Chase Sapphire Reserve

$450 Annual Fee
9

Earning Categories

10.0/10

Fees

8.5/10

Redemption Options

9.5/10

Transfer Partners

10.0/10

Lounge Access

7.0/10

Pros

  • $300 Travel Credit
  • 3x Travel + Dining
  • 50% Redemption Bonus
  • Priority Pass Lounge Access
  • $100 TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry Voucher

Cons

  • $450 Annual Fee
  • $75 Authorized User Fee
  • Just Priority Pass Lounge Access

It has become the most talked about card here at Pursuing Points and it may be the most popular card in America at this point. Ever since its release in the fall of 2016 people have been clamoring over the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and for good reason. The card not only offers incredible value on its own but its also part of a trio of cards that I like to call the “Ultimate Rewards Trifecta”. That is the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Together you can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards at no less than 1.5 points per dollar and sometimes up to as much as 5 points per dollar. Whats more is that you can then transfer all of your UR points into your Reserve account and redeem for a 50% bonus through the Reserve travel portal.

Be sure to listen to episode 002 of the podcast where I signed up for this card live on the program. It is still our most popular episode of all time!

Perks & Benefits

  • $300 annual travel credit – Each account year the card will automatically reimburse you for up to $300 on travel. The credit is applied automatically to any qualifying travel purchase.
  • $450 annual fee – Given its perks the annual fee is right in line with what we would expect. Main competitors for this card would be the American Express Platinum ($550) and the Citi Prestige ($450). The good news here though is that if you’re able to take advantage of the $300 travel credit, your net effective annual fee is only $150.
  • 3 points per $1 on dining
  • 3 points per $1 on travel
  • $100 TSA Precheck or Global Entry credit – Many cards offer this perk, and you may not necessarily be able to take advantage if you’re already a member of Precheck or Global Entry. Still, its nice to have if you need it.
  • 50% points bonus when redeemed through the travel rewards portal – One of my favorite perks with this card is the 50% bonus through the travel portal. This is the highest bonus for the portal of any chase card.
  • Priority Pass Lounge Access – Once you’ve got the card you can activate this feature by going to Ultimate Rewards -> Card Benefits and activate. The use you get out of this perk will depend on how often you’re in airports with priority pass lounges.

Overall Thoughts

Chase has a history of providing some of the best travel rewards credit cards that this space has ever seen. The Reserve is no different. While its $450 annual fee may seem high, remember that your net effective annual fee is only $150, assuming you can max out your $300 travel credit every year. At that price you’re only paying $55 more than you would be for the Sapphire Preferred and for that you’re getting 3x on dining rather than 2, lounge access, 50% travel redemption bonus rather than 25, and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit worth up to $100.

This card has been in my wallet ever since I signed up for it on the podcast, and I do not see myself getting rid of it any time soon. While other cards in this annual fee range offer some different benefits that are also intriguing (think better lounge access with the Amex Platinum), I do not think there is a more well rounded card in the marketplace right now.