Please see our updated review here.
Updated December 11, 2021.For the temporary benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, please see ourfeatured review.
In August 2016, Chase brought Sapphire Reserve Visa Infinite to the already competitive high-end credit card market, while at the same time introducing J.P. Morgan Reserve Visa Infinite to replace J.P. Morgan Palladium Visa Signature for its affluent Private Bank clients.Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Annual Fee: $550 for the primary cardholder, $75 for each authorized user.
- Signup Bonus: 50,000 points(=$750in travel rewards via Chase, or 50K miles/points of United, Singapore, British, Flying Blue, Southwest, JetBlue, Hyatt, etc.) after you spend $4,000 within 3 months of new account opening. This bonus is not available if you currently have a Sapphire card (Sapphire, Sapphire Preferred, or Sapphire Reserve) or have received signup bonus from any Sapphire card in the past 48months. Based on anecdotal reports, this card is subject to Chase's 5/24 rule (you won't be approved for this card if you have opened 5 or more newaccounts within the past 24 months; any new account with any issuerwill count, not just with Chase; new accounts include most credit cards and charge cards but exclude non-Chase business cards and store charge cards). Historical best bonus of this card: 100,000 points when introduced in August 2016; 60,000 points in 2021.
- Application Lading Page
- Rewards: 10x Chase Dining &hotel & car rentals through Ultimate Rewards, 5x airfare through Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on other dining and travel, 1x everywhere else. In addition, through March 2022, earn10x on Lyft purchases(7 additional points).
- Best Use ofUltimate Rewards(UR) points: The Ultimate Rewards is Chase's rewards program - normally the points can be redeemed for cash,merchandise, gift cards, or travel, at up to 1 cent per point (note: cash rewards have1 cent value). However, Sapphire Reserve has two premium redemption options. One option is to redeem for travel through UR and get 50% bonus value, essentially making 1 point = 1.5 cents. Note that this is better than the 25% bonus on Sapphire Preferred orInk Plus. The other option is to transfer points into miles or points of frequent traveler programs. Please see our review onMarriott vs. MR vs. UR vs. TY vs. C1 vs. CRfor detailed comparison of the five programs that allow miles/points transfer.
- Annual $300 travel credit eachmembership year: since its introduction, this has beenthe best annual travel credit provided by a high-end card, as it allows almost any travel expense to be reimbursed automatically. By comparison, Amex Platinumhas been limitingthe credit toairline incidentals only;Citi Prestigefirst allowed airfare and airline incidentals to be reimbursed but in 2019 followed Chase to allow any travel expense; US Bank copied Chase to allow any travel expense when introducing Altitude Reserve in 2017.
- Priority Pass Selectmembership which provides unlimited complimentary access to more than 900 airport lounges worldwide for you plus two guests. An authorized useralso gets a Priority Pass Select membership. Please see ourfeatured reviewto learn more about airport lounge access.
- Hotel Privileges: (1) Visa Infinite Privileges atRelais & Chateaux (a collection of 500+ high-end luxury boutiquehotels worldwide): aVIP welcome at all hotels (unique to each property) and complimentary breakfasts at 120+ participating hotels. Visitrelaischateaux.com/visainfinite-us for details. You will also be accelerated toitsClub 5C status after staying 2 nights in a 12-month period. Relais & Chateaux's Club 5C is by-invitation only if you don't have a Visa Infinite and normally requires staying 15nights per year; perksinclude room upgrades upon availability, and"Discovery Privilege"unique to each property. (2) ChaseLuxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC), through Signature Travel Network, offering perks such as daily complimentary breakfasts for two, room upgrades upon availability, early check-in and late check-out upon availability,and property specific amenities (such as a $100 spa/dining/hotel credit per stay), at over 900 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide. You may book a hotel on LHRCollection.com and the rates are mostly the same of the Best Available Rates (BAR, i.e., refundableflexible rates set by the hotel) and include taxes, resort fees, etc. This benefit is available onselect Chase cards such as Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, United MP Club, and United MP Explorer. (3) Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection which offers perks includingdaily complimentary breakfasts for two, room upgrades upon availability, late checkout upon availability, $25 food and beverage credit per stay, free room wi-fi, and VIP amenities, at over 900 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide. You may book a hotel on VisaSignatureHotels.com and the rates are the same as BAR. Note that the coverage andperks are different from LHRC's, but some hotels participate in both programs. (4) Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection which covers a subset (200+) of Visa Signature hotels but offers an extra property specific perk like a$75 food and beverage credit or a $100 spa/hotel/rate credit per stay. You may book a hotel a VisaInfiniteHotels.com, and the rates are the same as BAR. (5) Privileges at sbe hotels (daily complimentary breakfasts, room upgrades upon availability, 4th Night Free, $30 dining credit per stay, etc.)
- Other Visa Infinite Benefits:(1) Visa Infinite 24/7 Concierge Service. (2) Visa Infinite Car Rental Privileges at Avis, National, and SilverCar.
- Other Benefits: (1)Waived foreign transaction feeswith an embedded EMV chip for foreign travel. (2)Primaryrental car collision coverage - note while most credit cards provide rental car insurance, they are secondary, meaning your personal insurance's collision damage coverage kicks in before the credit card's. Please seeour featured reviewon credit cards that come with primary rental carinsurance for details. (3)While most credit card'sRoadside Assistanceservice only dispatches a provider and you have to pay for the actual charges, Sapphire Reserve covers up to $50 per service and 4 times per year.(4) Reimbursement forGlobal Entry($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) application every four years. (5) Exclusive Events & Experiences such as a private dinner with a celebrity chef. (6) One year DoorDash's subscription service DashPass for free - activate before December 31, 2021. DashPass, normally $9.99 per month, offers $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on food orders over $12 via DoorDash. In addition, you receive $60 statement credits for DoorDash purchases through December 2020 and another $60 through December 2021. (7) One year Lyft Pink membership - activate before March 31, 2022. Lyft Pink (valued at least $199 on paper) offers 15% off every car ride, priority airport pickups, relaxed cancellations, and exclusive savings, with Lyft mobile app. Effective October 2020, Lyft Pink members also receive GrubHub+ or Seamless+ membership for free. GrubHub+ or Seamless+, normally costing $9.99 per month, offers unlimited free delivery with orders over $12, exclusive member perks such as free food or discounts, and donation matching, with GrubHub or Seamless mobile app respectively. (8) Through December 31, 2021, receive $120statement credits for Peloton membership fees (Peloton Digital $13 per month or Peloton All-Access $39 per month).
- Protection:Sapphire Reserve offers thehighest level ofconsumer and travel protection among all credit cards.
- Other Facts: Currently, there are three Chase Sapphirecards- the entry level non-fee Chase Sapphire (not available to new applications), the premium Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95), and the high-end Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550). Sapphire Reserve has the same metal design as Sapphire Preferred's and weighs about 13 grams.
- History: After introduced and shocking the industryin 2016, Sapphire Reserve did not have any significant changein its rewards and benefitsother than the Chase-wide consumer and travel protection changes, until January 2020 when Chase increased the annual fee from $450 to $550 and added a few temporary perks partneringwith Lyft and DoorDash. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Chase introduced several customer friendly temporary benefits to keep many cardholders loyal. In August 2021, Chase again enhanced the card by introducing 10x and 5x bonus categories.
J.P. Morgan Reserve
- JPMReserve has almostall features of Sapphire Reserve, including signup bonus. The only differences are the following: (1) JPM Reserve is made out of brass and plated with palladium justas JPM Palladium Cardand weighs about 27 grams, twice as heavy as Sapphire Reserve; (2) JPM Reserve offers some unwritten benefits such as complimentary United Club membership with unlimited access to 50+ domestic lounges and 200+ international lounges for the primary cardholder and guests, and waived miscellaneous fees; (3) applying JPM Reserve requires a private banking relationship with J.P. Morgan, which currently requires at least $10,000,000 ($10M) in assets.
Some detailed discussions on travel booked through UR which returns 10x points on Chase Dining & hotels & car rentals and 5x on airfare: it makes a lot of sense to book airfare (other than a few exceptions such as Southwest) to take advantage of the bonus, as the rates are the same as if you book directly with airlines and if you remember to add your frequent flyer number you will still earn miles and be recognized for your elite status; however, you may want to think twice before booking hotels, because several hotel programs won't allow points earning or recognize your elite status if you book through a third party; also be careful about car rentals, as you might not be able to apply certain coupons or promotions; while 10x on Chase Dining looks terrific on paper, the participating restaurants are limited. Thus in our analysis, we do consider airfare as a robust 5x category while not considering Chase Dining & hotels & car rents for the additional 7x points (on top of dining & travel that already return 3x).
After taking advantage of the $300 annual travel credits, the effective annual fee on this card becomes $250. With that, it offers Priority Pass Select membership, hotel and car rental privileges, primary rental car collision coverage, premium roadside assistance, waived foreign transaction fees, Global Entry application credit, Lyft and DoorDash perks, etc. If you ever make use of some of these perks, youmay have already come out ahead, and you will enjoy the bonus categories for free. The other way of looking at this is that if your spendings in bonus categories beat the effective annual fee and the 2% cashback offered by our benchmark such asCiti Double CashandFidelity Visa, you will enjoy all the perks for free. For example,if you value UR points at 1.5 cents a piece and spend $2K in airfare and $6K in dining & other travel combined, you will earn a bonus of $2,000 x (7.5 - 2)% + $6,000 x (4.5 - 2)% = $260, which more than cancel out the effective annual fee. In addition, Sapphire Reserve offers the best consumer and travel protection among all credit cards. In our opinion, no other card offers such strong performances in rewards, perks, and protection all at the same time.
Sapphire Reserve vs. Sapphire Preferred ($95): After considering the $300 annual travel credit, the Sapphire Reserve is $155 more than Sapphire Preferred. With that, you receive 5x additional points for Chase Dining & hotels & car rentals through UR and 1x additional points on travel not through UR, the increased fixed-value travel redemption value (1.5 vs. 1.25 cents), impressive travel privileges (airport, hotels, car rentals), and better consumer and travel protection. You need to do your own math, especially weighing the extra perks and protection, to make your decision between the two.
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Capital One Venture X: (1)First of all, Venture X is $155 cheaper in effective annual fees ($95 vs. $250), and also important is the fact that Chase charges $75 per authorized user while Capital One charges zero. (2) When it comes to rewards, Venture X offers 5x airfare and 2x everywhere else, and Sapphire Reserve offers 5x airfare, 3x dining & other travel, and 1x everywhere else. As our current valuation of both currencies happens to be the same at 1.5 cents a piece, as long as your spending in dining & other travel combined is less than 50% of your total spending, Venture X is better; however, keep in mind of their unique transfer partners (e.g., Chase has United, Southwest, JetBlue, and Hyatt, and Capital One has Air Canada, Avianca, Turkish, Cathay Pacific, and Qantas) and Sapphire Reserve's better fixed value travel redemption option (1.5 cents vs. 1 cent) when you make your decision. (3) Most travel perks provided by both cards are similar, with a few differences such as Capital One Lounges, Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, sbe hotel privileges by Chase, Hertz President's Circle by Capital One. (4) Sapphire Reserve has better travel/consumer protection in general, but lacking Capital One's cellphone protection. (5) Overall, when we crunched the numbers, Venture X clearly comes out ahead, but you might still do your own math to decide which one suits you better.
Chase Sapphire Reservevs. Amex Gold Card:After considering the easy-to-use $300 annual travel credits on Sapphire Reserve, the annual fees are effectively the same at $250 on both cards. Currently we have similar valuation for Amex MR and Chase UR points at 1.5 cents per point. The differences are as the following. (1) Amex Gold has grocery & dining as the 4x categories and airfare as the 3x category, while Sapphire Reserve has airfare through UR as the 5x category and dining & other travel as the 3x categories. You have to do your own math to figure out which is better for you. In addition, your preference in how to redeem the points is also an important factor: Amex has Air Canada, ANA, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Hawaiian, etc. as the transfer partners, while Chase has United, Southwest, Hyatt, etc.; in addition, Chase's fixed value travel redemption at 1.5 cent per point is much better than Amex's 1 cent per point value. (2) In terms of perks, Sapphire Reserve offers Priority Pass Select, hotel privileges through Visa Signature/Infinite Hotel Collection, Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, and at Relais & Chateaux, primary rental car insurance, and rental car elite status, etc., while Amex Gold offers $10 monthly Uber Cash and $10 monthly dining credits for select partners but less lucrative hotel privileges. (3) Sapphire Reserve offers much better travel protection coverage. Summing up, both cards are fantastic in their own ways; you spending pattern, preference in redemption options, valuation of perks and protection will all affect your decision making.
Chase Sapphire Reserve vs.US Bank Altitude Reserve: There is no doubt that U.S. Bank designed its Altitude Reserve to challenge the popular Sapphire Reserve. Let's see how they compare. (1) After considering their annual travel credits, Altitude Reserve is $175 cheaper in annual fees than Sapphire Reserve. (2) Sapphire Reserve has a 10-5-3-1 earning structure covering travel and dining, while Altitude Reserve has a 5-3-1 earning structure with travel and mobile wallet as bonus categories. Chase offers 2 additional points for airfare (booked through UR). While dining is probably easier for most consumers, mobile wallet spending has a huge potential. (3) Even though when redeemed for travel at fixed value, points in both programs are worth 1.5 cents a piece, Sapphire Reserve does offer a lot of flexibility and potentially more lucrative value when you transfer points into frequent traveler miles/points. (4) Both offer similar travel perks with a few differences, such as four free Priority Pass Select visits provided by Altitude Reserve vs. unlimited free access provided by Sapphire Reserve, and GoGo inflight WiFi passes which are available on Altitude Reserve but not on Sapphire Reserve. (5) The last thing to note is that Sapphire Reserve offers a higher level of travel and consumer protection in general. The bottom line: even though Altitude Reserve is cheaper in annual fees, Sapphire Reserve' additional rewards, flexibility in redemption, and better protection might win you over.
To see how Chase Sapphire Reserve competes with other cards with similar annual fees,please check out ourfeatured reviewComparing High-end Cardscovering Amex Platinum Card, Amex Delta Reserve, Amex Hilton Aspire, Amex Marriott Brilliant, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase United Club, Citi Prestige, Citi AA Executive, BofA PR Elite, U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve, Capital One Venture X,CNB Crystal, HSBC Elite, and MasterCard Black Card.
Chase Sapphire Reserve has been the most existing product Chase has introduced in the past decade and is still arguably the best Chase card you can have today. Scoring incredibly high in all of the four areas we evaluate: signup bonus (top 30),rewards(#8), perks(#5) and protection(#1), no wonder Sapphire Reserve has reignedour Best Credit Card Listmost of the time since its introduction.
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