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One card that sometimes gets overlooked but is certainly worth having on your radar is The Chase Sapphire Reserve®. It is one of the top premium travel credit cards for several reasons. For one, it comes with an annual $300 travel credit that can be used on hotels, flights, car rentals, and more. Also, when cardholders use the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal to book travel, their points will be worth 50% more. On top of that, points transfer to leading travel hotels and airline partners on a 1:1 basis.
Additionally, cardholders can earn up to 10x Chase Ultimate Rewards® points on purchases.
While the Chase Sapphire Reserve isn’t for everybody, it might be the perfect rewards travel card for you.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Review
In this Chase Sapphire Reserve review, I’ll show you how the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s benefits can be worth the $550 annual fee, even if your travel is on hold for the time being.
Earn Points On Dining and Travel (Once Eligible)
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns unlimited:
- 10x total points on hotels and car rentals purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
- 10x total points on Chase Dining purchases with Ultimate Rewards
- 5x total points on flights when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
- 3x points on other travel worldwide (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
- 3x points on other dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out
- 1x points for all remaining purchases
You can also earn up to 10x Ultimate Rewards on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025.
You will not receive rewards points on your first $300 in annual travel purchases as the annual travel statement credit reimburses these purchases.
There are no limits to how many points you can earn worldwide.
However, to earn points on travel, you must first earn your $300 annual travel credit to be eligible. Once you do, you will immediately begin to earn points on travel.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve outearns almost every other travel rewards card and co-brand airline credit card that only earns 2x points on travel purchases.
While you are probably considering the Chase Sapphire Reserve for its travel benefits and 1:1 points transfers, the 3x earning bonus means you can quickly rack up the points to make your next award trip sooner—which is the sole purpose of owning a travel rewards card.
$300 Annual Travel Credit
Almost every premium travel credit card offers an annual travel credit. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is definitely the most flexible of all the premium rewards cards.
The $300 travel credit is reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. It can be redeemed for any travel-related purchases from plane ticket purchases, cruise tickets, hotel nights, to a guided tour. Some of the other premium travel credit cards only cover checked baggage fees and in-flight purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $900 in Award Travel
New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Chase Pay Yourself Back
Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.
1:1 Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners
One benefit that distinguishes the Chase Sapphire Reserve from many other travel rewards cards is the option to transfer your rewards points directly to one of the following airline or hotel Chase travel partners. This Chase Sapphire Reserve review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning these:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- British Airways Executive Club
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- Iberia Plus
- Korean Air SKYPASS
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
Although each Ultimate Rewards point is worth 1.5 cents each when you redeem them through Chase for award travel, many Sapphire Reserve cardholders almost always transfer their points to one of the Chase travel partners where the points can be worth more than 1.5 cents each.
Considering most travel rewards cards only have a maximum redemption value of 1 cent each, the 50% point redemption bonus and 1:1 travel partners are extremely valuable.
Complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership
Frequent flyers will enjoy the complimentary Priority Pass Select membership that lets you and your travel companions enter one of the 1,300+ locations for free. Whether you get to the airport early or have a long layover, you can visit one of these lounges for free to relax, refresh, and even catch up on work.
An annual Priority Pass membership with unlimited visits currently costs $429 per person. This benefit alone almost pays the $550 annual fee itself. Plus, you can bring two guests with you for free.
Other rewards credit cards offer access to other lounge networks in addition to Priority Pass, but Priority Pass is still the most extensive network that you can access regardless of which airline you’re flying.
But it’s not as great as the Centurion lounge access you get with select American Express products.
Global Entry and TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
Like the other premium travel rewards cards, your application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck will be reimbursed with a fee credit of up to $100. This benefit saves you $100 and the headache of standing in the long airport security and customs lines.
Additional Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits
The most valuable Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits are the $300 travel credit, 1:1 point transfers or 50% point redemption bonus, and complimentary Priority Pass lounge access.
Some of the additional travel benefits that you’ll also enjoy are:
- Up to $10,000 in trip protection insurance
- Primary rental car collision damage waiver coverage
- Avis, National, and Silvercar discounts and upgrades
- Bonus amenities with The Luxury Hotel and Resorts Collection stays
- Exclusive Sapphire events like going to the Emmys
Partnerships With the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Cardholders can also save money on lifestyle-related purchases with these limited-time partner offers:
- Complimentary DoorDash DashPass access for at least one year (activate by December 31, 2024)
- Receive $5 in DoorDash credits as a DashPass member
- 1 year of Instacart+ membership plus up to $15 in monthly credits through July 2024
- GoPuff credits of up to $10 monthly through December 31, 2023
Cardholders can easily activate these partnerships.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Advantages
When you factor in the $300 travel credit, Priority Pass lounge access, and Global Entry application fee reimbursement together, these three benefits are worth $720 each year.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is worth the $550 annual fee when:
- You use the $300 travel credit and Priority Pass lounge access
- Redeem or transfer your points for award travel
- Travel frequently to maximize the 3x dining and travel (once eligible) purchase rewards
- No foreign transaction fee
Sapphire Reserve Disadvantages
The Sapphire Reserve isn’t for everybody. You’ll want to consider a different card when:
- Travel infrequently
- Don’t visit Priority Pass lounges
- Cannot qualify for a sign-up bonus
- Are loyal to one airline or hotel
- Don’t have excellent credit (here’s the credit score needed for the Chase Sapphire Reserve)
Even if you travel frequently but primarily use one airline or hotel, you might be better off with their co-brand card. You will earn more rewards points for your brand purchases and will enjoy other complimentary benefits. For example, free checked bags can be worth more than the $300 travel credit.
Some of the best Chase credit cards are also co-brand airline and hotel cards.
Alternatives to the Chase Sapphire Reserve
If you found in this Chase Sapphire Reserve review that isn’t worth the $550 annual fee, below are a couple of different alternatives that still offer flexible travel rewards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
If you enjoy the Chase Ultimate Rewards 1:1 point transfer opportunities but won’t benefit from the Sapphire Reserve’s other travel benefits, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers these two travel rewards:
- Unlimited 1:1 point transfers
- 25% point redemption bonus (points are worth 1.25 cents each)
The annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is only $95 per year, and additional cardholders are free.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns unlimited:
- 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit)
- 3x points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)
- 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart®, and wholesale clubs)
- Also 3x points on select streaming services
- 2x points on all other travel purchases
- 1x point per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases
There is a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit. It comes in the form of a statement credit that will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for hotel accommodation purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards program, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $50.
Plus, on each account anniversary, you’ll earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year. So, if you spend $25,000 on purchases, you’ll get 2,500 bonus points.
This review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred can provide a better look at how these two cards compare.
The Platinum Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best premium credit cards you can get. It’s best for frequent flyers and people who stay at hotels because of these benefits:
- Transfer points on a 1:1 basis to airlines and hotel partners
- Up to $200 airline fee credit for incidental fees at one select qualifying airline (in the form of a statement credit, enrollment required)
- Airport lounge access (Centurion, Priority Pass (enrollment required), Delta Sky Club, and others)
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
- Terms apply
This card also provides automatic Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status (enrollment required).
Cardholders can get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when paying with their Platinum Card®.
Also, get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
Plus, American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
Terms apply. Enrollment may be required.
The Platinum Card from American Express Benefits
There’s also a digital entertainment credit. Cardholders can get up to $20 in statement credits each month when they pay for eligible purchases with The Platinum Card® from American Express at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
In addition to enjoying TSA PreCheck or Global Entry access, cardholders can also enjoy CLEAR perks. Cardholders can use their Card and get up to $189 back per year on their CLEAR® membership. Terms apply.
Another exciting benefit is the ability for cardholders to enjoy up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships when they pay with their Platinum Card®. This amounts to up to $300 annually. Enrollment required.
There is also a $155 Walmart+ credit to enjoy. This covers the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. The cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
Get the full details and learn more in our in-depth The Platinum Card from American Express review.
The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees) but can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400.
Welcome Bonus Offer
New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $6,000 on purchases on their new Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, they can apply and select their preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards
The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees) but can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400.
In conclusion, the Chase Sapphire Reserve review can show you it is worth it if you travel on a regular basis and want flexibility because you’re not loyal to a particular airline or hotel. If you maximize the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s benefits, it can definitely be worth more than the $550 annual fee.
60,000 Point Bonus: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Score Needed for Approval
- Should You Consider Paying a Credit Card Annual Fee
- The Best Credit Card Offers
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
- 1 Chase Sapphire Reserve Review
- 2 Earn Points On Dining and Travel (Once Eligible)
- 3 $300 Annual Travel Credit
- 4 Sign-Up Bonus: $900 in Award Travel
- 5 1:1 Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners
- 6 Complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership
- 7 Global Entry and TSA PreCheck Reimbursement
- 8 Additional Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits
- 9 Chase Sapphire Reserve Advantages
- 10 Sapphire Reserve Disadvantages
- 11 Alternatives to the Chase Sapphire Reserve
- 12 Summary