- 80,000 bonus points, worth $1,200 in travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, after spending $4,000 in the first three months
- $300 annual travel credit
- Points worth 50% more when used for eligible redemption options through the Ultimate Rewards site
- Complimentary Priority Pass for access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide
- High annual fee
- Very good to excellent credit required
Chase Sapphire Reserve Overview
Chase offers nearly 30 consumer credit cards, including airline, hotel, cash back and travel rewards options. The is at the top of the list in benefits and rewards, especially for travelers who’d like insider access to lounges, high-end resorts and more.
The lower-fee Sapphire Preferred is typically better known because it’s more accessible. You’ll find that the Reserve offers many of the same benefits as the Preferred but builds on them and offers higher redemptions, bonuses and points earning. However, you’ll need to have your credit habits together — the Sapphire Reserve card typically starts with a credit limit of $10,000.
Features of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
GOBankingRates awards the Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa card a 4.6 out of 5 stars. The card scored high in benefits available to cardholders, among other things. Here are some of the most important features worth noting.
Free travel is one of the most popular credit card perks. The Chase Sapphire Reserve does well in offering a rewards system that makes it possible to earn enough points to redeem for free travel.
Besides the redemption perks, cardholders also receive membership to Priority Pass for premium lounge access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. Guests staying at Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection properties receive VIP treatment, including free room upgrades, late checkout and/or early check-in.
A $300 credit is applied to your statement balance to reimburse part of your travel spending each year, which helps offset the pricey annual fee. So do the number of travel and purchase coverages that protect you if your luggage is lost, trips are interrupted or delayed, or goods are stolen or defective. The car rental reimbursement benefit can be especially helpful and cost-saving, stepping in as primary vehicle insurance for up to $75,000 against theft or collision damage.
If you’re approved, points-based travel and VIP access can be kick-started once you spend $4,000 in the first three months. The current bonus offers 80,000 points upon meeting the spending requirement. Points can be redeemed for 50% more in value for eligible redemption options in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. That’s an instant bump to the equivalent of 120,000 points, worth $1,800 toward flights, hotels or redemption in other ways.
With all the possibilities for rewards travel and experiences, you may be wondering how to earn more points faster. The Chase Sapphire Reserve’s earning potential is high. You’ll earn 5 points for every dollar spent on travel on the Ultimate Rewards site after you’ve earned your $300 statement credit. Car rentals and hotels earn 10x after the first $300 spent each year. All remaining travel earns three points per dollar.
As for everyday purchases, you’ll earn 3x on dining, takeout and select delivery services. Plus, you’ll get one point for every dollar spent on everything else.
Points redemption is somewhat flexible. While most cardholders look to redeem points for airfare or stays at the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, there are plenty of nontravel experiences available, such as chef’s tables at restaurants, concert tickets and theme park access.
The key to leveraging travel rewards cards is to know how and where your points go the furthest. It may be worth your while to transfer points to a travel partner such as an airline or hotel loyalty program. You’ll receive a 1:1 value on transfers to travel partners, but the loyalty program itself may offer special rewards point rates.
However, in most cases, redemption using the Ultimate Rewards portal is the best option. You can get 50% more value out of your points by using them to book travel or get statement credits on eligible purchases. This means that 100,000 points are worth 150,000 when you use them for eligible redemption options at Ultimate Rewards.
The most significant drawback to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is the steep annual fee of for the primary cardholder and $75 for each additional authorized user. The annual fee isn’t for everybody. Fortunately, there aren’t too many other fees to worry about, except for finance charges if you don’t pay your statement balance in full each month. The charges are based on the card’s annual percentage rate of .
Chase doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees to Sapphire Reserve account holders, saving customers as much as 3% on purchases made overseas when compared to what many other cards charge.
How the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Stands Out
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card stands out for its valuable points rewards and travel credits. You need to accumulate points and other perks quickly to make back the annual fee, and between the $300 annual travel credit and generous points rewards you receive after your first $300 in travel purchases each year, it’s not difficult to do.
Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Worth the Annual Fee?
If the card benefits work for your lifestyle, the perks and rewards can easily offset the annual fee. When you subtract the $300 annual travel credit, $100 credit once every four years for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, 12 months of complimentary Lyft Pink service — $199 annual value, and the free deliveries you could receive with a free DashPass subscription, the $550 annual fee may no longer be a deterrent.
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Competitors
There are plenty of quality credit cards competing with the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. The question is, how do you choose the right card? Review some of the premium card’s biggest competitors to determine how the Chase Sapphire Reserve compares.
|U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve||Reimbursements|
|American Express Platinum||Annual credits for shopping, travel and more|
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® could be considered the lower-tier rewards card of the two, but it comes with many perks. Earning points follows a similar route as the Reserve. The Sapphire Reserve card’s points redemption is better — you’ll get 50% more value out of your rewards points when you use them for travel or statement credits on eligible purchases through the Ultimate Rewards portal, compared to the 25% in additional value that you’d get out of your points with Chase Sapphire Preferred. Chase Sapphire Preferred has a bonus offer that provides new cardholders with 60,000 points after $4,000 spent within the first 3 months — a great deal for a card with a annual fee.
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
When comparing two Reserve cards with higher-than-average annual fees, it’s best to look at the small details. The U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve and Chase Sapphire Reserve both offer similar rewards. Chase Sapphire Reserve shines when it comes to a strong sign-up bonus. U.S. Bank excels at reimbursements, which are more varied and include credits for dining, restaurant delivery and takeout purchases and travel purchases up to $325. U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve has a $400 annual fee and comes with a new-member bonus worth $750 on travel.
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. American Express Platinum Card
Comparing the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. the American Express Platinum card® may be the closest evaluation. Both card issuers provide a premium card product with lots of enticing bonuses and perks. They both have high annual fees, although the American Express Platinum card’s annual fee is higher at . The Platinum card’s perks are more extensive than Chase’s and include several annual credits for shopping, travel and more. Plus, you’ll receive access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection.
How To Apply
The quickest way to apply for a Chase Sapphire Reserve card is to fill out an application online, on the Chase website. From the card’s main page, select the “Apply Now” button to navigate to the form. From there, enter your personal information, including your name and address, birthdate, mother’s maiden name, Social Security number, phone number and email address. You’ll also indicate whether you own or rent your home and provide details about your employment and income.
The application contains pricing information and terms and conditions for the card. Click the box to confirm that you’ve read and agree to them. Then click “Submit.”
If you’d rather apply in person or by phone, you can schedule a meeting with a Chase representative from the scheduler page.
Who Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Best For?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the ultimate travel rewards credit card when VIP access is a goal. Although the card’s annual fee is steep, it may be worth the fee when you start tallying the value of the benefits available. The typical Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder has a good to excellent credit score, tends to travel as much as possible and enjoys leveraging points for free travel.
When deciding whether to take on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the annual fee is a big part of the decision. Credit cards should be long-term companions, since the longer you keep them active, the more they can help your credit score. Committing to an annual fee of or higher shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If you travel often — or plan to in the future — the annual fee will probably be offset by the access to premium airport lounges, $300 travel credit, number of coverages and more. However, before you sign up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, take a closer look at the American Express Platinum card to compare. The perks and benefits are the closest — and exceed the Sapphire Reserve card in some categories.
Chase Sapphire Reserve FAQThe following questions are commonly asked regarding the Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa.
- What is the difference between Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred?
- Chase offers a variety of credit cards for cash back, loyalty, travel and rewards. There are two Sapphire travel rewards cards available: the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve. The Sapphire Preferred card is the more widely held of the two. It comes with a lower annual fee of $95 per year but doesn't have as many premium benefits as the Chase Sapphire Reserve. However, the extra benefits of the Reserve card come with an annual fee of $550, significantly more than the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
- Is there Chase Sapphire Reserve rental car insurance?
- One of the many free perks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is rental car insurance. The coverage is available for rentals paid in full using the Sapphire Reserve card and includes primary collision and theft protection for up to $75,000. Primary rental car coverage can be crucial in case of a large claim — if you use your personal vehicle insurance for a rental car and something goes wrong, you may receive reimbursement, but the incident can raise your car insurance premiums.
- Is there Chase Sapphire Reserve lounge access?
- One of the best Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits is airport lounge access. Anyone who has had a layover for longer than a couple of hours would probably appreciate waiting for the next flight at a premium airport lounge. Sapphire Reserve cardholders get complimentary membership to Priority Pass. There are more than 1,300 participating airport lounges in over 500 cities worldwide.
- What is the Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus?
- Credit card bonuses tend to come and go, but Chase keeps its credit card offers fairly consistent. The current Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus for new members is 80,000 bonus points, after spending $4,000 in the first three months, which can be redeemed at the Ultimate Rewards portal for 50% more in value when you use them for travel or statement credits on eligible purchases.
- Can I waive the Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee?
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve's $550 annual fee can't be avoided. Be sure the perks and offers work for you before you sign up for the card.
- Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve still worth it?
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is worth it if you spend enough on travel and dining each year to justify the high annual fee. The generous sign-on bonus makes it easy to get your money's worth in the first year.
- How hard is it to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve card?
- Premium rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card typically require a credit score in the very good-to-exceptional range, which is 740 and up.
- Who is the Chase Sapphire Reserve best for?
- Frequent, high-dollar travelers will get the most benefit from the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
- Is Chase Sapphire Reserve a luxury card?
- Chase Sapphire Reserve is considered a luxury card due to its high points rewards, generous new-member bonus and $550 annual fee.
Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.
Information is accurate as of Nov. 14, 2022.
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Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. 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 Chase.