Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Worth the Annual Fee?

Learn about Chase Sapphire Reserve card benefits.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is the Rolls Royce of travel cards — and it has the annual fee to prove it. Here’s a look at some of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s benefits, and how they stack up against the $450 annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Review

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is designed with the experienced traveler in mind, as many of the card’s primary benefits are travel-related.

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Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Features

The card’s rewards are attractive, but they come with terms and conditions. Make sure you understand how to qualify for the perks before you sign up.

Bonus Points

Get 50,000 bonus points. Earn this bonus when you spend $4,000 on the card in the first three months. One hundred points equals $1, so this is the equivalent of $500. That would justify the annual fee — but only for the first year.

Earn three times the points on travel and dining purchases. With this Chase credit card, you get one point per dollar spent on everything, but those points are multiplied by three when you pay for airline tickets, hotels, cruises, trains, restaurant meals — even parking lots and garages.

If you want to cover the annual fee with the points you earn, you’d have to spend $45,000 each year. If your purchases are for travel, you’d only need to spend $15,000, because you get three times the points on travel purchases.

Get a 50 percent bonus on points redeemed for travel. You can redeem your points for cash at the rate of $1 for every 100 points. If you redeem your points for travel, however, you get $1.50 for every 100 points. So, if you redeem 10,000 points, you’d get $100 in cash or $150 in travel.

Cash

Get a $300 credit on travel each year. A $300 annual travel credit is applied to your Chase Sapphire credit card statement at the end of the year based on the first $300 you spend on travel each year. These purchases don’t earn points, and you have to wait a year from the time you got your card to get the credit. You can obtain this credit every year on the anniversary of the account opening.

VIP Perks

Skip the lines at the airport. Chase will credit you for the cost of a Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre-Check ($85) membership. You are eligible for one, not both, of these credits every four years. A membership lasts five years.

Free Priority Pass Select membership. Priority Pass Select gives you and two guests access to 1,200 airport lounges around the world. Purchasing a Priority Pass separately requires paying an annual fee ranging from $99 to $399, depending on the plan, for a single pass that does not allow you to bring guests. If you fly with two other people all the time, this benefit would be the equivalent of three Priority Pass Prestige memberships costing a total of $1,197.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Disadvantages

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has a few disadvantages that you should consider before applying:

  • Steep annual fee. As mentioned, the card’s significant $450 annual fee might not be worth it to some consumers. However, $300 of that fee is canceled out by the annual travel credit applied to your account at the end of the year, assuming you make the necessary travel purchases.
  • High credit score typically required. The average Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder has an average FICO credit score of 785, according to a Chase investor report.

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The Bottom Line: Only Travel Offsets the Cost

Frequent travelers, especially those who enjoy the perks of skipping the security or customs line and waiting in the lounge, might find that the benefits offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve card are worth the $450 annual fee. Those who do not travel often might want to consider another card.

Click through to see how you can travel the world for practically free.

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