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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Chase Sapphire Reserve
Last August, Chase made waves in the points and miles space by introducing an absolutely phenomenal new product — the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. This flagship card quickly became the most appealing option on the market not only because of its exceptional benefits, but also for its unheard of sign-up bonus — 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months, worth a whopping $2,100 based on TPG’s valuation. However, like all outrageously generous sign-up bonus, this card’s 100,000-point online offer must soon come to an end in just a few days, as Chase confirmed to us exclusively today.
The Sapphire Reserve was such a hit that Chase quickly ran out of the metal used to create each card (offering new customers a temporary plastic version instead, though all should have metal replacements in hand by now), and Reserve was partially responsible for a 35% increase in new Chase card accounts in the third quarter of 2016. Rather than launching the card with a traditional advertising campaign, Chase decided to offer a huge sign-up bonus, enabling the issuer to use its marketing budget to incentive consumers directly which in turn created tremendous buzz through word of mouth. Of course, all of these new customers still came at a significant cost, impacting the bank’s bottom line by some -$200 million.
Why has the Reserve been such a hit? The card offers some of the industry’s top benefits — including the 100k sign-up bonus (which is still available for a few more days):
- Earn 100K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,500 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card
- 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,500 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 900+ airport lounges worldwide with complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Unfortunately, January 11th (one week from Wednesday) will be the last day to apply for the 100,000 point offer before the card’s bonus will drop by 50% with the same spending requirement — you’ll earn 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. After the drop, the bonus will match that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which will become an even more compelling alternative. (Notably, the “5/24 rule” will still apply, so if you’re opened five or more accounts with any issuer within the past 24 months you may not be approved for Sapphire Reserve even after the bonus drops on January 12.)
As President of Chase Branded Cards Pam Codispoti explained in her chat with TPG last September, the 100k-point bonus wasn’t likely to stick around indefinitely:
When we launched the product we very purposefully introduced it with a 100,000-point sign-up bonus, because we knew it would create excitement, create some buzz and it would help us break through in the luxury segment, where we really weren’t playing with our proprietary products, so I think we can say we checked the box, we have created a lot of excitement and it’s working really well for us, but like any promotion or any introductory offer, we’ll be evaluating it over time. The thing that makes us really happy is that we’ve talked to customers, and many of them tell us that while the 100,000-point offer got their attention, the actual core benefits of the card are so good that there’s more than enough for them to want to keep the card well after that offer expires, and frankly they probably would have gotten the card without it.
Within a few weeks of launch, Chase executives seemed incredibly pleased with their new product’s performance — enough so to suggest that the 100,000-point offer wouldn’t be sustainable long-term. This unique approach clearly paid off, as Codispoti explained in a follow-up call today:
We were really focused on public relations and social media to create a viral marketing buzz that really paid off. We’re really happy with what that did. We kept the 100,000-point introductory offer up longer than we originally anticipated, purely because of the strong demand in the product. And now, like with all promotions or introductory offers, we feel it’s time to bring that premium down to a more sustainable level.
Now, while the bonus is slated to drop next week for online applications, Chase has suggested that the 100k offer will still be available if you apply for the Sapphire Reserve in a branch before March 12. Of course, heading into a retail location and sitting down with a banker requires significantly more time and effort than filling out an application online, so that isn’t nearly as appealing. If you’re ready to sign up for the card, now’s the time to do it.
For more on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, see:
- 10 Best Ways to Use 100,000 Ultimate Rewards Points
- Break-Even Point on the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
- Questions and Answers About the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
- 6 Posts You Need to Read If You’re Considering Chase Sapphire Reserve
How have you used your 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points?