The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best credit cards to get if you travel at least a few times per year.
The Sapphire Reserve has an annual fee of $550 per year, but it offers a ton of benefits to justify that fee.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Welcome Bonus
The Chase Sapphire Reserve currently offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months.
Ultimate Rewards points can be cashed out at 1.5 cents per point via the Chase Travel Portal or transferred to thirteen airline and hotel transfer partners including Hyatt, United, Southwest, British Airways, Air France Flying Blue, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, and Emirates.
The welcome bonus at a minimum is worth $750 towards travel via the Travel Portal, or it can be worth much more by transferring to an airline partner.
Sapphire Reserve Earns Valuable Ultimate Rewards Points
The Sapphire Reserve earns Ultimate Rewards points at the following rate:
- 10x points on Lyft
- 3x points on travel and dining
- 1x points everywhere else
The $550 Annual Fee is Worth it in Most Situations
A $550 annual fee for a credit card can seem like a bad deal until you factor in the Sapphire Reserve’s great benefits that are detailed further below.
To see if the Sapphire Reserve is right for you, click in any of the blue boxes to customize the value of each benefit and hit the “Enter” key.
We do suggest to keep the travel credit at $300 since it is very easy to use. For the value of Priority Pass, we suggest a value of $15 per person per visit, so ten visits a year would equal $150 in value. You can check out our Airport Lounge Map to see where the locations of the lounges are located.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits
$300 Annual Travel Credit- This travel credit is super easy to use and covers anything travel-related including airfare, hotels, Airbnbs, ride-sharing, etc.
Priority Pass Membership- Priority Pass is an airport lounge membership with 1,400+ locations all around the world. The Sapphire Reserve’s version of Priority Pass, unlike the American Express version, also gets you access to Priority Pass Restaurants, which can be a great deal considering you typically get a $28 credit plus $28 for each guest (up to 2 guests).
We mapped out almost all of the Priority Pass locations if you want to see if the airports you visit offer Priority Pass. Some lounges even offer showers, which is a nice perk after a long flight.
DoorDash’s DashPass Plus a $60 Annual Credit- DoorDash’s DashPass normally costs $9.99 per month and waives delivery fees on most restaurants. DashPass offers reduced service fees on orders above $12. Sapphire Reserve cardholders also get a $60 DoorDash credit in 2020, and a $60 Doordash credit in 2021.
Lyft Pink Membership- The Sapphire Reserve card gets you a free membership to Lyft Pink, which typically costs $19.99 per month. The benefits of Lyft Pink are: 15% off car rides, Priority airport pickups, 3 free cancellations within 15 minutes per month, waived lost and found fees, and 3 free 30-minute bike or scooter rentals per month.
6-Hour Trip Delay Insurance– This is an extremely valuable benefit when you miss your connecting flight, your flight is canceled, or severely delayed. Chase will reimburse you $500 per covered person if your flight is delayed by 6-hours or overnight. Chase even covers delays due to weather, which airlines do not!
I’ve used this benefit several times especially when connecting through cities that experience winter weather or frequent delays. For example, Chase reimbursed me $600 when my fiancee and I missed our connecting flight due to a snow delay at Chicago-O’Hare. While other travelers were freaking out the situation, we got reimbursed by Chase for a very nice hotel in downtown Chicago, our Ubers around Chicago, and several nice meals.
Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check Credit– The Sapphire Reserve will cover your Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check fee. If you already have either of them, you could always use the card to buy a friend or family member it as well.
Primary Rental Car Insurance– Primary Rental Car insurance covers any damage to the rental car when you pay using the Sapphire Reserve card. So if you back your rental car into a pole, the Sapphire Reserve pays rather than you or your insurance.
Roadside Assistance– If you have a roadside emergency, you can call for a tow, jumpstart, tire change, locksmith or gas. You’re covered up to $50 per incident 4 times a year. AAA charges between $50-90 annually for a similar service.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement– If you or an immediate family member check or carry on luggage that is damaged or lost by the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
Baggage Delay Insurance– This reimburses you essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for 5 days.
Trip Cancellation Insurance– This benefit will reimburse any trip-related expenses due to an unforeseen event that prevents travel. For example, one of my family members tore a tendon that required surgery a week before a major trip. Chase reimbursed over $2,000 in flights, hotels, and other expenses due to the injury.
Purchase Protection– This benefit covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year. A good example of this benefit would be if your new laptop or phone is stolen or damaged in the first 120 days, Chase would reimburse you for the item.
Extended Warranty Protection– This benefit extends the manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year.
Return Protection– You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year.
No Foreign Transaction Fees- Some credit cards charge 3% when using the card outside the U.S. The Sapphire Reserve does not charge a fee.
Medical Evacuation Insurance– If you or a member of your immediate family are injured or become sick during a trip far from home that results in an emergency evacuation, you can be covered for medical services and transportation up to $100,000.
Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit- If you’re 100 miles or more from home on a trip, you can be reimbursed up to $2,500 for medical expenses if you or your immediate family member become sick or injured.
Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection- You can get free room upgrades, meals, early/late check-in, and extra amenities by booking via Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
Hotel Benefits at Relais & Chateaux– This hotel chain has 500 hotels worldwide and as a cardholder, you can get a room upgrade, VIP welcome, and free breakfast.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. You will be auto denied for the Chase Sapphire Reserve if you have opened 5 or more personal credit cards in the past 24 months due to Chase’s 5/24 Rule.
No. Chase implemented the Sapphire Rule, which restricts someone from having both the Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred.
If your Sapphire Preferred has been open for 48 months, you could downgrade the card to a Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited, and then apply for the Sapphire Reserve and get the sign up bonus.
The following purchases generally qualify as dining: Bars, Cafes, Coffee shops, Fast food restaurants, Restaurant delivery services (e.g. Postmates or Seamless), Restaurants, and Vending machines. However, the following purchases do not generally qualify as dining: Amazon Restaurants, Bakeries, Grocery stores, and Meal kit subscriptions.
Authorized users of the Sapphire Reserve get all of the benefits with the exception of the $300 travel credit and Global Entry credit.
The annual fee for authorized users is $75.
There are many factors with credit approval, but I would not apply if your credit score is below 720.
Yes. Chase will generally let you upgrade a Sapphire Preferred to a Sapphire Reserve after 12 months. Other Ultimate Rewards cards may be able to be upgraded after 12 months by calling Chase.
The $300 annual travel credit for the Sapphire Reserve resets every account anniversary rather than per calendar year. So if you were approved on May 15th, your travel credit will reset on or around May 15th.
When you login to the Ultimate Rewards website, you should see the travel credit.
Yes. The card was one of the first metal credit cards.
Yes. If you have another Ultimate Rewards card such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you can pool the points. This can be a valuable perk because the Freedom Unlimited can only redeem via the Chase Travel Portal for 1.0 cent per point, whereas the Sapphire Reserve can redeem at 1.5 cents per point.
The Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Freedom Unlimited are a good combo since the Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases, whereas the Sapphire Reserve only earns 1 point per dollar on non-travel or restaurant purchases. (So you would use the Reserve on travel and dining purchases and Freedom Unlimited on your other spending).
Both are good cards. The Sapphire Preferred has a lower annual fee of $95, but there a few differences:
- No travel credit.
- Only 2x on dining and travel instead of 3x.
- No Priority Pass.
- No DoorDash Credits (Preferred does get DashPass).
- No Roadside Assistance
- No Lyft Pink Membership
- 12-hour trip delay instead of 6-hours (but both cover overnight delays).
- Points can be redeemed via Chase Travel Portal for 1.25 cents per point instead of 1.5 cents per point.
I generally recommend the Sapphire Reserve over the Sapphire Preferred if you can utilize Priority Pass at least 3 times per year, or fly at least twice per year and want to redeem Ultimate Rewards points via the Travel Portal versus transferring directly to airlines.
Comparison of All Ultimate Reward Cards
Sapphire Reserve Sapphire Preferred Ink Preferred Freedom Unlimited Freedom Ink Cash Ink Unlimited Current Bonus 50,000 50,000 80,000 15,000 15,000 30,000 $500 Annual Fee $450 $95 $95 $0 $0 $0 $0 Additional Card Holder Fee $75 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 Annual Travel Credit $300 No No No No No No Transfer Partners Yes Yes Yes No No No No UR Value on travel 1.5 cpp 1.25 cpp 1.25 cpp 1 cpp 1 cpp 1 cpp N/A (Cash back) Lounge Access Priority Pass No No No No No No Travel 3x 2x 3x 1.5x 1x 1x 1.5% cashback Dining 3x 2x 1x 1.5x 1x 2x 1.5% cashback Groceries 1x 1x 1x 1.5x 1x 1x 1.5% cashback Gas 1x 1x 1x 1.5x 1x 2x 1.5% cashback Office Supplies 1x 1x 1x 1.5x 1x 5x 1.5% cashback Shipping/Advertising 1x 1x 3x 1.5x 1x 1x 1.5% cashback Phone/Internet 1x 1x 3x 1.5x 1x 5x 1.5% cashback Other Spend 1x 1x 1x 1.5x 1x 1x 1.5% cashback Global Entry Yes, every four years No No No No No No Rental Car Insurance Primary/$75,000 Primary Primary (for business purposes) Secondary (Primary outside the U.S) Secondary (Primary outside the U.S) Primary (for business purposes) Primary (for business purposes) Foreign Transcation Fee None None None 3% 3% 3% 3% Trip Delay 6 Hrs/$500 12 Hrs/$500 12 Hrs/$500 None None None None Purchase Protection 120 Days/$10,000 120 Days/$500 120 Days/$10,000 120 Days/$500 120 Days/$500 120 Days/$10,000 120 Days/$10,000 Cellphone Protection None None $600 with $100 deductible None None None None Extended Warranty 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year Return Protection 90 Days/$500 up to $1,000 per year None None None None None None Trip Cancel Insurance $10,000 $10,000 $5,000 $1,500 per person up to $6,000 $1,500 per person up to $6,000 None None Trip Interruption Insurance $10,000 $10,000 $5,000 $1,500 per person up to $6,000 $1,500 per person up to $6,000 None None Travel Accident Insurance $1,000,000 $500,000 $500,000 None None $500,000 None Baggage Delay 6 Hrs/$100 up to 5 Days 6 Hrs/$100 up to 5 Days 6 Hrs/$100 up to 5 Days None None 6 Hrs/$100 up to 3 Days 6 Hrs/$100 up to 3 Days Emergency Evac $100,000 None None None None None None Roadside Service Up to $50 up 4 times per year $59.95 Per time Usage Fee Usage Fee Usage Fee Usage Fee Usage Fee Lost Luggage $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 $3,000 None None Quarterly Bonus None None None None 5x None None Sapphire Reserve Sapphire Preferred Ink Preferred Freedom Unlimited Freedom Ink Cash Ink Unlimited