Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card review 2023: A top luxury travel card (2023)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is an ultra-premium travel credit card with valuable benefits including an annual travel credit, airport lounge access and travel protections. It also earns Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, which can be used to book travel, get cash back, transfer to hotel and airline partners and more.

About the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Frequent travelers will benefit from the earning power, benefits, and travel protections offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve. This ultra-premium travel credit card is for travelers who want luxury travel benefits, like an annual $300 travel credit, Priority Pass airport lounge access, primary rental car protection and more. Plus, it earns up to 10 points per dollar, which offers tremendous value when booking travel or transferring to airline and hotel partners. In short, the Sapphire Reserve is a true gem if you like to travel in luxury.

That said, in exchange for its array of benefits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve charges a hefty $550 annual fee. While the fee is worth it for travelers who take advantage of all of these perks, the occasional traveler may be better off with a less-expensive card — such as the Reserve’s little sibling, the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Chase Sapphire Reserve overview

  • Annual fee: $550 plus $75 for each authorized user.
  • Welcome bonus: 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening.
  • Rewards: 5 points per dollar on flights and 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals when purchasing travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. 10 points per dollar on Chase Dining, 3 points per dollar on other travel and dining and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Regular APR: 21.49% to 28.49% variable.
  • Other perks and benefits: Up to a $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass membership (enrollment required), up to $100 reimbursement for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS, and travel protections. Points are worth 50% more when used to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Does the issuer offer a preapproval tool? Yes.
  • Recommended credit score: Excellent.

Chase Sapphire Reserve other details

Chase Sapphire Reserve rewards

Cardholders can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points in multiple ways with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. When you first apply, you are eligible for a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 within three months. This bonus is worth $900 when booking travel through Ultimate Rewards.

The card also earns up to 10 points per dollar through its bonus categories. You’ll get 10 points on Chase Dining purchases booked through Ultimate Rewards. Rental cars and hotels also earn 10 points when the reservations are booked through the Chase travel portal. Flights booked through the Chase travel portal earn 5 points per dollar.

Other travel and dining purchases earn 3 points per dollar, while all other purchases earn 1 point per dollar.

Note that earning points on travel, whether booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal or otherwise, begins after you’ve used the annual travel credit of up to $300.

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Chase Ultimate Rewards points are flexible and can be redeemed for travel, cash back, gift cards and more. Points are worth one cent each for most redemptions, but they’re worth 50% more when booking travel through Ultimate Rewards, making one point worth 1.5 cents.

You can also transfer points to more than a dozen airline and hotel partners for a potentially higher redemption value. Points transfer on a 1:1 basis in 1,000-point increments. When you transfer points, they combine with your existing balances in those airline or hotel loyalty programs so you can use them to book award travel.

Chase Sapphire Reserve rewards potential

One of the major benefits of having a rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve is turning your normal, daily expenses into valuable rewards.

Using government data and other publicly available information, we estimate that a household in the U.S. that would be in the market for this card has an annual income of $84,352 and $25,087 in expenses they are likely to be able to charge to a credit card.

  • $5,882 in spending on travel x 3 points per dollar = 17,646 points.
  • $3,526 in spending on dining x 3 points per dollar = 10,578 points.
  • $15,679 in spending on all other categories x 1 point per dollar = 15,679 points.

For a grand total of 43,903 in rewards annually.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are valued at least one cent per point, which means 43,903 points equals about $439 in cash back. Cardholders could also redeem those points for approximately $659 in travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, transferring points to airline and hotel partners and then redeeming them for award travel often provides the highest value.

Cardholders may earn even more points on their spending each year by booking dining reservations through Chase Dining and travel through the Chase travel portal.

(Video) Chase Sapphire Reserve - Luxury Travel Credit Card (Overview)

Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is loaded with premium features and benefits that make it one of the most popular travel credit cards for experienced travelers. Here are some of the benefits that you should be aware of.

  • $300 annual travel credit: This annual credit offsets up to $300 per year on any purchases that code as travel.
  • Airport lounge access: Register your card to receive a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership that provides access to over 1,300 airport lounges.
  • 50% more value for your points: Your points are worth 50% more when booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Airline and hotel transfer partners: Chase partners with 14 airlines and hotels, offering transfers at a 1:1 rate of your Ultimate Rewards points to the partners’ loyalty programs, where you can then use your transferred points to book award travel.
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS reimbursement: You’ll be reimbursed up to $100 every four years when using your card to pay the application fee for one of these programs.
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: Receive elite-level benefits when booking hotel rooms at more than 1,000 properties.
  • No foreign transaction fees: Avoid the extra charge of up to 3% that many credit cards tack on when making purchases outside the U.S.
  • Travel protections: Receive trip cancellation and interruption insurance, primary rental car protection, lost luggage reimbursement and trip delay reimbursement. You’re also protected with emergency evacuation and transportation benefits in covered situations.
  • Purchase protections: Your eligible purchases are covered against damage or theft for up to 120 days. Plus, you’ll be reimbursed for eligible items the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase. Eligible items also receive a one-year extended warranty at no extra charge.
  • Lyft benefits: Earn 10 points per dollar on Lyft rides and enjoy two years of Lyft Pink All Access membership for free when you activate by Dec. 31, 2024.
  • Gopuff credits: Receive a $10 monthly statement credit when making purchases through Dec. 31, 2023.
  • DoorDash subscription: Get $5 monthly credits and a complimentary one-year DashPass membership offering $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible DashPass and Caviar orders.
  • Instacart benefits: A one-year complimentary membership to Instacart+ and monthly statement credits of up to $15 through July 2024.

Chase Sapphire Reserve APR

Cardholders pay a variable APR based on their creditworthiness, ranging from 21.49% to 28.49%. If you use the My Chase Loan℠ or balance transfer features, the same interest rate applies. Balance transfers have a fee of 5% of the amount transferred, with a minimum fee of $5.

Chase Sapphire Reserve pros

  • Annual travel credit can be used for any travel purchase.
  • Airport lounge access includes participating restaurants.
  • Flexible points can be redeemed in multiple ways.

Chase Sapphire Reserve cons

  • High annual fee for primary and authorized users.
  • Requires excellent credit.
  • Does not offer 0% intro APR promos.

How the Chase Sapphire Reserve compares to other travel cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum is another ultra-premium travel card that earns flexible points. It also offers airport lounge access, annual credits and bonus rewards categories that travelers will likely find useful. The card earns 5 Membership Rewards® points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 spent per calendar year), 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel and 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases. Terms apply.

However, hotel reservations must be prepaid through Amex Travel if you want to earn bonus points, and it does not offer bonus points on dining purchases. While it does offer more annual credits to offset its larger $695 annual fee, there are numerous restrictions that can make them harder to redeem for some cardholders.

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X is a relative newcomer to the luxury travel credit card world. However, it is packed with features and benefits at a lower price point than many of its competitors. This card includes an up to $300 travel statement credit — but you must book reservations through Capital One Travel to redeem it.

Cardholders can earn 2 miles per dollar on all eligible purchases, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel and 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booking via Capital One Travel. Because most purchases earn a flat 2 miles per dollar, there are no bonus categories that you have to remember. It also comes with 10,000 annual bonus miles, a Priority Pass Select membership, access to Capital One Lounges and an up to $100 reimbursement for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers similar benefits and earning power as the Chase Sapphire Reserve for a modest $95 annual fee. Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target, and wholesale clubs), 2 points per dollar on other travel purchases, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Points are worth 25% more when booking travel through Chase and can be transferred on a 1:1 basis to the same travel partners as the Sapphire Reserve.

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The Sapphire Preferred also includes a robust lineup of travel and purchases protection benefits, such as trip cancellation and interruption insurance, primary rental car coverage and purchase protection for 120 days. But be aware the Preferred does not offer lounge access. This is a worthwhile card for people who travel semi-frequently, but not often enough to warrant paying the higher annual fee of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Chase Sapphire Reserve card summary

Chase Sapphire Reserve card details
Annual fee$550 for primary cardholder, $75 for each authorized user
RewardsWhen purchasing travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, earn 5 points per dollar on flights and 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals (immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually). Earn 10 points per dollar on Chase Dining purchases. Earn 3 points per dollar on other travel and dining purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other spending
APR21.49% to 28.49% variable
Foreign transaction feesNone
Major perks/benefits$300 annual travel credit; Priority Pass Select membership; Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS reimbursement; travel and purchase protections; 50% more value when using points to book travel through Ultimate Rewards; flexible points can be redeemed for travel, cash back, gift cards, or transferred to airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 rate

Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve worth it?

With an annual travel credit, airport lounge access, and premium travel protections, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is worth it for frequent travelers who value peace of mind and comfort. The card provides extensive travel benefits — including trip cancellation and interruption insurance and primary rental car coverage — and earns generous rewards on dining and travel purchases. Plus, your points can be transferred to popular travel partners such as United Airlines and World of Hyatt at a 1:1 rate.

For occasional travelers, it can be difficult to justify the $550 annual fee to hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you feel like this describes your case, you might be better off applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred or a no-annual-fee card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited. That way, you can still earn Ultimate Rewards points and enjoy some perks when you do travel. But know that Chase’s no-annual-fee cards, such as the Freedom Unlimited, don’t let you transfer your points to partners like the Sapphire Preferred and Reserve do.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

In order to have the best chances of approval for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you should have excellent credit. This is typically considered a FICO Score ranging from 740 to 850.

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Cardholders have numerous options to redeem Ultimate Rewards points earned with their Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. They can redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel, and more through the Ultimate Rewards portal when logged in to their Chase account. Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel booked through Chase. Transferring points to airline and hotel partners often yields the highest value when redeeming for premium travel experiences.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve can be worth it if you make use of the card’s features and benefits. Occasional travelers who don’t need luxury perks will probably do better with a less expensive travel card.

But the Sapphire Reserve shines brightly for frequent travelers, who can use the $300 annual travel credit, airport lounge access, and travel protections to recoup this card’s $550 annual fee.


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