Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Review

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Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Rewards rate:

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. Earn 3X total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • Intro bonus: 50,000 points
  • Annual fee: $550
  • Regular APR: 16.99%-23.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit score: 740-850 (Excellent)

Luxe benefits and valuable points redemptions draw many people to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, despite its steep $550 annual fee. But depending on how you use it, the Reserve’s benefits can easily outweigh even the high cost of ownership. 

At a Glance

  • 50,000 bonus point if you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening 
  • 3x points on travel worldwide (after earning $300 annual travel credit)
  • 3x points on dining at restaurants worldwide
  • 3x points on up to $1,000 in grocery purchases every month through April 30, 2021
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • 50% redemption boost on points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or eligible statement credits via Pay Yourself Back
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • 16.99% to 23.99% variable APR 
  • $550 annual fee


  • Valuable welcome bonus

  • $300 travel credit and other added benefits

  • 50% points value boost when redeemed for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • No foreign transaction fee

  • Metal card


  • High APR

  • Annual fee

  • Not the best choice for infrequent travelers

Additional Card Details

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a lot of added bonuses and perks, many of which are tailored to travelers. Here’s everything else you’ll get with your Chase Sapphire Reserve:

  • $300 annual travel credit (gas station and grocery purchases also count toward this credit through June 2021)
  • Up to $100 credit every four years toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee
  • Complimentary airport lounge access through Priority Pass Select membership
  • 10x points on Lyft rides and complimentary 12-month Lyft Pink membership through March 2022
  • Up to $120 in DoorDash statement credits and complimentary 12-month DashPass from DoorDash subscription through Dec. 2021
  • Up to $120 in statement credits for qualifying Peloton purchases through Dec. 2021
  • Primary auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Emergency evacuation and transportation services
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Purchase protection and return protection

Should You Get this Card?

If you’re a globetrotter seeking top-tier benefits for your frequent travel, this card is for you. Chase Sapphire Reserve is the top-of-the-line travel card from Chase, with benefits unmatched by many other rewards credit cards. But these benefits are not cheap — you’ll pay $550 a year for them.

You’ll gain the most value from racking up points in dining and travel purchases, which you can redeem for a 50% redemption boost through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, $5,000 spent on travel and $5,000 on dining alone translates to 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. When you redeem those at the boosted 1.5% rate, you’ll get $450 in redemption value. 

And, while spending something like $5,000 on travel just to get rewards for more travel may seem redundant, remember the travel category is broad. Spending on Uber rides, bus tickets, taxis, toll bridges and highways, parking lots and garages, campgrounds, rental agencies, timeshares, boat rentals, and more all qualify.

In addition to earning and redeeming points, the Reserve’s added benefits can quickly offset its price tag, if you use them. The $300 travel credit alone reduces your effective annual fee to $250 a year, which is driven further down alongside extras like up to $120 toward DoorDash and up to $120 back on Peloton purchases. While you should never make a purchase solely to score a bonus, if these benefits align with purchases you’d make or consider anyway, they can further boost the Reserve’s value. 

Despite its flashy benefits, this card isn’t for everyone. Simply put, the Chase Sapphire Reserve makes sense for people who are already spending thousands of dollars per year on travel and dining. If you don’t travel often or rarely spend within the 3x bonus categories, you likely won’t get the full value potential from this card — or offset its high fee. 

Always evaluate your regular spending habits to determine the card that best suits your needs before applying.

How to Use Chase Sapphire Reserve

Start maximizing your Chase Sapphire Reserve’s value by qualifying for its 50,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening — a $750 value from the start when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You should also make sure you use the $300 annual credit by swiping this card for each of your travel, gas station, and grocery store purchases until reaching the cap.

Then, start collecting points via your purchases in the card’s 3x point bonus categories: dining, travel, and (through April 2021) grocery stores. 

While you do get 1 point for every dollar spent on all other purchases, you may want to consider coupling your Chase Sapphire Reserve with another cash back card that can get you more rewards in other categories. This can be an especially effective strategy using the Chase Freedom cards, which offer good cash back rewards but have no annual fee. 

If you pair your Chase Sapphire Reserve with a Chase Freedom Unlimited®, for example, which earns 1.5% back on everything (along with other bonus categories), you can transfer the Freedom card’s points to your Sapphire Reserve account, then redeem them at the boosted 1.5 cents per point rate on certain redemptions. 

This transfer is valuable since each point on your Reserve card’s account is worth 1.5 cents — a 50% boost — when you use them to book travel directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Chase also introduced Pay Yourself Back in 2020, a program in which you can redeem points for statement credits toward eligible purchases. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders retain the same boosted redemption value with Pay Yourself Back as they receive on travel redemptions — so each point redeemed via Pay Yourself Back on your Sapphire Reserve account is worth 1.5 cents. Current categories include grocery stores, home improvement, and dining.  

You can also always redeem points for cash back or gift cards at a standard rate of 1 cent per point. 

Chase Sapphire Reserve Compared to Other Cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Intro bonus:
  • Annual fee:


  • Regular APR:

    16.99%-23.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit:

    740-850 (Excellent)

  • Learn moreexterna link icon at our partner’s secure site
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Intro bonus:
  • Annual fee:


  • Regular APR:

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

  • Learn moreexterna link icon at our partner’s secure site
The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Intro bonus:
  • Annual fee:


  • Regular APR:

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

  • Learn moreexterna link icon at our partner’s secure site

Bottom Line


As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

Chase Sapphire Reserve can be a treasure trove of points and benefits for ultimate rewards seekers. But the perks come at a price — $550 to be exact. Make sure you can really reap the benefits of this card to the max before signing up. But if you can, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a huge value-add for your wallet and future travel plans. 

Frequently Asked Questions

These two cards both earn points, but their main differences are annual fee and rewards boost. The Preferred Card’s annual fee is $95 compared to the Reserve’s $550 price tag. Max redemption value for the Preferred is 1 point =1.25 cent. With the Reserve you can earn up to 1.5 cents per 1 point.

You can use your Chase Sapphire Reserve for everyday purchases, and can earn 3x points on dining out, and travel, as well as at grocery stores (up to $1,000 in monthly spend through April 30th, 2021), but you’ll only get 1 point per dollar on everyday expenses outside of those categories. Because of that, it might make sense to pair your Reserve card with another credit card that earns more rewards or cash back on everyday spending. 

You’ll need excellent credit to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve.