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One of the Chase Sapphire Reserve‘s many amazing perks is its annual $300 travel statement credit, which applies automatically to all travel purchases. Any transaction that codes as travel — from hotels to airfare to car rentals and much more — will qualify for the credit. Here’s a description of what counts as travel, from Chase’s website:
Merchants in the travel category include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages. Please note that some merchants that provide transportation and travel-related services are not included in this category; for example, real estate agents, websites or owners that rent vacation properties, in-flight goods and services, on-board cruise line goods and services, sightseeing activities, tourist attractions, merchants within airports, and merchants that rent vehicles for the purpose of hauling. In addition, the purchasing of points or miles does not qualify in this category.
So any transaction that falls into one of the above categories should trigger the credit, which posts instantly on your account. Better yet, if you’ve already used your $300 credit for 2016, you don’t have to wait until January 1, 2017 to tap into next year’s credit — as you can see below, my credit reset earlier this week, since it’s tied to your December statement date rather than the end of the calendar month.
At the same time, if you have yet to take advantage of this year’s credit, you may have less time than you thought. If your December statement hasn’t already closed, you can still spend toward this year’s $300 credit up until your statement closing date, but it’s important to note that your transaction must post on your December statement — transactions that are listed as pending by that date do not count.
As a reminder, here’s a look at how the Reserve card’s $300 credit stacks up against other cards’ versions of the perk:
|Annual Fee||Travel Credit Amount||How It’s Processed||Eligible Uses for Credit|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||$450||$300||Automatically applied||All travel (see list above)|
|The Platinum Card from American Express||$550||$200||To use the credit, you need to select a qualifying airline.||Baggage fees, in-flight food and drink|
|American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card||$195 (waived the first year)||$100||To use the credit, you need to select a qualifying airline.||Baggage fees, in-flight food and drink|
|Citi Prestige Card||$450||$250||Automatically applied||Airfare, baggage fees, lounge access, some in-flight purchases|
|Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card||$450||$300||You need to call in after using the card for an eligible purchase.||Baggage fees, seat upgrades, in-flight entertainment, in-flight meals preferred lounge memberships or passes|
Note that each issuer handles this credit differently. Amex, for example, issues its airline fee credits based on the calendar year — so January 1 through December 31 — rather than your billing cycle. Also, while Chase credits post instantly, Amex says to allow up to 4 weeks for your credit to appear on your account.
Have you already received your 2017 travel credit from Chase?