Best premium travel card for value

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a no-brainer card for those who are looking to up their reward earnings to the highest level. Chase Ultimate Rewards are one of the most valuable points currencies. (Partner offer)

At a glance

  • 3X 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit.
  • 3X 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.
  • 1X 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
60,000 points
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Up to 29.99%
24.99% Variable
16.99%-23.99% Variable
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550

At a glance

  • 3X 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit.
  • 3X 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.
  • 1X 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
60,000 points
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Up to 29.99%
24.99% Variable
16.99%-23.99% Variable
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

Our Take

TPG Editor's Rating

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4.5/5

Overview

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status

Who is this card good for?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is great for travelers who want a card with premium perks. First, Ultimate Rewards are one of the most valuable points currencies. They’re incredibly easy to redeem, with a wide range of airline and hotel transfer partners. Because of Chase’s 5/24 rule, you’ll want to apply for Chase cards first before turning to other issuers.

The Sapphire Reserve’s $550 annual fee is a valid concern, but the $300 annual travel credit drops your real out-of-pocket cost to $250 a year. That’s before you factor in other perks such as the DoorDash credits, a Lyft Pink membership, a Global Entry fee credit and Priority Pass lounge access.

Like the bonus categories, this annual credit is automatically applied to a broad range of travel purchases in the U.S. and abroad.

Some people might be better off applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. For example, you may find that the Sapphire Reserve’s 3x bonus on dining and travel worldwide might be a more rewarding for you.

On a similar note, points earned with the Sapphire Reserve are worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed through Ultimate Rewards Travel. Meanwhile, points earned with the Sapphire Preferred are worth just 1.25 cents each.

Crunch the numbers on your spending habits and don’t make a decision based on the annual fees alone.

Earning Rewards

At 2 cents apiece for Ultimate Rewards points according to TPG valuations, the 60,000-point bonus (after you spend $4,000 in the first three months) on the Sapphire Reserve is worth $1,200. That’s equivalent to more than two years of the annual fee.

Frequently asked questions