Who Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Good For?
The latest offering in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards lineup is the Sapphire Reserve card. This card is widely rumored to have an official release date of August 21st and the features have been confirmed by screenshots around the blogosphere. This card is Chase’s first public UR-earning entry into the super-premium segment, designed to compete with the Platinum card from American Express and the Citi Prestige card and be more exclusive than Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card that already established itself as great travel card.
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The brand new card will come with an impressive list of benefits and is targeted toward travelers looking for a premium experience. This card will be especially useful to you if you pay for a lot of travel, due to the 3 per points per dollar earned on travel and dining expenses. It will also allow for more comfortable and convenient travel experiences due to a lounge access benefit and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.
The 100,000-point sign-up bonus is one of the most valuable sign-up bonuses we’ve ever seen due to the number of points and the high value of Ultimate Rewards. This bonus is worth a bare minimum of $1,500 since the Sapphire Reserve card will allow cardholders to redeems Ultimate Rewards for 1.5 cents each when travel is booked through Chase. However, for those that can make shrewd use of transfer partner award charts, the sign-up bonus could easily be worth $2,000-$3,000 or more.
The $450 annual fee on this card might scare some, however the card also comes with a $300 annual travel credit. If this feature is as easy to use as Chase leads us to believe, cardholders can effectively reduce the annual fee to a more manageable $150.
Chase allows cardholders to combine Ultimate Rewards from all credit card accounts, which means anyone with a Sapphire Reserve card can ensure a minimum value of 1.5 cents per point for all their points earned with other Ultimate Rewards-earnings cards. For example, combining the Chase Freedom Unlimited card’s 1.5 points per dollar on all spend with the Sapphire Reserve’s 1.5 cents per point redemption value would result in a return of 2.25% on all Freedom Unlimited spend.
Many readers have probably heard of Chase’s so-called 5/24 rule, which is a guideline that makes it difficult to get approved for a Chase card if you have opened 5 or more credit card accounts within the last 24 months. However, if you cannot get approved for this card, the strong ongoing benefits make it potentially worth product-changing to from an existing Chase card even though you would not earn the sign-up bonus.
The official sign-up bonus for the Sapphire Reserve card is 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points. To get the bonus, you need to spend $4,000 within the first three months of being approved for the card.
• 3 points per dollar spent dining and travel, 1 point per dollar on all other spend
What Do Your Points Get You?
The Sapphire Reserve card will allow cardholders to transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to Chase’s network of transfer partners. This option is the way to unlock maximum value for your points, especially with some of the better partners. With a bit of searching and knowledge of partner award charts, it is common to achieve redemption values of 3-4 cents per point. The Ultimate Rewards program allows for access to all three major airline alliances (Star Alliance, oneworld, and SkyTeam). In addition, Hyatt is a transfer partner and its points are widely regarded as one of the top two most valuable hotel currencies (behind SPG StarPoints).
• Earn 3 points per dollar on travel and dining
• $300 annual travel credit. This benefit it will be applied automatically to your account instead of having to call in to customer support after making an eligible purchase.
• Points will be worth 1.5 cents when redeeming for travel though Chase.
• 1:1 points transfers to Chase’s network of travel partners.
• $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
• Access to over 900 airport lounges (this will be a Priority Pass Select membership)
• Visa Infinite
• No foreign transaction fees
• $450 annual fee
• Lounge access will likely not include complimentary guest privileges (can easily be overcome with some credit card combos)
How Far Do Your Points Go?
United (via Star Alliance partners), Singapore and Korean all allow for aspirational international premium-cabin awards. British Airways redemptions can be good value for short-haul flights. Southwest is a decent option for domestic travel, especially for those who value flexibility. Cardholders should make sure they are getting at least 1.5 cents per point on any award, or else they would be better off booking through Chase’a portal given the Sapphire Reserve’s 1.5 cents per point redemption value.
Additional Cardholder Benefits:
• Zero Liability
• Purchase Protection
• Price Protection
• Auto rental and collision damage waiver
• Visa Infinite Benefits