Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee – Worth It or Not?

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The 100,000 point sign-up bonus from the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the highest public bonus I’ve ever seen on a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  But the card has a $450 annual fee.  And it’s NOT waived the first year.

Folks might be wondering if the Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee is worth it?

I think so!  Because you can easily offset the annual fee with the credits and perks you’ll get.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee

Transfer the 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Bonus From the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card for 5 Free Nights at the Beautiful Hyatt Regency Maui. And Feel the Hawaiian Sand Between Your Toes Like Emily Did!

I’ll explain why I think it’s worth paying the $450 annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.  At least for the first year!

About the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

Link:   Chase Sapphire Reserve

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.  

You’ll also get:

You’ll have to pay the $450 annual fee, that’s NOT waived the first year.

But the perks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card far outweigh the $450 Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee.  At least for the first year you’re a cardholder!

Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee

Let’s look at how the Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits can add up, especially the 1st year!

Annual Travel Credit

You will earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth ~$1,500 in travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal after completing the minimum spending requirements.   You can also transfer them to travel partners for Big Travel.

And, you’ll get a $300 annual credit for travel purchases per calendar year.  

Meaning you can earn the $300 in 2016 AND get the $300 credit again in early 2017.

So you’ll actually get $600 in travel credit with just 1 annual fee!  Effectively making the cost of the card $0, with a $150 travel credit to spare ($600 travel credit – $450 annual fee).

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit

The $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck also helps offset the annual fee.  Plus, you’ll save time at the airport! 😉

Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee

Avoid Long Lines at the Airport With Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

Remember, it’s usually better for folks to apply for Global Entry, because it comes with TSA PreCheck eligibility.

Lounge Access

The Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you Priority Pass Select for access to airport lounges.  That can save you hundreds of dollars per year if you fly a lot and use lounges frequently.  Because a 1-day lounge pass can easily cost $40+.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee is $450 that’s NOT waived the first year.

But you can easily offset the annual fee with perks you’ll get from the card.  Like the $300 travel credit each calendar year, $100 statement credit for Global Entry, and airport lounge access with Priority Pass Select.

That’s why I think it’s worth paying the annual fee, at least for the first year.  Because you can actually come out ahead!  For year 2, run the numbers to decide whether keeping the card long-term makes sense for you!

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16 responses to “Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee – Worth It or Not?

  1. I think that in order to sell someone on the full benefits of paying the fee, you need to show people all the “extra” perks that come with the card. $300 in travel credits is great, but it’s not just typical travel. Also, there is still the matter of $150 remainder fee, which I find easy to cover just by knowing that 1. I’m getting 3 UR points for travel and dining, 2. The extra travel insurance benefits while flying, and 3. The towing coverage!… Plus getting 1.5x back for using the Chase Travel redemption is incredible! The only thing i don’t like about this card is not having a specific airline lounge attached, but that’s not the worst problem to have if you aren’t a heavy traveler or tend to fly whatever gets you someplace fast.

  2. This will be a great card for someone who travels frequently or does at least 1 trip internationally…but that’s just my opinion, thanks!

  3. Has it been confirmed that we can use airline gift cards/credits, like we can with the Amex Platinum, which allows, say, four $50 airline gift cards. ??

  4. If the $300 credit is as easy to use as it sounds, this card is easily worth it for the increased earning and increased UR redemptions.

    No need to worry about airline gift cards if the credit can apply to everyday travel like taxis or subways.

  5. Certainly worth it for me. Now if I can just get approved!

    If you are sure you’ll spend the $300 in travel to get the credit then it really is only $50 more than if you had and kept the Preferred version year after year which I have done for many years.

  6. See the post from a couple of days ago about Emily going to apply in person at her local Chase branch. I have far ,far, far more than 5 cards over the last 24 months, was recently turned down for Southwest & United cards. I went to my local Chase branch today, found I was pre-approved, applied and was instantly approved. $35k credit line. I would have never considered applying for this card from the recent denials but I happened to see the article about applying in person and it worked. Good luck!

  7. @Sriram – Agreed! 🙂

    @g. diclemente – I haven’t confirmed that yet because the card is so new. But I’ll certainly keep you posted as we learn more!

    @Zach – Don’t forget, you can even use the $300 travel credit twice before the annual fee is due if you apply before the end of the year!

    @Dave – Thanks for sharing your experience! And congrats on being approved!

  8. I went into a Chase branch opened a business checking account with a $500 rebate if left for 6 months(saw promotion on Reddit) & applied for Chase Sapphire Reserve. Instantly Approved for
    $35,000 limit. I leave for my 1st class 6 weeks trip to China Vietnam & Singapore using points and miles! Thanks for all of the great tips.

  9. I just went to Chase branch and got instant approval 🙂

  10. Just started travel hacking and was nervous as I’ve had a AMEXdelta gold for about two years and the CSP since July. Been hemming and hawing for the past week or so and even went in to the branch. Was not pre-approved in the branch. Today, feeling frisky, applied online. Instantly approved with 21k line. Anyone know if they are indeed doing expedited shipping??

  11. So if I initiated my card in October 2016 (and just got charged the annual fee) I won’t get charged the annual fee again until October 2017, but I get the travel credit both right now and in January-ish 2017?

    • Andrew, Be aware of this in the terms. Especially since you like myself were a late “adopter” make sure and get that 2016 Travel purchase in before you’re December Statement !

      (“annually” means the year beginning with your account open date through the first December statement date of that same year, and each 12 billing cycles starting after your December statement date through the following December statement date)

  12. Would you have to use the 2016 $300 credit before 2017 or risk losing it? Or can it accumulate?

  13. If I get in on this offer before they remove it on January 11th, will I have the $300 travel credit to use for the rest of 2017, and then $300 travel credit again in January 2018 as long as I book travel before the anniversary date(say Jan 10th for simplicity reasons…) before the 2nd year annual fee is charged?