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|Card / Notes||Bonus / Annual Fee|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve Card|
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Earning rate: 3X Travel and Dining
* $300 Annual Travel Credit
* Points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel
* Primary auto rental collision damage waiver
* Priority Pass Select lounge access
* $100 Global Entry fee credit
See also: Sapphire Reserve Complete Guide
|50K after $4K spend in 3 months
$450 annual fee
Note: This card is known to be subject to Chase's 5/24 rule.
Recent better offer: 100K after $4K spend in 3 months, last seen 3/11/2017 in-branch
FM Mini Review: Excellent all-around card for frequent traveler. Best when paired with no-fee Chase Freedom, no-fee Freedom Unlimited & no-fee Chase Ink Cash
The Sapphire Reserve is my current top pick for a travel rewards credit card. It does have a steep annual fee, but its benefits far outweigh the 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 with unlimited free guests
- 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
Those who travel often will have no trouble earning $300 per year in travel reimbursements. In that case, the effective annual fee is really just $150. That’s not bad at all for a card that offers 3X points for travel & dining, 1.5 cents per point redemption value, and airport lounge access!
I recommend pairing this card with the no-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited which earns 1.5X everywhere, and the no-fee Business Ink Cash which earns 5X in select categories. Points from both no-fee cards can be moved to your Sapphire Reserve account in order to make them more valuable.
Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed as follows:
- Cash or merchandise (1 cent per point value)
- Purchase Travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel site (1.5 cents per point value)
- Transfer to a variety of airline and hotel programs (per point value varies from very low to extremely high when points are used this way)
All of the following cards earn Ultimate Rewards points. Those marked with an asterisk are premium cards that allow points to be transferred to select airline and hotel loyalty programs. The others are advertised as cash back cards, but they really earn Ultimate Rewards points. You can move those points to loyalty programs indirectly by moving them first to a premium card and then to an airline or hotel program:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve*
- Chase Sapphire Preferred*
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Ink Cash
- Chase Ink Business Preferred*
- Chase Ink Plus*
* Premium card. Points can be transferred to select airline and hotel loyalty programs.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Complete Guide
- Your Sapphire Reserve Card arrived. Here’s what to do next…
- The Sapphire Reserve Couple Conundrum
- Chase point transfer rules made simple [Infographic]
- Ultimate Rewards 5X Everywhere (almost)
- Membership Rewards vs. Ultimate Rewards vs. ThankYou Rewards. Which is best?
Note: Many more excellent credit card offers, along with application tips for each bank, can be found on our Best Credit Card Offers Page.