Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card: A Full Review (2021)
Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee

A Full Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Credit Card

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For more information check out our Advertising Disclosure.

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 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months – and that can unlock $900 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, Lyft Pink membership, a $60 credit for DoorDash each year, and no foreign transaction fees, it’s clearly the best travel rewards card out there.

Even with a $550 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.


All of the Benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

Below, we have listed out the full benefits the card offers. First launched in 2016, it is widely considered the older sibling to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase’s original foray into travel rewards credit cards.


chase sapphire reserve benefits


Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

After you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening you will receive 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. And since Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, the points will be worth a minimum of $900.

Related: A Master Guide to Earning & Burning Chase Ultimate Rewards points.


$300 Annual Travel Credit

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 $250. 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.

You can even use part of this $300 travel credit to pay for our Thrifty Traveler Premium flight deal service.

And through December 2021, you can use the $300 Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit at both gas stations and grocery stores.


CSR Travel Credit


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 the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. The 60,000 points you receive after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of card membership are worth at least $900 toward travel.


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.

The full list of Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners is below.


Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer LingusAirline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
British AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
Iberia PlusAirline1:1Instant
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


3x Points On Travel And Restaurants Worldwide

You will earn 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar you spend on all travel and dining at restaurants worldwide. You will also earn 1 point per dollar on all other spending.

And through April 30, 2021, Sapphire Reserve cardholders will earn 3x points for every dollar spent on grocery store purchases up to $1,000 per month. This is up from the standard 1x point per dollar spent this card earns on groceries normally.


10x Points On Lyft Rides

Receive 10x points per dollar spent on rides with Lyft.

Cardholders will also receive a complimentary Lyft pink membership. Lyft Pink allows users to get 15% off every Lyft ride, gives you priority airport pickups, relaxed ride cancelations, and more. Lyft normally charges $19.99 a month for this membership. This benefit is good through March of 2022.

Read: How to Activate Your Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership. 


$60 Annual DoorDash Food Delivery Credit

Receive an annual $60 credit for DoorDash food delivery through 2021. This includes a free DoorDash DashPass membership through 2021.

DashPass will waive delivery fees on DoorDash orders and lower platform fees. DashPass typically costs $9.99 per month and DoorDash claims it will save you an average of $4 to $5 on every order. All you have to do is use the card when you checkout at DoorDash and Chase will automatically reimburse you.


$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 a 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.

Read: All About the Chase Sapphire Rental Car Insurance Benefit


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 (though that will soon be changing), 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 60,000 points = $900.

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:

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.

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.

Read: 5 Ways to Use Chase Points to Book Hotels


What Credit Score is Needed for a Chase Sapphire Reserve Approval?

Historically, Chase has indicated that you need to fall into the “Good” to “Excellent” credit buckets to be approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

That means you’d need at least a 680 credit score to get approved. But in practice, it’s been much different. From our own experience, accounts from readers, and historical data from, anyone with a credit score below 720 generally was not approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

That doesn’t mean you couldn’t get approved with a lower score. But it was a good rule of thumb that you’d want a credit score in the higher range of a “Good” score.

But even now, that is changing.

Since COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on both travel and the economy, many banks changed their lending standards – making it much harder to get approved for new lines of credit.

That makes sense. As the economy teetered and unemployment claims hit record numbers over the spring of 2020, banks expected credit card payment default rates to follow suit. Limiting their exposure was a way to mitigate that risk.


chase sapphire reserve annual fee discount


And an easy way to mitigate risk is to make it harder to get approved for certain lines of credit. At the end of the day, this means you may need an even higher credit score to get approved for a credit card than just a year ago. And that seems to be the case with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Chase indicated that it’s raising the standards to get approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, from Good or Excellent credit to just Excellent Credit. 

What does that mean? It means having a credit score of 740 (and likely higher) is your best bet to get approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

Read More: What Credit Score Do You Need for the Chase Sapphire Reserve? 


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. Affluent travelers and savvy millennials alike have flocked to the card since its launch, making it more popular than Chase could have even imagined.

And while the card does have a $550 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 $250 annual fee travel card ($550 – $300 = $250).

And for $250 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 $250 annual fee.

And the 60,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus points is nothing to sneeze at. With that bonus, you could book a trip for two to Hawaii, or literally use them for hundreds of other redemptions.

This bonus could even get you a business class seat in the amazing Delta One suites to Europe. Or book a free night’s stay at Hyatt properties worldwide – including all-inclusive resorts scattered throughout Mexico and the Caribbean.


MVIMG 20190501 144516


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.


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.

Disclaimer: 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *