Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Review: The Card With All The Travel Benefits

Apr 5, 2018

I didn’t get the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card because of it’s sleek, metal-infused exterior (but I totally did), it’s what’s on inside that matters—the annual $300 travel credit, triple points on travel and dining, exclusive travel coverage and high-end perks, a Priority Pass membership, a Global Entry fee credit, no foreign transaction fees… Really, the list could go on. I’ll tell you right here, right now that the card’s high-end benefits and unique perks comes with a hefty annual fee of $450. But hey, I’ll let you decide for yourself if its travel protection and always-treating-you-good benefits is worth it to you. Me? I made it my main card.

Read: What You Need to Know Before Getting Your First Travel Credit Card

Earning the 50,000 Sign Up Bonus

You’ve heard of travelers who go on ’round-the-world adventures funded solely on miles and points, right? Well, sign up bonuses are one of the fastest ways to earn travel points. I ain’t no travel hacker, but 50,000 Ultimate Reward points is worth $750, so imagine where that could take you for free. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card requires spending $4,000 in the first three months to earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points. And if you don’t meet these requirements, no points for you. Not even partial points for almost reaching the minimum spend. Need help meeting the spend requirement? Here’re the simple methods I used:

  • Charge everything on it. Use your card to pay for groceries, dining out, entertainment, transportation and other daily spending. Remember not to overspend so swipe responsibly and pay the balance in full each month.
  • Buy and collect. This one’s my favorite. Whether you’re eating out with friends or tagging along with your main squeeze who’s shopping for a new bike, use your card for other people’s purchases and have them pay you back directly. Unless you’re feeling generous…
  • Buy gift cards. Buy gift cards to stores you know you’ll be spending money at… your favorite grocery stores, Amazon, hey even plain ol’ VISA gift cards will work.
  • Add authorized users. Authorize a trusted parent or your financially responsible other half on the card and make sure they reimburse you. A $75 fee will apply to each additional cardholder, but keep in mind that they won’t get their own line of the annual $300 travel credit.

Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card and earn 50,000 bonus points.

What’re the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card perks?

Travel and Dining Bonus Earning Rate is High

I’m gonna guess you travel (or want to do more of it) and eat out often. Why not earn not one or two, but three times the points for doing the things you already do. Earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining purchases and 1 Ultimate Rewards point per dollar for everything else. Points are worth 50% more for travel than if you redeem for cash, meaning 50,000 points are worth $750 (1.5 cents per point) compared to $500 if redeemed for cash. Here’re the types of purchases that will count as travel to earn triple points:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds
  • Car rental agencies
  • Cruise lines
  • Travel agencies
  • Discount travel sites
  • Operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways
  • Parking lots and garages

Get $300 Travel Credit Every Year

Yes, you read that right. Every year, you’ll get a $300 credit to spend on everything travel so go ahead, max it out! Unlike other premium travel credit cards, Chase is pretty flexible when it comes to what counts as eligible travel expenses including Airbnb, Uber, hotel parking and more. The best part is that this $300 credit directly offsets the annual fee so you’re really only paying $150. You’ll be automatically reimbursed for travel purchases made with your card. Unfortunately, it doesn’t roll over to the next year so use it or lose it.

Airport Lounge Access with Complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership

Sometimes layovers happen. And when it does, why not enjoy the lounge life of one of over 1,000 Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide? That’s right, your card comes with a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership meaning you can ditch the airport waiting areas for unlimited lounge access with amenities such as Wi-Fi, complimentary snacks (yes, free food!) and beverages. Bring all your guests in for free, too! Here’s the thing. You can’t just show up to any ol’ lounge with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card. You’ll need to activate your membership online and get your physical card mailed to you within 2-3 weeks. Once you get your card, download the Priority Pass app on your phone and enter the PIN number on your welcome letter so that you’ll have one less card to carry.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Application Fee Will Be Reimbursed

Airport lines aren’t getting any shorter. If you’ve ever eyed the empty TSA PreCheck line at the airport as you stand in an even longer one just to get through security, or hate being stuck in the customs processing line reentering the US, then you’ll want to take advantage of either the Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) application fee credit to shorten your wait. TSA PreCheck is available in the US only and you’ll get to go through that empty security line where you don’t have to remove your shoes, belt, laptop and bag of liquids. Global Entry, on the other hand, allows you to expedite the long customs processing line by going straight to a designated Global Entry kiosk. No need to fill out forms, plus when you’re approved for Global Entry you also qualify for TSA PreCheck. It’s a two-for-one, so if you’re deciding which you should get, go for Global Entry.

Travel Protection

When it comes to travel, anything can happen. Use your card for travel purchases to cover the unexpected and protect your travel investment. Here’s a summary of travel protections you’re covered with:

  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver for covered collision or theft up to $75,000
  • 24/7 Roadside Assistance up to $50 for each service event, up to 4 events per year
  • Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance for deaths in the immediate family, emergencies and illness up to $10,000
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement up to $500 for covered trips delayed over 6 hours
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement up to $3,000
  • Baggage Day Insurance up to $100 per day for  a maximum of 5 days
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services provides free assistance coordinating legal, medical and travel services away from home
  • Travel Accident Insurance up to $1,00,000

Get the Card with Benefits

So is the $450 annual fee worth it? I think so. If you’re brand agnostic, casual traveler and can’t commit to just one airline or hotel chain, then this is the kind of card you want to wallet. For a complete list of benefits visit the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Travel Benefits page.

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