Despite having a high annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card gives excellent rewards on travel and dining expenses. But wealthy profits, opulent benefits, and versatile redemption choices make this travel card appealing to avid travellers. You can recoup its cost and more over the course of a year if you make significant purchases in its key areas and utilise all of its advantages.

REGULAR APR (%)21.99% – 28.99% variable
REWARDS EARNING RATEEarn 10x more points overall with Ultimate Rewards® on purchases made through Chase Dining. Earn points at a rate of 3x for all other forms of travel and 5x for flights. Earn three times as many points when using qualified takeaway, delivery, or other restaurant services. Earn one point for every dollar spent on additional purchases.
BALANCE TRANSFER FEEEither $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Advantages Explained

• Generous bonus for new cardholders: The Chase Sapphire Reserve stands out with its substantial bonus offer. New cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points by spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. This bonus can be worth $900 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

• Excellent rewards for travel and dining: With a rewards rate of 3 points per $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers one of the best rewards rates among premium travel cards. It even surpasses its lower-priced sibling, the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

• Exceptional luxury travel benefits: Cardholders can enjoy up to $300 in statement credits for travel purchases every year. Additionally, they receive $100 in statement credits every four years for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck applications. Access to over 1,000 VIP airport lounges worldwide and benefits with the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection add to the card’s luxury travel perks.

• Enhanced point value for travel through Ultimate Rewards: When redeeming points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the value of each point increases from 1 cent to 1.5 cents. This means that the effective rewards rate for travel and dining purchases becomes 4.5% since cardholders earn 3 points per $1 spent in these categories.

Disadvantages Explained

• High annual fee: The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a $550 annual fee, making it one of the more expensive credit cards on the market. Cardholders need to carefully consider their travel and dining habits to determine if they will utilize the card enough to outweigh the fee.

• Limited rewards categories: Unlike some cards that offer rewards in a wide range of categories, the Chase Sapphire Reserve focuses its 3-points-per-$1 rewards on travel and dining purchases. All other purchases only earn 1 point per $1 spent, with the exception of airline, hotel, and rental car bookings through Ultimate Rewards, which earn higher points.

Who This Card Is Best For – Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is an ideal choice for frequent travelers with excellent credit. However, it can also benefit occasional travelers who seek luxury perks. The $300 annual travel credit, along with the $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck reimbursement every four years, adds value to the card. Access to over 1,000 airport lounges enhances the travel experience.

To break even on the annual fee of $550, cardholders would need to spend at least $8,334 annually ($694.50 per month) on travel and dining, both of which earn 3 points per $1 spent. If points are redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the breakeven point decreases to $5,556 in annual spending.

Those who make use of the $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit would need to spend $7,500 per year in the 3-point bonus categories to offset the fee when redeeming for 1 cent per point or $5,000 per year when redeeming for 1.5 cents per point.

This card is particularly beneficial for individuals who also hold or are considering getting other Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points. Points can be transferred between these cards within the Ultimate Rewards account, allowing cardholders to choose the card with the best earning rate for each specific purchase and transfer points accordingly.

Rewards Earning Details

  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a base rewards rate of 3 points per $1 spent on travel and dining purchases, including takeout and delivery.
  • All other purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent. Additional earning rates apply for purchases made through Ultimate Rewards, such as 10 points per $1 on Chase Dining purchases, 5 points per $1 on flights, and 10 points per $1 on hotels and car  rentals. Until March 2025, cardholders also earn 10 points per $1 spent on Lyft rides.

Chase has broad definitions of travel spending, which include purchases from airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, discount travel sites, campgrounds, car rental agencies, and cruises (excluding purchases made aboard the boat). Public transportation, limousines, taxis, ferries, highways, toll bridges, parking lots, and garages are also considered travel, but not spending on gasoline or other fuels. Dining encompasses a wide range of establishments, from fast food outlets to fine-dining restaurants.

PRO TIP – In addition to earning rewards, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders receive subscriptions and credits with popular service providers such as Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Gopuff.

Rewards Redemption Details

Cardholders have multiple options for redeeming rewards. Points can be used to directly book travel and various experiences through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Additionally, points can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, orders, and Apple purchases.

When redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, each point is worth 1.5 cents, while for cash back, experiences, and gift cards, the value is 1 cent per point. Redemptions for and Apple purchases offer a lower value of 0.8 cents per point.

Ultimate Rewards points do not expire as long as the card remains open.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

To maximize rewards with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it is recommended to take advantage of the card’s introductory bonus by planning larger purchases to meet the spending requirement of $4,000 in the first three months. Careful consideration should be given to repayment plans to avoid interest charges.

For individuals who have other Chase cards earning Ultimate Rewards points, comparing the rewards rates is crucial. Points can be transferred from other Chase cards to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, enabling the use of the card that offers the highest rewards rate for specific purchases. Acquiring another Chase card with higher points in frequently spent categories may be beneficial in the long run.

Transferring points to Chase’s travel partners should be considered for loyalty program members. While redeeming points for travel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal provides a 50% bonus, greater value can often be achieved by transferring points to partners at a 1:1 ratio. Taking advantage of the card’s additional benefits is also recommended. The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers trip cancellation and interruption insurance, which is a valuable feature.

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