More awesome news about the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Last week I detailed rumors of a new Chase card to be named Chase Sapphire Reserve, and I made a number of predictions about the card.  At the time we didn’t have hard proof that the card really existed, but proof and details have since emerged.  My own banker confirmed the existence of the card, and Doctor of Credit published actual screenshots of Chase’s internal communication about the card to their bankers.Chase Sapphire Reserve New

Here’s what we now know for certain based on screenshots:

  • 100K Ultimate Rewards Signup Bonus after $4K spend in 3 months
  • 3X Travel & Dining
  • Point Value: Use points for travel at 1.5 cents per point value.
  • $300 in annual travel credits automatically applied to account for travel purchases charged to card
  • Airport Lounge Access (Appears to be Priority Pass Select, but no confirmation yet)
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre Fee Credit
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Points transferable 1 to 1 to selected airline and hotel programs

Here is additional information from Doctor of Credit’s source:

  • Release date: August 21
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Authorized User Fee: $75
  • Visa Infinite

The awesome stuff that we didn’t know before

The Sapphire Preferred and Ink Plus cards have long offered 1.25 cents per point value when points are used to purchase travel.  Now, we know that the Sapphire Reserve card will offer 1.5 cents per point value.  On the heels of learning that the Citi Prestige card next year will lose its 1.6 cents per point value towards AA flights, it’s amazing to learn that Chase’s card will offer nearly that value for all travel booked with points through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal!

The annual $300 Travel credit will be automatically applied, and it appears to be for all travel.  If I understand this right, this means that any purchases that code as travel (hotels, airfare, car rentals, cruises, etc.) will be rebated up to $300 per year.  If true, this is fantastic.  Since the card earns best in class 3X points per dollar for travel, it makes sense to always use the card for travel purchases anyway.  In my mind, this effectively reduces the effective annual fee to $150 ($450 – $300 = $150).

Predictions confirmed

In my prior post about this card, I made a number of predictions.  Two have been confirmed.  I’m particularly proud of the second one:

1) Global Entry Application Fee Rebate

It was pretty obvious that a high end travel card would have this feature, but it’s good to see it confirmed.

2) 1.5 Cents Per Point Value for Travel

I’m pretty surprised that I guessed this one right!  I wrote:

A very welcome perk would be if the Chase Sapphire Reserve were to offer 1.5 cents per point value for travel.  For Chase customers, that would further distance the card from the Sapphire Preferred (for those wondering if the card is really worth the extra cost), and it would give Prestige and Business Platinum cardholders the sense that switching would not be much of a loss.

Predictions unconfirmed

We’re still waiting to find out about a couple of my other predictions.  I figured that the new card would have these benefits:

  • Free In-Flight Gogo Wifi: 12 passes per year
  • Discount Air Benefit: Save $100 on each 2 (or more) person round trip domestic flight purchased through this website.

I still think that both of these are likely.  We’ll see soon.

Update 8/16/16: It appears that both predictions were wrong.  At this point I don’t believe that the card will offer either of the two perks listed in this section.

$300 Question Answered

In my prior post, I raised the $300 question: how easy will it be to get the $300 in travel credits each year?  I felt that this was important to answer because if it is very easy, then the $450 annual fee is effectively more like $150.  I wrote that if it was necessary to contact Chase to get the free credits each time, it would be easy to forget or to simply not want to bother.  Fortunately, the answer is that the credits will be automatically applied.

Even better, I had previously assumed that the travel credits were for airline fees only, but a reader wrote to me last week to tell me that the rebate is for all purchases that code as travel!  This appears to be confirmed by one of Doctor of Credit’s screenshots which has this text (bolding is mine): “$300 Annual Travel Credit automatically applied to your account for travel purchases charged to your card”

$1200 Question Unanswered

We still don’t know whether authorized users will earn their own $300 in travel credits.  I think it is very unlikely, but we can dream.

Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve card worth the $450 $150 fee?

If the annual $300 travel credit is really as easy to get as we now think it is, then it is reasonable to conclude that the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s effective annual fee is $150.  Obviously the card is worth getting for at least one year since the 100K signup bonus alone is worth $1,000 in cash or $1,500 in travel.  But, how about after that?

Depending upon where you live and where you regularly travel, you may find the airport lounge benefit valuable or you may find it useless.  So, for now, let’s ignore that one.  Instead, let’s concentrate on just two benefits: 3X points for travel & dining, and 1.5 cents per point travel value.

3X points for travel & dining: If we compare to the $95 Sapphire Preferred card which earns 2X for travel & dining, then we can see that this card earns 1X extra for all of these purchases.  If we assume an average of $500 per month spent on travel & dining, the Sapphire Reserve card would result in an extra 6000 points earned per year compared to the same spend on the Sapphire Preferred.  Since those 6,000 points are worth $60 in cash or $90 in travel, the $55 per year difference in annual fees between the two cards is more than justified.

1.5 cents per point travel value: The Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred get the same value for points when points are transferred 1 to 1 to airline or hotel programs.  The difference is when points are used to pay for travel through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.  In that case, the Sapphire Reserve gets an extra .25 cents per point value.  If you redeem points for $600 in travel, the Sapphire Reserve would charge 40,000 points whereas the Sapphire Preferred would charge 48,000 points.  The 8,000 point difference between the two cards is worth $80 in cash or $120 in travel.  Again, the extra $55 annual fee for the Reserve card over the Sapphire Preferred is easily justified.

Points from other Ultimate Rewards cards become more valuable:  Since Chase allows individuals to move points from one of their Chase Ultimate Rewards cards to another, simply having this card makes your existing points more valuable when used to pay for travel.

Sign me up!

I feel like a kid waiting for the candy store to open.  I expect that I’ll sign up as soon as the Chase Sapphire Reserve becomes available.  I have signed up for a number of Chase cards recently, though, so maybe my wife will sign up first.  Or, maybe we’ll both sign up.  We’ll see.

Long term there’s no reason for both of us to have the card, but I’m sure we’ll keep one of them.  The value proposition here, based upon what we know today, is really good.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »


  1. […] I’ve written before about why I think the card is worth keeping long term, but thanks to its huge signup bonus, it’s equally compelling for those who intend to cancel or downgrade in 12 months.  Those who travel frequently (including by bus, train, taxi, Uber, etc.), can make use of the card’s $300 in annual travel credits twice in their first membership year.  Since the travel credits are available each calendar year, it’s possible to get $600 in travel credits in your first 12 months of card ownership.  Combine that with using the 100,000 bonus points for travel at a value of 1.5 cents each and you can get $2,100 worth of travel in exchange for that $450 annual fee. […]


  1. I’m willing to bet that this card is one of the reasons that 5/24 was introduced. I’m sure Chase will want to see how the return on this card is before they open it to those of us who would be all over it. 🙂

    • Of course. They are not stupid, they know exactly who is a “valued customer” and who’s a liability they want to keep at arms length (hint: if you;re a reader of this blog, you fall into the latter category). OF COURSE they will apply the 4/24 filter. Duh!

  2. Ignoring the 5/24 rule for a moment do you think they will treat this card as a separate product from the Sapphire Preferred?

  3. Yup.. If this 5/24 rule holds steady, I think a lot of us will be in trouble. Including you, FM.
    Will most of you try anyway?!

  4. Hi Greg, thanks for the link. The travel credit is the same language as the Ritz-Carlton card (except it being automatically applied), so I highly doubt it’s for all travel. Likely to be airline incidentals only in my opinion.

  5. 5/24? We don’t even have a Chase bank in our state to attempt to start a private client relationship. Love your posts generally, but really wish there was a little more acknowledgement of the fact that almost all of us will likely not be able to get this card.

  6. I look at it as $2,600 for $450 since I can easily get 2 points of value from UR, and $600 in flight credits (assuming calendar year). I can’t apply due to 5/24 but my Dad can – and I have $450 and $4k of spend 🙂

  7. Will this be considered an upgrade – and you can relinquish/cancel your regular Sapphire card? This further reduces the Reserve card fee.

    • usually when you upgrade, you don’t get the sign-up bonus. So i think the main question is if you can have both.. But then you’re paying more in annual fees… I’d ask after the first year if i could then consolidate.

  8. Speculation:
    If you can get 1.5 for travel purchases can I transfer the points in my Chase Preferred card account to this new card?

  9. Sorry, another question. I’ve seen variety of answers whether biz cards are included or not in the 5/24 rule? Thanks.

  10. Greg, I’m over 5/24 but the other day while at Chase for another reason, my banker showed me the cards I was pre-approved for. One of them was the Sapphire preferred even though I have had it in the past. Do you think if the banker shows me this one that I might qualify to get it?

    • Yes, it’s possible. I’ve seen a number of reports of people who were over 5/24 who were approved for Chase cards when they received a pre-approval offer like that. On the other hand, some people have reported that the pre-approval did not work for them. So, I see it as something that helps, but is far from guaranteed.

  11. Will someone with CSP be able to ipfrade to CSR and still get the 100k UR bonus?? And if so will that require a credit check… For most of us 5/24 ia going to ruin this card for us

  12. I’m curious why no mention if the travel credit is on a calendar year. Wouldn’t that make this card a $150.00 money-maker not counting the 100k UR points?

    • Yep. It’s a money maker if it works by calendar year AND if you cancel before paying the second annual fee. We’re still waiting to hear about how that will be handled.

      To me, I believe that the card is compelling enough to want to keep it long term, but if both my wife and I get the card, we’ll cancel one of them and hopefully earn the travel credit twice with that card.

  13. Hi… I’m hearing mixed results with the 5/24 rule for private clients…… so does the 5/24 rule apply to private clients or not???? Please reply… thank you

  14. I love how you justify the fee and pretend it is not $450…it is a $450 fee card, you can justify the high fee with the benefits but don’t pretend that it is only $150….paying $300 on a travel expense that I could otherwise use points for is still unnecessarily paying $300…it doesn’t matter if I get reimbursed on the statement and pay it with the AF, it is still -$300 out of pocket. Frankly I have points to cover most any travel expense and would only consider using the credit to buy a giftcard that could be liquidated…preferably twice, if calendar year applies…that is the only way that a $450 AF is acceptable, if it can be negated……sometimes you sound like my wife with “I saved so much with the coupons, I had to buy it.” No, you actually spent money on something you probably didn’t need, coupon or no coupon.
    Either way I won’t touch this until reports on 5/24 are confirmed, more than likely we can’t get it even if we want it.

    • First off, Greg IS NOT your wife. He is a tenured professional and industry expert.
      As Greg mentioned in his post this is a MOSTLY a speculative article and the confirmed details are informative and in HIS opinion based on his sources. Why don’t you start your own blog and stop being a key-board warrior.

      • YOU sound like his wife, and your screaming reply doesn’t have anything to do with my comment. I don’t care what kind of tenured professional he is (kindergarden teacher?) and because he pimps credit cards and knows how to get sears products to stack with 3 or 4 rebates does not make him an industry expert. I said nothing about his suppositions or speculations. or even his opinion. My post was about the fuzzy math of AF justification…and I know he is into doing the math….it is one thing to say the benefits outweigh the fee, it is another to pretend the fee is only $150 instead of $450 because most people can use the travel credit….my wife comment was to illustrate how marketing with coupons or card benefits can make an overpriced product look like a bargain, to the gullible.
        ….and if you start a post with “First off,” you should really follow it with secondly or lastly…..unless your only point is you hate criticism…lol

    • For the record, I don’t expect this card to go through affiliate channels at all.

      The reason I consider the annual fee to be effectively $150 is that it appears (but we still need confirmation) that ALL travel charges will be reimbursed. This means rental cars, hotel fees, award booking fees, TSA fees, Uber, etc. I think that it’s a good bet that most people will easily have $300 in such charges per year even if they almost always book flights and hotels with miles and points.

      • I admit I may have been splitting hairs, most people can use the credit, but should be aware that $300 worth of rental car or fees are not free, instead they are paid upfront with the huge AF.
        The other features look good as reported, as they should, $450 AF puts it in a class with a just a handful of cards….expensive ones.

  15. Private Client question:
    Over 5/24 and not pvt client. Apply anyway. Get denied. Then become Pvt Client and call recon within 30 days. Will I get approved?

  16. Suppose I get the new Sapphire Reserve, and downgrade my current (plain) Sapphire to a Freedom Unlimited. Would the Freedom card count against my 5/24 limit?

  17. Thanks for the post Greg. One question – do you think the 100K sign up bonus is a promotional deal or is it something that will be offered regularly throughy the year? Thanks!

  18. So, my SO is currently at 4/24. Was originally planning on signing her up for CSP, but then saw this come along so I’ve been waiting. Any idea if she could signup for both CSR and CSP on the same day? I’m thinking that this is a bad idea, but originally was going to have her do CSP and then do Chase Hyatt. But, why not go for both CSR and then CSP?

      • Yeah, I would love to get 165K UR in one swoop especially with the increased transfer rate. Wish there was some sort of datapoint on similar product approvals in the past. I’ve heard that CSP is already hard enough to get on its own, but given my wife is under 5/24 + her score above 800 maybe its actually a possibility. Wonder if there is any benefit of CSP over CSR (besides the annual fee of course). Maybe could mention the desire to get AUs on the card without having to pay additional fees?

  19. Do you know if the $300 travel credit would be good for this year through Dec. 31st and again after Jan.1st? I am new to this and don’t know if it is calendar year or card year?

  20. The large fee cards tend to not fall under the 5/24 rule because they make money on them, esprcially if you keep it. Most will keep this one since they know they won’t be able to get it again.

  21. Hey Greg,

    Thanks for your earlier reply. Another question if you don’t mind. Re: relationship with Chase and branch, do you think a second property mortgage with Chase would be treated as a sufficient relationship to help? thanks.

  22. I have my first mortgage with Chase. In your opinion is that enough to get the CSR despite being over 5/24 and not being a private client?

  23. I’m well below the 5/24 (been holding off for the CSP – now will go with the CSR). But I have 5 cards with Chase currently. Have they been known to enforce a limit on the number of accounts an individual can open with them?

  24. i have 2 questions:

    1) can i cancel the card after collecting the second 300 travel credit in the beginning of next year and get the 450 annual fee prorated?

    2) if i load my ezpass over the phone 300 by calling ezpass ny, would that count as travel?

  25. If I am an authorized user on my wife’s CSR does that preclude me from signing up later for the card as the primary and getting the 100K bonus?

  26. Hi, my wife applied for CSR card today. She should be fine re: 5/24, but is AU on several of my cards (we need to clean that up for oth of us; didn’t realiz previously that was becoming such a factor).

    Anyway, when she submitted her application she receive reply that she would receive her card in 7-10 business days if approved. Soon after that she received an email from Chase saying she would be notified of their decision within 30 days, etc.

    Is that email message a bad sign? I seem to recall others commenting as much. But wanted to check based on more recent experiences. Thanks.

  27. Question- If I upgrade my CSP to the CSR, will I still be able to use the travel delay and trip protection benefits from the CSP for travel I’ve already booked and paid for with my CSP?

    • That’s a great question. Yes, I’m sure that Chase would cover you one way or another but I’m not sure exactly how that would work. Worst case you could probably downgrade back to the CSP in order to get a claim approved if you run into any issues.

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