This powerhouse card is only rivaled by The Platinum Card from American Express. Follow along with this Chase Sapphire Reserve® review to learn more about this card, how it works, and if it belongs in your wallet.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® review
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card is a premium travel credit card from Chase. It is a part of the Sapphire family of cards, which includes the popular Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card. Both cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, valuable credit card rewards points redeemable for flights, hotels, and other travel, among other award redemption options. More on that in the next section.
This card currently offers a 50,000-point signup bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening the account. That is enough points for a coach award flight to Europe, or $750 in airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises when booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.
The card does have a big annual fee, however. The card costs $450 per year and an additional $75 per year for authorized users. But if you are big on travel, you’ll see how this card quickly returns at least that much value every year.
One of the most fun and exciting features of the card is an included Priority Pass membership. This gives you access to lounges at airports around the world and includes free meals and drinks at some airport restaurants. It’s a great service and makes travel much more enjoyable.
Overall, the card is a great credit card and beloved by many cardholders. If you can stomach the big annual fee, it is an excellent choice.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® rewards and perks
This credit card has some of the best rewards of any card available today. It earns 3x points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1x points everywhere else. Cardholders also get a 50,000-point signup bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening a new account.
Chase points are worth 2.2 cents each according to The Points Guy. At that valuation, the signup bonus is worth $1,100, well on the way to 3 years of annual fees.
Chase points are redeemable through the Ultimate Rewards portal at a rate of 1.5 cents each (Sapphire Preferred gives you 1.25 cents each). Even better, you can transfer the points to airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 rate for huge value.
If you redeem points for a premium award with a super saver fare, you can get a heck of a lot more than 1.5 cents per point in value. It takes a little more work to transfer points to airlines and book there, but it is usually worth the few additional steps.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card benefits
Rewards for this card don’t stop at the points earning program either. The card offers a ton of valuable benefits beyond free and discounted travel.
First, all cardholders get an annual $300 credit on travel purchases. This shows up as a statement credit automatically. The first $300 you spend on travel per year is essentially free, which makes your annual fee an effective $150, not $450.
The card offers a $100 credit every 4 years for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (pro tip: go for Global Entry). Just pay for your membership with this card and you’ll see the cost go back to your card as an automatic statement credit, similar to the $300 travel credit above.
Not to be overlooked, lounge access is another hugely valuable benefit. Access to airport lounges is expensive unless you are an elite frequent traveler. With Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you get access to Priority Pass Select lounges and the comfortable seating, free snacks and soft drinks, sometimes free adult drinks, faster internet, and cleaner bathrooms that come with premium lounges.
Sapphire Reserve® holders also get premium account status at select hotels, resorts, and car rental companies.
The card is also loaded with valuable travel and purchase protections. It includes travel insurance, auto rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, and emergency evacuation coverage. For purchases, you get purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty protection benefits.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® costs and fees
As we already discussed, this card charges a $450 annual fee. While it is a big fee, you get a huge range of benefits that lowers the effective fee on the card. Authorized users cost an additional $75 each per year.
This credit card charges variable rate APR depending on your credit history and market rates. This rate can change at any time. Balance transfers charge the same rates. Cash advances have a slightly higher APR.
There is no foreign transaction fee. High five! You can use the card anywhere in the world and get a competitive interest rate with no extra charge.
Balance transfers come with a 5% fee ($5 minimum). Cash advances cost 5% ($10 minimum). Late payments and returned payments cost up to $38 per occurrence.
Does Chase Sapphire Reserve® make sense for me?
This is a great card for anyone who loves travel, has a great credit score, and pays off their balance in full every month. If that sounds like you, there is no reason to skip out on this top-tier credit card.
The value of the benefits and rewards easily exceeds the $450 annual fee if you travel frequently. That makes this card a no brainer in our book!
Application Process: Online, using a similar form to apply for all of the best chase credit cards.
Annual Fee: A whopping $450, but check out the bonus offers to understand how this is justified.
Rewards: Get 50% more value when you redeem rewards points through Chase Ultimate Rewards program. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 on Chase Ultimate Rewards. Alternatively, you can redeem rewards points for statement credit, but at a 1 point to 1 cent ratio.
Bonus Offers: Here's where things get juicy. Though the credit card may seem hard to justify at $450/year, the bonuses are plentiful and include the ability to:
- Earn 3x more points on travel and dining and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases
- Automatically receive $300 in statement credit for travel purchases charged to your card every year
- Get up to $100 in application fee credit for TSA Pre-check or Global Entry
- Elite travel benefits, like access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide
- Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening (that's $750 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
- 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards - for example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority PassTM Select
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre-check®
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards