Chase Sapphire Reserve: Valuable Ultimate Rewards Points And Tons Of Perks

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Since the Chase Sapphire Reserve® was launched in August 2016, it has arguably been the most talked about credit card on the market even with its $450 annual fee. It’s definitely one of the most pined for cards for those who were and are still not eligible because of the Chase 5/24 Rule.

If you’re just starting your miles and points journey, this is the time to consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve while you’re still eligible. If you already have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you won’t be able to receive the sign-up bonus but product changing to the card might make sense depending on your travel habits.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the Chase Sapphire Reserve so you can decide if it’s the right card for you — and why I product changed to my Chase Sapphire Preferred even though I couldn’t get the bonus.

Earn Tons Of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Let’s be honest for a second, when we consider a credit card, the first thing on our minds is almost always how many points we can earn with it. A card can have all the benefits in the world but, if it doesn’t provide us with a solid way to earn points, we can’t really book award flights and hotel award stays.

With that in mind, the Chase Sapphire Reserve passes the smell test as it comes with a sizeable sign-up bonus and earns 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on dining and travel purchases. In fact, Chase has the broadest travel bonus categories of the flexible points programs.

I think you’ll find it compares favorably to other high-end cards such as The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Citi Prestige® Card. The Amex Platinum does allow you to earn 5X Membership Rewards but only on airfare purchased directly from airlines or Amex Travel and prepaid hotel stays purchased via Amex Travel. The Citi Prestige also earns 3X on airfare and hotels but only 2X on dining (and entertainment).

For longtime Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders, this is clearly an amped up version of the 2X you have been earning on dining and travel purchases. Is the 50% bump alone worth a $450 annual fee? Maybe, maybe not, but we have more to consider.

Transfer Points To Airlines And Hotels

ANA First Class
Transfer Ultimate Rewards to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club so you can try ANA first class.

What makes Chase Ultimate Rewards points so valuable is their ability to be transferred to 9 airline partners and 4 hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio. Unlike other flexible points, these transfers process almost instantly which can be vital when award space is sparse.

Here are your transfer partner options:

AirlinesHotels
Aer Lingus Aer ClubIHG Rewards Club
Air France/KLM Flying BlueMarriott Rewards
British Airways Executive ClubRitz-Carlton Rewards
Iberia PlusWorld Of Hyatt
JetBlue TrueBlue
Singapore KrisFlyer
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
United MileagePlus
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Personally, I like to get the most out of my Ultimate Rewards points. Is there a better way to book a business class award on KLM’s Dreamliner than a Flying Blue Promo Award? I don’t think so. With these transfer partners, you have access to all three major airline alliances: Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance.

Some programs are great for short-haul or intra-region redemptions — British Airways. Other airline programs such as Korean Air often provide a great way to book long-haul awards.

Then you have Virgin Atlantic’s partnership with All Nippon Airways (ANA) which provides, perhaps, the best way to book ANA first class awards to Tokyo. It might not be as well known, but you’ll want to remember it.

If fancy hotels are more your style, there’s always the world famous Park Hyatt Sydney with views of the harbour and the Sydney Opera House.

Whether you’re into luxury hotels or premium cabin flights, the points you earn with the Chase Sapphire Reserve can help get you there.

Book Through The Chase Travel Portal (Great For Economy Flyers)

Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Center
The Chase travel portal can be a great way to book cheap economy flights.

Now, I recognize that not everyone is trying to fly business and first class. I can’t quite understand it, but I accept it. For economy flyers, the Chase Sapphire Reserve provides a great opportunity to get the most out of your miles in the Chase travel portal.

Rather than transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to an airline partner, you can apply your points to a cash booking through the portal where each point is worth 1.5 cents.

This can help you stretch your points even further when booking economy flights as you will often find that fewer points are required than if you transferred to an airline partner.

We’ve seen a lot of economy fare deals recently and this is a great way to save some cash.

Not talked about quite as much, but you can also book hotels through the portal as well. In some cases, you’ll get better value for your points this way. Just remember that hotels often don’t recognize your elite status or allow you to earn night/stay credits and points when booking through the Chase portal.

$300 To Spend On Travel

The $300 travel credit is one of the reasons many people find the $450 annual fee to be quite manageable. Unlike the airline fee credit from the Amex Platinum or air travel credit from the Citi Prestige, this is a very broad travel credit.

As we discussed earlier, this is a loosely defined category. You will receive a statement credit for any purchases you make in the following categories up to $300 each cardmember year.

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

To make things even easier, the credit applies automatically and Chase’s site even allows you to see your progress on a tracker.

Chase Travel Credit

While I won’t say this is as good as $300 cash, I find that tons of people can hit $300 in travel purchases each year without batting an eye.

Hang Out In Priority Pass Lounges Around The World

Turkish Lounge Washington Dulles
Priority Pass provides access to tons of great lounges like the Turkish Lounge at Washington Dulles (IAD).

The Chase Sapphire Reserve also provides a Priority Pass Select membership which gives you access to over 1,000 airport lounges. Not only that, but the Chase Sapphire Reserve provides what is probably the most powerful membership on any credit card.

It doesn’t limit the number of guests you can bring with you, unlike some other cards, and authorized users ($75 each) even receive their own membership.

Why does this perk matter? Well, with long layovers are pretty much inevitable, having a place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the terminal is a huge perk. Not to mention free food and drinks can save you from airport restaurant prices on long layovers.

While you won’t have access to a lounge in every airport, Priority Pass provides $28 in credit to use at a growing list of airport restaurants. You can find these restaurants at major international airports such as New York (JFK) and even small regional airports like the one in my hometown of Lexington (LEX).

If you haven’t visited Kentucky, we make bourbon. You’re welcome.

Make Travel Easy With Global Entry and TSA PreCheck

Anyone who has been through airport security knows what a hellish experience it can be. Take off your shoes. Remove your laptop. Remove your liquids. Whoops, you forgot one. Now, they have to search your bag—except sometimes they don’t.

No, thanks.

TSA PreCheck
Breeze through airport security with TSA PreCheck.

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you have almost no excuse to go through security without TSA PreCheck when flying a participating airline. Simply pay for your TSA PreCheck application with your card and you’ll be reimbursed for the $80 fee.

However, if you ever plan on taking an international trip, just forget that TSA PreCheck application and move onto Global Entry. The lines to go through customs when returning to the U.S. make many TSA security lines look like a cute joke.

With Global Entry, you can skip the massive lines and use an electronic system on your return to the states. The Global Entry application process will take a bit longer and you’ll need to show up for an in-person interview. While these can take a little time to schedule, it’s well worth it.

Besides, you’ll receive a statement credit for the $100 application fee and your membership comes with access to TSA PreCheck so you’ll have the best of both worlds.

Travel Protection: Trip Delays, Lost Bags, Rental Cars And More

As a Visa Infinite Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a bunch of travel protections. With the card, you can get reimbursed for delayed or lost luggage if the carrier. While you probably won’t have to deal with delayed bag issues, it’s a nice benefit to have when an airline forgets your bag then fails to deliver it for days and days—yes, this happened to me.

Perhaps the most popular travel protection is the trip delay reimbursement. While many of the travel, and even purchase protections, are identical to the coverage you’d receive with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, this benefit is much better.

If your flight is delayed more than 6 hours or overnight, you can be reimbursed for up to $500 in expenses while the Chase Sapphire Preferred requires a delay of more than 12 hours (or overnight).

The best part about this perk is that it covers weather delays so even if an airline won’t get you a hotel room, you can take care of it yourself knowing you’ll be reimbursed.

You’ll want to give your cardmember agreement a look to see an in-depth explanation of each benefit, but here’s a quick rundown:

Sapphire Reserve Visa Infinite BenefitsDetails
Baggage Delay Benefit• You can be reimbursed up to $500 when some or all of the cost of a common carrier ticket is charged to your card (therefore award tickets should be eligible if the taxes are charged to the card)

• You can be reimbursed a maximum of $100 per day for emergency purchases of essential items at a destination other than your current residence
Lost Luggage Reimbursement• Receive reimbursement for lost or damaged checked or carry-on bags and personal property

• Maximum reimbursement is $3,000

• You must report the loss or damage to the Common Carrier immediately as soon as you exit the Carrier. You will need to provide proof that you submitted a report to the Common Carrier, so be sure to keep a copy of the report for your records.
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance• Receive the non-refundable amount of the passenger fare or $10,000 (whichever is less) in the event of a trip cancellation or interruption

• The cancellation or interruption must be caused by death, accidental injury, disease, or physical illness of the passenger or immediate family member

• This also covers you if your airline goes out of business or tickets are otherwise cancelled by the carrier
Trip Delay Reimbursement• Receive up to $500 if your trip is delayed for more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stay

• The trip has to be delayed by an equipment failure, inclement weather, labor strikes, or hijacking
Purchase Protection• Receive up to $10,000 for personal property that has been stolen, damaged, or lost within 120 days
Return Protection• Receive up to $500 per item ($1,000 per year) if you are dissatisfied with a purchase and the retailer won’t return the item within 90 days

• There are lots of exclusions, including items purchased overseas, and all items have to be returned to Chase as part of the process
Price Protection• Receive up to $500 ($2,500 per year) if you purchase a product and find it advertised for for less within 90 days of purchase (the difference in price is refunded to you)

• The advertisement has to be printed, and close-out and liquidation-type sales are excluded
Warranty Manager Service• Extends the free repair period under the original manufacturers repair warranty up to one additional year on eligible warranties of three (3) years or less, up to a maximum of ten thousand ($10,000.00) dollars per claim, and a fifty thousand ($50,000.00) dollars maximum per Account.

• Motorized vehicles (boats, cars, aircraft, etc.) aren’t included

Last, but certainly not least, this card also provides primary insurance on rental cars if you decline the collision damage waiver coverage offered (pushed?) by the rental car company. This coverage protects you if there is damage to the vehicle and covers many types of rental cars from small economy cars to luxury vehicles.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a go-to credit card, you’d be hardpressed to find a better option than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Personally, I’ve gotten so much out of this card and don’t plan on giving it up any time soon.

Perhaps, the most obvious benefit is earning valuable Ultimate Rewards points from a hefty sign-up bonus but, when you consider how often people go out to eat and take Uber, the ability to earn 3X on dining and travel is also a huge winner.

Whether you’re planning to transfer your points to book a first class flight and luxury hotel stay or take advantage of cheap economy tickets by getting 1.5 cents per point through the Chase travel portal, this card can help you reach your travel goals.

Now, top it all off with a bunch of perks from an easy to use $300 travel credit to airport lounge access to great trip delay insurance, and it’s no surprise that this card has taken the credit card world by storm.

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Comments

  1. I think we’ve seen more than enough posts from Lucky regarding how awesome the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is, and we all know about the great benefits the card provides.
    Honestly this post is pretty disappointing…I was expecting something different from the usual “CSR is king” posts.

  2. can you address the trip cancellation/lost baggage benefit when booking through the chase portal and using points for the entire purchase. are the benefits still available?

    what are the benefits if I am unable to go on a cruise (paid for with CSR) due to inability to get to cruise due to inclement weather.

  3. I love OMAAT. I comment on articles often, always positively. This is my first negative comment. Please don’t regurgitate the same CSR material – we know it already. 🙂

  4. I strongly agree with the other comments so far. What a letdown of a first post after the interesting posts from the guest contributors. Great to know that Lucky has found somebody to pound the CSR sales pitch into our heads as if he hasn’t done it enough himself since getting an affiliate referral link a few months ago. What’s more, I didn’t learn anything new or interesting from this post. It belongs on The Points Guy or something.

  5. This was a terrible disappointment of an article we’ve read at least 20 times already on here…

  6. It might be not Spencer’s fault for publishing an article with stale content. It could be that Lucky is forcing the new contributors to “write” sponsored material. Spencer may not have had a choice in this matter.

  7. It isn’t what I would have chosen for my first post, but let the man ease into it. With new contributors, we’ll have new visitors to the site and someone will appreciate this post.

  8. Even though it’s similar to other posts in the near past, it’s still informative, esp for those relatively new to the field. Save one sentence:
    “Now, I recognize that not everyone is trying to fly business and first class. I can’t quite
    understand it, but I accept it.”

    Don’t quite understand that a huge chunk of this world doesn’t have the resources to fly in Y, let alone J or F?

  9. I’ve signed up for a bunch of credit cards recently, is there any reason this would prevent me from getting this awesome card?

  10. Is it better today purchase tickets by transferring the points to a carrier or by using the Chase portal?

  11. Hey look – another regurgitated CSR promo post! Any frequent reader already knows about the card and features whether they have it or not. Unless there’s a rewards/benefits change, we don’t need constant reminders. We don’t need another TPG.

  12. OMG I’m so glad I’m not the only one. Honestly allowing this article to post, it’s just shameful and disappointing. I’d rather no articles than repeating.

  13. I think I pointed this out a couple of weeks ago. It seems like this is going the TPG route. Maybe more money for Ben but quality is disappearing quickly. It is more of quantity over usefulness. 10+ posts a day? There isn’t that much useful info that needs to be posted.

    The article is well written but useless for 99%+ of the readers who have been doing points for a year or more.

  14. This is a wonderful post. The negative comments are probably coming from people who are not picked for the job. Probably the guy with all the ugly pictures.

  15. Agree with Jackie. I’m all for showcasing new talent, but it seems as if these new additions are not familiar with the OMAAT culture. Your very first credited blog entry and you decide to talk about….. Ryanair …….. or Chase Reserve. It’s a wasted first impression–and hopefully not a sign of things to come.

  16. If you can write an article trash talk CSR and make all the points stick, I’ll give u a thumb-up for that. Anyone?

  17. I’ve never posted a negative post on here, but get off your high horse with this comment:

    “Now, I recognize that not everyone is trying to fly business and first class. I can’t quite understand it, but I accept it.”

  18. I wish to correct one thing in the article. You indicate that you can only get economy through the Chase Portal. That is not true. It’s hard to find but you can get any class of service through the portal. I have done it multiple times.

  19. Tough crowd

    I agree that this is far from groundbreaking

    However we were all new once
    This is a great post for a newbie

    I found info I never knew and/or forgot, such as the Virgin ANA redemptions.

    If Spencer writing these allows Lucky and Tiffany to write other posts, then this is a win

    I’m also very hopeful that Spencer will add his own trip reports…

    Doing so will really flesh out OMAAT and make everyone happy

    Good luck Spencer!

  20. “Make Travel Easy With Global Entry and TSA PreCheck”

    You forgot to mention this is only available for american citizens.

    Great article, but were tired of seeing CSR articles, literally all the time.

  21. I read OMAAT posts to learn new things. The post yesterday about Ryanair did exactly that. This post about CSR added nothing to the topic of CSR. When Lucky discusses CSR it’s often in the context of something else, but this was totally context free.

    Frankly I’m disappointed that Lucky or Tiffany didn’t recognize this was a completely unneeded and inappropriate first post. The overwhelming negative reaction speaks for itself. My expectation is that his future posts will be lightly, if at all read:-(

  22. “Now, I recognize that not everyone is trying to fly business and first class. I can’t quite understand it, but I accept it.”

    The info in the post was informative, but this is incredibly douchey. Save your 1 percenter bullshit for your snobby $100 plus bottle of wine friends. Seriously.

  23. I’m just waiting for the “it’s simple math” guy to chime in to tell us that by getting $300 back for $300 you’re spending already doesn’t reduce the cost of the card by $300…

    Kidding aside, what is left for Amex Plat that isn’t given by CSR? Uber credits and 5x airfare only? Are hotel statuses provided by CSR? I enjoy my gold status at Marriott/spg/Hilton and make good use of them. Are these provided by CSR?

  24. In contrast to the other posters, I thought this was a solid post. I’m on the second year of my CSR card, and it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of its various benefits.

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