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Credit Card Review: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Credit Card Review: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Sunset views of the town of Positano and the seaside

With a hefty $550 price tag, the Chase Sapphire Reserve might seem pricey, but look beyond and discover a plethora of travel perks.  From the annual $300 travel credit (already your annual fee is reduced) to access to 1000+ airport lounges worldwide, the Sapphire Reserve is truly impressive.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

CURRENT WELCOME BONUS

50,000 Bonus Points after spending $4,000 during first 3 months

REWARDS

Earn 3X points on dining and travel worldwide; 3X on grocery store purchases (until April 2021); 1X point on everything else

APR

16.99% – 23.99%

ANNUAL FEE

$550

FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE

0%

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE

800 – 850

Who is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card for?

Obviously, the Sapphire Reserve is targeted towards jet-setters who spend a lot of money on dining.  For the time being, you can also earn 3X points on groceries, however, that offer does expire in April 2021.  Families that travel frequently together should  have no problem getting maximum benefits from the card.Finally, you will need an excellent credit score for this bad boy, at least 800!  Should you need help improving your credit score, check out our post here.

Welcome Offer for the Sapphire Reserve

New cardmembers receive 50,000 Bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.  That translates to a spending budget of at least $1,334/month to qualify.  A sizeable bonus, considering the points are worth at least $750 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Points & Rewards

Spend $300 immediately on travel purchases, then start earning 3X per $1 spent on dining and travel world-wide.  Although the first $300 doesn’t qualify for reward points, it comes back as statement credit (reducing the annual fee price tag).  Like American Express, Chase’s travel category is quite broad.  In addition to airfare and hotels, timeshares, cruise lines, campgrounds, buses, ferries, toll bridges etc., also fall under that category.  Through March 2022, earn a total of 10X on Lyft rides, a bonus of 7X points.

Welcome bonus not available to previous Sapphire card members who have had a bonus in the past 2 years!

Redemption

Points can either be redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards (worth 50% in value) or transferred to airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 basis.  For instance, with Ultimate Rewards, 1 point will give you 1.50 cents worth of travel.  On the other hand, if you use your points to get cash back, you only receive 1 cent for 1 point.  Ultimately to get the maximum value out of your points, spend on travel.  Additionally, you can use points to shop online or buy gift cards.

Additional Perks

 Enrolment in Priority Pass Select, giving you access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide

 $100 Credit for Global Entry or $85 for TSA Pre

 $120 Peloton Membership statement credits

 Up to 15% off car rides, including a 1 year complementary membership for Lyft Pink (minimum value of $199)

 $60 statement credit for DoorDash and FREE DoorDash deliveries

 Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver – includes up to $75,000 in coverages when you charge your card for a rental

 Lost Luggage/Trip Cancellation Insurance

Bottom Line

Frequent travelers can really benefit from having the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  If you spend a lot of money on travel and take advantage of some of the perks, you shouldn’t have any issues offsetting the $550 annual fee.  In conclusion, the Reserve is definitely worth the high fee, particularly if you are savvy enough to get max rewards.

Otherwise, if you feel the Sapphire Reserve is too pricey, especially during the pandemic when most people can’t travel, check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  With a $95 tag, it might not offer the same premium benefits as the Reserve, but it’s a excellent alternative.

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