Chase Sapphire Reserve Review For 2020
Learn why the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card is the best option for people that spend money on Travel and Dinning.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card
18.49% - 25.49% Variable
680 - 850
A Great card for dining & travel
The annual fee can be hard to swallow
EASE OF USE
Apply in less than 5 minutes
Responds pretty quickly
Credit Knocks Overall Star Rating:
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best credit cards you can get if you do a ton of traveling and like to dine out.
This is because of features like an annual travel credit ($300.00) and rewards that can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to other loyalty programs.
However, this card does have a $550 annual fee so it’s essential to make sure that you can and know how to take advantage of it’s overall value if you decide to get this card.
What's The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card was launched in August of 2016 and focused its attention on huge sign up bonuses, amazing travel benefits (that people actually use) and hands down one of the best rewards programs around.
Now, don’t get me wrong:
This card was designed for people who travel frequently and that have great credit.
It’s a high-end metal card and if you find yourself spending more than $3,000 a year on travel and dining then getting this card can help you lower your overall costs.
The Sapphire Reserve card isn’t associated with only one airline or hotel chain like other cards; however, it gives you a set amount of points per dollar on travel and dining.
Now, if you don’t travel much or don’t spend money on dining, then this might not be the best option for you because of the fee.
I use this card almost every day and when you use it right, it’s amazing how much money you get to save.
Keep reading to learn all about the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.
Who Is JP Morgan Chase?
JPMorgan Chase Bank was founded in 1955 and is a national bank headquartered in Manhattan.
They are a financial services holding company and serve nearly half of U.S. households with credit cards, all types of personal and business loans to personal and business banking.
JPMorgan Chase, is one of the Big Four banks of the United States and have more than 5,100 branches and 16,000 ATMs nationwide.
In 2016 their assets were around $2.49 trillion and they have A ratings from Moody's, S&P, and Fitch for financial strength and stability.
Chase 5/24 Rule
Unlike most credit card issuers, Chase has instituted something called the 5/24 rule.
This rule allows Chase to automatically deny your credit card application if you have opened up five or more credit cards within a 24 month time period.
The goal of this rule seems to be to stop people who just want to get a credit card for the sign up bonus.
With this being said, you should probably apply for all of your Chase credit cards first since other lenders don’t have this rule.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card Basics
Below are some of the basic features of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card:
When you use this card right, you can not only eliminate the annual fee, but you also get the additional benefits we discuss below.
Benefits Of The Chase Sapphire Reserve
50,000 Point Sign Up Bonus
While it isn’t the original 100K sign up bonus, Chase still comes out of the gate swinging with its Sign up bonus.
You can earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000.00 on purchases in the first 3 months from opening your account.
And here’s the thing, if you redeem it through Chase Ultimate Rewards it turns out to be about $750 towards travel.
3 Points Per Dollar For Dining & Travel
Eating at restaurants and traveling more have become mainstream in society and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card makes things flow even easier with their rewards program.
You get 3 points per dollar for both dining and travel. On average your rewards points from your Sapphire Reserve card are going to be worth about 1.5 cents each when redeemed for travel.
And guest what:
That 3 points per dollar is world wide, not just in the United states.
$300 Statement Credit For Travel
Unlike most premium credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card covers travel purchases, taxi rides, campground, and train fees with the annual $300 statement credit they give you.
What makes this benefit even better is that it’s applied automatically, so you don’t have to do anything but use your card and it will be applied to your account. .
Take a quick ride to the Mall in a Lyft and voila, the travel credit is added to your statement.
Priority Pass Select Membership
Something that I enjoy most when traveling is having access to different airport lounges because you never know when you are going to have a layover.
A huge benefit of this card is that you (and any authorized user) get a free Priority Pass Select membership.
This membership comes with access to over 1,300 airport lounges and it even offers meal credits (up to $25 per visit) at specific lounges and airport restaurants.
Global Entry Or TSA Pre-Check Reimbursement
I don’t know if you have ever been stuck in line at the airport, especially coming back from out of the country but Global Entry & TSA Pre-Check are amazing benefits.
With your card you will be able to get reimbursed for the application fee for either TSA Precheck ($85.00) or Global Entry ($100.00) once every four years.
1:1 Transfer Ratio With Other Programs
One feature that stands above other cards is the ability to move your rewards points from Chase to other loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio.
This means you don’t lose anything by transferring your points to another program. Just imagine moving your rewards points into a strong miles program that could save you thousands of dollars for a flight.
The “Chase Trifecta”
The cool thing about Chase cards is that you can transfer points from other Chase cards such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited to your Sapphire Reserve card.
Let’s say you have a Chase Freedom Unlimited card that earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Since this card doesn’t come with the 1:1 transfer ratio to other partners, you can just transfer the points to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card and then complete the 1:1 transfer.
Essentially making the value of your Chase Freedom Unlimited increase when you use it with another Chase card.
Below is a quick list of a few additional bonuses that come with the card that I wanted to mention:
Overall this card is packed with benefits and as you can see, these benefits can easily justify the annual fee and if you use the card correctly, the annual fee doesn’t seem to exist.
Quick Overview Of The Rewards Program
Your card will earn between 1% to 4.5% cash back on purchase with the traditional redemption methods based on how you earn and redeem your points.
There is also an opportunity to get about 6% cash back with certain point transfer combinations.
Knocking Out Your Intro Bonus
Before you apply for this card you need to have a plan on how to knock out the $4,000 spend over 3 months because 50,000 points are at stake.
Just think about everything you spend money on, or even a large 1 time purchase you have been putting off.
Collecting these 50,000 points is crucial and while I don’t recommend going into debt just for rewards points; if you already have a plan, then it’s money you would have spent anyway.
It’s time to earn rewards points and doing it is just a simple as spending money, but spending it on the right things.
If you are going out to eat or if you are going to be traveling you will get 3X the Ultimate Rewards points per dollar.
Now, the points for the travel rewards will not start accumulating until you have used up your $300.00 annual travel credit (so there is no double dipping).
For any other types of purchases (like using Plastiq to pay your monthly rent), you will get 1 rewards point per dollar spent.
And here’s the thing:
Your points will usually be worth about 1 cents each, but if you redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel you will get a bonus 50% which makes them worth 1.50 cents each.
So, in actuality, when you spend on travel and rewards you are really getting 4.5% cash back instead of just 3%. That’s an additional 1.5% back.
Now, as I stated earlier, no travel rewards will be earned until you use up that $300 travel credit, but after that you will start earning points immediately.
Your Sapphire Reserve card is going to provide rewards for things like your initial reservation and other eligible purchases you make when traveling.
There are a few ways to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points:
Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal - Chase gives you a 50% point bonus when you redeem points through the chase ultimate rewards site, giving you an additional incentive of 1.5 cents per point.
Transfer To Travel Partners - You can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to several travel partners. Each partner's values will vary based on their program.
Statement Credit - You get 1 cent per point when you redeem your points as a statement credit. (Not the best option if your goal is only cash back)
Gift Cards - You can get gift cards at 1 cent per point or less, but be sure the value is worth it because all Gift Cards aren’t created equal.
Chase Pay® - You can also use your points to pay for purchases at certain places like Amazon, but usually you will only get about .08 cents per point value.
As I stated above, and to be totally honest, the best and easiest way to redeem your points is going to be going through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and getting the additional 50% point bonus.
You can pay for things like:
Now get this, there are no blackout dates or travel restrictions when you book through Ultimate Rewards which is an amazing value.
The worst thing you can do is redeem your points for statement credits, gift cards, or by paying with points, because you can get more value from them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Partners
Below is a list of travel partners you can do a 1:1 transfer of points with:
The Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card offers you the opportunity to stay at hotels by just using rewards points.
How The Sapphire Reserve's Annual Fee Works
The annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a whopping $550.00 and an additional $75.00 for any authorized user.
The fees will be automatically deducted from your available balance and you will just need to make a payment to clear it.
But here's the honest truth, your annual fee really isn't $550 if you take advantage of all the benefits.
If you use the $300 travel statement credit (which happens automatically) then your annual fee drops from $550 to $250.
Then let's say you use the Global Entry Credit for $100 every 4 years, that gives you an extra $25.00 per year, so your fee is now down to $225.00 per year.
Now, let's talk about your free Priority Pass Membership that gives you access to over 1,300 airport lounges and up to 2 free guests per visit.
As you can see above, to get close to the same benefits you would need to purchase their $429 a year plan; and you would still have to pay $32.00 per guest.
This means, using the priority pass 1 time with 2 guests saves you an additional $493.00 per year.
If you take away $493.00 from $225.00 remaining that gives you an actual savings of $268.00 per year if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
And guys, this is just 1 route to getting your savings, there are other ways to do it as well.
Sapphire Reserve Vs Sapphire Preferred
Now, it’s super easy to get these confused when you start doing your research, but they are two completely different cards.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is the lower-cost relative of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The card still has an annual fee of only $95.00 but it won’t come with additional benefits like no limit to the number of points you can earn that don't expire as long as your account is open.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card will have those limits.
If you are a frequent traveler then the Sapphire Reserve® card is going to be your best option, especially for long-term value.
However, If you prefer to have a strong sign up bonus and want to get a strong value from points; then the Sapphire Preferred® might be a better choice.
Now, don’t let the $550.00 annual fee confuse you because all of the benefits you get with the Chase Sapphire Reserve ends up lowering your annual fee significantly.
It’s fair to say that if you plan to travel at all, any time soon, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a much better choice.
How To Cancel Your Sapphire Reserve Card
Now, if things change and you need to cancel your card there are a few ways to do it:
Cancel Your Chase Credit Card Over the Phone
It’s actually really quick to cancel your Sapphire Reserve card over the phone, all you need to do is call 1.800.432.3117.
You will be prompted to enter your card number and once you do that you can just skip the prompts and ask to speak to a representative that will assist you with canceling your card.
Cancel a Chase Credit Card With Snail Mail
Believe it or not, there are still people who prefer to cancel things by traditional mail. I wouldn’t say this is the fastest way to complete the process, but it will still get the job done.
All you need to do is write a quick letter including your name, address, the credit card number, and a short request to cancel the account.
You should probably send the letter certified with a return request receipt just to make sure it arrived and someone signed for it; the address is:
National Bank By Mail
Mail Code OH1-0333
340 S. Cleveland Ave.
Westerville, OH 43081
Cancel Your Chase Credit Card Online
While there isn’t much information about online cancellation, it can be done. All you need to do is log into your account and go to the “Secure Messages” section.
Send a quick message requesting that the card be cancelled and of course be specific if you have more than one account with them.
It usually takes 24 hours to get a response but this route will work as well.
Is There A Fee For Closing My Account?
Outside of the fees associated with your remaining balance, there is no fee for closing your account.
I would recommend keeping the card active as long as you can, there really isn't a reason to cancel the card any time soon.
Taking Action On Your Credit
Hopefully, you found this Chase Sapphire Reserve Review helpful because having a strong travel card in your arsenal is essential.
There is no better time than now to get things started and the sooner you get your card setup, the faster you can start qualifying for unique travel rewards and points.
Having this card in your wallet is going to feel great and getting that sign up bonus while using all of this cards benefits is going to feel even better.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.