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.
$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
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
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.
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.