Chase Sapphire Reserve Complete Guide

Last Updated: October 11 2017

The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, introduced in August 2016, may be the single best travel rewards card available in the United States.  Here is everything you need to know…

Chase Sapphire Reserve Summary

  • Standard Signup Bonus: 50,000 points after $4K spend
  • $450 Annual Fee
  • $300 in annual travel credits automatically applied to account for travel purchases charged to card
  • Points worth 1.5 cents each when used to purchase travel
  • Earn 3X points per dollar for travel and dining; 1X elsewhere
  • Airport Lounge Access via Priority Pass Select
  • Primary car rental collision damage waiver
  • Rental car privileges and discounts
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre Fee Credit
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Points transferable 1 to 1 to selected airline and hotel programs
  • Automatic travel insurance and purchase protections
  • Authorized User Fee: $75 per year
  • Issued as Visa Infinite

You can find Chase’s official Sapphire Reserve benefits guide here.

Also see: Your Sapphire Reserve Card arrived. Here’s what to do next…

Getting the card

  • Standard Signup Bonus: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after $4,000 spend in 3 months.
  • Better signup bonuses? None that we’re aware of.
  • Does the 5/24 rule apply? YES. As with many of their other cards, Chase will not approve your application if you’ve signed up for 5 or more cards (with any bank) in the past 24 months. Suggestions for getting approved despite being over 5/24, can be found here: How to get approved for the Sapphire Reserve.
  • Can I get the card even though I signed up for the Sapphire Preferred less than 2 years ago? Yes.  The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is considered a different product from the Sapphire Preferred.  No.  In August 2017, Chase started treating the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve as the same product with respect to the signup bonuses.  For details see: Chase ends ability to double up Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred bonuses.
  • Is there an ideal time of year to get the card? If you think you may cancel the card before paying the second annual fee, then yes. In that case, it is best to signup for the card mid-year so that you have plenty of time to get the $300 in travel credits twice: once this calendar year and once next calendar year before cancelling the card.  Note that the charge must show up the current year’s statement in order to get the current year travel credit.  In other words, charges made in late December, after your December statement close, will count towards the following year’s travel credit.
  • If approved, can I get the card right away? Yes. Chase will send your card immediately if you request expedited delivery.

Earning the 50,000 point signup bonus

  • You must spend $4,000 within 3 months in order to earn the signup bonus
  • When does the clock start? Upon approval.
  • Does Chase offer a grace period? Yes,.  In practice, Chase allows up to 115 days to complete the minimum spend requirements, but I don’t recommend waiting that long unless you get an explicit OK from Chase.
  • Does the $450 annual fee count towards the minimum spend requirement? No! No! No!  In general, fees imposed by your credit card do not count towards spend bonuses.
  • Can I buy gift cards to meet the spend bonus? Yes
  • Will Chase shut down my account if I buy $4,000 in gift cards? While I can’t predict what Chase will do, I believe that is extremely unlikely.
  • Do you have advice on how to meet the spend requirements?  Yes, please see: 9 ways to increase credit card spend without leaving home and 3 easy ways to meet the Sapphire Reserve minimum spend requirement.
  • What about the $300 travel credit? Will that increase the spend requirement? Suppose you spend exactly $4,000 within 3 months and receive $300 in travel credits (because some of your spend was on travel expenses). Will you then have to spend $300 more to meet the spend requirements?  Answer: No.  Chase counts the $300 in travel purchases towards your minimum spend even if they were reimbursed.
  • I’ve earned a bonus for signing up for the Sapphire Preferred card less than 24 months ago, can I get the bonus for this card?  Yes.  The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred cards are considered separate products.  No.  In August 2017, Chase started treating the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve as the same product with respect to the signup bonuses.  For details see: Chase ends ability to double up Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred bonuses.

Info about Authorized User cards

  • Annual fee: $75 per authorized user
  • $300 travel credit? Authorized users do not get their own travel credits.  Travel purchases made on authorized user cards do get reimbursed but it comes out of the same $300 per year bucket as the primary card.
  • Airport Lounge Access? Authorized users will get Priority Pass Select membership like the primary user.
  • Primary car rental collision damage waiver? Yes
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre Fee Credit? Authorized users do not get their own Global Entry or TSA Pre reimbursements.  Enrollment fees charged to authorized user cards do get reimbursed but it comes out of the same single reimbursement every 4 years as the primary card.
  • Why even consider paying for authorized user cards? Many may find that it is not worth adding authorized users.  However, assuming lounge access is useful, the $75 annual fee may be worthwhile. More worthwhile, for many, is the ability for authorized users to earn 3X for travel & dining.  See also: The Sapphire Reserve Couple Conundrum.

Best Options for Earning Ultimate Rewards Points

  • Signup bonuses: Chase has many cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points and each card has its own signup bonus.  The best bonuses are for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred, and Sapphire Preferred cards.  All up-to-date Chase Ultimate Rewards signup bonuses can be found here.
  • Category bonuses: With a combination of Chase cards, it’s possible to earn far more than 1 point per dollar.  Once points are earned, they can be moved to another card (Chase calls this “Combine Points”):
    • Ink Plus or Ink Cash: Earn 5 points per dollar for cell phone service, cable TV, internet, and office supply purchases
    • Freedom: Earn 5 points per dollar in rotating categories each quarter.  5X earnings are limited to $1500 spend per quarter, so it is often advantageous to get more than 1 Freedom card.  This is usually accomplished by downgrading a Sapphire Preferred card to the Freedom card.
    • Sapphire Reserve: Earn 3 points per dollar for travel and dining.
    • Chase Ink Business Preferred3 points per dollar for travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and advertising with social media sites (up to $150K spend per year)
    • Ink Plus or Ink Cash: 2 points per dollar at gas stations
    • Freedom Unlimited: Earn 1.5 points per dollar for all spend.
    • Other bonuses: Ink Plus: 2X hotels; Ink Cash: 2X restaurants; Sapphire Preferred: 2X travel & dining
  • Shop through Chase: Chase operates an online shopping portal available to anyone with a Chase Ultimate Rewards card.  By starting your shopping here, you’ll earn bonus points for purchases you would have made anyway.

Best Options for Using Ultimate Rewards Points

With any Chase Ultimate Rewards card, including the Sapphire Reserve, points can be redeemed for cash at a value of 1 cent per point.  However, with the Sapphire Reserve card it is possible to get much better value by using points for travel.

There are two ways to use points for travel at better than 1 cent per point value:

  1. Book through Chase (1.5 cents per point value): You can redeem points for travel by calling the number on the back of your card, or by logging into Chase.com, clicking “Ultimate Rewards“, and then selecting: Use Points.. Explore & Book Travel.
  2. Transfer points to an airline or hotel program, then book award flights or award stays (point value varies). Chase currently supports the following transfer partners:
    • Airlines: Air France, British Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United, Virgin Atlantic
    • Hotels: Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton [Note: IHG, Marriott, and Ritz points are usually worth less than a penny each towards hotel stays. Therefore, you would usually be better off booking through Chase]

You can move points from other Chase cards to your Sapphire Reserve account.  This can make the points more valuable when used for travel.  It is always possible to move points from one card to another if you own each of the cards, but it is also sometimes possible to move points from one person’s card to another.  For full details see: Chase point transfer rules made simple [Infographic].

Card Perk Details

Points worth 1.5 cents each when used to purchase travel.

With most bank programs, points are worth 1 cents each.  For example, usually a $300 car rental would cost 30,000 points. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, though, points are worth 50% more.  So, a $300 car rental would cost only 20,000 points.

You can redeem points for travel by calling the number on the back of your card, or by logging into Chase.com, clicking “Ultimate Rewards“, and then select: Use Points.. Explore & Book Travel.

$300 in annual travel credits

  • Those who signed up for the card prior to May 21 2017:
    • The $300 in travel credits is available each calendar year.
    • The calendar year is determined by your statement closing date, not by the date of purchase.  For example, if your statement closes on December 15th, then a travel purchase made on December 16th would count towards next year’s travel credits.  Chase statement close dates for personal credit cards are typically 3 days after the next month’s due date.  For example, if your January due date is January 25th, then your statement close date is most likely December 28th.
  • Those who sign up for the card on or after May 21 2017:
    • The $300 in travel credits is available each membership year.
    • Membership year is defined as follows: “Annual means the year beginning with your account open date through the first statement date after your account open date anniversary, and the 12 monthly billing cycles after that each year.
  • Authorized user travel charges are reimbursed, but they count towards the same $300 travel credit per account.  In other words, you cannot get more than $300 back in total by adding authorized users.
  • Any charge that codes as travel will be reimbursed (up to $300 per calendar year, total).
  • Both large and small travel purchases count.  Small purchases will be reimbursed until a total of $300 has been reimbursed in a calendar year.  Large purchases will be reimbursed up to $300.

Merchants that count towards 3X travel rewards and $300 travel credits

Chase lists the following merchants as travel providers:

  • Airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.

Global Entry or TSA Pre Fee Credit

  • Simply pay the $100 Global Entry application fee or $85 TSA Pre application fee with the Sapphire Reserve card and the fee will be automatically reimbursed.
  • You can get reimbursed once every 4 years
  • Authorized user cards do not get additional fee credits
  • You can gift the once per 4 year fee credit to another person, but they would have to be an authorized user on your account, or you would have to let them use your credit card number to pay for their application.

Airport Lounge Access

  • chase-sapphire-reserve-card-benefits-menuCardholders are granted membership to Priority Pass Select.
  • Guests: Unlimited number of travel companions are allowed in for free to most lounges. However, some lounges impose their own limit to number of guests.
  • Authorized Users: Authorized users get their own Priority Pass Select membership and can bring in travel companions as well.

How to sign up for Priority Pass Select once you have the Sapphire Reserve card:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Click “Go to Ultimate Rewards”
  3. If you have multiple Ultimate Rewards cards, select the Sapphire Reserve card (otherwise you won’t be asked to select a card)
  4. Select Use Points… Card Benefits, from the menu at the top.
  5. Find the box labelled “Airport Lounge Access” and click “Activate Now”

chase-sapphire-reserve-priority-pass-activate

Travel Insurance

The Sapphire Reserve includes top of the line travel insurance coverage:

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Primary coverage up to $75K
  • Roadside Assistance: $50 limit per service; 4X per year limit; Must be 50 miles away from home

With each of the following, you’re covered even if you only pay partially for transportation (or award fees) with your card:

  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption: Up to $10K per person, up to $20K per trip
  • 6 hour trip delay: Up to $500 per ticket
  • Lost luggage: Up to $3,000 per person
  • Baggage delay: Up to $100 per day for up to 5 days
  • Travel Accident Insurance: Up to $1,000,000
  • Emergency Evacuation and Transportation: Up to $100K
  • Emergency Medical and Dental: Up to $2,500 with $50 deductible

For more details, please see:

Rental car privileges and discounts

  • National Emerald Club Executive status (which lets you select car from Executive aisle when you book a mid sized car)
  • National save up to 25%
  • Avis save up to 30%
  • Silvercar save 30%

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rental Car Benefits

Questions?

Have questions about the Chase Sapphire Reserve?  Please comment below.

Comments

  1. Denied 7/24 too many accounts opened last 24 months. I believe I become eligible Jan 2017 if I don’t open any more accounts. Any advantage to upgrading CSP to CSR then closing the account in order to get the bonus once eligible or not worth the risk?

  2. hey everyone. I was worried i was going to get denied for CSR due to the 5/24 rule. I have four credit cards opened within 24 months and still open and one credit card opened/closed within 24 months which I thought based on the rule would make me ineligible but I was approved online today. Just some more info to throw out there…

    • No, you have to pay with the Reserve card for it to be reimbursed. You can pay for someone else’s TSA or global entry with your Reserve card though and get that reimbursed (in case you want to do someone a favor, for example)

      • After a month, still have not yet seen my $85 credit for TSA-Pre application.

        Chase says the credit should have been automatic, but they didn’t have the transaction coded correctly, and thus no credit.

        Anyone else experience this with TSA-pre?

        I applied for TSA-pre via their website, went to the local office, got my Known Traveler Number, and all set.. but Chase still has not credited my $85…

  3. If I book a $300 flight and get the $300 credit … does that $300 count to required $4000 spend?

    Same for $100 global entry charge and credit?

    Thanks

  4. If part of an award ticket(fees/taxes) is paid using Reserve are you covered for trip delay/cancellation insurance?

    I read this:
    “Covered Trip also includes covered trips awarded from frequent flier
    or points programs provided that all of the miles or points were
    accumulated from charges on the Insured Person’s Account.”

    It was on page 18 here:
    https://www.chasebenefits.com/sapphirereserve

    Thoughts?

  5. I was just approved for the reserve card today. I read that the calendar year ends/begins in Dec.
    Do the 100,000 reward points expire? Do they need to be used before the new year begins or will they just sit in my account for as long as I have the card?

    • Yes, officially you can bring as many guests as you want for free. The only gotcha is that some PP lounges have their own guest policies, so they may limit the number of guests. You shouldn’t have to pay $27 for anyone

  6. Do I have it right that if I got the Sapphire Reserve card in November I will be charged immediately for the $450 and then come January 2017 will be charged $450 again? And at the same time I would be eligible for the $300 travel credit within 2016 (before my statement closes for December)…?

    • Not exactly. If you sign up now, yes you’ll be charged $450 for your first year (meaning 12 months) of card membership. You’ll next be charged $450 in October or November of 2017. Meanwhile, yes, you would be eligible for $300 in travel credits between the time you are approved and when your December statement closes. Then you would be eligible for another $300 in travel credits for 2017.

      • Hi. Just in follow up to the above comment, I applied and was approved yesterday in-branch. the banker told me that as long as I spent the $300 before December 31, I would be credited. Is that not true?

        • yes the $300 will be credited for the previous year. you can then effectively double dip and claim another $300 travel credits for 2017 for another travel expenditure!

    • 1. Log into your account
      2. Click “Go to Ultimate Rewards”
      3. If you have multiple Ultimate Rewards cards, select the Sapphire Reserve card (otherwise you won’t be asked to select a card)
      4. Select Use Points… Card Benefits, from the menu at the top.
      5. Find the box labelled “Airport Lounge Access” and click “Activate Now”

      I’ll add these instructions to the post

  7. Greg\ (or reader). You do a GREAT job and I want to show my support. Where on your blog are the link(s) where when I sign up, you get the credit? Sorry, it is not too obvious and I want to ensure I hit the right link.

    BTW – please respond ASAP as I want to sign up this morning but spent too much time looking for the link and weekend things keep popping up.

      • Thanks, Greg, the link worked. I saw the page many times this morning several times but somehow did not equate to being the affiliate link, maybe it was the logo.

        I applied for the CSR this afternoon, but received the generic message that it will take time to process…to wait for a response within 30 days.

        Because I have some relatively large spend coming up in a couple of weeks, I would like to expedite the decision so I called the Application Status phone number. I ended up speaking to a rep and she said the reviews may take about 7-10 business days, but could be up to 30.

        Is there anything I can do to help expedite the application review process?

  8. THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO FOR US….I took your advice and signed up for the two best cards….yikes $900 and hoping to recover it by following your sage advice,,, so with the sapphire reserve does the travel credit of $300 kick in for the deposit on a cruise paid yesterday that sails in Janurary? thank you
    christine

  9. Does this mean that I can get $600 in travel credits within 1 $450 annual fee year? Would uber qualify as travel even if it was paid through paypal? Thanks

  10. Love the blog! Quick question before I apply through you links.

    Can I just buy a $300 SouthWest gift card from their website using the CSReserve and expect to be automatically reimbursed? Are there other airline gift cards that would work the same way, like AA?

    Many thanks!

  11. If I purchase $300 worth of miles would that count for the $300 reimbursement? I know purchasing miles isn’t ideal, but if I get the card and only have a short time before the December statement closes, and don’t have travel planned, might as well use the $300 for something…

  12. Received my card and nowhere in the materials does it mention the 100k point sign up bonus, nor does it mention it when I click on the “how to earn points” on chase website. All other perks from your post (300 annual travel credit, 3x on travel and dining, priority pass select, etc) was shown. Am I the unlucky guy that doesn’t get the bonus?

  13. Has anyone been able to confirm if travel spend that gets reimbursed by the travel credit count towards the minimum spend?

    Also, once the minimum spend is met, how soon until the points are viewable?

  14. I believe I will pass the 5/24 rule next month so if I apply for the card on Dec 1st, will I be able to receive my 300 travel reimbursement (assuming I have travel plans already)? So basically if I open my account early December, will there be a statement closing day in December or it will just skip to January 2017? Thank you!

      • I’m a loyal csp customer. The reason I want get csr by next year is that I will not have to pay double AF. So after I get the csr I will PC my csr. Do you think that justifies me getting the csr without travel reimbursement for 2016? Thank you !

        • It depends on whether you think you’ll keep the CSR long term. If so, it doesn’t matter much when you sign up, you’ll still get $300 back per year (as long as you spend that much on travel each year). If you plan to cancel after a year, then this is a bad time because you’ll only get $300 back instead of $600.

  15. Reserve app denied for 5/24 ~ 6 weeks ago.

    Walked in branch to open Private Client account. Branch rep looked up my info which stated I was “Pre-Approved” for the card. He then called to assist me in opening the account and was told that I was denied again for the card even thought I was “Pre-Approved” and regardless if I was “Private Client” or not. Reason given was 5/24 rule.

    Credit score in 700s, no debt or credit problems.

    Any thoughts?

    • Call recon yourself. If they mention 5/24 again, ask if there’s a special department to handle private client reconsideration. If not, ask to speak to a supervisor. They should definitely approve you now that you are CPC.

      Recon: 1-888-270-2127

  16. I know these questions have all been answered above in some form or another, but want to make sure I understand by asking in own way.

    If I am approved for the CSR on 11/11 and first closing date is 12/11, or somewhere there, I would have one month to spend $300 on travel for the travel credit?

    After that first closing period, I will then have another $300 credit because it would be for 2017 travel year?

    I will be charged the $450 on 11/11/16, and then another $450 on 11/11/17?

    Overall, is it worth getting this late in 2016? Or, by getting it now am I effectively wasting the $450?

    Thanks!

    • Yes, all of those things are correct. As long as you’re confident that you can spend $300 on travel in the first 30 days of card ownership, applying now would be fine. I’d recommend calling Chase after you apply to ask them to rush the card to you.

      Just FYI, I checked my account to see when the first statement closed. I applied on 9/3, and my first statement closed on 10/5.

      Chase will let you change your statement close date as well, so that can be helpful

  17. Hi Greg,

    Last night I made a payment with my CSR for Global Entry. But, it has not been reimbursed yet. (I was told many travel expenses are reimbursed on same day) How long does it takes for automatic reimbursement? Do I have to call them and let them know about reimbursing my Global Entry fee?

    Thank you!

  18. I have a S preferred card and just paid the annual fee 2 months ago. If I get approved for the SR, would they give me credit towards the annual fee (tif I close the SP account?) thank you.

  19. UPDATE regarding $300 travel credits.
    There has been some confusion about the “calendar year” aspect of this. Chase terms always reported that the year was through your December statement close date. In other words, travel purchases made after that date would be rebated with next year’s credits. We now have confirmation from a reader who has already started earning 2017 travel credits thanks to having a December 1 statement close date.

  20. Hi Greg,
    I assume it is full access to Priority Club lounges. Have you heard from anyone on this? I have Priority ‘Select’ with my Hilton card and in the fine print THAT cards priority select lets you PAY $27. to enter their lounges.
    Thanks for any information.

  21. Do you think the 100,000 Bonus Offer will last until the end of the year/beginning 2017? I want to apply for the CSR as late as possible because it better fits my travel/spending plans for 2017. But if historically these offers don’t roll over into the following year I will apply ASAP.

  22. Thanks for the informative article! One question is, can travel expenses BOTH be covered by the 300 dollar credit AND earn 3x points? My guess is not.

  23. Hi Greg,

    I appreciate you responding all the posts here. I’ve received my CSR card on 12/16 and I didn’t realized about the $300 travel Credit. If I buy the SW gift card today, Assuming I get the $300 travel credit as per the posts.

    My question now is , Can I also get the travel credit when I make a travel purchase in 2017 year ?. I didn’t have any statement generated yet

    Happy New Year

    Best Regards,
    Anil

    • It’s too late to get credit for 2016. If you make charges now, it will count for 2017. That said, if you decide to keep the card for just one year, you can still get the 2018 credits before cancelling by waiting until your December 2017 statement closes before spending $300 more on travel.

  24. Does spending the $100 for global entry fee count towards the minmimum spend. I know they reimburse the fee but just wondering if it will count towards the $4000.

  25. Does the $450 Annual Fee get charged to the card right away and then you can pay it off with the first billing period or do you have to pay it up front?

  26. Hi Greg,
    I found your blog and now I’m thinking of getting this Chase Sapphire Reserve card today. Hope you’re checking for comments!

    I already have the Chase United Mileage Plus card, where my UA miles don’t expire as long as there’s activity. Will getting the CSR card negatviely affect my other Chase card, i.e. causing those miles to have an expiry date? Or these 2 are considered separate, independent credit cards?

    Have you compared using the CSR points to buy an airfare ticket versus buying from a site like Expedia, which airfare cost comes out cheaper?

    Thanks so much!
    Emmie

  27. Greg,
    Is a card for my wife considered an authorized user and cost $75 ? Can I get card with her name and same number and not pay $75 like on current CSP card?

    tk

    • Yes it will cost $75 to add a card for your wife. Or, she could also sign up for the card so that you’ll get combined 200,000 points (then cancel her card after a year). Unfortunately you would now have to do that in-branch since the online offer has dropped to 50,000.

  28. Hi Greg –

    If I purchase travel through the Ultimate Rewards site and pay using points and the balance on the Chase card, do they charges on the Chase card qualify for the $300 credit?

  29. Hi Greg,
    Just got turned down for the card base on the 5/24 rule. Apparently, cards that you are an authorized user for also count towards that, as well. I had only opened 3 cards, but was an authorized user on 2 of my wife’s cards, and I got rejected for “too many cards opened in the last 24 months”.

    Also, the reconsideration # has changed. It’s now 888-270-2127.

    -Gabe

    • Gabe, you should still be able to get approved. Call recon again and tell them that you are an AU and not responsible for paying for your wife’s accounts. If they give you a hard time, ask to speak to a supervisor. Many readers have had success getting Chase to reconsider AU cards.

  30. Hi Greg, (and readers)

    great summary! I got approved online today, with the 50,000 point bonus. Then I realized branches are still offering the 100,000 point bonus through this Saturday. I talked to customer service and they said if I want that, I could cancel the current card and then I could go apply at a branch – will my credit be penalized in such a case, or re-approval might be not guaranteed? (The other catch is that the closest chase branch is in another state, and I would be spending about $200 to get there by train.)

    Thanks,
    Alkis

    • Wow, that’s a tough situation. Do you gamble your 50K points for the possibility of getting 100K? If you go for it, there will be a second credit inquiry, but that won’t hurt your credit much and it will recover quickly. The biggest risk is the possibility of denial. I think that the chance of denial is extremely low given that customer service told you to do this.

      So, I think it comes down to whether the extra 50K points are worth the headache, time, and cost of traveling to a branch. Plus there’s the mental anxiety of wondering if you’ll get approved. Personally, I wouldn’t do it.

      • My closest branch is an hour and a half away. It’s kinda risky, I feel, to drive all that way and possibly get denied or something. Is there any ability to call the branch and apply over the phone you think?

        • I doubt you will be able to get the 100K bonus by calling. However, even if I put it at a 5% chance of success, that’s still five clicks better than the 0% chance if you don’t call and try.
          But I understand — not sure I’d plan a 3-hour round trip around a CC application that may or may not be successful. In fact, I’m pretty sure that between the value of your time and gas and the chance of both being a total waste if denied, the math on that probably doesn’t work out.
          To answer your original question then: Is it still worth it at 50K? At the end of the day, you still get $600 in travel credits in your first year for a $450 annual fee. Assuming you cancel or downgrade, it’s a $150 payday plus 50K Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If there had never been a 100K offer, I’d say that sounds pretty good to me. Many people look at the Sapphire Preferred as being a great card to get, and it comes with the same number of bonus points (plus an extra 5K for an AU), but no $150 money-maker on year one and 1 less point per dollar on travel. Looking at it from that perspective, the 50K offer on the CSR still looks good.
          But I think you’ll be hard pressed for someone who feels enthusiastic about 50K on the heels of a 100K offer. Hard to tell you what makes sense for you, but that’s my $0.02.

  31. Last year I got the Chase Reserve Card when the bonus was at 100,000 points I already had the Chase Preferred card and had not used my bonus points from it so I combined the bonus points giving me 150,000 plus what I earned from my spending. I then cancelled my Chase Preferred card. If I were to apply for the Chase Preferred would I be eligible for the present offer of 50,000 sign up bonus points? It has been less than a year since I cancelled the CP but it has been 2 years since I received the bonus points from that card. Thanks.

  32. I have the chase preferred sapphire reserve card. Three different times on three different airline web sites, not discount sites, airline sites, I received a better travel deal with points.
    Let’s say Southwest round trip on its web site was 15,000 points, the travel site on the back of my card wanted 20,000 points. What happened to the 1.5 savings?
    All three times they were higher,
    What am I doing wrong?

    • If I understand you correctly, you found that flights cost fewer points on Southwest.com than when calling Chase Travel. Correct? That can definitely happen because Southwest points are sometimes worth more than 1.5 cents each. So, when this happens, you can transfer your Chase points to Southwest and then book on Southwest.com.

  33. I recently added my wife as an AU on my Sapphire Reserve card. Since I already have activated the Priority Lounge membership, does she automatically get a membership card sent to her, or do I have to call and request it?

  34. Hey Greg,

    Very informative post! Like many people, we all signed up for the card around the same time last year and it’s getting close to that time period where we need to decide on whether to keep or cancel the card.

    I still have my 100K bonus points, plus about 80K from my Freedom card (180K total). I likely won’t be traveling anytime soon. If I understand correctly, in order for us to have the 1.5 point valuation, we need to keep this card alive in order to book through the travel portal at the better rate? If I transfer the UR points to my Freedom card, it will then be reduced to 1 point valuation, correct? Another option is to transfer the points to a partner airline and that will also keep the 1.5 point valuation?

    Just seeing whether it’s worth to keep the account open. If not, what’s the best path to move my points to.

    Thank you!

    • Mostly you have it correct except for the part about getting 1.5 cents value when transferring points to a partner airline. When you do that, the value you get will vary by circumstance. You could get less than 1 cent per point value or more than 3 cents per point. One exception is if you fly Southwest then you can be pretty sure to get 1.5 cents value (or slightly more) by using points to book Wanna Getaway fares.

      One option for you is to downgrade to the no fee Sapphire card and just keep that in a drawer for now. Then, when you’re ready to use points to travel you should be able to upgrade the card back up to the Sapphire Reserve. I say “should be able to” because I haven’t tried it or heard of anyone trying it so I can’t promise 100%

      • Hey Greg,

        Thanks for the info – I realized after I posted that I might have the transfer to a partner airline information wrong. But good idea about downgrading the card in the meantime – if I decide to go that route, I will reconfirm with Chase to see if it’s even possible. I’d love to “shelve” the card in the meantime until I’m ready to do some traveling.

        Laura

        • Just FYI – I contacted Chase customer service and asked if it was possible to “upgrade” back to Sapphire Reserve (at a later time) if I switched to the no-fee card. They said they were unable to confirm whether or not this was possible =\

  35. Not sure, how they get away with advertising using points for travel at a bargain.
    3 times I called and checked the internet about how many points it would take to travel.
    All 3 times booking with the airline was a better deal.
    Not a little either. Last week I booked a flight on line for 10k points. Chase wanted 37k points.
    What happened to 50% better travel with Saphire Reserve?

  36. Let me ask this a different way, has anybody received 1.5 advantage for using the chase travel site?
    If so, how did you do it.
    See above where even with this 1.5 it is many more miles then my booking directly through the airline web site.
    I must be doing something wrong but would love to get it right:)

    • Hi Steve,

      I think I understand the confusion. The answer is a bit complicated:

      The Sapphire Reserve 1.5 cents per point for travel should only be compared to the cash price (in cents) of travel. For example, if a flight costs $400, that’s 40,000 cents. With the Sapphire Reserve, the point price when booked through Ultimate Rewards travel should be: 40,000 / 1.5 = 26,667. If you were to use a penny per point currency (such as Capital One’s) you would pay 40,000 points for the same flight.

      Exceptions occur when the flight you find elsewhere isn’t available through Ultimate Rewards. For example, Southwest flights can be booked through Ultimate Rewards but only by calling in. If done that way, you’ll get 1.5 cents per point value compared to the cash price. Similarly, some airlines offer better prices when you book directly with than rather than through a travel agency. In those cases, you won’t get 1.5 cents per point value through Ultimate Rewards.

      Another exception is when you compare to an airline’s reward price rather than to their cash price. Southwest points are routinely worth about 1.5 cents each towards Wanna Getaway flights, so there’s very little advantage to booking through Ultimate Rewards vs. transferring the points to Southwest in order to book the same flights. With other airlines, such as United, it’s more complicated. The value you get from United miles can vary anywhere from far less than a penny per mile to far more than 4 cents per mile depending upon what awards are available and what the current cash prices are.

      Does that help, or just complicate things more? 🙂

  37. Greetings,

    I recently got the Sapphire Reserve card and noticed the $450 along with a $75 fee I’m assuming is a AU fee. I’m the sole user of my card, I need to pay a $75 fee for myself as well? or is this an error on their part?

    Thanks

    • Technically they never offered points for upgrading, but previously you could get 50K points for signing up for the Reserve card even if you have the Preferred. Today, that’s no longer true. However, if it has been more than 2 years since you got the bonus for the Preferred, the following should work:

      1. Downgrade the Preferred to a Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card (you may have to first downgrade to the no fee Sapphire and then product change to the Freedom)
      2. Sign up for the Sapphire Reserve for the 50K offer.

  38. If I purchase the card today and spend 300$ in travel next week do I automatically get reimbursed? Or do I have to wait till the end of the purchase year for this the credit?

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