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Before we get into this review, we must mention the exciting new bonus offer! Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with the ability to earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening (worth $900 in award travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards). While the Chase Sapphire Reserve isn’t for everybody, it might be the perfect rewards travel card for you.

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.

Johnny Jet holding his Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. This Chase Sapphire Reserve Review can help you determine if this is the card for you.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Review

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is great for those who travel often (or plan to, now that things are opening up again) and who like flexibility. If you are very loyal to one airline or hotel, you may get more value out of a co-brand card. However, Chase has some valuable 1:1 point transfer partners that might work well for you (more on that below).

Earn 3x Points for Dining and Travel (Once Eligible)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns unlimited 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible dining purchases worldwide.

It also earns unlimited 3x points on travel worldwide. However, you must first earn your $300 annual travel credit to be eligible. Once you do, you will immediately begin to earn 3x points on travel. Because travel isn’t as available as we begin to open up, Chase has added gas and grocery purchases as qualifying purchases that also count towards the annual travel credit, through December 31, 2021.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve outearns almost every other travel rewards card and co-brand airline credit card that only earn 2 points on travel purchases.

Plus, cardholders earn 10x points on Lyft rides, including bikes and scooters. Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership is also available when activated by March 21, 2022.

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 air travel credit only covers checked baggage fees and in-flight purchases.

Plus, Chase is helping cardholders maximize this credit when they are not able to travel. To ensure cardmembers can take full advantage, gas and grocery have been added as qualifying purchases, through December 31, 2021.

Sign-Up Bonus: $900 in Award Travel

The current Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus offer is the ability to earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth $900 in award travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You must spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership to earn this bonus.

Bonus Rewards For 2021

Chase has announced a few bonus categories for 2021 to help cardholders who are unable to travel as frequently.

Peloton

Cardholders can earn up to $120 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021. Cardholders don’t need a Peloton bike or treadmill to take advantage of the digital membership that includes 1,000s of on-demand or live fitness classes. Also to note, new Peloton Digital Members are entitled to a 30-day free trial, by visiting Onepeloton.com/ChaseSapphire and enrolling using your Sapphire Reserve card.

DoorDash

This is in addition to the complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash that lets cardholders get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees. They also earn up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases ($60 in statement credits through 2020 and another $60 in statement credits through 2021).

Chase Pay Yourself Back and Chase Dining

Points are worth 50% more through Sept. 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.

Points are also worth 50% more when redeemed through the new Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through Sept. 30, 2021.

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:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air Canada Aeroplan (expected in late 2021)
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
  • Emirates
  • 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 1,000+ 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 $399 per person. This benefit alone almost pays the $550 annual fee itself.

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 this trip. But it’s not as great as the Centurion lounge access you get to 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:

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
  • Use the Lyft and DoorDash perks
  • No foreign transaction fee

Sapphire Reserve Disadvantages

The Sapphire Reserve isn’t for everybody. You’ll want to consider a different card when:

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 decide the Chase Sapphire Reserve® 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. You will also earn 2x points for all travel and dining purchases.

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:

  • Earn 5x Membership Rewards on flights booked directly from the airline or AmexTravel.com, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year
  • Earn unlimited 5x points on hotels booked on American Express Travel
  • 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)
  • Up to $200 in Uber credits (terms apply, enrollment required)
  • Free 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 with American Express Travel when paying with their Platinum Card®.

If you ride Uber or use Uber Eats, this credit will make you happy. Cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.

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.

New The Platinum Card from American Express Benefits

There’s also a new digital entertainment credit. Cardholders can get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® 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 $179 back per year on their CLEAR® membership. Terms apply.

Another exciting new benefit is the ability for cardholders to enjoy up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. This amounts to up to $300 annually. Enrollment required.

Terms apply. Enrollment may be required.

Welcome Bonus

New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. New cardholders also earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms apply. 

The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees) but can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Summary

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® 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®

Related Articles:

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

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1 Comment On "Chase Sapphire Reserve Review (60k Bonus, $300 Credit, and More)"
  1. Maria|

    Sorry guys this card is horrible and didnt meet my simplest need. They did not hold their part of the deal! After calling to let them know I’ll be out of the country and to allow access to my card, still the card was blocked overseas. I was forced to use another card and pay foreign transaction fees, which is the only reason I got this card is so that I don’t have to pay foreign fees. When I called, it took 30 minutes to get no where. They said that next time I leave the country there’s no guarantees the card will work again…So my response to that was waive the annual fee and I will close my account right now since I’ve only use the card for one month and I will pay the rest in full. No one cared and no one wanted to work towards a sensible solution or fix their mistake or make the customer happy. Mind you, this card had a $450 annual fee. A huge mistake and I will not be using this card anymore.

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