How To Use Your Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit

Three people, young couple travelers with medical masks on hotel reception talking to male receptionist.
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One of the better features of credit cards is their convenience while traveling — a widely accepted credit card is probably the easiest way to pay for meals, hotels and other necessities while away from home, and a rewards program will ease the cost.

In the case of the , a travel card can even help fund your trip. This card offers a $300 travel credit, which can be used towards a wide range of travel-related purchases. Whether using it at home to make essential reservations or on the road in a restaurant or airport, this little bonus partially offsets the card’s annual fee.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit

Chase Sapphire Reserve members have access to a $300 annual travel credit. This is a reimbursement applied towards travel purchases made with the card. The credit is available on the first day the account is active and runs for a year, after which the credit renews for another year.

Using the credit is not complicated, since it’s applied automatically to all travel-related purchases. Since there’s nothing required of users to claim the credit, cardholders may find themselves earning the credit on such miscellaneous expenses as tolls and Uber rides.

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There are no restrictions other than the requirement that the purchase is travel-related. No eligibility requirements or approvals are needed, but Chase advises that rewards points are unavailable for those purchases offset by the travel credit.

What Qualifies as a Travel Purchase With Chase?

Travel purchases with Chase include the obvious — like flights, hotels, cruises and rental cars — and the unexpected, such as limousines, tolls and timeshares. Purchases from travel agencies and discount travel sites, as well as campgrounds, trains, buses, taxi fare and paid parking in a lot or garage also qualify for the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit.

When processing charges, Chase and its merchants employ a four-digit MCC, or merchant category code, that places the purchase in a category. Any purchase associated with a travel-related code qualifies for the Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit. 

What Can You Use the Chase Travel Credit For?

Chase automatically applies the credit to your travel purchases, so you won’t be able to choose specific trips. Any qualifying purchase, up to $300 spent, will be credited to your account.

What Purchases Won’t Qualify for the Credit?

Some uses of the card and purchases, even though they may be made on a journey, do not qualify. Disallowed purchases that you might be surprised by are traveler’s checks and foreign currency, despite their relevance to travel. Balance transfers, cash advances and payment of any fees are also excluded.

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Other disallowed expenses include casino gaming chips, as well as wagers put down at a race track, lottery tickets or any kind of gambling purchase.

Does the Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit Expire?

The credit does not expire, per se, but will reset on the anniversary date of the account opening. Chase won’t roll over unused credit amounts from the previous year, so it’s best to make complete use of the travel credit within a year.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Rewards Points

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is for those with good credit, as applicants need a high credit score of around 700. The card’s terms include a generous rewards program that kicks off with 60,000 bonus points after a total spend of $4,000 on purchases within three months of opening the account. At the current redemption rate, those 60,000 points translate to a $900 savings on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards

But wait: there’s more. Ordinary travel purchases qualify for three points for each dollar spent. A tremendous bonus is offered on flights, which earn five times the normal rate, and hotel and car rental reservations, which earn ten times the points. These expenses just need to be booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. Note, though, that no points are earned on travel until the $300 travel credit is maxed out.

Other Perks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

The benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve don’t end with the points bonus or the travel credit. When cardmembers book through the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection, a room upgrade and a complimentary breakfast may be available.

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Also note: when reserving through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program, travelers won’t have to deal with blackout dates or other restrictions that can make travel planning frustrating.

The card also offers up to $100 in reimbursement every four years for enrollment in the Global Entry, TSA Pre-Check or NEXUS programs, which allow travelers expedited passage through airport security checkpoints.

There are many more perks for travelers. When cardholders redeem points for travel purchases, the Chase Sapphire Reserve kicks in a 50% bonus. The card provides insurance for a rental car, as well as trip cancellation insurance. And for those weary hours spent in an airport waiting for a flight, cardholders who enroll in the Priority Pass program can access a VIP lounge with Chase’s compliments.

Cardholders have access to VIP perks at select properties belonging to Relais & Chateaux, a collection of luxury properties in more than 60 countries. VIP benefits are also available at top-tier chains including SLS, House of Originals, Mondrian, Delano and Hyde. Some hotels in these networks offer room upgrades, a $30 food and beverage credit and a complimentary fourth night for stays purchased with the card.

Rewards Beyond Travel

Although the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a travel-heavy card, it offers everyday perks, too. The card offers complimentary membership periods for DoorDash, Instacart and Lyft, services that come in handy whether you’re on the road or at home.

You’ll have access to purchase protection for 120 days — up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year — return protection up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year, and extended warranties for eligible purchases.

Fees and Terms

The Chase Sapphire Reserve charges an annual fee of . The interest rate on the card ranges from APR. On approval, applicants can add the card to Apple Pay, Google Pay or another digital wallet. This makes it possible to use the card immediately, without waiting for the physical card to arrive in the mail.

Many credit cards will charge a foreign transaction fee for purchases made abroad. Fortunately for travelers, the Chase Sapphire Reserve does not charge this fee, which makes use of the card even more economical.

Final Take

There are many perks and benefits for travelers offered with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Before applying, research the card’s website and compare the Chase Sapphire Reserve to other travel-oriented credit cards. Consider what card is best tailored to your needs and wants, and start packing!

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 8, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

The information related to the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card. Product details may vary. Please see the issuer’s website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for this product.

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About the Author

​​A writer and editor with more than 100 book credits in the juvenile and young adult non-fiction format, Tom Streissguth has mastered the craft of explaining complex, difficult subjects clearly. His books have covered history, geography, economics, media and current affairs; he's also written biographies of historical figures for Lerner, Enslow, Facts on File, Greenhaven and other major educational publishers.
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