Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Visa Credit Card
Are you a frequent traveler looking for the best travel rewards credit card? Today, Credit Fast reviews the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the most popular travel rewards credit cards on the market. We’ll explain why giving you the information you need to determine if this is the best travel rewards card for you.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers some of the best free travel rewards in the industry. You’ll earn three points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining with Chase Sapphire Preferred. Chase automatically reimburses $300 a year in travel expenses. Cardholders enjoy trip cancellation insurance, medical evacuation coverage, and trip delay reimbursement. You’ll also gain free Priority Pass airport lounge access. Chase charges no foreign transaction fees for Sapphire Reserve purchases. In addition, Chase offers another $100 statement credit toward your fees for TSA Precheck or Global Entry. That’s a great benefit if you’re a frequent flyer.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards system. Ultimate Rewards is one of the best rewards programs in the credit card industry. Chase allows you to pool rewards from multiple credit cards into one rewards account.
Already have a cash back card like the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited? You can maximize your earnings for travel rewards by pooling them with your Chase Sapphire Reserve points. When you do, Chase allows you to use them in multiple ways. You can choose to convert them to a statement credit, direct deposit, or cash payment. Alternatively, you can book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal at a discount. But it’s the third option that sets the Ultimate Rewards program apart from its competitors. Chase offers the option of transferring Ultimate Rewards points to partner loyalty programs. Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio. Partners include Southwest, United, British Airways, Air France/KLM, Hyatt, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton.
Cardholders looking to strategically maximize their rewards have an opportunity to do so here. Let’s say you have the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards. Chase Freedom offers 5 points per dollar spent on a new rotating rewards category each quarter. Chase Freedom Unlimited offers unlimited 1.5 points per dollar earnings on all purchases. Also, Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3 points per dollar on travel and dining expenses. To maximize your rewards, use Freedom for quarterly bonus category spending, Sapphire Reserve for travel and dining, and Freedom Unlimited for all other purchases.
Pros of the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM Visa Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining. This easily makes the Sapphire Reserve on of the best credit cards of its kind. Even better, earning is automatic. There’s no need to opt in to offers. Chase also uses a generous definition of travel and dining. For example, parking fees or taxi service usually count as travel. Chase considers coffee, cupcakes, take-out, and ice cream to be dining purchases. You’ll also earn one point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a $300 annual travel credit. You don’t even have to request this benefit. When you make a qualifying travel purchase with your card, Chase automatically credits the full amount back to your account. This usually happens on the same day. Your $300 annual limit resets on your account anniversary. Also, Chase even provides a tracker on their website to help you know if you’re close to the limit.
Chase offers a 50,000 point welcome bonus. However, you must spend $4,000 in the first three months to earn the bonus. While $4,000 is a high threshold, you might be able to achieve it fairly easily if you’re planning a major trip or making a large purchase. You could cash out your 50,000 welcome bonus for a $500 statement credit. Alternatively, you could maximize travel discounts by using your points to book $750 in travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Can’t find what you need on the travel portal? You could transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to another travel loyalty program. For example, you could convert your 50,000 welcome bonus directly to 50,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points. That’s enough for a nice getaway.
Cons of the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM Visa Card
Chase charges a $450 annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. While it’s hard to deny the reward benefits of this card, it’s also impossible to ignore the significant annual fee. If you want similar rewards with a lower fee, you may want to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers only double points on travel and dining, but its annual fee is just $95. Chase even waives the fee during the first year. There are also a number of credit cards with no annual fee. However, you shouldn’t expect the same level of rewards from a no-fee card.
Chase is selective in approving Chase Sapphire Reserve applications. If you have opened 5 or more credit card accounts in the past two years, it’s likely that Chase will reject your application. This policy, known as the Chase 5/24 Rule, limits approvals for applicants with multiple recent credit requests.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is only available to consumers with excellent credit. If your credit is below average, you’ll want to consider a different card. Once you use it responsibly, your credit score will improve. This will allow you to apply for cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve in the future.
The Verdict of the Chase Sapphire ReserveSM Visa Credit Card
Even with the $450 annual fee, you should consider applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card if you’ll spend $4,000 in the first three months. You’ll earn 50,000 sign up bonus points when you meet the spending threshold. Those points convert to $500 in cash, $750 of Ultimate Rewards travel bookings, or 50,000 airline or hotel loyalty points. You’ll also receive the $300 annual travel credit.
The real question is whether or not it’s worth keeping. The answer depends on your travel and spending habits. There’s no denying that $450 is a substantial annual fee. However, Chase will reimburse you for $300 in travel expenses each year. If you’ll spend that much, your total cost drops to $150. If you’re likely to spend more than $10,000 per year on travel and dining, the card easily pays for itself.