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Chase Sapphire Reserve is the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve

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Getting started with travel rewards credit cards can be daunting. There are literally hundreds of cards to pick from. But one stands above the rest as our choice as the top travel rewards credit card.

It’s the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The card offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months – and that can unlock $750 or much more in free travel. The novice all the way up to the points expert can easily redeem these points for free flights with some extra value, but it’s also a great card that allows you to maximize your points and miles with airline and hotel partners.

Once you add in the mix of benefits like a $300 travel credit, airport lounge access, up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, travel insurance, car rental coverage, and no foreign transaction fees, it’s clearly the best travel rewards card out there. Even with a $450 annual fee, it’s an approachable card that should be a mainstay in every traveler’s wallet.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

 

Click Here to get more information about the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

 

Benefits Of The Chase Sapphire Reserve

Earn 50,000 Bonus points: After you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. That is $750 toward travel when you redeem the points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You can actually buy our flight deals with the points and get a flight for free!

$300 Annual Travel Credit: This is the big one, and how we justify the annual fee. Every 12 months, Chase automatically reimburses you for up to $300 in purchases that code as travel. Whether that is a taxi, uber, hotel, plane ticket, a cruise, etc, this is $300 right back in your pocket, effectively reducing the annual fee to $150. You don’t need to file a claim or jump through hoops to receive your money. Just spend on travel and Chase will reimburse you.

Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points For 1.5 Cents Per Point:  One of the best benefits of this card – Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for airfare, hotels, car rentals, etc. through Chase Ultimate Rewards’ travel portal. These 50,000 points are worth at least $750 toward travel. Again, we recommend booking flight deals with the points, but there are so many great ways to use them.

Transfer Points to Travel Partners: If you want to get even more value out of your points, look into transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to one of 13 airlines and hotel chains. This is the key to booking amazing travel, including business and first-class flights. See our top 6 redemptions for Ultimate Rewards Points.

3x Points On Travel And Restaurants Worldwide: You will earn 3x points on all travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, plus 1 point per dollar on all other spending.

$100 Application Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: If you apply for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and pay with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the application cost will be reimbursed ($100 for Global Entry and $85 for TSA PreCheck). You are eligible to receive this credit once every four years and membership in both programs lasts for five years.

Complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership: Receive complimentary Priority Pass Select membership which gets you free access to thousands of airport lounges around the world. You are also able to bring up to two guests into the lounges with you. You can even access a number of airport restaurants and dine for free with Priority Pass membership.

Primary Car Rental Insurance: When you charge your car rental to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you are able to decline the insurance from the rental company and be covered up to $75,000 for theft and/or collision damage.

Roadside Assistance: Receive 24-hour towing assistance (up to $50), 24-hour lockout assistance (up to $50), up to two gallons of fuel delivery and flat tire changing service all included with your card membership.

Lost luggage reimbursement: If you check your bags and they’re delayed more than six hours, the card will reimburse you up to $100 per day for up to five days. This coverage is meant to provide reimbursement for essential items like toiletries, clothing, and cell phone charging cables, for example.

Trip Delay & Cancelation Coverage: The card will reimburse you for any delay lasting six hours or more. Cardholders will be covered along with their spouse or domestic partner and any dependent children under the age of 22 for up to $500 for each purchased ticket.

Medical Evacuation & Travel Accident Coverage: The card provides coverage up to $1,000,000 for accidental death or dismemberment, or a combined loss of speech, sight or hearing, experienced on a covered trip.  Benefits are available when some portion of a trip has been purchased with the card or with Ultimate Rewards points earned on the card.

The card will also provide coverage for a medical evacuation. If you or a member of your immediate family are injured or become sick during a trip far from home that results in an emergency evacuation, you can be covered for medical services and transportation up to $100,000.

Visa Infinite Concierge Service: Receive access to a dedicated line that can help you track down reservations at restaurants, purchase tickets on your behalf or even buy flowers for a significant other.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

 

Click Here to get more information about the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

 

Two Ways to Use Points 

One of the best parts about the Chase Sapphire Reserve is that it gives you two options to redeem your points for travel.

The first couldn’t be easier. Using Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel portal, you can search for airfare or hotels. The search is powered by Expedia, so it should be familiar. And once you find the fare or hotel you’re looking for, and you’ll have the option to pay with points. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, every point is worth 1.5 cents toward travel. So 50,000 points = $750.

It’s because of this increased value that we feel it is one of the top three credit cards for booking flight deals with points. And better yet, when redeeming them this way, you can book flights on almost any airline.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

 

Bonus: You still earn miles when booking flights this way. That makes it one of our favorite ways to book cheap flight deals.

But there’s one other great way to use points from your Chase Sapphire Reserve to unlock even more value. You can transfer points to 10 different airlines and three hotel chains. These transfers are on a 1:1 basis, so transferring 1,000 Chase points will get you 1,000 airline miles or hotel points. Here’s a look at your options:

 

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer LingusAirline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
British AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
EmiratesAirline1:1Instant
Iberia PlusAirline1:1Instant
JetBlueAirline1:1Instant
Singapore AirAirline1:112-24 hours
Southwest AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
United AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:1Instant
World of HyattHotel1:1Instant
IHGHotel1:11 day
Marriott RewardsHotel1:12 days

Read our guide on how to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

 

There are plenty of ways to squeeze a lot of value out of these points via transfer partners – including flying business and first-class or staying in all-inclusive resorts for free thanks to their transfer partnership with Hyatt hotels. Be sure you read our guide on the best ways to use a Chase bonus.

These two ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points make them insanely valuable and versatile. It’s a big reason why we feel it is the best travel rewards card out there.

 

Why Chase Sapphire Reserve Beats the Rest

The Chase Sapphire Reserve burst onto the scene in a big way in 2016. When it launched, the card was so popular that Chase temporarily ran out of the metal they were using to produce the cards.

And while the card does have a $450 annual fee, it offers a $300 travel credit that most travelers should be able to easily use. Chase automatically reimburses you for any and all travel expenses until you reach the $300 maximum. And because of that, I think it’s more appropriate to view this card as a $150 annual fee travel card.

And for $150 each year, you’ll get Priority Pass lounge access, points that redeem for 50% more value, a credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and some of the best travel coverages you will find from any card. To me, these benefits are worth far more than the net $150 annual fee.

And the 50,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus points is nothing to sneeze at. With that bonus, you could book a trip for two to Hawaii. With round-trip flights to Europe below $300, you could use the points directly to book a flight deal for as little as 18,000 Chase points. This bonus could even get you a business class seat in the amazing new Delta One suites to Europe or Asia. Or book a free night’s stay at Hyatt properties worldwide – including all-inclusive resorts scattered throughout Mexico and the Caribbean.

 

 

And there’s one other big reason to apply for a Chase Sapphire Reserve before opening others on the market. Once you’ve opened five or more credit cards from any bank (not just Chase) in a two-year period, you won’t get approved for another Chase card. It’s called the 5/24 rule, and it will seriously restrict your ability to get one of these cards.

While applying for five or more credit cards might sound insane, it just makes it important to prioritize Chase credit cards over their competitors. And there’s no better place to start than with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Read our guide to decide if the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred is right for you. 

 

Bottom Line

Others come close, but there is simply no better card in the world of points and miles to get incredible free travel and amazing benefits than the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

 

Click Here to get more information about the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

 

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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