Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee – Worth It or Not?

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Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee – Worth It or Not?

Million Mile SecretsChase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee – Worth It or Not?Million Mile Secrets Team

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

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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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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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?

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

Million Mile Secrets

Yes, you have to use it before your December statement closes, otherwise you lost it.

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)

Million Mile Secrets

That’s correct!

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??

I just went to Chase branch and got instant approval 🙂

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