May 12, 2021

Model Desac

It’s Time to Fly

Best Way To Spend Chase Sapphire Reserve 60,000-Point Bonus

6 min read

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Anyone looking to book travel in the near future for a post-vaccine vacation may want to jump on one of the new sign-up offers for the popular Chase Sapphire credit cards while they lasts.

New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

This is the first time Chase has offered a 60,000-point welcome bonus for new Sapphire Reserve cardholders. And although it’s not as much as the original 100,000-point bonus that Chase offered when the card launched in 2016, it’s still a generous bonus that goes even further depending on how you redeem those points.

Sapphire Reserve cardholders can use the 60,000 bonus points for travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal and earn up to $900 to offset the cost of future flights or hotel stays.

When combining the welcome bonus, worth up to $900, with the card’s annual $300 travel credit, new cardholders have up to $1,200 to spend on their travels.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Rewards

    10X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 3X points on travel worldwide (immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit), 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out, 1X point per $1 on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

    16.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Here’s how the new Chase Sapphire Reserve 60,000-point welcome bonus works, more details on what it’s worth and the different ways you can spend it.

How the new Chase Sapphire Reserve 60,000-point welcome bonus works

What 60,000 Chase Sapphire Reserve points are worth

The Sapphire Reserve’s points are worth 50% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards portal or as a statement credit with the Pay Yourself Back feature. So 60,000 bonus points can be worth up to $900.

When redeemed for cash back outside of Pay Yourself Back, the 60,000 points are worth $600.

In addition to offering a sizable welcome bonus, the Sapphire Reserve also has a generous rewards program: 3X points per dollar spent on travel worldwide, 3X points on dining at restaurants (including eligible delivery services and takeout), plus 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

Select crunched the numbers and found that, based on the annual spending budget from location intelligence firm Esri, the average American can earn an estimated $1,469 in rewards during their first year of card membership, thanks to the welcome bonus, and $3,346 over five years with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, net the $550 annual fee. This assumes that cardholders are redeeming points for a typical maximum value of 1.50 cents per point.

Cardholders also enjoy additional travel perks including:

  • Up to $300 annual travel credit for travel expenses, such as airfare, hotel stays and rental cars
  • $100 credit toward the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee every four years
  • Priority Pass™ Select lounge access (valued at $429), which gives you access to over 1,000 VIP lounges in over 500 cities worldwide
  • The Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection, with special benefits, such as complimentary room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out
  • Travel protections, including lost luggage reimbursement, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance, travel and emergency assistance services and emergency evacuation and transportation

Reviewing this list makes it obvious why the Sapphire Reserve ranks as Select’s top travel credit card for luxury travel and is a consistent favorite among frequent travelers.

The best way to spend the Chase Sapphire Reserve welcome bonus

There are many ways to redeem your Reserve bonus points, but some methods provide more value than others.

Book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards:

Value: 1.50 cents per point

Maximize your Chase Sapphire Reserve’s 60,000 points by cashing them in to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Redeeming your points this way gives you 1.50 cents per point — making them worth 50% more — and you can use the points to cover future airfare and accommodation booked through Chase’s travel portal.

Transfer points to a Chase travel partner:

Value: 1:1 ratio

You can also transfer your points for a 1:1 ratio to one of Chase’s 13 travel partners in the Ultimate Rewards program. These partners include 10 airlines: Aer Lingus, British Airways, Emirates, Flying Blue (Air France/KLM), Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United and Virgin Atlantic; and three hotel chains: Hyatt, IHG and Marriott.

Once your points are transferred to a travel partner, they might have more or less value depending on the program’s rules and regulations.

Pay Yourself Back:

Value: 1.50 cents per point

Chase’s Pay Yourself Back tool increases the value of Ultimate Rewards points by 50%.

Sapphire Reserve cardholders can receive more value on eligible purchases in categories like grocery stores, dining (including restaurants, takeout and eligible delivery services), home improvement stores (such as Home Depot and Lowes) and eligible charities.

The Pay Yourself Back program originally launched in May 2020 and was set to expire on April 30, 2021. It has since been extended, and Sapphire cardholders can use Pay Yourself Back now through Sept. 30, 2021.

Gift Cards:

Value: 1 cent per point

You can use your points toward gift card purchases at restaurants, department stores or for entertainment services. The value of one point is worth a penny, so, for example, a $50 Under Armour gift card would cost 5,000 points. At times, Chase will offer a sale on gift cards, marking them down by 10%.

Minimum gift card redemption amounts vary by merchant, but many cards have $15 or $25 minimums. Gift cards are shipped, and cardholders have two options: free standard shipping, which takes six to 10 days, or rush shipping, which costs $10 and takes three to six days.

Cash Back:

Value: 1 cent per point

Chase’s cash-back option allows cardholders to redeem their points in the form of a statement credit at a 1:1 value. For example, 10,000 points could earn you $100 cash back. Redeeming your rewards for cash-back statement credits isn’t the most cost-effective way to use them, especially when you can take advantage of the Pay Yourself Back option where points are worth 50% more.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a good addition to any frequent traveler’s wallet. The card’s $550 annual fee can be easily offset by taking full advantage of its statement credits, extra luxury perks and the 50% extra value on select rewards redemptions.

Chase points don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing (not delinquent). While you shouldn’t feel pressured to spend the points right away, utilizing the Pay Yourself Back feature before it expires at the end of September will get you maximum value if you’re not ready to book travel.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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