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.
Fees And No Fees
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.
On the other side, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has no foreign transaction fees, which can add up quickly if you travel internationally often.
Now The Coverage Perks
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).
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.