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What counts as travel with Chase Sapphire Reserve?

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What counts as travel with Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Jason StaufferWhat counts as travel with Chase Sapphire Reserve?Million Mile Secrets Team

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card has a solid sign-up bonus and lots of other amazing perks, including helping you earn points faster by way of the 3x Chase Sapphire Reserve travel and dining categories.

That’s great, because eating and traveling are two of the most popular spending categories.

Let’s take a look at what types of purchases do and do not qualify for bonus points in the travel category.

Chase Sapphire Reserve travel categories

You’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of opening the Sapphire Reserve card.

You’ll also get a wide range of benefits, including:

  • 10x points on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
  • 3x points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit, below) and dining worldwide
  • One point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Up to $300 credit each account anniversary year for travel purchases
  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $60 DoorDash credit in 2020 and 2021

The $550 annual fee is not waived the first year, and we’ve written about whether or not the Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee is worth it for you.

The card comes with a Priority Pass Select membership, which gets you access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. You can save 15% off Lyft rides with a complimentary year of Lyft Pink (normally $19.99/month), as long as you activate the membership by March 31, 2022. Cardholders are also eligible for at least a year of free DashPass, which comes with waived delivery fees at select restaurants on orders of $12+.

Travel categories that earn 3x points with the Sapphire Reserve

Travel is a broad category, so here’s what will qualify for 3x Chase points when you use your Sapphire Reserve:

  • Airlines (including tickets, baggage fees, change fees, etc.)
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Timeshares
  • Campgrounds
  • Vacation rentals (like Airbnb)
  • Car rental agencies
  • Cruise lines
  • Travel agencies
  • Discount travel sites (like Orbitz and Expedia)
  • Trains (like Amtrak, subway and metro tickets)
  • Buses (like city bus tickets, Greyhound tickets and Megabus tickets)
  • Taxis
  • Limos
  • Ferries
  • Ride-sharing services (like Uber or Lyft)
  • Toll bridges and highways
  • Parking lots and garages

If you have to pass through a toll on your way to work every day, you could earn 3x Chase points for paying with your Chase Sapphire Reserve. Or maybe you’re planning a cruise to the Caribbean? Use the Chase Sapphire Reserve to pay for your tickets and earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points for that purchase too.

Travel categories that do not earn 3x points with the Sapphire Reserve

Here’s what does not earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points:

  • Inflight goods and services
  • Onboard cruise ship purchases
  • Sightseeing activities
  • Tourist attractions
  • Airport purchases
  • Miles and points purchases
  • Rentals of equipment and vehicles used for moving purposes (like U-Haul)

Things like food and drink purchases during a flight or that Sasquatch lawn ornament from the SkyMall magazine will not count as a travel purchase. And your ticket to The Empire State Building Observatory won’t earn you bonus points, either.

But you will still earn 3x Chase points on travel and dining when you’re overseas and you won’t pay foreign transaction fees.

Bottom line

Along with a great sign-up bonus and numerous perks, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card earns 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel (excluding the $300 travel credit) and on dining purchases worldwide. If you like to spend in these categories, your bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points can add up fast. Travel purchases such as airfare, bus tickets, train rides, tolls and parking fees will count as travel purchases.

But tickets to tourist attractions, purchases you make in the airport and inflight purchases will not qualify as a travel purchase.

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Featured photo by Summer Hull.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.

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 pay rent on a 2nd property (not my primary residence), does that qualify for 3x travel rewards?

We use my husband’s CSR for all travel, so when we book a cruise, it is attached to our shipboard account. Our charges to our shipboard account on our Oceania cruise were posted as travel, and we got 3x points for the spend.

That has been my experience as well. I just completed a cruise on Celebrity and the onboard account charges billed from “CELEBRITY MIAMI FL” received travel 3 points per dollar.

I recently “audited” my Citi Prestige spend and found that I was missing about 1,700 points from 2X and 3X transactions in foreign countries that were miscoded. Like I bought an airline ticket directly from an airline in Mozambique and it was coded as something entirely different, I bought baseball tickets in Japan that weren’t coded as entertainment, etc.

A few secure messages to Citi and I got the points awarded.

FYI, I have booked two different whale watch boat trips here on Maui with the card, and both earned 3x……well one was a whale watch and one was a snorkel trip.

On-board cruise ship purchases counted for me on Carnival since they were charged to the room. Same ting for gift shop purchases, etc in a hotel. If I can charge it to my room, I will since I know it gets 3x points.