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The annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is $550 per year, making it one of the most expensive cards on the market. You would be right to ask if it’s worth it. In exchange for a high annual fee, Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a rich set of perks. Not everyone will be able to take advantage of all its benefits, especially if you are not a traveling foodie. But if your lifestyle and spending habits match the target audience for this card, chances are you can come out ahead (and then some).
We’ll look at the benefits of the card below to help you decide whether or not to purchase Chase Sapphire Reserve.
When is Chase Sapphire Reserve worth it?
You want travel-focused rewards
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has been designed to be a first class premium card for travelers and in this respect it does not disappoint. Each Reward Point you earn is worth 1.5 cents when you redeem it for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, instead of the usual 1 or 1.25 cents you get with other Chase cards. If you have other Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, you can even transfer those points to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card to further increase their value.
Here are some of the other travel benefits and perks that this card offers:
- Solid welcome bonus. You can earn 60,000 Reward Points by spending $4,000 during the first three months of your card membership. It’s worth $900 when redeemed for travel through the Chase Portal thanks to a 50 percent increase in Chase Sapphire Reserve Points. Obviously this is a one-time deal, but it will completely negate the cost of the annual fee in the first year and you will have a lot of money to spare.
- $300 travel credit. You’ll receive a $300 credit towards qualifying travel expenses each year, which is a great way to reduce your card’s annual cost. This credit can be used to pay for flights, hotel stays, taxis and ride sharing, public transport and more.
- Up to $100 credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS. Every four years, you can receive credit to apply for one of these accelerated traveler programs.
- Priority Pass Select a membership. This benefit gives you free access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. If you were to pay for a similar membership yourself, it would cost you between $299 and $429 per year.
- Higher travel reward rates. One of the pillars of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is the reward for travel expenses. You’ll earn 10x points on hotel stays and car rentals with Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5x points on flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards, and 3x points on regular travel purchases.
- Advantages of the elevator. Until March 31, 2025, you can earn 10x points on Lyft rides.
- Transfer of points to Chase partners. One of the best ways to redeem points is by transferring points to Chase Airlines and partner hotels. All points will be converted at a 1:1 rate, a feature not found in many loyalty programs.
Are you also interested in dining privileges
Chase knows that people who travel also generally love good food, which is why it also offers some great money-saving perks in this area:
- DoorDash DashPass. You’ll receive a free 12-month DoorDash DashPass subscription that includes $0 shipping to many restaurants (activate by December 31, 2024).
- Gopaff privileges. You can get a $10 monthly credit from Gopuff, a snack and drink delivery service (activate by December 31, 2023).
- Bonus points for dining out. Another great benefit of Chase Sapphire Reserve is that you will earn 3x more points for every dollar spent on restaurant expenses.
- Bonus points at Chase Dining. If you prepay your booking or order takeout through Chase Dining, you earn 10x more points for every dollar spent.
As with travel benefits, some of the benefits offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve card are harder to calculate. To see how much you can get from these dining perks, you may need to estimate how much you are spending in these areas. For example, if you spend about $3,600 a year shopping at a restaurant, you will earn 10,800 food points. If you use these points for travel, you will receive a 50% increase in points, meaning you will have 16,200 points (worth $162).
Are you looking for great travel and shopping coverage?
Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best credit cards for travel insurance and purchase protection. It includes an incredible amount of benefits such as:
- Trip cancellation and disruption insurance. If you have to cancel your trip or your trip is interrupted by a qualifying event, you will receive coverage up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip.
- Travel delay insurance. If your trip is delayed more than six hours, you get insurance up to $500 per ticket.
- Loss of baggage insurance. If your carrier has lost your bag, you are entitled to a refund of up to $3,000 per person for you and your immediate family traveling with you.
- Primary car rental insurance. If you deduct your car rental from your card and cancel the rental agency’s insurance, you will receive car theft and accident coverage up to $75,000.
- Emergency evacuation and transport insurance. If you become ill or have a medical emergency while abroad, you will be covered for up to $100,000 in medical and travel expenses.
- Purchase protection. New purchases you make will be insured for 120 days against damage or theft (up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year).
- Return protection. You may be reimbursed for a qualifying return (within 90 days of purchase) that the seller does not accept. You will be covered up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year.
- Extended protection guarantee. The warranties of the respective American manufacturers will be extended for one more year.
When is Chase Sapphire Reserve not worth it?
You don’t want to pay a high annual fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best luxury travel cards, which means there is a premium annual fee to access its benefits. If you’re not comfortable with paying such a high fee upfront—even if you can recoup costs later with card benefits and credits—you should consider a travel card with a lower annual fee, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. with an annual fee of $95.
With Chase Sapphire Preferred, you get the same benefits as Chase Sapphire Reserve, albeit slightly less impressive benefits:
- Increased scores. You’ll receive a 25% points increase when you redeem your travel points through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can also earn reward points every account anniversary, which equals 10 percent of your total purchases made during the previous year. As for the welcome offer, you will have the opportunity to receive the same signup bonus as Chase Sapphire Reserve: 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 over three months.
- Travel benefits. You can receive a $50 credit for a hotel stay purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. In addition, you can transfer points to Chase and partner hotels at a 1:1 rate.
- Table perks. You can get one year of DoorDash DashPass free (if activated before December 31, 2024) and a $10 monthly credit from Gopuff (if activated before December 31, 2023). You’ll also earn 3x points for your restaurant purchases.
- Increased rewards for travel and other categories. You’ll earn 5x points on Chase Ultimate Rewards rides, 5x points on Lyft rides (until March 31, 2025), 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (before March 31, 2025). excluding Walmart, Target, and wholesale clubs), 2x more points for other services. travel purchases and 1X points on all other purchases.
- Travel and cover purchase. You’ll get trip cancellation/interruption insurance, basic car rental insurance, luggage delay insurance, trip delay insurance, 24/7 travel assistance and emergency assistance, purchase protection and an extended warranty.
You don’t travel often
If you only travel once a year (or less often), the Chase Sapphire Reserve won’t cost you. Most of its benefits are related to travel rewards and benefits, as well as travel insurance. Instead, if you still need some travel perks, you can consider using a travel reward card with a lower annual fee or no annual fee. Otherwise, if you’re interested in rewards other than travel, another credit card with better rewards might be better for you.
You won’t take advantage of it
Before applying for a card, you should definitely review the list of its benefits and see if you can use them. Chase Sapphire Reserve offers an incredible amount of travel benefits including $300 travel credit, up to $100 credit for TSA, Global Entry or NEXUS pre-screening, and airport lounge access, but if you don’t use these benefits, then this card won’t be worth it for you.
In this case, think about your spending habits and think about the benefits you would like to get the most from a rewards credit card. For example, would you rather have a card that rewards you for grocery shopping, online shopping, or gas station purchases?
Should I buy Chase Sapphire Reserve?
Review each benefit and determine if you can take advantage of it or not, and think about how much savings you could get. If you can save over $550 then the Chase Sapphire Reserve is worth it. If not, you should choose a less expensive pass like the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Remember – you only save money if you buy the item anyway. For example, if you would not spend money on TSA PreCheck or Global Entry on your own, then you are not really saving money if you pay for it with a card with a high annual fee.
If you take full advantage of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you will earn more than enough to offset the $550 annual fee. And that doesn’t even include the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you’ll earn with additional travel and day-to-day rewards.