Offering a serious welcome bonus when it first launched in 2016, the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ card captured wallets — if not hearts — in droves.
Chase has since dialed back its bonus from 100k points to 50k points, but the Reserve℠ still offers significant benefits for frequent travelers, and maybe a good fit if you’re looking for a premium travel card — and know that you’ll use it enough to make up the significant annual fee.
- 3X points on travel and restaurant purchases
- Up to $300 in travel credit, automatically credited to your account each year
- A 50,000 point welcome bonus when you spend at least $4,000 within three months of opening your account
- Travel perks like lounge access and reimbursement for programs such as Global Entry
At a glance
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠
on Chase's website
- Earn 50K 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®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
- 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no 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✓®
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
1 Point Per Dollar
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card deep dive
The biggest drawback to the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ is definitely its high annual fee, but some will make it well worth they’re while with the combined benefits they’ll reap from the card.
Read on for more pros and cons of the card to help you decide whether it’s right for you.
Get it: If you’re a big traveler and restaurant diner looking for extra travel benefits and bonus points for your travel spending
With a hefty welcome bonus, annual travel credits, and 3X points on travel and restaurant purchases, many will easily recoup the Sapphire Reserve℠ card’s annual fee.
In addition, cardholders enjoy a slew of premium travel benefits with the card, making it a solid option if you’re looking for extra travel perks.
Some of the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ card include:
- 50,000-point welcome bonus: Receive 50,000 bonus points (equivalent to $750 toward travel) when you spend at least $4,000 on your new Reserve℠ card within three months of account opening. This bonus makes your first year a no-brainer, as the value of your bonus points exceed the yearly fee, but keep in mind that this is a one-time bonus
- $300 automatic annual travel credit: Receive statement credits for your first $300 in travel expenses per year, including on purchases such as hotels, flights, and rental cars. Which purchases fall into the ‘travel’ category are up to the merchant billing for the purchase, but most will be automatically categorized as such. Items such as traveler’s checks, foreign currency, and wire transfers do not count for travel credit
- 3X points on travel and dining: Receive 3 points per dollar spent on travel and at restaurants. Each point is worth $0.01 when redeemed for cash or gift cards, and $0.015 when redeemed for travel, as travel redemptions earns an additional 50%
- Skip the lines: Receive up to $100 as reimbursement for your application to Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® every four years
- Travel in style: Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select to enjoy access to more than 1,000 airport lounges around the world
- No foreign transaction fees: Travel worry-free, as the Reserve℠ card won’t charge any fees for foreign transactions
Skip it: If you’re not willing to pay a high annual fee and don’t travel often
At the end of the day, the Sapphire Reserve℠ is one of the best travel cards, so most of its benefits are best enjoyed by frequent travelers.
But even frequent travelers may not be willing to cough up hundreds of dollars for an annual fee, as there are certainly other great travel cards that charge less (or no!) fee.
Consider these drawbacks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ card:
- $450 annual fee: The Reserve℠ card charges an annual fee of $450, plus $75 for each authorized user, so you’ll definitely want to make sure your spending and travel habits will allow you to take advantage of all of its perks. Unlike some cards, the fee isn’t waived in the first year, so you’ll have to start paying for the card right away
- Spending requirement for signing bonus: Keep in mind that the great welcome bonus for the Reserve℠ is only given to those who spend at least $4,000 within three months. While this is likely more than manageable for those who are considering the Reserve℠ card, it may be worth aligning your new card application with a time you know you’ll have some large purchases to ensure you meet the minimum
- Minimal luxury perks: While the Reserve℠ card does come with some great travel benefits, like reimbursement for Global Entry and access to certain airport lounges, it won’t give you access to perks such as free upgrades or status points on flights or at hotels. If you’re looking for that kind of treatment, you may be better off with a branded card from an airline or hotel group
>> Check out: What are the best 0% interest credit cards?
When it comes to cards for frequent travelers, the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ is a popular option—particularly given its nice welcome bonus and ongoing rewards for travel-related purchases. But it’s certainly not the card for every traveler, as a hefty annual fee makes it suitable only for those who travel and dine out enough to make the fee worth it.