Saphire reserve card

The New Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Looks Fantastic!

UPDATE: The 100,000 point signup bonus offer for online applications will be reduced to 50,000 on January 12, 2017.

Chase has introduced its new premium travel credit card, Sapphire Reserve, and it looks fantastic! Loaded with benefits, it carries a hefty $450 annual fee. This new addition to its lineup finally gives Chase a direct competitor to The Platinum Card from American Express and Citi Prestige.

Sapphire Reserve offers a myriad of travel benefits that more than make up for the annual fee, including an annual $300 travel credit, complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge access, and Global Entry/TSA Pre✓ credit.

Unfortunately, this card is subject to Chase’s restrictive 5/24 rule. Last week, I wrote about this rule in detail, but in short, if you’ve opened 5+ credit cards in the last 24 months, you will likely be denied for Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you happen to be a Chase Private Client, or if you are pre-approved in branch, it’s possible to circumvent the 5/24 rule. YMMV.

Sapphire Reserve is being offered as a Visa Infinite card. The minimum credit line for a Visa Infinite card is $10,000. You’ll need a strong credit score and above-average income to qualify for Sapphire Reserve.

100,000* bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months

*Bonus offer will be reduced to 50,000 points on January 12, 2017.

You can redeem Ultimate Rewards points for statement credits and gift cards, but the for the best value, use them for travel. Ultimate Rewards Points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to the following frequent flier programs:

  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwast Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

In addition, you can transfer points at the same 1:1 ratio to the following hotel loyalty accounts:

  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Redeem Points for 1.5 cents each towards travel booked on the Ultimate Rewards website

Saphire reserve card

In the event that transferring UR points to a travel partner is not feasible or offers a lower value, you can purchase travel through the Ultimate Rewards travel site. There, you can redeem your points to offset travel costs (air fare, hotels and car rentals) at a value of 1.5 cents per point.

This compares favorably to Sapphire Preferred which offers 1.25 cents per point, and Freedom/Freedom Unlimited which redeem at only 1 cent per point. As always, you can combine points earned on all these Chase cards onto the Sapphire Reserve to maximize their value.

3x Points on Travel and Dining

Not only does this card make points more valuable, Sapphire Reserve also increases your points earning power. Sapphire Preferred cardholders have always enjoyed 2x Ultimate Rewards on travel and dining. Sapphire Reserve ups the ante to 3x in those categories.

$300 Annual Travel Credit each Calendar Year (including airfare and hotels)

Each calendar year, you automatically receive up to $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for travel-related purchases charged to your card. Apply now, and you’ll have $300 in available credit for the remainder of this year, and another $300 beginning January 1. Factoring in this credit effectively brings the net annual fee for Sapphire Reserve down to $150.

Merchants in Chase’s travel category are extremely generous. They include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.

Priority Pass Select Membership

Priority Pass membership provides complimentary access to more than 900 airport lounges worldwide. Members and guests enjoy lounge amenities such as WIFI, free snacks, beverages.

Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Fee Credit

Receive a statement credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card. If you already have Global Entry or TSA Pre✓, you can pay the fee for a friend or family member instead.

Chase Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite card. That comes with some unique benefits like Special Car Rental Privileges at National, Avis and Silvercar, Free Roadside Assistance (up to $50 per incident 4x per year), and Extended Warranty on purchases. Rental Car Insurance is primary and provides up to $75,000 coverage.

The card also comes with a full suite of benefits that have accompanied the Sapphire Preferred card like Trip Cancellation insurance, Trip Delay Insurance, Baggage Delay Insurance and Lost Luggage Reimbursement. The Reserve card also offers more generous Travel Accident Insurance and Purchase Protection than Sapphire Preferred.

I would love to replace my Sapphire Preferred with this card. Since I know I would be denied due to the Chase 5/24 rule, I won’t bother applying online. I’ll need to visit a branch to see if I’m pre-approved. If I’m successful, I’ll downgrade my Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom Unlimited. That’s another card I currently can’t get due to Chase 5/24.

The $450 annual fee is steep, but factor in the annual $300 travel credit, which I’ll easily monetize, and it’s only a net cost of $150. This makes it only $55 more than Sapphire Preferred. I can make up that difference–and more–with the additional Ultimate Rewards point earned on Dining and Travel.


No, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is NOT The Best Credit Card Ever

If you’re losing your mind over the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card , which came out yesterday to an outstanding level of hype, don’t. Contrary to what is being written about it, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is NOT the best credit card ever. It’s not the greatest sign-up bonus of all time either. So why were you being slut shamed into applying for this card the millisecond the offer went live? Affiliate links.

Thanks to the Chase 5/24 rule , many of us don’t qualify for this card (though there were reports on Reddit of people getting approved with 5+ cards over the past 24 months ). The pool of eligible applicants is small, so the group of bloggers with affiliate links are fighting for limited business. Hyperbolic headlines are eye catching and may translate to conversions. (Update: Gary over at View from the Wing tells me there’s currently just one blogger with Chase affiliate links).

The New Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card Comes with a 100,000 Point sign-up bonus!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for bloggers earning a buck through affiliate marketing. And I’m certainly not denouncing the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. It’s just ridiculous to treat this card like The Second Coming and call it the best credit card ever when it’s not. For starters, the card’s 3 points per $1 earned on travel and dining is nice, but it’s only 1 point more than what the Chase Sapphire Preferred pays out. If it was 5 points or even 4, I would be impressed. But it’s 3, so let’s keep a little perspective here.

Second, while the 100,000 point sign-up bonus is indeed exciting, it’s also NOT “the best sign-up bonus ever.” In fact, many years ago the Chase Sapphire Preferred card was offering the same 100,000 point sign-up bonus . So while I totally understand (and even share in) the excitement over a 100,000 point sign-up bonus, it’s not the first time we’ve seen a sign-up bonus this high. Let’s also acknowledge that other than the sign-up bonus and 1.5 cents per point worth of value at the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal , the card doesn’t have much else going for it that would make it “the best ever.”

The recurring $300 travel and $100 Global Entry credits are pretty amazing (though the latter is not unique). If you’re redeeming enough points via the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, you can justify paying $55 more than the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. If Priority Pass Select membership matters to you, that’s another feature you can think of as off-setting the $450 annual fee.

These are all decent card benefits, but not everyone will see value in the Sapphire Reserve beyond the sign-up bonus . Keep some perspective when you’re reading overhyped blog posts. After all, “the greatest credit card ever” has to offer more than just a great sign-up bonus. If I had to dream one up, it would have a higher standard earning rate than 1 point per $1 or at the very least, a very lucrative category bonus (i.e. 5x points or more at grocery stores). The Sapphire Reserve is great for the sign-up bonus, but it isn’t the end all be all of credit cards. So don’t let the hype get to you. It’s just a *good* credit card with an amazing sign-up bonus.

Have you applied for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card yet? If you were approved, please share whether it was due to a 5/24 exemption or not.


Chase Sapphire Reserve Card launched with the highest offer in years!

by ThriftyTraveler · Published August 23, 2016 · Updated August 23, 2016

The new Chase Sapphire Reserve card was launched yesterday. It’s the most hotly anticipated credit card launch in years. It’s a card that has it all. Massive sign-up bonus, great benefits, and solid earning power. Based on anecdotal evidence so far it does appear this card falls under Chase’s 5/24 rule. This means you will not be approved if you have opened more than 5 credit cards in the last 24 months. If you’re under 5/24 then you’re good to apply!

Benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

  • Massive sign-up bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first 3 months of card membership. This is an incredible offer and can be redeemed for $1,500 in travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Much like the American Express Platinum Card and the Citi Prestige card, The Chase Sapphire Preferred card will boast an annual fee of $450 which is not waived for the first year. We think the benefits, including the $300 travel statement credit, easily help to cover the annual fee.
  • The card will earn 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on all travel and dining expenses (Compared to 2X Ultimate Rewards points on their Chase Sapphire Preferred Card).
  • Their will be a $100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit which can be used to cover the cost of entry into the program. This benefit is available every four years.
  • You will also get a Priority Pass Select membership to access their fantastic collection of airport lounges around the world.
  • The card will be a Visa Infinite card which will provide world class card protection (including primary collision for rental cars).
  • Much like competitor cards in the premium card market, there will be a $75 annual fee to have an authorized user added to the card.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve Cardmembers will be able to redeem Ultimate Rewards points through the web portal at 1.5 cents each (Compared to 1.25 cents each with their Chase Sapphire Preferred card). This is huge in our opinion, especially for booking flight deals with points.
  • The most lucrative benefit is an annual $300 travel statement credit. This can redeemed for items such as airline tickets, hotels, Uber rides and anything Chase considers to fall under the travel category which I have outlined below:

Merchants in the travel category include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages. Please note that some merchants that provide transportation and travel-related services are not included in this category; for example, real estate agents, websites or owners that rent vacation properties, in-flight goods and services, on-board cruise line goods and services, sightseeing activities, tourist attractions, merchants within airports, and merchants that rent vehicles for the purpose of hauling. In addition, the purchasing of points or miles does not qualify in this category.

Thrifty Tip #1: Being that this benefit is a calendar year benefit, you will be able to redeem $600 of travel credits before having to pay the annual fee for year two!

Thrifty Tip #2: Are you a Chase Sapphire Preferred card holder? Don’t worry about closing it. You can hold both the Sapphire Preferred and the new Sapphire reserve card.

Thrifty Tip #3: Do you want to know our favorite way to redeem Chase UR points? Read Mr. TT’s post on booking flight deals with points.

We get no commission on this card. We want you to know about the best card offers, regardless if we get a commission or not. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has everything we look for in a travel credit card (incredible signup bonus, great category multipliers on travel and dining, lounge access, and lucrative other benefits). It is exciting to see Chase bring a product to the market to compete head to head with the American Express Platinum card and Citibank Prestige card. The heavy hitting Chase Sapphire Reserve card is a great addition to the suite of Ultimate Rewards earning card products. I have been a Chase Sapphire Preferred card member since 2011, and it’s the card I use for much of my spending. In my opinion, it’s one of the top travel rewards card on the market. Knowing that the Sapphire Reserve card includes enhanced versions of all of the Sapphire Preferred benefits, along with many other fantastic new benefits, I will certainly be applying!

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The Best Credit Card For Travel Perks? Chase Sapphire Reserve Review

Saphire reserve card

Writing about a specific credit card offer isn’t something I thought I would ever be motivated to do but the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is an incredibly enticing offer for travelers who take as little as one flight per year. In other words, you don’t need to be a very frequent traveler to get some serious travel benefits that will save you money, get you free flights, travel insurance, plus a lot more.

What you do need is to be a resident of the United States; so although I am generally hesitant to post an offer that omits 95% of the world’s population, if you can get this card and travel occasionally, here’s why you should seriously consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Points, Miles, Or Both If You Choose

Before I get to the upfront travel perks, let’s start with the Sapphire Reserve’s big hook, 100,000 bonus points. To claim them, you’ll have to spend $4,000 within the first three months of being approved for the card. $1,333.33 dollars a month goes pretty fast especially if you live in the U.S., eat, make car payments, pay an electrical bill, or exist in general.

Travel points can be a confusing system but Chase’s is relatively straightforward. Your first bonus points are equivalent to about $1,500 in the Ultimate Rewards store where you can purchase airfare plus shop at the Apple Store, Amazon, for hotels, and more. Those points can also be converted, one for one, directly into frequent flyer miles for most programs as well. (You should really be using these 3 programs to maximize your earning.) As an example, 100,000 miles with Untied Mileage Plus gets you two round trip tickets from the U.S. to Europe or three, one way tickets, if you use multi-city flights to see more for less.

Points can also be used to put cash back into your account, the first 100k being roughly equivalent to $1,000. Once you get the Sapphire Reserve card, you continue earning points by spending: 1 point per dollar on most purchases; 3 points per dollar on travel and dining related expenses. Like the bonus points, you can convert any points into cash, miles, or for use in the Ultimate Rewards tore.

Let’s get Chase’s Sapphire Reserve card fee out of the way because it probably puts a lot of people off at first sight. The annual fee is $450. Although you may balk at first, if you travel at all, $300 is offset by a credit on any travel or dining costs. Essentially, the first $300 you spend on travel every year is credited back to your account – effectively making the annual fee $150.

Saphire reserve card

On the other side, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has no foreign transaction fees, which can add up quickly if you travel internationally often.

There are a few benefits the Sapphire Reserve has that really make it a unique offering, starting with the travel and purchase coverage:

  • Included Travel Insurance – (Outside of the U.S. only.) This coverage includes medical (up to $100,000) for you and any immediate family members traveling with you.
  • Car Rental Insurance – (Worldwide) So long as you use your Sapphire Reserve card to pay for a car rental, you can turn down the rental companies collision and theft insurance (up to $75,000 protection).
  • Small Item (Electronics) Coverage – Anything you buy with the Sapphire Reserve card is insured against damage or theft for the first 6 months (up to $50,000 per year).

Saphire reserve card

You really shouldn’t be traveling without insurance but many people neglect to do it because it can cost $60 a week or more depending on where you’re traveling. When you book with the Chase Sapphire Reserve it’s a cost you no longer have to consider. There is also other coverage, you can see all that’s included here.

Priority Pass Into 900 Airport Lounges Worldwide

On its own, an unlimited Priority Pass membership costs $399. You’ll be able to enter over 900 lounges in at these airports (and hopefully remember to share wifi details with your fellow travelers). Also, if you decide to sign up for Global Entry or TSA Pre, you’ll be credited back $100, effectively making them free.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a travel card with a lot of benefits (no, nobody paid me to write any of this) but isn’t the credit card you want to use if you carry any balance from month to month. Interest rates are high (16-23%) plus there are cards without annual fees. In case you’re not eligible or interested in the Chase Sapphire Reserve, remember there are plenty of ways to earn frequent flyer miles without getting more credit cards.