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Chase Sapphire Reserve® review

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

finder.com’s rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get this card if: you’re a frequent traveler who wants one of the top travel cards on the market.
  • 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 10x

Points

$550

Annual fee

16.99% to 23.99%

Purchase APR (variable)

Details

Annual fee$550
Welcome Offer50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
Purchase APR16.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR16.99% to 23.99% variable
Recommended minimum credit score740
IssuerVisa

Expert review

Steven Dashiell

Review by


Steven Dashiell is a credit cards writer at Finder. He's worked on 250 Finder articles and counting, helping readers embrace and maximize credit cards. Backed by nearly a decade of research and reporting experience, Steve's work can be seen on Debt.com, CreditCards.com and Lifehacker.

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 $550 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.

How do I apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®?

Applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is simple and straightforward. First, to qualify, you’ll need at least an excellent credit score of 740 or higher. Then, simply follow these steps:

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

Chase Sapphire Reserve® 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. The Sapphire Reserve now also earns 10x points on Lyft car rides, a terrific earning rate and among the highest available for ride-shares.
  • Welcome offer. Spend $4,000 within your first 3 months of account opening and you’ll earn a substantial 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points. That is roughly a $750 value when you redeem these through the Chase Travel portal.
  • 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. And until December 31, 2021, earn up to $120 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All Access Memberships.
  • Travel perks. This card offers numerous travel benefits, including Priority Pass membership, a year of Lyft Pink and DashPass by DoorDash membership, concierge service and travel protections. Many of these, such as the Priority Pass membership, are worth hundreds of dollars on their own, so taking advantage of these is a simple way to make up for the cost of the card.

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® demands a $550 annual fee from cardholders. Generally, this won’t be a problem if you travel and take advantage of the card’s perks. Although, if you’re an infrequent traveler, 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.
  • High credit score requirements. You’ll need an excellent credit score to get this card.

Is the annual fee worth it?

Absolutely. When my partner and I applied for this card, we made sure to do so a few months ahead of a planned cross-country trip.

Once we received the card, we booked our flights using it, instantly taking advantage of the $300 travel credit — a significant portion of our annual fee! Really, even a single trip can help take the bite out of your annual fee if you take advantage of all of the card’s features.

Compare Sapphire Reserve to similar credit cards

Here’s a look at how the Sapphire Reserve stacks up to other popular travel card options.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

★★★★★

Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

Rates & fees
Go to site

Minimum credit score

740

Annual fee

$550

Purchase APR

16.99% to 23.99% variable

Balance transfer APR

16.99% to 23.99% variable

Rewards

10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases

Welcome offer

50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

★★★★★

Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

Rates & fees
Go to site

Minimum credit score

670

Annual fee

$95

Purchase APR

15.99% to 22.99% variable

Balance transfer APR

15.99% to 22.99% variable

Rewards

5x points on Lyft, 2x points on up to $1,000 on groceries until April 30, 2021, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases

Welcome offer

60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $750 through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus up to $50 statement credit towards groceries.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® reviews and complaints

Praise

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a favored card from users across a variety of social media. Many customers tout the generous travel credits and signup bonus as big factors in their happiness with the card, with several users on Reddit recommending frequent travelers upgrading from the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Complaints

Among social media complaints for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, some cardholders felt the card wasn’t worth the high annual fee. Others complained about a lack of lounge coverage through the Priority Pass program — a sting felt by yours truly. Finally, a few cardholders felt Chase customer service was lacking when they encountered issues.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® rewards

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a travel rewards workhorse. It offers plenty of ways to earn Ultimate Rewards points on top of its base earning rate. Moreover, it also allows you to redeem earned Chase rewards at a higher rate than average, and even transfer your points to other eligible rewards programs.

The name of the game with making the most of your points is pairing up your Chase rewards cards. By pairing up the Chase Freedom Unlimited with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can earn bigger rewards on purchases you wouldn’t earn otherwise earn accelerated rewards on. And from there, you can move the points you earn on the Unlimited over to the Reserve, allowing you to redeem those points for greater value. Check out our Chase Trifecta guide for more information on maxing your rewards.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® can also prove useful for this technique, providing a steadier 1.5% base cashback rather than rotating categories, in addition to the same accelerated categories as the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

The “One Sapphire” rule

Chase restricts cardholders to only one Sapphire card per person. There are a few things to note about this ruling:

  • If you want to move from a Sapphire Preferred to a Sapphire Reserve or vice versa, you’ll need to apply for a product change.
  • If you make a product change up or down, you can’t earn the welcome offer on your new card.
  • If you closed a Sapphire card, you’ll need to wait upwards of four years before you can qualify for another Sapphire.

The 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. And if you were like me and hardly traveled much beforehand, this card’s benefits might motivate you to go out and see the world. Or at the very least, visit your family once in a while.

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.

Frequently asked questions

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