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Chase Sapphire Reserve® review: Best luxury credit card winner

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What Chase says about this card

Apply online for Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®

By Jennifer Doss Site Editor  Updated Nov 5, 2019

CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE® BONUS

What if we told you that there’s a credit card out there that is offering the rewards equivalent of $750 in travel dollars as an introductory offer?

Well, start dreaming about your next vacation. With Chase Sapphire Reserve® that introductory offer isn’t a dream; in fact, it's just one of several reasons why this card is a 2019 Editor's Choice Best Credit Card winner in the best luxury credit card category. And, this card was named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" in 2018 by MONEY® Magazine. New cardholders earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on their card in the first three months; those points, when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, are worth $750.

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • The introductory offer of 50,000 points is worth $750 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Cardholders can receive a reimbursement of up to $300 in statement credit each account anniversary to cover a variety of travel expenses including airfare and hotel charges. They also enjoy free airport lounge access at more than 1,000 lounges worldwide.
  • Our 2019 Editor's Choice winner in the Best Luxury Credit Card category.
  • The annual fee is quite high at $450 ($75 for each additional authorized user). If you want similar rewards opportunities and some travel perks, you might consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which has a much lower annual fee.

CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE® BENEFITS

Chase Sapphire Reserve® rewards are plentiful, including generous points earned on everyday purchases, excellent point redemption opportunities and a $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to the card each account anniversary year.

Cardholders can look forward to three points earned on travel immediately after earning the $300 travel credit, three points at restaurants worldwide, and one point per dollar for all other purchases.

Points are only as good as their redemption options and luckily those options are numerous with this card. Points earned can be redeemed for travel through the Chase travel portal for a 50% bonus making every point worth 1.5 cents, transferred to a leading airline or hotel loyalty program at a 1:1 rate, redeemed for a wide selection of gift cards, or redeemed for statement credits for purchases. With a variety of high value options, the Sapphire Reserve® card offers excellent flexibility when it comes to making most out your rewards.

Annual statement credits for travel purchases aren’t unheard of in the luxury travel card market, but having those credits extend beyond just airline fees is unique. Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers cardholders up to $300 in automatic statement credit each year to cover everything from airline tickets to hotel stays. Additionally, card members can sign up for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® and receive up to $100 for the application fee when using the Sapphire Reserve® card.

CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE® TRAVEL BENEFITS

As one of the best travel rewards credit cards on the market today, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers world class perks including travel insurance, car rental insurance and lounge access.

CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE® TRAVEL INSURANCE

No one wants to be caught off guard while they are traveling. Should things go wrong, it is good to have travel insurance in place to make sure that you are protected from unforeseen events. The travel insurance coverage provided by the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is extensive and it comes automatically with owning the card. The Sapphire Reserve® card’s travel insurance coverages can provide peace of mind and incredible value in the event that your trip doesn’t go according to plan. Some of these top benefits include:

  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses.
  • Trip delay reimbursement up to $500 per ticket if you're delayed more than six hours or require an overnight stay.
  • Emergency evacuation and transportation coverage up to $100,000.
  • Emergency medical and dental reimbursement up to $2,500 for medical expenses if you or your immediate family member becomes sick or injured more than 100 miles away from your home.
  • Baggage delay insurance up to $100 a day for five days for baggage delays over six hours.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement up to $3,000 per passenger.

CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE® CAR RENTAL INSURANCE

One of the specific insurance coverages provided by the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is car rental insurance coverage. The auto rental collision damage coverage included with the Sapphire Reserve® provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage for rental cars in the U.S. and abroad when booked using the Sapphire Reserve®. This is one of the highest and most extensive coverages offered in the industry and it comes included with the card.

CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE® PRIORITY PASS™

Another excellent benefit of the card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve® lounge access. Cardholders receive complimentary access to more than 1,000 VIP airport lounges in over 500 cities worldwide after a one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select.

CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE® FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE

Not only does the Chase Sapphire Reserve® reward you for travel and dining purchases worldwide, but it doesn't charge you any foreign transaction fees while doing so. Think about it this way: If you take an international trip and spend $4,000 with your Sapphire Reserve® card, you'll save yourself $120 in fees. That's $120 that you could spend on another meal out (and earn yourself a few more rewards points), for one last tour or exursion, on souvenirs, etc. This card is really designed with the traveler in mind— including the international travel.

Top Features

Rewards Bonus Rewards Annual Fee
3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees. Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® $450

CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE® CREDIT SCORE

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® requires good to excellent credit to get approval but other factors are certainly considered in the application process including payment history of revolving credit, your total open cards, and the average age of accounts open. If you have limited credit history or are currently building your credit, it may be difficult to get approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card.

CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE® ANNUAL FEE

With a sizable $450 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card isn’t for everyone. If you are someone who does not frequently travel or eat out often, it may be a lot harder to justify the cost of having this card in your wallet. However, for those that can take full advantage of the $300 annual travel credit, the statement credit offered for TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® lounge access provided through Priority Pass™, the Sapphire Reserve® card provides a tremendous amount of value for the cost.

HOW CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE® COMPARES TO OTHER CREDIT CARDS

Chase Sapphire Reserve® vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred®

With a lower annual fee, excellent Chase Ultimate Rewards® earning potential, and varied redemption options, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great alternative to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card. The Sapphire Preferred® card is currently offering 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Because the Sapphire Preferred® card allows you to redeem points for 1.25 cents per point through the Chase Travel portal, this bonus is worth $750 when redeemed for travel. The 50,000 point bonus offered by the Sapphire Reserve® card is also worth $750 when redeemed through the travel portal, as the points are valued at 1.5 cents.

Because of the ability to earn at a rate of two points on travel and dining at restaurants and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® definitely justifies the $95 annual fee especially when compared to the $450 charged by the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card. The Sapphire Preferred® card doesn’t have the $300 annual travel credit though, or the $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. To learn more about how these cards line up side-by-side, see our full Chase Sapphire Reserve® vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® comparison.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® vs. Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express is another strong contender in the luxury credit card market. It comes with a higher annual fee of $550 vs. the $450 fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser

The Amex Platinum Card® earns five points for flights booked directly with airlines or through the Amex travel portal as well as five points for hotels bookings made through the portal. You earn one point per $1 spent, however, on all other purchases with The Platinum Card® from American Express, so its reward-earning opportunities are perhaps lower than with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card. Otherwise, its perks are similar and include airport lounge access, airline fee reimbursement up to $200 in statement credit annually for fees charged by a pre-selected airline, and Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® fee reimbursement. The biggest difference here is that The Platinum Card® is a charge card, not a credit card, which means you'll need to pay off your balance in full each billing cycle as opposed to having the option to carry a balance.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® vs. Capital One Venture®

With straightforward travel rewards earned on every purchase and a lower annual fee, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is an excellent alternative to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card. The Venture® card earns two miles per $1 spent on every purchase. The earnings rate is not limited to travel purchases; you earn two miles regardless of what you are using the card for. And Capital One is running a promotion through January 2020 where you can earn 10 miles per $1 spent on thousands of hotels when purchased through Hotels.com/Venture. Compared to the tiered rewards earned by the Sapphire Reserve® card, the Venture® card’s flat earnings rate gets the edge in simplicity.

The Venture®’s $95 annual fee ($0 the first year) is also attractive in comparison to the $450 annual fee of the Sapphire Reserve® card. However, the Sapphire Reserve® card has many premium travel features including a $300 annual travel credit and lounge access that the Venture® card does not have.

IS CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE® WORTH IT?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is raising the bar in the luxury credit card world with its stellar introductory offer and top-of-the-line rewards-earning and redemption possibilities. If you are a frequent traveler and can take advantage of the numerous travel perks, rewards earning potential, and travel credits offered by the card then the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is absolutely worth it.

That being said, with a $450 annual fee as well as additional fees for adding on authorized users, the Sapphire Reserve® card is not for everyone. If you are more of a casual traveler or want a simpler cash back earning card, the Sapphire Reserve® may not be the best fit for you.

To see the rates and fee for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please visit the following link: See Rates and Fees

Chase Sapphire Reserve® compared to other travel rewards cards

Card Name
Rewards
Bonus Rewards
Annual Fee
Ratings/Apply
3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
$450
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
$95
2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
50,000 Miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours. Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Receive up to $100 in statement credits towards any eligible purchase made directly with Away in your first 3 months. Offer ends 1/15/2020.
$150
Apply Now
Terms and Limitations Apply
2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases. 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
50,000 bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
$95

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