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Chase Sapphire Card Review
22 Apr 2018

Chase Sapphire Card Review

Are you on the market for a new credit card?

If so, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card pack some serious punch, and it’s frequently touted as some of the best credit cards available on today’s market.

Let’s get into what you need to know before you send in your request!

The Basics

It’s been ranked as one of the top travel and premium cards on the market and for a good reason. The Chase Sapphire Reserve hosts some pretty lucrative benefits!

First of all, you’ll score 3x the points on travel and dining worldwide (no foreign transaction fees) and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Your points are also worth 50% when redeeming for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. With a current 50,000 signup bonus, that means you’re instantly receiving $750 towards travel!

You’ll also receive a complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership, which means you’ll have exclusive access to over 1000 airport lounges around the worldwide. With the Reserve, you will also receive Global Entry or TSA Pre Fee Credit if you are interested in enrolling.

Now, here’s for the important part- the Chase Sapphire Reserve does come with a hefty $450 annual fee. It’s not waived the first year.

With that said, you’ll receive a $300 annual statement credit as reimbursement for travel-related purchases. These purchases can include anything from:

  • Airline tickets
  • Hotel fees
  • Transportation costs (taxis, Ubers)
  • Travel excursions

So, even though you are paying that $450 fee, it’s more like $150 after using the travel reimbursement.

Note that the annual credit starts after your account open date anniversary.

The Pros

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with some seriously impressive built-in features. The first one is the lack of foreign transaction fees.

If you’re an avid traveler, you probably know the annoyance of being charged a 2-5% surplus just because you’re out of your home country. And, as Visa is used around the world, you should be able to happily swipe this card no matter what country you’re in.

Furthermore, when booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards, there are no blackout dates or travel restrictions.

Again, you can also transfer to leading hotel and airline programs that include:

  • Aer Lingus Airclub
  • British Airways
  • Air France KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • Korean Air
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards
  • World of Hyatt

Many people take advantages of the ability to transfer points to secure a better redemption. For example, you may be able to score a very cheap Southwest flight. If that’s the case, you just have to transfer over your Chase Ultimate Rewards, and you’re ready to book!

Furthermore, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers numerous travel and protection benefits when you use their cards for everyday purchases.

To date, these include:

  • trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance
  • travel and emergency assistance services
  • extended warranty protection
  • purchase protection
  • auto rental collision damage waiver

If you’re already paying for these benefits elsewhere, you may be able to save more money by looking into these cards.

The Cons

Chase does not allow you to hold more than one Sapphire card at the same time. Moreover, if you have ever held a Sapphire credit card, you are not eligible for any bonuses until 24 months have passed.

Be sure to check your credit report to determine if 24 months have passed before considering this card.

To actually qualify for the 50,000 bonus, you need to make the minimum spend of $4,000 within the first three months. These purchases do have restrictions.

For example, they cannot include cash advances, balance transfers, gambling or lottery tickets, or fraudulent charges. They also do not include the annual fee.

If you can’t make that minimum spend, you’re going to be spending $450 right off the bat- without any reward bonuses.

Like most credit cards, you can add an authorized user. In fact, Chase is incentivizing you to do so by offering a 5,000 point bonus.

However, if you choose to add on an authorized user, know that you are ultimately responsible for paying the balance on the account. At the end of the day, you are financially liable and responsible for all purchases.

As Chase provides account information to the credit reporting agencies for all account users, adding on someone else could impact their credit score.

One last issue to keep in mind is that very steep $450 fee! With many premium travel cards available on the market, it’s important to consider cheaper alternatives.

The Verdict

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card remains a must-have for avid traveling and dining fans.

For the sign-up bonus alone, you can guarantee a minimum of $500 (as a cash back statement credit) PLUS an additional $300 of travel credit each year.

That comes to $800 cash back at a $450 fee (so a minimum of $350 gained). And, that’s just at the lowest redemption method. It doesn’t include all the exclusive perks you’ll acquire (such as Global Entry, Priority Pass Select membership, trip insurance, etc.).

With that in mind, the $450 may be a steep, upfront fee for some. If you’re looking for a card that yields similar benefits without the hefty annual rate, you might want to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Similar to the Reserve, there is a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points, but the annual fee is waived the first year (it’s $95 each year after that).

Final Thoughts

When requesting for a new credit card, it’s important to do your own research, stay informed, and be patient with the process.

Are you interested in learning more about money management and taking control over your finances? Be sure to check out our blog today. We have the best information and advice for everything from installment loans for bad credit to payday loans no credit check. Make sure you read up before you sign up!