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Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Worth It? I’ll Explain Why This Card Is a Must-Have Card for Many

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Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Worth It? I’ll Explain Why This Card Is a Must-Have Card for Many

Meghan HunterIs the Chase Sapphire Reserve Worth It? I’ll Explain Why This Card Is a Must-Have Card for ManyMillion Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER SECRET: When you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents when you redeem them for travel through the Chase travel portal. You can even pool your points from other cards to make the Chase points you’ve earned with other cards worth more too.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve consistently ranks as one of the best travel credit cards. I think it’s the best premium card out there, but the Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee is $450 and it’s not waived the first year.

So you might ask yourself: Is paying the annual fee for theChase Sapphire Reserve worth it? I think so, because you can easily offset the annual fee with the credits and perks you’ll get. I’ll explain.

Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve worth it? You bet. The welcome bonus alone is enough for two free nights at the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cancun (Photo by Joseph GTK/Shutterstock)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee Is Worth It If You Love to Travel

Apply Here: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $750 in travel) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.  

You’ll also get:

  • 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel (excluding $300 travel credit) and dining worldwide
  • 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • $300 annual credit every cardmember anniversary for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels
  • $100 statement creditfor Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (every four years)
  • Priority Pass Select membership for access to airport lounges
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Visa Infinite benefits like a $25 food and beverage credit at the Luxury Hotel Collection and complimentary car rental elite status with Silvercar
  • Rental car discounts with National Car Rental and Avis

There’s a $450 annual fee that’s not waived the first year, but the perks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card can far outweigh the annual fee, especially in the first year.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee

Let’s look at how the Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits add up.

Annual Travel Credit

One of my favorite Sapphire Reserve perks is the card’s up to $300 in annual credits for travel purchases. When you use your card for any travel purchase (like Airbnb, airfare, hotels, Uber, tolls, rental cars, parking, etc.), you will automatically be reimbursed until you’ve spent a total of $300 on travel. The travel credit is so easy to use that for most people the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee will only amount to $150 out of pocket because of the $300 you’re getting back for travel purchases you were going to make anyway.

Just note that while you normally would earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel purchases, the $300 in travel that is reimbursed as part of the credit won’t earn any points. I usually end up using my annual travel credit within the first few weeks of the year and most people spend much more than $300 combined in qualifying travel categories.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit

The $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck also helps offset the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee – and it will save you time at the airport.

Once you’re approved for either program, you can use the TSA PreCheck expedited security line (if your airport has one) when you’re flying with any of 65 eligible airlines. And you won’t have to worry about removing your shoes, belt or laptop.

Normally TSA PreCheck costs $85 and Global Entry costs $100.  Both are valid for five years, but if you pay either of those fees with your Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll get the fee reimbursed, up to $100, so it ends up being free.

Remember, it’s usually better for folks to apply for Global Entry because it comes with TSA PreCheck eligibility. You can use this perk once every four years, so when the time comes to renew, it will be free as long as you have your Sapphire Reserve card.

Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access

The Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you a Priority Pass Select membership 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 one-day lounge pass can easily cost $50+.

With Priority Pass Select membership, you get unlimited lounge access for yourself and two guests. If you need to bring a third person along it’s only $27 extra.

Another perk of Priority Pass membership is that there are a growing number of airport restaurants that will accept your Priority Pass membership. The rules vary slightly depending on the location, but in general, you’ll just need a same-day boarding pass and proof of your Priority Pass membership to get $28 to $32 dollars off your bill per person for up to two people. That’s more than enough to cover a beverage and a meal.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee is $450 which is not waived the first year. It’s worth it for many.

You can easily offset the annual fee with perks you’ll get from the card. These benefits include the up to $300 travel credit each calendar year, the up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and airport lounge access with Priority Pass Select.

Depending on your spending and travel habits it should be easy to decide whether keeping the card long term makes sense for you.

For the latest tips and tricks on traveling big without spending a fortune, please subscribe to the Million Mile Secrets daily email newsletter.

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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Hard to bring myself to signup for that spend requirement and the bonus to be received. Would like at least 75000 bonus

Grumpy Texan Travel

CSR is a much more well-rounded card than AmEx plat. That card is only good if you fly all the time.

Agreed – the CSR is a great card! I also have the Amex Platinum, and I’ve found myself using the CSR a bit more frequently because I’ve often found more value out of Chase points compared to Amex Membership Rewards points. But to each their own!

I’ve had the Chase Sapphire Preferred since May 2012. Does anyone know if I would be eligible for the bonus if I try to upgrade to the Reserved?

Grumpy Texan Travel

No bonus when upgrading. 100% certain.

Do you have a Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited? If so, you can save any accumulated points in that account. Then cancel your CSP. Wait 30 days and apply for the CSR and earn 50k points.

I have an Amazon Prime credit card which was issued by Chase, would this preclude me from receiving any bonus points if I applied for a Chase Sapphire Reserve card or any other Chase card with a sign on bonus.

I also have a Chase Ink Business Preferred card

They’re considered different products, so you are eligible to earn a welcome bonus on the other Chase cards you mentioned.

One thing to keep in mind though is that if you’ve had the card before and have previously earned the bonus on that specific card, you may have to wait anywhere from 24/48 months to earn another intro bonus.

But it sounds like you’ve never had the other Chase cards you’re mentioning in your post, so you should be good to go!

This card is so not worth it. I get better points using my Uber Visa, Amazon Prime Visa, and Citi Double Cash back simultaneously. I’m an avid traveler and thought this card would be worth it, but it’s not. Biggest $450 mistake of my life.

Yeah that 2% back on flights+hotels really crushes the 4.5% from the CSR for all your ‘Avid traveling’. Fee is $150 net so unless you kept the thing for 3 years then you’re literally just lying.

Obviously this post is just corporate spam from Andrew but if you’re really an avid traveler then this card should easily crush your combo for traveling (and hint, you can still use you Amazon and DC cards even if you have a CSR)

Hi Rachel!

Definitely to each their own. Were you not able to find good value from redeeming points?

This is by far one of my favorite cards. I often get more than 2-3 cents per point in value from redemptions, and the $450 fee is effectively $150 because of the $300 travel credit the card offers 🙂

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