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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card was so popular when it launched in 2016 that Chase experienced a shortage of the metal required to make the card.
Since then, the Sapphire Reserve has built a loyal following of card members who've learned to take advantage of the card’s premium travel benefits — including a coveted $300 annual travel credit and complimentary airport lounge access.
Last year, the Sapphire Reserve card underwent several updates, most notably when Chase raised its annual fee to $550. Nonetheless, the card gained a bunch of benefits with new partners like Lyft, DoorDash and Peloton that help balance out the higher annual fee.
If you expect to start traveling again this year, you may want to consider adding this card to your wallet. Below, Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, so you can decide if the card is worthwhile.
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 2022
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
16.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer fee
5%, minimum $5
Foreign transaction fee
If you’re a foodie or frequent traveler, this rewards program is geared toward you.
You earn 5X points on air travel and 10X points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually); 3X points on travel and dining worldwide and 1X points on all other purchases. Plus, earn 10X points on Lyft purchases through March 2022.
The welcome bonus is also top-notch: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
The Sapphire Reserve has two unique perks that can maximize the value of your points by 50%:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal: Simply use your points to book hotels, airfare, cruises and more directly through the travel portal.
- Pay Yourself Back: Use this tool to redeem points for a statement credit toward eligible purchases.
If you use either of these redemption options, the 50,000-point welcome bonus is worth up to $750.
Select calculated how many rewards the average American can earn if they optimize the way they use their Chase Sapphire Reserve card. We worked with the location intelligence firm Esri, who provided us with a sample annual spending budget of $22,126.
The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953).
Here’s how many points you can earn with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card in each category:
- Groceries: 5,174
- Gas: 2,218
- Dining out: 11,024
- Travel: 6,733*
- Utilities: 4,862
- General purchases: 3,953
- Total: 33,964
*Cardholders may earn more rewards for specific travel categories such as air travel, hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers over dozens of benefits for cardholders, which add additional value to the points we outlined above.
Many of the best perks have a clear value worth $60 to $300 each. When optimized, these perks can help you more than offset the $550 annual fee.
Here are the key benefits:
- $300 annual travel credit to offset flights, hotel stays and more
- $100 credit toward Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee every four years
- Complimentary DashPass (worth about $119) for a minimum of one year (enroll by March 31, 2022)
- 10x Reward Points on Peloton(enroll by March 31, 2022)
- Complimentary year of Lyft Pink membership (worth about $19.99 per month), which includes 15% off car rides, relaxed cancellations and priority airport pickups
- Priority Pass Select lounge access (valued at $429), giving you access to 1,000+ VIP lounges in over 500 cities worldwide
In addition to those benefits, you can take advantage of helpful travel and purchase coverages, such as:
- Protection for eligible purchases that are lost or damaged
- Return protection on qualifying items that the store won't take back
- Extended warranty protection on eligible purchases
- Roadside assistance while traveling in the U.S. and Canada
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
- Baggage delay insurance
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Travel accident insurance
- Travel and emergency assistance services
- Special benefits at The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, such as complimentary room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out
- Emergency evacuation and transportation
- Emergency medical and dental
Learn more about the specific terms for each benefit.
This card comes with a pretty steep $550 annual fee. Therefore, it’s not for everyone. You’ll need to pay the annual fee on your first statement, then every subsequent account anniversary. You can chip away at the annual fee during the year by earning rewards and taking advantage of the benefits mentioned above.
There is no intro 0% APR period for this card, so it shouldn’t be used to finance new purchases or complete balance transfers. The APR is typical at 16.99% to 23.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers.
This card has no foreign transaction fees, so you can travel and spend outside the U.S. without incurring the average 3% fee.
If you’re a frequent traveler, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card can be a helpful addition to your wallet. In order to offset the $550 annual fee every year, you’ll need to take full advantage of most of the card’s perks, from the annual $300 travel credit to the Lyft, DoorDash and Peloton perks. That said, this card has a robust suite of perks that range from travel insurance and statement credits on eligible spending to 50% extra value on select rewards redemptions.
But if you don’t want to fork over $550, consider the more affordable Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This card has a $95 annual fee and still offers a 25% boost on eligible point redemptions. Plus you can benefit from many of the same travel and purchase protections, as well as similar statement credit offers.