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6 Things to Do Before Your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Arrives

Oct. 13, 2016
8 min read
6 Things to Do Before Your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Arrives
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Have you recently been approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, or are you considering applying? Due to higher-than-anticipated demand, Chase actually ran out of its signature metal cards, and some applicants have reported delays in receiving their card in the mail. If you find yourself in that boat, there are still several ways you can use your Reserve account before you actually receive a card in the mail.

1. Access transfers to Ultimate Rewards partners.

Singapore Suites on the A380.
Use Ultimate Rewards points to book a flight in Singapore Suites — even before you get the card.

Once you're approved for the Sapphire Reserve, it should appear online in your Chase account home (if it doesn't, contact Chase web support to link it to your existing profile). In fact, the account is created pretty much the moment you receive approval, so you don't have to wait for your card to be mailed, received or activated.

Several Chase cards earn Ultimate Rewards points or otherwise participate in the program, but the opportunities to use points vary depending on which card you have. Thankfully, you can move your points between card accounts that you have, and even between those of your spouse or domestic partner.

Eligible cards include:

  • Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants)
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited Card
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Ink Plus Business Card
  • Ink Business Cash Card
  • JP Morgan Palladium Card (not available to the general public)
  • Chase Sapphire Card (no longer offered to new applicants)
  • Chase Ink Bold (no longer offered to new applicants)
  • Ink Classic (no longer offered to new applicants)

If you have an eligible card, you can immediately transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to your Sapphire Reserve, and then transfer the points to the seven airline or four hotel partners:

You can get great value from your Ultimate Rewards points when you convert them to airline miles and redeem them for expensive premium-cabin flights or last-minute travel reservations. There can also be some incredible value when you transfer points to a hotel program like Hyatt Gold Passport and redeem those points for expensive nights during high-demand periods.

2. Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for 1.5 cents each toward travel.

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Use points to book airfare and still earn miles and elite credit on your ticket.

A unique benefit of the Sapphire Reserve is the ability to redeem rewards for travel reservations booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a rate of 1.5 cents per point. In contrast, cards like the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited and Ink Cash only offer 1 cent per point toward travel booked through Chase, while the Sapphire Preferred offers 1.25 cents in value per point redeemed this way.

Since you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to your Sapphire Reserve account from other eligible accounts, you can utilize this benefit moments after being approved for the card. You can use your Ultimate Rewards points to book airfare, hotels, car rentals and activities such as tours, transfers and theme parks. Using your Ultimate Rewards points to directly book airfare allows you earn miles and credit toward elite status while being eligible for upgrades, unlike using miles for an award flight.

Unfortunately, most hotel programs won't offer you points or elite status credits when you book through a third party like Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, your Sapphire Reserve card will offer you primary rental car insurance when you use your points to book a rental car, which is one of the few instances when you receive insurance on a rental car paid for with points.

3. Order your Priority Pass Select membership card.

Get set up with Priority Pass Select so you can visit locations like the No. 1 Lounge at London Heathrow.

One of the Sapphire Reserve's many valuable benefits is membership in the Priority Pass Select network of airport lounges. If you hold the Reserve card, this membership grants you and your traveling companions access to more than 900 airport lounges around the world (some individual lounges may have their own policies on guests). But what you might not realize is that you have to opt in to this program; you can't just show your Sapphire Reserve card at the lounge to get in. Fortunately, you can do this online right after your application is approved.

Once your card account appears online, click on Go to Ultimate Rewards, and under Use Points, choose Card Benefits. Then just activate your Airport Lounge Access, and you'll receive a card in the mail within a few weeks. Because this takes time, it's best to make the request as soon as possible. There's also a Priority Pass app that can get you access to most lounges once you're enrolled.

4. Redeem points for cardmember events.

Once you have a Reserve account, you can redeem points or pay cash to attend exclusive events like the Emmys.

One feature of the Sapphire Reserve and Preferred cards that's not available to holders of Chase Freedom or even Ink cards is the option to purchase experience rewards, which can include entertainment, dining and sporting events. For example, Chase is a sponsor of the Emmy Awards, and TPG and I recently attended the show and several other related events as part of a package offered exclusively to Sapphire Reserve and Preferred cardholders.

Since you can use either points or cash to purchase access to these events — and because Chase only offers 1 cent in value per point redeemed for them — it makes sense to pay with your card online rather than use points.

Other events in the program include:

5. Activate rental car benefits.

Enjoy discounts and other perks with three rental car programs.

Another outstanding feature of the Sapphire Reserve is elite status with Avis, National and Silvercar, and you can enroll in these programs online as soon as your account is opened. With Avis, you get Preferred status and a code for up to 30% off of qualifying rentals. For National, you get a 25% off code and are upgraded to the Emerald Club Executive Level, which allows you to reserve a mid-size car and choose from any car on the lot. With Silvercar, you receive a code for saving 30% on rentals of two days or longer.

6. Call in to book hotels with the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.

You'll enjoy special perks at Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection properties like the Mystique in Santorini.

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders are also eligible for Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection benefits. When booking a room at one of these 900-plus hotels and resorts, you receive complimentary breakfast for two, room upgrades (when available), early check-in, late check-out (when available) and a special benefit unique to each property. The unique amenity could be lunch or dinner for two, a spa treatment, golf green fee waivers, a welcome gift or airport transfers. If you don't have your Reserve card yet, you can call Chase and ask them to look up your account information for you in order to book travel.

Bottom Line

With its incredible list of benefits, it's no wonder that the Sapphire Reserve has been a smash hit. And while it's no fun to wait for your card to be delivered, it's nice to know that there are several valuable cardholder perks you can utilize from the moment your account is created.

What are your favorite Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits?

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