Chase Sapphire Reserve Review
The Chase Sapphire Reserve launched last summer with lots of fanfare, for roughly 6 months they had a 100,000 bonus point offer for spending $4k in 3 months. To go with that 100k bonus offer you also had to pay $450 in annual fees. That $450 price tag is enough to keep a lot of people away from the card, but it’s quite easy to squeeze a ton of value out of this card. Here’s how to squeeze it.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Points Accrual and Redemption
Currently the offer for the Chase Sapphire Reserve is spend $4k in 3 months and earn 50,000 UR Points. The Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) earns 3x points on Travel and Dining, and 1x on all other expenses. The real valuable asset here is the Ultimate Reward (UR) point, which when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal gives you 1.5 cents per mile compared to 1.3 cents per mile with the Chase Sapphire Preferred (~15% more redemption power). For the simplest of redemptions you’re getting a minimum of $750 in value from the 50,000 point signup bonus. The real value here is the ability to have almost instant transfers to travel partners, and this is where you can get redemptions ~2-4+ cents per point on business/first class flights. That requires it’s own post on how to maximize Ultimate Rewards redemptions, but know it’s very possible to get a ton of value out of these points.
So if we’re basing a point value at a minimum of 1.5 cents per point, that means a 3x transaction is returning 4.5% at a minimum.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits
- A liberal $300 travel credit that resets on the anniversary of your card.
- Global Entry (Comes with TSA Precheck) application credit (Good for 5 years, and worth $100).
- Priority Pass Select Membership for access to over 900+ lounges across the world.
- Primary rental car insurance when you pay with the CSR and decline rental coverage. Coverage provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage for rental cars in the U.S. and abroad (see more details here), and note not every country is covered.
- No foreign transaction fees
- Visa Infinite Concierge Services
- Trip Delay Benefits – While this isn’t the best card on the market (that goes to Citi Prestige), the Chase Sapphire Reserve has a solid trip delay benefit that kicks in after 6 a hour delay.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit
To offset the $450 annual fee you have a very liberal $300 travel credit. This includes everything from Uber/Lyft/Taxi’s, airfare, tolls, parking, public transportation, and hotels. All credits are applied automatically, and you can get an up-to-date status of where you stand when you login to your account and view the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Priority Pass Membership
The Chase Sapphire Reserve allows it’s card holders to enroll in the Priority Pass Select membership. While Priority Pass doesn’t limit the number of guests allowed, each lounge has it’s own discretion as to how many guests are allowed, and timing restrictions for it’s members to enter lounges. Priority pass doesn’t own or operate the lounges, and I’ve had hit or miss experiences with the Priority pass both domestically and abroad. I use Loungebuddy to figure out what my access is. Also note that you have to explicitly sign up for the Priority Pass membership after you’ve received your card. Steps to enroll below:
Chase Sapphire Reserve Global Entry/TSA Precheck Benefit
Another perk of the Chase Sapphire Reserve is that they’ll automatically reimburse you for Global Entry or TSA Precheck every 4 years, so long as it’s paid for with your card. This also means you can purchase this for someone else if you already have Global Entry. Global Entry is $100 and is good for 5 years, Global Entry also comes with TSA Precheck, so you might as well sign up for Global Entry if you’re on the fence between the two. Global Entry has been a huge time saver for me on my return trips to the states, and is well worth $20 a year!
Chase Sapphire Reserve Primary Auto Rental Insurance
Another underated perk of the Chase Sapphire Reserve is that they offer primary car rental insurance if you decline coverage on your rental, and pay for the entire rental with your Chase Sapphire Reserve. It provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage for rental cars in the U.S. and abroad* for the renter and any authorized drivers on the rental.
*Be sure to check that if you’re renting abroad that you’re covered in that particular country, not all countries are covered.
Here are some additional samples of situations that are not covered:
- Antique automobiles; vans designed to carry more than 8 people; vehicles that have an open cargo bed; trucks; motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes; limousines; and recreational vehicles
- Expenses reimbursed under your personal auto insurance policy, your employer or your employer’s insurance
- Any obligation you assume under any other agreement
- Injury of anyone or anything inside or outside of the vehicle – (If you don’t have liability insurance I’d suggest ponying up with the rental agency for that supplemental liability insurance)
- Leases and mini leases
- Any violation of the auto rental agreement
- Loss or theft of personal belongings
I actually utilized this perk on a car rental I had in Scotland in July, and after a few back and forth emails with eclaimsonline I was cut a check for ~$130 for a scratch to the rims on the Mercedes I rented.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Delay Insurance
If your airline ticket is delayed more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket. This isn’t as good as the Citi Prestige delay reimbursement, but it’s still nice to have.
The trip must be away from the cardholder’s city of residence and be less than 365 days in length.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve provides coverage when the common carrier fare has been purchased with the card or with rewards earned on an eligible Chase card. So even if you book an award and only pay the taxes/fees you’ll be covered.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Baggage Delay Insurance
If you book your ticket with your Chase Sapphire Reserve, they’ll reimburse you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for 5 days. You must file a written claim within 20 days after the occurrence (or as soon as reasonably possible).
Chase Sapphire Reserve Baggage Insurance
If you or an immediate family member check or carry on luggage that is damaged or lost by the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger. Included within the maximum benefit amount of $3,000 is coverage for jewelry, watches and electronics, up to $500 per insured person per covered trip
These items are not covered, Loss of documents or valuable papers, money, securities, tickets, checks, traveler’s checks or furs.
Of course make sure you read the full terms to see what is covered. You must file a written claim within 20 days after the occurrence.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Review Conclusion
It was a no-brainer at the 100k offer but the 50k offer is still a great offer! Especially since Chase recently announced changes to the bonus earning capability of it’s Sapphire products (as reported by Doctor of Credit). You can no longer receive a bonus for the CSR or CSP if you’ve received a bonus previously for a card in the same family within 24 months, and you can no longer have the CSR and the CSP at the same time, although existing card members are grandfathered in if they have both. It totally makes sense to go with the Chase Sapphire Reserve over the Chase Sapphire Preferred, since the annual fee is only really another $55 after you account for the $300 travel credit.
This card is probably the #1 card in my wallet, and definitely my go-to card when it comes to going out to eat or traveling. You’d be crazy not to add this card to your arsenal!
(note this was not a sponsored post, and I may receive compensation as a result of a successful sign up and I very much appreciate anyone who signs up via my links!)