Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

Aug 30, 2016

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is a brand-new travel rewards credit card, and it’s one of the most valuable travel cards on the market.

This is a general-purpose travel card, meaning it’s not associated with a single airline or hotel chain. Instead, you’ll be able to earn rewards on every purchase you make, with the most points coming from travel and dining at restaurants.

You’ll only want this card if you make significant trips fairly often, at least several times per year. It has a large variety of extra perks and protections that can save you a ton of money, upgrade your accommodations, or get you out of a jam.

But if you’re not a frequent traveler, the high annual fee will make this card cost you more than it’s worth. If that’s you, check out some good but less expensive travel cards.

Card Rating: 5 Out Of 5 Stars

We gave the Chase Sapphire Reserve 5 out of 5 stars because it’s one of the most rewarding travel credit cards that’s not tied to a particular airline or hotel. You’ll get a huge number of bonus points, the ability to earn lots of rewards on your basic travel expenses, and a large set of extra benefits and protections.

This card has a very high annual fee, but if you travel enough it should be able to pay for itself. Just pay attention to everything you get from it, and you’ll find some way to use it on every trip.

Should you be using the Chase Sapphire Reserve to get the most out of your travel, every time you fly or stay in a hotel? Keep reading our review to find out.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $450 ($75 for additional cards)
  • Interest Rate: 16.24% - 23.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 3X points on travel and dining worldwide
  • 100,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months
  • 1:1 point transfer to airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • $300 annual credit for travel expenses
  • $100 Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application credit
  • Visa Infinite Concierge
  • Priority Pass Select Membership
  • Luxury Hotels and Resorts Collection
  • Travel and Shopping protections
  • $450 annual fee
  • 16.24% - 23.24% APR *Variable

The information for Chase Sapphire Reserve Card has been collected independently by Credit Card Insider. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Rewards

  • 3X points per dollar on travel and dining worldwide
  • 1X point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 100,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • 50% point bonus when redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards

You’ll normally get 1 cent per point, unless you use Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Chase Ultimate Rewards is a reward redemption service you can choose to use, and you’ll get 1.5 cents per point there. You should redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards whenever possible.

You’ll definitely want to go for the bonus points with this card, because they’ll earn you $1,500 towards travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

The Benefits

The extra perks and protections you’ll get with this card are pretty comprehensive. They’re exactly what you want to see in a high-end travel card like this.

Check your Guide to Benefits when you get your card, because you may actually have more benefits than what you see listed here.

Perks

  • $300 Annual Travel Credit

    Get an automatic $300 statement each year to cover travel expenses.

  • Visa Infinite Concierge

    Your personal assistant to help with dinner reservations, travel plans, event tickets, and much more.

  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Application Fee Credit

    Get a statement credit to pay for your express security service (optional)

  • 1:1 Point Transfer

    Redeem your points at a 1:1 rate with a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs.

  • Priority Pass Select Membership

    Relax in the comfort of over 900 airport lounges around the world.

  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection

    A variety of benefits, upgrades, and discounts at participating locations around the world.

  • Car Rental Privileges

    Special benefits from National Car Rental, Avis, and Silvercar.

  • No Blackout Dates or Restrictions

    As long as you can find a seat on the flight, you will be able to book it using Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Account Management

  • 24/7 Access to Customer Service Specialists

    Call anytime for professional customer service.

  • Add Authorized Users

    Each additional card has a $75 annual fee.

Security

  • Zero Liability Protection

    You will not be held responsible for unauthorized use of your card.

Shopping

  • Purchase Protection

    Provides coverage for 120 days against theft and damage, up to $500 per incident and $50,000 per account.

  • Extended Warranty Protection

    Extends a manufacturer’s warranty by 1 year, for warranties of 3 years or less.

  • Price Protection

    If you made a purchase in the U.S. that you find advertised at a cheaper price within 90 days, you can get reimbursed the difference; up to $500 per item, $2500 per year.

  • Return Protection

    Store won’t take back your eligible item? No problem. Get reimbursed for eligible items purchased on your card if you make the return within 90 days of purchase; up to $500 per item, $1000 per year.

Travel

  • Trip Cancellation / Trip Interruption Insurance

    If a trip is disrupted for an eligible reason, provides reimbursement up to $10,000 per trip for non-refundable costs.

  • Emergency Evacuation & Transportation

    Covers the cost of emergency medical evacuations for you and your family (up to $100,000).

  • Trip Delay Reimbursement

    If a trip is delayed by over 12 hours, provides reimbursement for expenses like meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.

  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement

    If checked or carry-on bags are lost or damaged, provides reimbursement up to $3,000 per passenger.

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver

    Provides coverage against theft and collision, as long as the car rental company’s own insurance is declined.

  • Travel Accident Insurance

    Accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000 when you pay for travel by air, bus, train or cruise with your card.

  • Baggage Delay Insurance

    Reimbursement for purchases such as toiletries and clothing when baggage delays go beyond 6 hours by the passenger carrier; up to $100 a day for 5 days.

The Costs & Fees

Annual Fee Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
$450 ($75 for additional cards) 16.24% - 23.24% *Variable 16.24% - 23.24% *Variable 25.24% *Variable None
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
See Terms Up to $37 Up to $37

As you can see, this card will be pretty expensive to own at $450 per year.

That means you’ll want to check your spending habits carefully to be sure you’ll use the card enough to make it worth it. See the next section for more on how much you’ll need to use this card.

You won’t get a 0% intro APR, so watch your balance to be sure you don’t get a ton of interest charges. If you’re using any credit card without a 0% APR, remember that you can completely avoid interest fees by paying off your balance in full each billing period.

There are no fees for foreign transactions with this card, so you can take it outside the country without worrying about paying extra (unlike many other cards).

The Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is one of the most impressive general-purpose travel rewards credit cards, with a very enticing offer.

The annual fee is pretty high, but the points and benefits you can get should be enough to offset it. You’ll earn 3X points for the kinds of purchases you hope to see in a travel card: travel expenses and meals at restaurants.

The extra benefits are great too, especially the airport lounge access, the hotel and resort upgrades, and the discounts you’ll get. So take those into account when making your decision about this card.

The Chase Ultimate Rewards portal is the most valuable way to redeem your points, so use that whenever possible. But if you can’t or don’t want to, you’ll be able to transfer those points to your favorite frequent traveler program where you can use them as you see fit.

How much should I spend with this card?

This card has a $450 annual fee, so you’ll need to use it enough to make it worth the cost.

We’ll assume you redeem your rewards through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That will give you a 50% bonus, so you’ll usually get the most value for your points there.

First off, you’ll get that $300 statement credit to use towards travel every year. So that pays for most of the annual fee, leaving you with $150.

That means you’ll need to earn 10,000 points. When you redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards with the 50% bonus, that will give you $150 to use for travel expenses.

So you’ll only need to spend $3,334 on travel and/or dining, at the 3X rate, to earn 10,000 points.

And that takes care of your annual fee. Any more than $3,334 and you’re in the profit zone.

We didn’t even take into account some of the other cost-saving benefits you’ll be getting, like hotel and resort upgrades, the complimentary access to airport lounges, rental car services, and the Global TSA PreCheck credit.

If you spend more than this example and make good use of your extra benefits and protections, you’ll be able to make your card even more profitable than this every year.

Applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

Want to learn more or apply for this card? Just click the name below.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $450 ($75 for additional cards)
  • Interest Rate: 16.24% - 23.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • 3X points on travel and dining worldwide
  • 100,000 points for spending $4,000 in 3 months
  • 1:1 point transfer to airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • $300 annual credit for travel expenses
  • $100 Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application credit
  • Visa Infinite Concierge
  • Priority Pass Select Membership
  • Luxury Hotels and Resorts Collection
  • Travel and Shopping protections
  • $450 annual fee
  • 16.24% - 23.24% APR *Variable

The information for Chase Sapphire Reserve Card has been collected independently by Credit Card Insider. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Not the right card for you? Check out our picks for some cheaper but still great similar cards in the Best Travel Credit Cards – 2016.

Was this review helpful to you? Go ahead and share it with a friend! And if you use the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card click here to leave a reviewwe’d love to hear from you!

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