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Even though it no longer has a huge 100,000-point bonus (it’s now 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after meeting minimum spending requirements), I think the Chase Sapphire Reserve is still one of the best travel cards for folks looking to get Big Travel with Small Money.
With the card, you’ll enjoy terrific perks like airport lounge access and an annual $300 travel credit. And you can earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points faster with a 3X bonus category for travel (excluding $300 travel credit) and dining purchases.
Just remember, it’s unlikely folks with lots of recently opened credit cards will get approved for the Sapphire Reserve because of Chase’s stricter application rules.
Chase Sapphire Reserve 50,000 Points
Link: Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve sign-up bonus is currently 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
That’s worth at least $750 when you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Because points linked to your Sapphire Reserve are worth 1.5 cents each toward travel through the Chase portal.
The best part is you can combine points from the below cards to increase the value of all your Chase Ultimate Rewards points:
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Ink Bold (no longer available to new applicants)
- Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
- Chase Ink Plus (no longer available to new applicants)
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
And you can transfer points from the Sapphire Reserve directly to amazing travel partners, like Hyatt and Southwest!
For example, Emily and I redeemed Chase Ultimate Rewards points for 6 free nights at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, which saved us $500+ per night!
Other perks of the Sapphire Reserve include:
- 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel & dining
- $300 statement credit for travel purchases (like airfare, Airbnb, hotels, car rental, Uber, etc.) each account anniversary year
- Priority Pass Select for access to airport lounges
- $100 statement credit for Global Entry
- No foreign transaction fees
The $450 annual fee is NOT waived the first year. But the fee is effectively $150 when you consider the annual $300 travel credit ($450 annual fee – $300 travel credit).
Tougher Chase Application Rules
Before you apply for the Sapphire Reserve, remember Chase will NOT approve you for any of their Chase Ultimate Rewards points-earning cards if you’ve opened 5 or more credit card accounts from any bank in the past 24 months (with the exception of Chase business cards and certain small business cards). This is known as the “5/24” rule.
If you’re unsure how many cards you’ve recently opened, read my step-by-step guide for checking your Chase “5/24” status.
What If You’re Not Comfortable With the Annual Fee?
It’s no surprise the Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the most popular travel rewards cards, even with the $450 annual fee.
But if you’re uncertain you’ll make the most of these benefits, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred card instead. It’s my favorite card for beginners, and also comes with a 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus after meeting the same minimum spending requirement.
You’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after meeting minimum spending requirements. That’s worth at least $750 when you redeem points for travel through the Chase travel portal. And potentially much more if you transfer points directly to travel partners.
Plus, the card comes with an annual $300 travel credit, which offsets the card’s $450 annual fee. And you earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel & dining purchases.
But be sure to check out my post about Chase’s tougher application rules before applying.