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The new Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus gives cardholders up to $750 in travel value—here's what to know

Select breaks down how CSR's 50,000-point bonus works, what it's worth and the best way to spend it.

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Anyone looking to book travel in the near future for a post-vaccine vacation may want to jump on one of the sign-up offers for the popular Chase Sapphire credit cards while they lasts.

New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Although it's not as much as the original 100,000-point bonus that Chase offered when the card launched in 2016, it's still a generous bonus that goes even further depending on how you redeem those points.

Sapphire Reserve cardholders can use the 50,000 bonus points for travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal and earn up to $750 to offset the cost of future flights or hotel stays.

When combining the welcome bonus, worth up to $750, with the card's annual $300 travel credit, new cardholders have up to $1,050 to spend on their travels.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases plus, 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $550

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    17.24% - 24.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

Terms apply.

 

Here's how the new Chase Sapphire Reserve 50,000-point welcome bonus works, more details on what it's worth and the different ways you can spend it.

How the new Chase Sapphire Reserve 50,000-point welcome bonus works

New Sapphire Reserve cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

In order to qualify for the welcome bonus, you must meet two eligibility requirements:

  1. You currently don't have any Sapphire cards (Preferred or Reserve); and
  2. You haven't received a new card member bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 48 months

After qualifying for the Sapphire Reserve welcome bonus, you will receive the 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points in the next billing cycle.

What 50,000 Chase Sapphire Reserve points are worth

The Sapphire Reserve's points are worth 50% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards portal or as a statement credit with the Pay Yourself Back feature. So 50,000 bonus points can be worth up to $750.

When redeemed for cash back outside of Pay Yourself Back, the 50,000 points are worth $500.

In addition to offering a sizable welcome bonus, the Sapphire Reserve also has a generous rewards program: 3X points per dollar spent on travel worldwide, 3X points on dining at restaurants (including eligible delivery services and takeout), plus 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

Cardholders also enjoy additional travel perks including:

  • 5X points on air travel, 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after using $300 annual travel credit)
  • Up to $300 annual travel credit for travel expenses, such as airfare, hotel stays and rental cars
  • $100 credit toward the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee every four years
  • Priority Pass™ Select lounge access (valued at $429), which gives you access to over 1,000 VIP lounges in over 500 cities worldwide
  • The Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection, with special benefits, such as complimentary room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out
  • Travel protections, including lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance, travel and emergency assistance services and emergency evacuation and transportation

Reviewing this list makes it obvious why the Sapphire Reserve ranks as Select's top travel credit card for luxury travel and is a consistent favorite among frequent travelers.

The best way to spend the Chase Sapphire Reserve welcome bonus

There are many ways to redeem your Reserve bonus points, but some methods provide more value than others.

Book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards:

Value: 1.50 cents per point

Maximize your Chase Sapphire Reserve's 50,000 points by cashing them in to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Redeeming your points this way gives you 1.50 cents per point — making them worth 50% more — and you can use the points to cover future airfare and accommodation booked through Chase's travel portal.

Transfer points to a Chase travel partner:

Value: 1:1 ratio

You can also transfer your points for a 1:1 ratio to one of Chase's 13 travel partners in the Ultimate Rewards program. These partners include 10 airlines: Aer Lingus, British Airways, Emirates, Flying Blue (Air France/KLM), Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United and Virgin Atlantic; and three hotel chains: Hyatt, IHG and Marriott.

Once your points are transferred to a travel partner, they might have more or less value depending on the program's rules and regulations.

Pay Yourself Back:

Value: 1.50 cents per point

Chase's Pay Yourself Back tool increases the value of Ultimate Rewards points by 50% on certain eligible purchases.

Gift Cards:

Value: 1 cent per point

You can use your points toward gift card purchases at restaurants, department stores or for entertainment services. The value of one point is worth a penny, so, for example, a $50 Under Armour gift card would cost 5,000 points. At times, Chase will offer a sale on gift cards, marking them down by 10%.

Minimum gift card redemption amounts vary by merchant, but many cards have $15 or $25 minimums. Gift cards are shipped, and cardholders have two options: free standard shipping, which takes six to 10 days, or rush shipping, which costs $10 and takes three to six days.

Cash Back:

Value: 1 cent per point

Chase's cash-back option allows cardholders to redeem their points in the form of a statement credit at a 1:1 value. For example, 10,000 points could earn you $100 cash back. Redeeming your rewards for cash-back statement credits isn't the most cost-effective way to use them, especially when you can take advantage of the Pay Yourself Back option where points are worth 50% more.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a good addition to any frequent traveler's wallet. The card's $550 annual fee can be easily offset by taking full advantage of its statement credits, extra luxury perks and the 50% extra value on select rewards redemptions.

Chase points don't expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing (not delinquent).

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.