The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is the premium offering in the Chase Trilogy of credit cards. This card is for frequent travelers only. And the reason for that is the card carries a hefty annual fee of $550, plus $75 for each additional authorized user.
However, users can offset the annual fee in large part by taking advantage of the member benefits. One of those benefits is a $300 travel credit. Chase pays this credit as reimbursement for qualifying travel purchases that users charge to their card each account anniversary year.
How Do Users Earn Points?
Once again, if you frequently travel for business or personal reasons, this can be an ideal card for you. For starters, Chase offers a generous sign-up bonus that allows users to earn 50,000 bonus points when they spend $4,000 in the first three months of opening the account. According to Chase this will give cardholders $750 towards travel when users redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
After users collect their $300 travel credit, they receive 3x the points on all travel purchases. Cardholders also get 3x the points on all dining purchases from the time they open the account. If you use the card for everyday purchases, the card will provide one point for every dollar spent. However, those points are worth 1.5 cents each when cardholders redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
For a limited time (through March 2022), Sapphire Reserve cardholders also get 10 points per dollar spent on Lyft purchases.
What Other Member Benefits Are Included?
One of the premium features of the Sapphire Reserve card is the ability to transfer points to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs on a 1:1 basis. This allows users to capitalize on promotions from those providers.
The card also allows cardholders access to over 1,000 airport lounges throughout the world after they enroll in Priority Pass Select. And users will receive a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry of TSA Precheck.
Another benefit for users is a one-year complimentary subscription to Lyft Pink ($199 value). Lyft Pink gives users premium features such as: 15% off ride-hailing, relaxed cancellations, priority airport pickups, and up to three 30-minute bike and scooter rides each month.
Cardholders will also get a complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash. Currently, this benefit is only available for accounts that are activated by 12/31/21. Cardholders will also receive a $60 credit for DoorDash in 2020 and 2021.
Additional benefits include no foreign transaction fees. And for customers who find such things appealing the card is a metal card, giving it a premium look and feel to go along with the benefits.
What is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?
The card comes with an APR between 16.99%-23.99%. This is competitive with other cards in this category.
Do You Qualify?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is for individuals with excellent credit defined as having a credit score between 740 and 850. In addition to the annual fee, the need for a high credit score is generally considered a negative of the card. However, most frequent travelers likely already have a credit score that will qualify them for this card.
Aside from their credit score, applicants should be mindful of Chase’s 5/24 rule. This simply means that Chase will be likely to deny an application if the applicant has applied for more than five cards in the prior 24 months. In addition to the 5/24 rule, Chase has a one Sapphire card rule. This means that cardholders cannot have both the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Does the Card Have Limitations?
The biggest limitation may be a cardmember’s geographic location. For example, the Lyft and DoorDash benefits may not be that useful for users who live in rural areas not serviced by these programs. Also, if a cardholder has a frequently used airport that does not have a Priority Pass lounge, they would be missing out on one of the significant benefits of card ownership.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has many premium benefits for frequent travelers. Savvy cardholders have the ability to maximize the points they earn for free travel and other benefits. The Sapphire Reserve is the premium card in the Chase credit card trilogy that includes the Chase Freedom Flex card as well as the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. These cards give cardholders more targeted benefits for everyday purchases.
Of course, employing this strategy makes it even more important that Sapphire Reserve cardholders will be using the card for frequent travelers. Otherwise, it may be hard to justify the annual fee.