Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve: Premium Benefits

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This is the premium Chase Ultimate Rewards earning card. It has a $550 annual fee but comes with a lot of perks and benefits that may make it worth the high fee for you. 

Chase Sapphire Reserve (this referral link is showing 80k as of 12/4) Not my referral, just the best offer!)
  • $550 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 
  • $300 travel reimbursement. This is automatic credit for any hotel, airfare, parking, car rental, etc.
  • Fee reimbursement for Global Entry for 1 person (which is $100). This benefit is available once every 4 years.
  • Airport lounge access for primary card user and 2 guests traveling with them through Priority Pass
  • Premium Trip insurance: If your flight is delayed 6 hrs or more for any reason they will reimburse you up to $500 for hotels, food, etc. — as long as you pay for at least a portion of your fare with the card (like taxes).

Stumbled on this article but looking for the Guide to the $95 annual fee Chase Sapphire Preferred? Check it out here.

Just getting started and trying to decide on your first card? Check out our post on how to pick your first travel card.

Table of Contents

    The Chase Sapphire cards have some extremely valuable points known as Ultimate Rewards. As a general rule, I recommend everyone get either a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve early on in their travel hacking journey.

    The Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve have a lot of similarities but some key differences. One is annual fee! The Preferred annual fee is $95 while the Reserve is $550. But for that extra cost, the Reserve gives some extra benefits. Keep reading to see which one makes sense for you.

    Will you get approved? Chase and the 5/24 Rule

    As a Chase card, the Sapphire Reserve is subject to Chase’s 5/24 Rule. In short, you will only get approved for Chase’s cards if you have fewer than 5 new credit cards (from any issuer) reporting to your credit report in the past 24 months. 

    The easiest way to check if you are “under 5/24” is to go through your credit report and count how many new accounts show up in the past 24 months. Business cards generally don’t count towards your 5/24, but authorized user cards do. 

    You can read more about the 5/24 rule here.

    Bonus Eligibility: Sapphire Family 48 Month Rule

    The fine print of the Sapphire Reserve offer states, “This product is available to you if you do not have any Sapphire card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 48 months.”

    Sapphire eligibility

    This means if you currently hold a Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve card, you cannot earn a new card bonus.

    It also means that if you have earned a bonus on either Sapphire card in the past 48 months, you are not eligible to receive another bonus unless it has been 48 months.

    This is different from some card families where you can receive bonuses from each card (for example, you can receive bonuses from both the Capital One Venture Rewards and Capital One Venture X or both the American Express Platinum and American Express Gold).

    If you have a Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve and earned your bonus more than 48 months ago you can call Chase to downgrade the card to one of the Freedom products (either Freedom Unlimited or Freedom Flex). Wait 14-30 days and then you would be eligible to apply for a new Sapphire card and earn a new sign up bonus.

    Keep in mind you are eligible for the card 48 months after you earned the bonus. If you no longer have a record of this date, you can send a Secure Message to Chase’s customer service and ask for the date when you earned your bonus on the card. If you have a record of the date you opened the card (but not earned the bonus), add at least 3-4 months from the date you opened the Sapphire to calculate the date you earned the bonus.

    Best Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits

    Premium cards with high annual fees typically come with a lot of benefits. With an annual fee of $550, the Sapphire Reserve will definitely make up its value the first year with its high welcome bonus. Whether you’ll be able to get ongoing value out of the fee is up to you. Check out our post on when annual fees are worth it.

    Here are some of our favorite benefits:

    Annual Travel Credit

    This $300 travel credit is the easiest travel credit to use of any premium card! Any purchase that you make that codes as as travel expense will automatically trigger the statement credit. This is true for larger purchases like hotel rooms or flights. But also works for parking, bus tickets, or even some campsites.

    TSA Precheck or Global Entry Credit

    You get a statement credit of up to $100 every four years for purchases made for Trusted Traveler programs.

    Priority Pass Membership (Airport Lounge Access)

    If you travel frequently by plane, lounge access is a game changer! The Sapphire Reserve will provide access to Priority Pass lounges to the primary cardholder and two guests. If you add an authorized user (for $75) they will also get lounge access for themself and two guests. This is not the cheapest option for airport lounge access for families of 4+ as the Capital One Venture X has a more family friendly policy. Interested in other cards with lounge access? Check out our Guide to Lounge Access for Families.

    Instacart+ Membership and Statement Credits

    If you use Instacart, this is a great perk! Through 7/31/2024 you will get a $15 per month statement credit when you use Instacart. You can also enroll for for 12 months in Instacart+. That $15 per month is worth $180 of groceries per year!

    DoorDash Benefits

    You get free DashPass through 12/31/24 or a minimum of 1 year depending on activation date. If activated by 12/31/23, expiration date will be 12/31/24. If DashPass is activated between 1/1/24 – 12/31/24, your expiration date will be one year from activations.

    Sapphire Reserve card members enrolled in DashPass will receive $5 per month DoorDash credit. If the credit is not used within the calendar month, it will be carried over for a maximum of 2 months.

    Up to $15 in credit can be accrued before a $5 credit expires.

    Up to 7 authorized users will receive the credit each month while enrolled in DashPass

    Free Shipt Membership for 3 Years

    With your Reserve card, you are also entitled to a Free Shipt Membership for 3 years! This gives you free delivery on orders over $35. Activate your benefit here.

    BenefitEstimated Annual Value
    Annual travel credit$300
    TSA Precheck/Global Entry/NEXUS statement credit ($100 every 4 years)$25
    DoorDash DashPass (through 12/31/2024)$96
    DoorDash statement credits (through 12/31/2024) $5/month$60
    Instacart+ Membership (12 months)$99
    Instacart statement credits (through 7/31/2024) – $15/month$180
    Priority Pass Select Membership $150
    Lyft Pink All Access Membership (2 years) $199
    Our Favorite Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits

    Lyft Pink

    Chase Sapphire Reserve now get a complimentary Lyft Pink All Access membership for two consecutive years (a value of $199/year). After two years, your membership will automatically renew at 50% off for a third year.

    You must include your eligible Chase card as a payment method in the Lyft app to enroll in the complimentary two-year membership and renew into the third year’s discounted membership.

    Note: The membership must be activated with your eligible card by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on December 31, 2024.

    The benefits for Lyft Pink can be found here. One of the best (in my opinion) is unlimited ebike and scooter unlocks — which is great if you live in or travel to cities with these bikes and scooters!

    Other travel and purchase protections

    In addition to the above benefits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers some great protections to give you peace of mind when you’re traveling and on those big purchases.

    The Trip Delay Reimbursement is an upgrade to a similar benefit you receive on the Sapphire Preferred card. On the Preferred card, this benefit kicks in after a delay of 12 hours. On the Reserve card, it kicks in after a delay of just six hours.

    Other benefits include:

    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
    • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
    • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
    • Extended Warranty Protection
    • Purchase Protection

    For the full details on these protections, consult the guide to benefits.

    Earning Points

    While you’ll probably get the bulk of your points from your welcome bonus, both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred offer opportunities to earn up to 5 points per dollar on travel. You can also earn 10 points per dollar with the Reserve when booking through the Chase travel portal.

    Purchase TypeEarning Rate (Sapphire Reserve)Earning Rate (Sapphire Preferred)
    Flights purchased through Chase5x5x
    Hotels and car rentals booked through Chase10x5x
    All other travel purchases3x2x
    Lyft (through March 2025)10x5x
    Dining3x3x
    Online grocery purchases1x3x
    Select streaming services1x3x
    All other purchases1x1x

    Chase Ultimate Rewards

    The Chase Sapphire Reserve, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, earns Chase Ultimate Rewards. For more on some of my favorite options to redeem Ultimate Rewards, check out our post on sweet spots for families here.

    Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed in a number of ways, including through Chase’s travel portal or through any of Chase’s 13 travel partners. 

    Travel Portal

    If you have a Sapphire Reserve card, Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed through the travel portal at a rate of 1.5x. It is easiest to think about it as 10,000 points will get you $150 of travel. This is the highest value you can get for your points booking through an online travel portal and one reason to consider the card. Travel portals are essentially online travel agencies like Expedia or Orbitz.

    Chase Sapphire redemption

    Booking through the travel portal allows you to book flights, rental cars, hotels, tours and even vacation homes with your points.

    When the cash rate of a hotel or flight is cheap, it makes more sense (and cents!) to book through the Chase portal. In fact, this is one of the easiest strategies for booking flights with points! What I love about booking through the portal is that your taxes and fees get wrapped into the points costs so the flight really can cost $0. I like to use Google Flights to find cheap fares and then book this way. When we flew Barcelona in January 2020, tickets were just $150 one way. We booked through the Chase portal and used just 10,000 points each!

    In places like Europe, you’ll have more luck with finding hotels that can accommodate families with the Chase portal than with many chain hotels. You can ready about a few places a reader went with points this way on her month long trip to Europe. Similarly, our family had great redemption rates when using Ultimate Rewards to book an independent hotel in Gili Air, Indonesia.

    Transfer Partners

    Chase Ultimate Rewards has 10 airline transfer partners:

    • Aer Lingus
    • British Airways
    • Emirates
    • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
    • Iberia
    • JetBlue
    • Singapore Airlines
    • Southwest
    • United Airlines
    • Virgin Atlantic

    Chase Ultimate Rewards has three hotel transfer partners:

    • Hyatt
    • IHG
    • Marriott

    Points must be transferred in increments of 1,000 points. You can transfer to your own loyalty accounts or to the loyalty accounts of any authorized users on your card.

    All transfers are final- so make sure you really want to transfer. Once you transfer your points to a partner, you cannot turn those points back into Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

    Learning about award sweet spots is where you can really begin to maximize the value of your points. You can use 26,000 points (+taxes), for instance, to book a round trip flight on Aer Lingus from Chicago to Dublin on most dates. You can transfer 25,000 points to Hyatt to book a night at the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, which can cost as much as $500 per night!

    Other Redemption Options

    Redeem for cash back

    The cash back rate is 1 cent per point, so 10,000 points will get you $100 cash back.

    Pay Yourself Back

    With Pay Yourself Back, your points are worth 50% more through December 31, 2022 when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select categories – currently Airbnb, dining, annual membership fee, and select charities.

    This offers the same rates as the Chase Portal — so 10,000 points will get you $150.

    How To Apply

    Interested in applying? Please use my affiliate link! It helps support my site and doesn’t cost you anything!

    Chase Sapphire Reserve (this referral link is showing 80k as of 12/4) Not my referral, just the best offer!)
    • $550 annual fee
    • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 
    • $300 travel reimbursement. This is automatic credit for any hotel, airfare, parking, car rental, etc.
    • Fee reimbursement for Global Entry for 1 person (which is $100). This benefit is available once every 4 years.
    • Airport lounge access for primary card user and 2 guests traveling with them through Priority Pass
    • Premium Trip insurance: If your flight is delayed 6 hrs or more for any reason they will reimburse you up to $500 for hotels, food, etc. — as long as you pay for at least a portion of your fare with the card (like taxes).

    Other Tips

    Combining Points From Other Cards

    If you have other cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can combine them onto one card. This is particularly useful if you have a Chase Freedom card or Chase Ink Cash or Chase Ink Unlimited.

    All of those no annual fee cards earn Ultimate Rewards that can only be used for cash back. However, if you have Ultimate Rewards from a no annual fee card, you can combine them with your Sapphire Ultimate Rewards for a higher portal redemption rate and the ability to transfer them to airline and hotel partners.

    Refer a Friend (or Spouse)

    If you already have a Sapphire card, another great benefit is that you can refer a friend — or a spouse to the card! Visit https://www.chase.com/referafriend/catch-all to create your link.

    The Sapphire Reserve doesn’t always offer a referral bonus. When it does, the typical referral bonus is 10,000 points. 

    Options After One Year

    After you’ve held the card for one year, you need to decide how to proceed. You should generally never cancel a card before holding it for a whole year. Banks frown on this and it won’t help get you in their good graces. Some banks will even claw back bonus points or won’t approve you for additional cards in the future.

    Keep Your Card and Ask For a Retention Offer

    If you like the card, great! You should still call the number on the back of your card and ask if any retention offers are available. Not sure what to say? Sign up below to get our retention offer script.

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    Downgrade to the Sapphire Preferred, Freedom Unlimited, or Freedom Flex

    You can also choose to downgrade your card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95) or a no annual fee card like the Freedom Unlimited or Freedom Flex. 

    If you downgrade to the Sapphire Preferred, you’ll continue to be able to redeem your points through the travel portal (at a rate of 1.25x) or transfer your points to any of the Chase transfer partners.

    The Freedom Unlimited and Freedom Flex will allow you to keep your Ultimate Rewards points, but you will only be able to redeem them for cash back. You’ll no longer be able to transfer them to travel partners and you’ll get a 1x rate through the travel portal.

    The advantage to downgrading to a Freedom card, instead of canceling, is that the card remains on your credit report, lengthening your credit history, which in turn, improves your credit score.

    The Freedom cards have some great benefits, too – like the Freedom Flex offers cell phone insurance if you pay your bill with the card.

    And don’t forget – you can combine points across your household, so you could transfer your points from a Freedom card to your spouse’s Sapphire card and still get all the Sapphire benefits.

    Cancel

    Your last option is to cancel the card. Don’t forget to use or transfer all your points if you decide to do this because you will lose them when you cancel the card. 

    Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Capital One Venture X

    The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Capital One Venture X are both premium cards worth considering. Trying to decide which one to get? 

    Both of these cards include great benefits like a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry statement credit every four years, no foreign transaction fees, primary rental car insurance, trip insurance coverages, and extended warranty and purchase protections. 

    However, there are some notable benefits that may make one card a better option for you than the other. 

    Chase Sapphire ReserveCapital One Venture X
    Higher annual fee ($550)Lower annual fee ($395)
    Authorized user fee ($75)Up to four free authorized users 
    Easy to use $300 travel credit$300 travel credit must be used through Capital One travel portal
    Points are worth 1.5x when redeemed through the Chase travel portalPoints are worth 1x when redeemed through the Capital One travel portal
    Transfer partners include domestic airlinesNo domestic airline partners
    Transfers to Hyatt for great value all inclusive and hotel staysTransfer to Wyndham, which can be used for Vacasa vacation rentals
    Access to Priority Pass lounges and restaurantsAccess to Priority Pass lounges and restaurants, as well as Premium Plaza and Capital One Lounges
    One year of complimentary Instacart+ and $15 in Instacart statement credits each month through July 202410,000 mile bonus every year, starting on your card anniversary
    Complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership and $5 in DoorDash credits each monthSix months complimentary museum membership through Cultivist
    Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip trip cancellation and interruption insuranceUp to $2,000 trip cancellation and interruption coverage per eligible person
    No cell phone protectionCell phone protection

    Sapphire Reserve vs. Sapphire Preferred

    Both the Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred offer a lot of the same benefits – trip insurance, extended warranty protection, purchase protection, rental car insurance, etc.

    However, with its higher annual fee, the Reserve understandably comes with some higher earning rates and a higher redemption value when booking through the portal. It also includes a $300 statement credit for travel, a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry statement credit every 4 years, and Priority Pass membership.

    Chase Sapphire ReserveChase Sapphire Preferred
    Higher annual fee ($550)Lower annual fee ($95)
    Authorized user fee ($75)Free authorized users 
    Easy to use $300 travel credit$50 hotel credit must be used through Chase travel portal
    Points are worth 1.5x when redeemed through the Chase travel portal – 10,000 points = $150Points are worth 1.25x when redeemed through the Capital One travel portal – 10,000 points = $125
    Same transfer partners and ratesSame transfer partners and rates
    Access to Priority Pass lounges and restaurantsNo lounge access
    One year of complimentary Instacart+ and $15 in Instacart statement credits each month through July 2024Six months of complimentary Instacart+ and $15 in Instacart statement credits each quarter through July 2024
    Complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership and $5 in DoorDash credits each monthComplimentary DoorDash DashPass membership
    Trip Delay Reimbursement if your common carrier travel is delayed more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stayTrip Delay Reimbursement if your common carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay

    To learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred, check out our Complete Guide to the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

    If you like to redeem points through the Chase portal (or through Pay Yourself Back), the break-even point for the cards (due to better redemption rates with the Reserve is 60,000 points. If you plan to redeem 60,000 or more points through the Chase portal in a year, it makes sense to upgrade to the Reserve to take advantage of the higher redemption rates.

    Chase Sapphire Preferred Complete Guide

    Chase Sapphire Checklists

    Sign up to get our Chase Sapphire Checklists sent to you. Whether you are just opening your card or have had it awhile, these checklists will help you make sure you’re making the most out of your card benefits.

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    Editorial Disclosure – The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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