4 things to do once you get your Chase Sapphire Reserve

Jan 10, 2020

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. It was originally published on Jan. 11, 2017. 

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has consistently been one of the best travel rewards credit cards on the market since its launch in 2016. In fact, it’s been named the Best Premium Travel Credit Card at the annual TPG awards two years running. Chase recently announced a card price hike to $550 a year — and added new perks to soften the blow. Hopefully you’ve already applied — and been approved for — the Chase Sapphire Reserve and your card is on its way to you.

Here are four “to-do” items that you’ll want to make a priority within the first few days of being a CSR cardholder.

1. Add CSR to all your travel, ride-share and food delivery accounts

With both a $300 annual travel credit and 3x points in a very generous travel (excluding $300 travel credit) and dining category, the Chase Sapphire Reserve should be the default card at every airline and hotel website where you regularly book travel. Also, add your new card to your accounts at OTAs such as Expedia and Orbitz, since travel agencies count in the travel category.

Then you’ll also want to set up the Chase Sapphire Reserve as your default card on ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft, since these also count as travel under CSR rules. The CSR made some changes to its benefits and cardholders now get a year of free Lyft Pink to help save even more on rides. And if you have a monthly bill for a commuter train pass or parking at work, you might as well earn 3x for those expenses, so make the Chase Sapphire Reserve your default card for those regular charges as well.

ANKARA, TURKEY - AUGUST 31: Uber and Lyft application logos arae seen on a screen in Ankara, Turkey on August 31, 2018. (Photo by Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Make sure you’re earning 3x on ride-shares (and taking advantage of your free year of Lyft Pink) by connecting your CSR to your accounts. 
(Photo by Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Finally, although the 3x dining definitions are more straightforward than the eligible travel items, don’t forget to add your card to your account at restaurant delivery services such as DoorDash and Seamless. In most cases you’ll earn 3x for those purchases as well. Chase also recently added new benefits for DoorDash customers. Cardholders get one year of free DashPass membership with DoorDash, which gives you free delivery at eligible restaurants and discounted service fees on orders over $12 — so make sure to activate your offer online. And you’ll also get a $60 annual DoorDash credit to use whenever you want throughout 2020 and 2021.

2. Activate Priority Pass and rental car benefits

The Priority Pass lounge in Punta Cana (Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
The Priority Pass lounge in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. (Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

You don’t need to wait until your card arrives to activate these perks, but you definitely shouldn’t wait any longer than that. To get started with these particular CSR benefits — Priority Pass airport lounge access and Avis, National and Silvercar discounts — you’ll need to log into your Chase account, select Ultimate Rewards, choose the account associated with your Reserve card, then select Card Benefits under the “Use Points” dropdown menu. From there, you’ll register for each of the benefits you wish to receive.

3. Sign up for Global Entry/TSA PreCheck (or gift it to a friend)

Getting through U.S. Customs or airport security is one of the most dreaded parts of modern-day air travel, so use your Chase Sapphire Reserve to apply for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and make your trek a little easier. You’ll get the application fee waived up to $100 when using the CSR to pay for either program.

Global Entry members insert their passports, have their photograph taken and the fingerprints scanned as part of the entry process. (Photo by Katherine Frey / The Washington Post / Getty Images)
Global Entry can help you pass through U.S. Customs much faster.  (Photo by Katherine Frey / The Washington Post / Getty Images)

 

What if you’ve already got Global Entry or PreCheck? You can let a friend or family member benefit from your CSR. Use your card to pay for their application, and the fee will be refunded by Chase so long as you haven’t already used it on yourself or someone else.

4. Set your earning and redemption goals

Now that you’ve got the basics set, it’s time for a little long-term planning. Where do you want to go with your Ultimate Rewards points? How do you want to fly there — in a first- or business-class cabin? Or would a great Hyatt property such as the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme be an exciting use of points for you? Do you think you’ll need to find award availability and transfer points or can you book the airfare or hotel directly through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal and get 1.5 cents per point in value?

Related reading: How I used Chase Ultimate Rewards to book my trip to Croatia

Once you’ve figured out your goals, you can formulate your plan for earning points. Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve going to be the primary card in your wallet or should you use it exclusively for the 3x bonus categories and put your general spend on a different card? Planning ahead will allow you to make better choices so your points balances will be adequate when you’re ready to start booking.

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is considered one of the best travel cards out there — and with good reason. Even though the fee will now be $550 (starting Jan. 12, 2020), the benefits you get out of the card make it well worth it for frequent travelers. Just make sure you’re checking off the items on this to-do list to maximize your CSR benefits and earning structure.

Additional contributions by Madison Blancaflor.

2019 TPG Award Winner: Premium Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

SIGN-UP BONUS: 50,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,000

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on all travel and dining, $300 annual travel credit, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 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
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.99%-23.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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