Chase Sapphire Reserve®
While there are many travel credit cards on the market today, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is easily one of the most popular with consumers. This card’s annual fee is on the higher side, yet the perks and benefits more than make up for it — especially in the first year.
The initial signup bonus is worth $750 in travel, after all, and you can earn generous rewards on each dollar you spend. Stand-out perks include a $300 credit that can be used for travel (or even gas and grocery purchases through the remainder of 2020) as well as a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership that is worth $429.
If you’re in the market for a travel credit card and considering the Sapphire Reserve, now is the perfect time to sign up. Keep reading to learn the specifics of this card, who it’s good for and how you can use it to earn generous rewards on each dollar you spend.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® highlights
- Earn 50,000 points worth $750 in travel when you spend $4,000 on your card within three months of account opening
- Earn 3X points on travel and dining worldwide (after earning your $300 travel credit) and 1X points on other purchases; also earn 10X total points on Lyft purchases through March 2022
- Through June 30, 2020, earn 5X points on up to $1,500 on grocery store purchases per month
- $550 annual fee for new customers
- Major cardholder benefits include a $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, $60 in credits for DoorDash in 2020 and 2021, a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® and a Lyft Pink membership with 15 percent off rides
Who is the Chase Sapphire Reserve® best for?
The Sapphire Reserve works best for consumers who travel fairly often and want to enjoy a more comfortable travel experience. However, this card is also ideal for anyone who wants to earn flexible rewards points that can be redeemed in more than one way.
The points you earn with this card fall under the Chase Ultimate Rewards program umbrella, so you can redeem them for gift cards, statement credits, merchandise and even 1:1 transfers to airline and hotel partners. You can also redeem points for travel and get 50 percent more value when you book travel directly with Chase using points.
Note, however, the Sapphire Reserve is geared toward consumers with very good or excellent credit. This typically means any FICO score of 740 or higher, according to myFICO.
Important card details of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Before you sign up for this lucrative travel credit card offer, it helps to know all the pros and cons you might face as a cardholder. Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of this card you should know about.
The fact this card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points makes it incredibly versatile regardless of how you want to cash in your points, and you can benefit from the best travel perks and insurance products offered by credit cards on the market today.
The only major downside is the initial financial commitment you’ll have to make to own this card, which puts it in the same category as The Platinum Card® from American Express. Paying a $550 annual fee for a credit card can seem overwhelming, so make sure to consider whether you’ll end up using the card to its full potential.
Since the initial bonus of 50,000 points is worth $500 in gift cards or statement credits or $750 in travel, the annual fee may be easiest to justify the first year you have the card.
Recent changes to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Many rewards credit cards experience revisions over the years, and the Sapphire Reserve is no exception. Here are the main changes to this card that have come about over the last 12 months, including some supplemental benefits as a result of COVID-19:
- New DoorDash benefits: In January of 2020, the Sapphire Reserve began offering a $60 DoorDash credit for 2020 and another $60 credit for 2021. It also added a DashPass membership, which includes free delivery for DoorDash purchases over $12.
- New Lyft benefits: As of January 2020, you receive a Lyft Pink membership, which gives you 15 percent off rides through Lyft. You also earn up to 10X points per dollar on Lyft rides charged to your credit card through March 2022.
- More points on groceries: Through the end of June 2020, cardholders receive 5X points on up to $1,500 in monthly grocery store purchases.
- More flexibility with the $300 annual travel credit: While the $300 annual travel credit on this card was originally only usable for travel purchases, Chase recently updated the terms to extend through the remainder of the year. Starting on June 1, 2020, grocery store and gas purchases also qualify for the $300 annual credit.
- Pay Yourself Back feature: According to Chase, this feature lets cardmembers redeem points for a statement credit “for all or a portion of purchases across specific categories — starting with grocery, dining (including takeout and delivery services) and home improvement.” Points are worth 50 percent more when redeemed for eligible purchases through September 30, 2020.
- Lower annual fee for existing cardmembers: If you’ve had this card already, you won’t pay the full $550 for card renewal this year. Chase recently announced that cardmembers with annual fees set to renew on April 1, 2020, through July 31, 2020, would enjoy a one-time, automatic $100 credit toward the new annual fee and those whose renewal date is August 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020, will only pay $450 for the year automatically.
Why pair the Chase Sapphire Reserve with another Chase card?
One popular strategy Sapphire Reserve cardholders are known for is pairing the card with another card from Chase. Typically, the Sapphire Reserve is paired with the Chase Freedom®* or Chase Freedom Unlimited®, both of which do not charge an annual fee.
The goal of pairing cards is simple: doing so helps to maximize the earning categories from each. From there, Chase lets you pool all your points into a single account for optimal redemptions.
For example, you could use the Sapphire Reserve for travel and dining purchases and for Lyft rides. Through the end of June 2020, you could also use this card to earn 5X points on up to $1,500 in grocery store purchases for the month.
Since the Sapphire Reserve only offers 1X points on regular purchases, you could use the Chase Freedom Unlimited® to earn at least 1.5X points on any purchases that fall outside of the Sapphire Reserve’s rewards structure.
Some consumers even add the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card* into the mix to create what is known as the Chase trifecta. This allows cardholders to use the strategy above while also earning a huge welcome bonus and 3X points on up to $150,000 in combined select business and travel purchases each year.
Credit score required for approval
The Sapphire Reserve requires very good or excellent credit for approval. If your credit isn’t in perfect shape, you should check out credit cards for good credit or credit cards for fair credit instead.
*The information about the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.