Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Review

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Get rewarded with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is a top-tier travel card option with an attention-getting sign-up bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Like most great travel rewards credit cards, this one has an annual fee. However, the sign-up bonus alone more than offsets that cost.

For card users who qualify for the bonus and redeem their points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card also comes with excellent perks like a $300 annual travel credit in the form of a statement credit to reimburse cardholders for past travel purchases.

What to expect from the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

  • APR: 18.74%–25.74% variable APR on purchases and 18.74%–25.74% variable APR on balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: $450 + $75 for each additional user.
  • Reward Rates:  Three points per dollar spent on dining (which includes certain bars and food delivery) and one point per dollar spent on everything else. After qualifying for the $300 annual travel credit, you’ll also get three points per dollar spent on travel.
  • Intro Offer: Spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of opening the account for 50,000 bonus points.

Even better

  • Enjoy 50% bonus on points redemption when you use points to book travel through Chase, making your rewards go even further. Plus, points are worth even more if you transfer them to Chase’s airline or hotel loyalty partners.
  • Travel credits: Automatic $300 travel credit on account anniversary each year, which helps you get back part of your annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees, making this an excellent card for international travel.
  • Travel delay insurance reimburses you up to $500 per person for costs incurred as a result of the delay for every airline ticket purchased with the card.
  • Free access to the Priority Pass network of airport lounges for you and two guests, which should make your next layover a lot more comfortable.
  • Free TSA PreCheck and Global Entry — a value worth up to $100 in application fees.
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards points offer a lot of flexibility for redemption, including the ability to pay for your entire purchase including fees and taxes or pay for only part of the cost of travel and use the card to cover the remainder.
  • Expedia is now a travel partner with the Chase travel site, so you can easily use your points plus your bonus to book a rental car, flight or hotel through this user-friendly portal. You can choose to pay for travel costs with Expedia with your points, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card has the highest travel redemption bonus among all Chase credit cards.

But keep your eyes open for pitfalls

To qualify for the introductory bonus point offer, you’ll have to spend an average of $1,332 a month with the card. Since this bonus is one of the best things about the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you need to make sure you are willing to spend that much during the introductory period. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a great card for people who routinely pay off their balances every month. The variable APR on purchases is 18.74% to 25.74%, which is on the high side compared to other cards. There isn’t an introductory APR offer, either. 

You’ll need an excellent credit rating to qualify for the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. If you have doubts, you may want to hold off on applying until you improve your credit situation. Applying for a Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card involves authorizing Chase to conduct a hard pull of your credit, which may result in the loss of a few points from your FICO credit score. 

How to maximize your Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card rewards

It’s crucial to qualify for the bonus reward of 50,000 points to maximize the rewards available with the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. If you spend your first $4,000 with the card in the dining and restaurant category, you’ll also receive 12,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Spending outside the dining category will earn you one point per dollar spent with the card, or 4,000 points. 

Each point is worth one cent, but there’s a 50% bonus if you use Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card to purchase travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Before booking travel, check to see how much the same hotel stay, car rental or flight would cost if you transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to the travel partner. Chase currently has 13 travel partners, including IHG Rewards Club, British Airways Executive Club, JetBlue TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and United MileagePlus. 

Using your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to maximize their value means you could upgrade your entire travel experience by using points to get cheap or free flight upgrades, stay in the most opulent hotels in the world and dine in the best restaurants. 

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a great primary option for frequent travelers. Its straightforward and lucrative rewards program is ideal, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure. If you qualify for the 50,000-point Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus offer as a new cardholder, the first year of owning this card is especially lucrative. Even in subsequent years, the annual fee is easily offset by the $300 annual travel credit and travel rewards. 

As a stand-alone card, this is an excellent option for travelers. Paired with another card earning Chase Ultimate Rewards, it’s even more powerful.