Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa Review

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Reviewed by Credit Carrots (2019)

Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits

TL;DR: This card offers unparalleled value for your money by providing a $300 annual travel credit, 3X points earn rate on all travel/dining purchases, and all of the premium benefits you would expect from a top tier travel card.

CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE

Launched in 2016, this card took the premium travel card world by storm with its amazing benefits.

Annual Fee

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has an annual fee of $450.

Top Five Travel Benefits

  • $300 Annual Travel Credit
  • $100 Global Entry Credit
  • Lounge Access
  • National, Avis, and Silvercar Priviledges
  • Luxury Hotel Collection

Top Additional Perks

  • Roadside Assistance
  • No FX Fees

Introduction

What the Chase Sapphire Reserve is all about

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is right at the top of the premium travel credit card pile along with the American Express Platinum and the Citi Prestige. When people think of this card, they associate it with unparalleled value for your money.

This card is also part of the Visa Infinite family which means you have access to their elite perks such as the Visa Infinite Concierge and frequent offers on hotels, travel, and dining.

When this card first launched, it cut JP Morgan Chase’s revenue by 300 million over three months as a result of the rich rewards it was handing out to its customers. The travel rewards battle isn’t good for the banks, but is great for us!

Read on to learn more about the stellar benefits and perks that come with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

How to Earn Rewards Points

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Earn Rates

Before we get into the detail of the different ways you can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, we want to first clarify how much each point is worth.

Based on our research, we value an Ultimate Rewards point at 1.8 cents. that means if you spend a dollar to earn a rewards point, then you are essentially getting 1.8% of value back.

Here are the different ways you can earn points:

1 rewards point per dollar spent on everyday purchases (eg. you’re getting 1.8% of your spend back in Ultimate Rewards points value).

3 rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases (eg. you’re getting 5.4% of your spend back in Ultimate Rewards points value). It’s worth noting that “travel and dining” is a very broad category for Chase, and includes ride sharing purchases as well as food deliveries!

How to Redeem Rewards Points

Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Chase Ultimate Rewards is a top tier points program with a plethora of redemption options. Be careful though! The value of your rewards point will depend on the redemption option you choose, and the easiest redemption options are usually worth the least.

The most popular redemption options are below:

Cash Back or Gift Card Redemption: You can redeem your rewards points for a statement credit at a conversion rate of 1.0 cents per point. This means if you redeem 1,000 points you will get $10 back. This is not the best value for your points so we do not recommend using this even though it’s the simplest redemption option.

Travel Redemption. If you use points to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards Portal. Through this portal, you can redeem your points at a rate of 1.25 cents per point. This portal is powered by Expedia so you will be able to find almost any option you want when it comes to booking travel! Though transferring your points to partner programs gets you a better return on your points, we find ourselves using the Ultimate Rewards Portal all the time due to its flexibility.

Transfers to Partner Programs: As previously mentioned, we value an Ultimate Rewards point at 1.8 cents. The best way to get at least that value is to transfer your rewards points to one of Chase’s partner programs. Transferring to partner programs can get you over 2.0 cents back per rewards points depending on what you are booking.

The best partner programs are:

  • British Airways
  • Korean Air
  • Singapore Airlines
  • United

Click here for a full list of partner programs.

Additional Benefits and Features

What else does the Chase Sapphire Reserve get you?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa comes with many of the perks you would expect from a premium travel card, and tops it up with unbeatable value for your money.

Our favorite benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve include:

  • A $300 annual travel credit. This credit alone effectively cuts your annual fee down to $150. This credit is automatically applied to eligible travel purchases.
  • A $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre Check. This can be redeemed once every four years. TSA Pre is a must-have for any frequent flier as it makes the airport experience much less painful.
  • Access to Priority Pass Lounges. The tier that you are enrolled in is the Priority Pass Select tier. This benefit will allow you access to any priority pass lounge in the world. A word of warning though if you’ve never had Priority Pass before. The individual lounges in the network have the right to refuse entry if they are too busy so access is not always guaranteed.
  • Access to the Visa Infinite Concierge Service. This is the best concierge service for travel planning. We tested out this service for one of our staff member’s honeymoon, and Visa Infinite exceeded all expectations and provided amazingly detailed itineraries. As a comparison, AMEX platinum concierge does not do travel planning (they forward it on to AMEX travel), but they do have better access to restaurants and events.
  • Robust travel insurance coverage. The comprehensive insurance package includes everything you would expect from a premium travel card: travel accident, travel medical, and rental vehicle among many others.

For a full list of all benefits click here.