It’s natural to want to get in on the fun when everyone’s raving about a wonderful new credit card. However, a few individuals have been asking the question, “Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve card worth it?” Continue reading the article to find out more.
Interestingly, Few cards have gained more attention in recent years than the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, a premium travel rewards card with tremendous points earning potential and other valuable perks.
The card does, however, have a $550 yearly fee. For some consumers, the advantages more than justify the costs. Others find that the numbers don’t add up. Here’s how to determine whether the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the appropriate credit card for you.
This card is a no-brainer, in our opinion, if you want to advance your premium points.
Chase’s Ultimate Rewards makes it simple to redeem points with a variety of 10 airlines, three hotel transfer partners, and a user-friendly interface.
Chase constantly adds new benefits to the card to keep it competitive in the cutthroat premium rewards market, despite the high annual fee.
About the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Even with its $550 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a terrific deal for frequent travelers.
It is one of the best premium travel cards available, thanks to features such as an annual $300 travel credit and extra rewards that can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to many loyalty programs.
However, in order to earn the highest points rate, you must make purchases through the Chase Ultimate Points® portal, which can be restrictive.
While the card provides outstanding overall value for people who spend a lot of money on travel and eating, if you can’t take advantage of its more niche advantages, another travel card may be a better fit.
Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Worth it?
If you’re a frequent traveler who values flexibility and will make use of all of the card’s features, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is well worth carrying.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve®, one of our recommendations for the best Chase credit cards of 2023, provides enough value to offset the high annual fee.
The significant Chase Sapphire Reserve® benefits begin straight away with a competitive sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases during the first three months of account setup.
When you redeem with Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you’ll receive $900 toward travel.
This incentive more than covers the yearly cost, making the card particularly attractive in the first year.
Cardholders also receive a $300 flexible travel credit each year, which offsets more than half of the $550 annual charge. When you consider the airport lounge access, which has a retail value of $469, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is well worth it for regular travelers.
However, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card has some limitations, the most significant of which is the annual cost of $550, plus $75 for each approved user.
The card is only useful for frequent travelers, and you must have outstanding credit to qualify.
Who is this Card Good for?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is ideal for frequent travelers looking for a credit card with premium features. First and foremost, Ultimate Rewards is one of the most valuable point currencies available.
They are quite simple to redeem, with a large number of airline and hotel transfer partners. Because of Chase’s 5/24 restriction, you should apply for Chase cards first before applying for cards from other issuers.
The Sapphire Reserve’s annual charge of $550 is a legitimate issue, but the $300 yearly travel credit reduces your true out-of-pocket expenditure to $250 per year.
That’s before you consider additional benefits like a Global Entry charge credit and Priority Pass lounge access.
This annual credit, like the bonus categories, is automatically applied to a wide range of travel expenditures in the United States and abroad.
Some applicants may be better served by applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. For example, the Sapphire Reserve’s 3x bonus on eating and traveling internationally may be more appealing to you.
Similarly, when redeemed through Ultimate Rewards Travel, points earned with the Sapphire Reserve are worth 1.5 cents apiece. Meanwhile, Sapphire Preferred points are only worth 1.25 cents each.
Examine your spending habits and don’t make a decision based just on the annual fees.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Benefits
There are several benefits that can be attained by using the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and they include:
Generous Sign-Up Bonus
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve® sign-up bonus, you may start reaping benefits right away.
Earn 60,000 extra points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months after creating your account.
When you redeem with Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you’ll receive $900 toward travel. You can redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® platform for 1.5 cents per point, which is a 50% increase over the standard value of 1 cent per point.
And, if you book an overseas business or first-class journey with the proper airline, you may be able to get even more value out of your sign-up bonus by transferring your points to a Chase travel partner.
Depending on the partner and the route you take, you may be able to use your incentive to pay for a flight that would otherwise cost you thousands of dollars.
However, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® sign-up bonus falls short of some offers on similar cards, such as the American Express Platinum Card® and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
High Earning Rate on Travel and Dining
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card’s high earning rate makes it especially attractive for customers who travel and dine frequently.
After receiving the $300 yearly travel credit, you earn 10x points on Chase Dining purchases as well as hotels and auto rentals booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 5x points on flights booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x points on dining, and 3x points on other travel.
The dining incentive covers qualified delivery and takeout services.
However, make sure to read the fine print: Food and beverage sellers in sports stadiums, hotels, casinos, and other venues are not eligible for the higher points rate.
When it comes to earning points, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® outperforms rival cards such as the American Express Platinum Card® and the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
The Platinum Card® from American Express, for example, gives a comparable rate on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, but no extra points on hotels, car rentals, or restaurants.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card comes with a bonus for flights and hotels, but not for eating.
$300 Flexible Travel Credit
The $300 flexible travel credit is one of the most appealing benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, covering a significant portion of the annual fee each year.
You can obtain up to $300 in statement credits per year for any card transactions that fit into the travel category. These are applied automatically until you reach the annual cap.
The credit can be used for a range of travel purchases, including:
- Airline purchases (including airfare)
- Car rental agencies
- Cruise lines
- Travel agencies or sites
- Highway tolls
However, there are certain exceptions. For example, you may not be eligible for a statement credit if you purchase certain goods and services on a cruise or aircraft, as well as tourist activities, excursions, or RV or boat rentals.
But that shouldn’t deter frequent flyers from swiftly earning this credit.
In reality, the credit is far more adaptable than other rival cards. For example, American Express’s Platinum Card® offers a $200 hotel credit on select prepaid bookings booked through American Express Travel.
It also provides up to a $200 airline credit, but only for “incidental fees” levied by airlines.
Valuable, Flexible Points
Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are earned with the card and are incredibly versatile and valuable.
When redeemed for cash back, the points are worth one cent per point, but you can optimize their value by redeeming them for vacation.
Cardholders can redeem for a 50% bonus through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel platform, increasing the value to 1.5 cents per point.
You can also get more bang for your buck by transferring your UR points to a Chase travel partner and redeeming them for an overseas first- or business-class airline ticket.
Chase Ultimate Rewards® points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, which means that one Chase UR point is equivalent to one travel partner point.
Chase travel partners include more than 10 airline and hotel loyalty programs:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue: Air France KLM
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- World of Hyatt
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy®
Priority Pass Lounge Access
One of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®’s most sought-after advantages is Priority Pass airport lounge access, which provides a quiet spot to relax and refuel on your flights.
This is a noteworthy benefit because Priority Pass membership with unlimited free lounge visits ordinarily costs $469 per year, plus a $35 fee for each guest.
You will have free access to over 1,300 VIP airport lounges in over 500 cities, as well as complimentary dining credits at over 30 airport restaurants and bars.
A cardholder may also bring up to two guests into lounges for free, with additional visitors charged at $27 apiece.
Priority Pass lounges provide comfy seating, free Wi-Fi, charging stations, and a selection of complimentary food and beverages. Most lounges provide free alcohol, so you can drink a wine, beer, or cocktail if you choose.
You must first activate your membership through the Chase portal in order to receive the Priority PassTM Select advantage.
You’ll then be given a membership card that will allow you to utilize the lounges on your future trips.
Top-Notch Travel Insurance
One of the nicest features of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is a comprehensive travel insurance package that covers anything from becoming sick right before a big vacation to being stuck at an airport during a snowstorm.
In comparison to other similar cards, the coverage and dollar quantities stack up nicely.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card provides the following travel benefits:
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance provides up to $10,000 per person or $20,000 per trip for booked, non-refundable travel expenses such as passenger fares and lodging when a journey is canceled or cut short due to covered circumstances such as extreme weather or illness.
- Trip delay reimbursement: Up to $500 per ticket for expenses such as meals and housing for trips that are delayed for six hours or more and need an overnight stay.
- Reimbursement for lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per person for checked or carry-on luggage lost or damaged by the carrier.
- Up to $100,000 for medical services and transportation if you or a family member becomes ill or wounded away from home and requires emergency evacuation.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver: Up to $75,000 in coverage for collision damage or theft of a rental car in the United States or overseas when you pay the entire rental cost with your card and decline the rental company’s collision insurance.
This travel insurance is more comprehensive than competitor cards’ coverage.
The Platinum Card® from American Express, for example, provides comparable travel cancellation, interruption, and delay insurance in the same monetary amounts, but lacks lost luggage and emergency evacuation coverage.
You must use your Chase Sapphire Reserve® card to receive these advantages.
Aside from travel perks, the card also includes shopping protections such as purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty coverage.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card may be a good option for regular travelers who appreciate flexible perks, comprehensive travel insurance coverage, and high-earning bonuses on both travel and dining.
Its flexible travel credit can easily cover a big chunk of the annual charge, plus you’ll gain Priority Pass lounge access and excellent travel insurance.
However, some frequent luxury travelers may find that The Platinum Card® from American Express provides a better cash value and better lounge access.
Those looking for premium travel privileges at a lower cost can choose the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, which offers many of the same benefits for a little lower annual fee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it hard to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve card?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is difficult to obtain because it requires exceptional credit to be approved.
What is the highest credit limit for Chase Sapphire Reserve?
While there is no public credit limit for this premium travel rewards card, it is realistic to assume it, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, to have a top limit of $100,000 or more.
What is higher than the Chase Sapphire Reserve?
The American Express Platinum Card® has a few more bells and whistles that help justify the annual cost.
How much money do you need for Chase Sapphire?
Before applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, we recommend that your yearly income be at least $30,000 or more.