It’s been over a year since Chase released the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and it’s an understatement to say that the buzz around it was astronomical. There was so much demand for the card that they literally ran out of metal to create cards for new account holders. Here at Casavvy we saw all the attention that the card was getting and the many people that took advantage of the benefits that it offered. So we decided to dive into what all the hype is around the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and why it was so popular.
One of a Kind Signup Bonus
At the time of its release the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card was offering 100,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. 100,000 signup bonus points are not unheard of in the credit card industry, but with Chase your points go much further than with other brands, when using them for travel. When you book your travel plans through the “Chase Ultimate Rewards” Portal you will get an increase of 50% when you use points to cover the costs. That means that your 100,000 point bonus is worth up to $1,500 in travel costs. (The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers a 25% bonus when you use points to book travel and also has a 50,000 point signup bonus.)
The signup bonus for the Chase Sapphire reserve Card has since been reduced to 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Still not a bad deal, since they will be worth up to $750 in travel costs when you book through the “Chase Ultimate Rewards” Program.
It has been rumored that Chase has actually lost money with the Chase Sapphire Reserved Card, even though it has a $450 annual fee. There are other cards with the same, or even more, in the terms of an annual fee, which is why Chase made it as high as it is. Now that the one year anniversary of the card has come and gone it will be interesting to see how many people renew and if Chase starts to earn some of that money back. The step down from the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, has an annual fee of $95 and it is waived for the first year.
Racking up points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve doesn’t end with the signup bonus. You will earn 3x points on all travel and dining purchases, and 1x points on all other purchases. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2x points on travel and dining purchases and 1x points on everything else.
Transferring Points for More Value
To make your Chase points even more valuable, you can transfer them to many different travel loyalty programs including, British Airways, Untied MileagePlus, Marriott Rewards, World of Hyatt, and more. By transferring your points to one of these many programs you may even see that you get more value out of them then if you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal, even with your 50% bonus. You can even redeem your points for cash at a value of $0.01 per point, which is not the best value to spend them on, but available if you want.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Perks and Benefits
The great benefits with this card just keep coming. You will get an annual $300 credit for travel related expenses. This could be anything from inflight melas, baggage charges, to airport parking. Chase bases this on a calendar year, so each January your $300 credit will reset. The best part is that Chase will recognize these charges on your account and take them off automatically, making the legwork part of claiming your credit pretty easy.
Priority Pass Select Airport Lounge Access is also included with your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. Allowing you access to over 900 airport lounges around the world. Guests can accompany you as well as no extra charge.
Another great option for the seasoned traveler to take advantage of is the statement credit for enrolling in TSA Precheck or Global Entry. Chase will reimburse for the fee into either of these programs. Using this for Global Entry is the best option as you get TSA Precheck with it, which makes it a 2 for 1 deal.
Being part of the Luxury Hotel and Resorts Program is also an included benefits that allows you room upgrades and other perks at participating locations. You will have to contact Chase directly to find out more about this program as the benefits differ from property to property, but it is definitely worth looking into.
Enhanced Access to Exclusive Events
The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred Card offer exclusive access to events such as the PGA Championship and one of a kind dining experiences. Chase also has a partnership with Madison Square Garden and their owned properties around the country. This even includes access to the Chase lounge at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Concierge Service
Included with your card membership you get access to a 24/7 concierge service to help you with anything you need, from a lost or stolen card, to worldwide travel assistance. You even get access to Visa Infinite Card Concierge Service is you are making a reservation at exclusive places.
Travel Insurance and Purchase Protection
As with many credit cards in todays industry you will get added protections, such as primary car rental insurance, roadside assistance, travel insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and more. You also get extended warranties and return protection on the items you buy with your card as well. To make it even sweeter, if you purchase an item with your card and find it advertised for a lower price within 90 days, Chase will reimburse you the difference. Be sure to check with Chase directly if you are thinking about using any of these services to make sure you are covered.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Going Forward
Even though Chase has reduced the signup bonus for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card down to 50,000 points, it is still a great deal. Even with a $450 annual fee, you can take advantage of the many perks and benefits to offset that cost. For a card that was so popular that they ran out of material to make it, it has literally changed the credit card industry and made it more competitive. Which means nothing but more great offers from Chase and other credit card brands in the future.