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Chase Sapphire Reserve® review

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Earn 3x points on travel and dining, plus great travel benefits.

  • Get this card if: you’re a frequent traveler who wants complimentary perks.
  • Pick something else if: you don’t travel enough to take advantage of this card’s benefits.
  • Apply with an excellent credit score of 740 or higher.

50,000

Points as welcome offer

Up to 3x

Points

$450

Annual fee

18.49% to 25.49%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Product NameChase Sapphire Reserve®
Card typeVisa
Annual fee$450
Purchase APR18.49% to 25.49% variable
Balance transfer APR18.49% to 25.49% variable
Balance transfer fee$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash advance rate26.49% variable
Cash advance fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction feeNone
Interest free periodUp to 21 days
Late payment feeUp to $39
Returned payment feeUp to $39
Additional cardholder fee$75
Rates & feesrates & fees

Expert review

Kevin Joey Chen

Review by


Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer who has written nearly 500 Finder articles. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and expertly navigate the cutting-edge financial tools available -- including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.

Expert review

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the premier travel rewards offering under the Ultimate Rewards banner. It comes with a 50,000-point welcome offer, 3x points on travel and dining, a $300 annual statement credit and $100 toward the application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check.

Of course, these perks don’t come cheap. You’ll need to pay a $450 annual fee to use this card. But if you’re adept at fully using your card’s given benefits, this is hardly a concern – the $300 statement credit and $100 application fee statement credits nearly pay for the entirety of the annual fee.

Given so many of the card’s benefits are centered around travel, you’re most likely to get the most out of this card if you travel at least a few times a year. But then again, this card is so feature-rich you might just start visiting those bucket list destinations.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Signup bonus.
    Earn 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Earn points.
    Earn 3x points on eligible travel and dining purchases. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Statement credit.
    Enjoy an annual $300 statement credit on travel purchases. You’ll also enjoy a $100 travel credit toward the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years.

  • Travel perks.
    Enjoy complimentary Priority Pass access, travel protections and exclusive travel benefits.

Cons

  • Annual fee.
    Pay a $450 annual fee.
  • No intro APR.
    Paying interest on balances begins after your first statement.

How do I apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®?

Applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is simple and straightforward:

  1. Click apply now.
  2. Fill out the required information and click Submit.

What credit score do I need?

You’ll need an excellent credit score of 740 or higher to qualify for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Card benefits

  • Earn Ultimate Rewards points.
    The Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns 3x points on eligible travel and dining purchases. This is a great earning rate, particularly given the value of Ultimate Rewards points.
  • Welcome offer.
    Spend $4,000 within your first 3 months of account opening and you’ll earn a substantial 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points. When redeemed through the Chase Travel portal, this is worth roughly $750.
  • Statement credits.
    Each year you’ll enjoy $300 back in statement credits on travel purchases. Plus your first year and every four years thereafter, you’ll receive a $100 statement credit toward the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
  • Travel perks.
    This card offers numerous travel benefits, including Priority Pass membership and travel protections.

Deeper dive: Ultimate Rewards points

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are widely favored for their flexibility. Unlike some rewards cards, you can transfer points earned through the Chase Sapphire Reserve® to a variety of other loyalty programs. If you like maximizing value, points transfer at a 1:1 ratio and can double or triple in value depending on where you transfer them and how you redeem them.

Points redeemed through the Chase travel portal are also worth 1.5 their value. This is still a strong point value when compared to loyalty partners, meaning redeeming your points through this portal is a completely viable value play. The same can’t be said for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which boosts points to just 1.25 when redeemed through the Chase travel portal.

Deeper dive: Welcome offer

While the Chase Sapphire Reserve® welcome offer is fairly straightforward, you must spend a steep $4,000 within your first 3 months of account opening. For some, this is a fairly sizeable chunk of change.

For that reason, you might consider signing up for the card when you have a large planned purchase on the way. For example, if you have a wedding coming up, you could potentially hit the required cap fairly easily by putting wedding expenses on the card. Vacation trips, rent or home improvement projects are a few other ways to earn that welcome offer easier.

Deeper dive: Priority Pass membership

As a Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholder, you’re entitled to a complimentary Priority Pass membership. This extensive network of airport lounges can take the edge off of travel by giving you a place to crash and enjoy some complimentary amenities and refreshments while you wait for your flight.

Of course, that’s assuming your local airport offers Priority Pass lounges. Some airports only offer dining discounts at eligible restaurants and others offer nothing at all. Your mileage may vary, but if you have the choice, it can be worth it to go a little out of the way for a lounge or dining discount. Dining in particular is lucrative – you’ll receive $28 off your meal, or up to $56 off if you’re dining for two.

Just remember to actually sign up for Priority Pass through the Priority Pass website once you receive your Chase card.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.
    The Chase Sapphire Reserve® demands a $450 annual fee from cardholders. Generally, this won’t be a problem if you travel and take advantage of the card’s perks. If you’re just an occasional traveler however, you might find it hard to get enough value out of the card to cover the annual fee.
  • No intro APR.
    While not a huge deal for a rewards card, a lack of intro APR means you’ll need to start paying back interest on balances immediately after opening your card. Considering you’ll want to shoot for the welcome offer as well, you’ll need to take care to pay off your balance in full to avoid unwanted interest.

Is the annual fee worth it?

Absolutely. With even just a little travel, the card’s statement credits pay for a majority of the requisite annual fee. From there, just a few airport lounge stays or taking advantage of The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection perks can push your gained value over the $450 mark.

How customers rate this card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® currently sports a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Chase’s website. Many customers tout the generous travel credits and signup bonus as big factors in their rating. A few others felt Chase customer service was lacking when they encountered issues.

Authorized users or cosigners

Chase allows additional authorized users at the cost of $75 a card annually. Purchases made by additional users count towards the welcome offer on the account and are included and covered by most of the card’s travel benefits.

One interesting perk for authorized users is that they can sign up for their own Priority Pass membership. This means that if your authorized user is traveling alone, they can still enjoy the benefits of Priority Pass.

How does the Chase Sapphire Reserve® compare to other similar cards?

Welcome offerEarning rateAnnual fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve®50,000 Ultimate Rewards points3x points on eligible dining and travel purchases; 1x on everything else$450
The Platinum Card® from American Express60,000 Membership Rewards points5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel; 5x points on prepaid hotels booked on Amex Travel; 1x on all other purchases$550

(see rates & fees)

Citi Prestige® Credit Card50,0005x points on flights and dining, 3x points on hotels and cruises, 1x on all other purchases$495

Example of credit card rewards earnings

Assuming you spent $750 on each card’s highest earning category monthly, here’s a breakdown of how much back you can expect to earn after one year, not including welcome offer or other statement credits.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® = 27,000 points equals $270 or $405 when spent on travel

The Platinum Card® from American Express = 45,000 equals $450 if used only on travel

Citi Prestige® Credit Card = 45,000 equals $450

Note: Of these three cards, only The Platinum Card® from American Express doesn’t grant an earning bonus on dining. That means if you split $750 on dining and travel equally, you would make less than the amount shown below: 22,500 points on travel and just 4,500 on dining for a value of $270.

Consider other cards if …

To really get the most out of this card, you’ll need to travel a fair amount and spend on eligible dining and travel purchases.

If you’re more of an occasional traveler, you might consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card instead. This mid-tier card costs just $95 a year, but still sports a strong signup bonus while earning 2x points on travel and dining purchases. Plus, your points are worth 1.25x when redeemed through the Chase travel portal.

Cards to pair with Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Enjoying your Chase Sapphire Reserve® but looking for a way to supplement its features? Consider adding a Chase Freedom® to your wallet.

The name of the game with this pairing is supplemental earning: the Chase Freedom® earns 5x points on rotating categories each quarter you activate on up to $1,500. After you reach the cap and on purchases in all other categories, you’ll earn 1x points. You can then transfer these points to your Chase Sapphire Reserve® account to redeem them on travel at 1.5x value.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® can also prove useful for this technique, providing a steadier 1.5% back on all purchases rather than rotating categories.

Redeeming points

Points earned with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® automatically post to your account, which you can then access on your Chase online account. Through your account, redeem your points on travel, merchandise, gift cards or cash back. This is also how you transfer your points to Chase loyalty partners.

How much are Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth?

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent per point. When redeemed for travel on the Chase travel portal, their value increases to 1.5 cents per point.

Remember that Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to partnered loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. If the value of a single point is greater than 1 cent on a partnered program, you might just be able to increase your total point value.

How to make the most out of my card

  • Take advantage of your statement credit.
    You can get reimbursed for up to $300 in travel expenses in the form of statement credits every year. Be sure to check your card’s terms to find out what’s eligible and when the credits are applied.
  • Make use of the Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® fee credit.
    Every four years you can receive a statement credit of up to $100 towards application fees for either Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® when you pay for them using your Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
  • Sign up for Priority Pass.
    Follow the instructions you receive from Chase to complete the one-time activation of your Priority Pass.
  • Keep track of your spending.
    Register with Chase Online to monitor your account activity 24/7.
  • Check out the card features section on your account page.
    Chase recently added a section on the account site that reviews all of your Chase Sapphire Reserve® benefits. This is a great way to make sure you wring every bit of value out of the card.
  • Watch out for penalties.
    If your payments are late, you’ll pay up to $39.
  • Contact customer service.
    Get round-the-clock access to the Chase customer service team. Contact Chase at 800-432-3117, on Twitter @ChaseSupport or log in to your account to send a secure email.

How to upgrade or downgrade my card

If you qualify, Chase will allow you to upgrade or downgrade your existing Chase card, in what is called a product change. You can call Chase to check your eligibility, which can depend on your card type, the age of your card and your account standing.

Bottom line

With a terrific signup bonus, a strong earning rate on travel and dining, more than $300 in statement credits and a plethora of travel perks, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is more than worth your time if you’re a frequent traveler. If you like the perks mentioned here but don’t quite travel enough to make this card worth it, compare rewards cards to find one that best suits your needs.

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