Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Capital One, Chase and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
With perks like a $300 annual travel credit, a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and complimentary airport lounge access, the Chase Sapphire Reserve competes with cards like the AMEX Platinum and Citi Prestige Card.
And you can get at LEAST $1,500 in free airfare with the sign-up bonus from the Chase Sapphire Reserve when you apply online through January 11, 2017.
I’ll show you how easy it can be to use the sign-up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Reserve for Big Travel.
We don’t earn a commission for this card, but we always want you to get the best deals!
About the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
Link: Chase Sapphire Reserve
When you apply online by January 11, 2017, you’ll earn a 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Or you can apply in-branch through March 12, 2017.
You’ll also get:
- 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel & dining
- 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all other purchases
- $300 annual credit for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels
- $100 statement credit for Global Entry
- Priority Pass Select for access to airport lounges
- No foreign transaction fees
- Visa Infinite benefits like $25 food and beverage credit at the Luxury Hotel Collection and complimentary car rental elite status with Silvercar
The card comes with a $450 annual fee (NOT waived the first year).
Note: You’re unlikely to be approved for this card if you’ve opened ~5+ cards from any bank (except these business cards) in the past 24 months. In that case, you might consider the 100,000 point offer for the The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, available through January 25, 2017.
How to Get $1,500 in Travel With the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25 cents per point when you book travel through Chase’s travel portal if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Preferred, Ink Plus (no longer available), or Ink Bold (no longer available).
But if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents each! So a 100,000 point sign-up bonus is worth at LEAST $1,500 when you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal (100,000 points X 1.5 cents per point = $1,500)!
The best way to get Big Travel with Small Money is to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners, like United Airlines for free stopovers, Hyatt for luxurious hotel stays, or Singapore Airlines for First Class suites.
When you use your points with transfer partners, you can have experiences that normally cost thousands of dollars.
But if you don’t have flexibility with your travel dates, and don’t mind flying coach, you can skip the hassle of looking for award flights and redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for 1.5 cents per point through the Chase travel portal.
When you book through the portal, you won’t be subject to blackout dates. And you’ll even EARN miles for your flight. That’s because the ticket is essentially the same as if you paid cash.
Here’s how to get $1,500 in travel with your 100,000 point sign-up bonus!
Step 1. Navigate to the Chase Travel Portal
Go to the Chase travel portal and log-in with your Chase account.
From the home page, locate the “Use Points” menu and click “Explore & Book Travel“.
Step 2. Enter Your Travel Information
Type your desired travel dates and locations in the Chase travel portal, and click “Search“. Let’s use New Zealand as our destination.
The next screen will be a list of available flights for your desired dates. You can either buy them with cash, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, or a mix of both.
The example flight to New Zealand costs ~116,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Preferred, Ink Plus (no longer available) or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available). But it will cost only ~97,000 points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve! That’s because Chase Ultimate Rewards points will be worth an extra .25 cents each.
Booking the same trip as an award seat can be difficult. For example, the United Airlines website doesn’t have any days in mid-July with available flights.
The Chase travel portal works well for folks who have firm travel dates. Because booking through the Chase travel portal will let you use your points for almost any ticket available for purchase on any day.
Note: Even if award flights are available for your dates, make sure to compare prices against the Chase portal. Sometimes it’s cheaper to book through the portal anyway!
Your Points Can Be Worth More Than 1.5 Cents
My favorite way to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points is to transfer them to travel partners like Singapore Airlines or Hyatt for Big Travel with Small Money. I’ve gotten much more value than 1.5 cents per point for flights in Business Class and stays in luxurious hotels.
For example, I transferred 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt for a room at the Park Hyatt Sydney, which usually costs over $750 per night. That’s a value of ~2.5 cents per point!
I recommend transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners instead of booking through the Chase travel portal, because it’s possible to receive more than 1.5 cents per point.
But sometimes folks find it easier and more convenient to book flights through the Chase Travel Portal. That way they don’t have to search for award seats or think about blackout dates.
We don’t earn a commission for this card but we want you to get Big Travel with Small Money even when we don’t get anything!