In my last roundup of the latest travel news stories in my newsletter (if you haven’t signed up yet, here’s your chance –> weekly newsletter), I included a link to the new Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit card. Since then, I’ve received a few emails from readers asking my thoughts on the card and if I would use it. Considering I’m a staunch advocate of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and have converted most of my friends and family into new users, I was definitely intrigued by the new card and ended up applying for it on its launch date yesterday — it should be here ready for me to play with by the end of the week! But I wanted to break down some of the perks and downsides — the good, the bad, and the ugly — so you can decide if it’s right for you. I’m particularly enthused by the sign-up bonus, as I can’t remember the last time I actually purchased an airline ticket with money directly — I’ve been able to manage quite well with mileage points and card rewards.
Photo credit: businesswire.com
⇒ Sign-up Bonus — You earn 100,000 points after you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months. It’s my understanding that they’ll keep this bonus until the end of September. Chase values that at $1500 worth of airfare, hotels, car rentals, etc. when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
⇒ Earning Potential — You earn 3 points per dollar on all travel and dining purchases, compared to the 2x points on travel and dining with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
⇒ Foreign Transaction Fees — None.
⇒ Priority Pass Select Lounge Access — All cardholders, both the primary user and any authorized users receive complimentary access to more than 900 airport lounges around the world.
⇒ $300 Annual Travel Credit — Automatically receive up to $300 in annual statement credits as reimbursement for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card.
⇒ Trip Delay Reimbursement — If your common travel carrier is delayed more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.
⇒ Global Entry or TSA Pre ✓® Fee Credit — Receive a statement credit of up to $100 every 5 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card. 3 Reasons Why Global Entry is Completely Worth It and Why You Should Get It
⇒ 1:1 Point Transfer — Transfer your points to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs at 1:1 value. Travel partners include British Airways Executive Club, United MileagePlus, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards.
⇒ Special Car Rental Privileges — You can enjoy special car rental privileges from National Car Rental, Avis, and Silvercar when you book with your card.
⇒ The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection Perks — You enjoy special benefits at a variety of hand-selected top hotels and resorts worldwide such as complimentary room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out.
⇒ Visa Infinite Concierge Services — You have access to a special dedicated line that can help you to track down reservations at hard-to-book restaurants, find event tickets, etc.
⇒ Lost Luggage Reimbursement — If you or your immediate family members’ checked or carry-on baggage is damaged or lost by the carrier, you’ll be covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
⇒ Limited Lounge Access — The AMEX Platinum offers more lounge perks with access to American Express Centurion, Delta Sky Club, and Priority Pass Select.
⇒ Travel Partners — The list of travel partners for the Chase Sapphire Reserve is limited — I wish they expanded their partnerships with more airlines and hotels.
⇒ The 5/24 Rule — Chase has an unpublished rule that applies to most of their credit cards. The rule is an apparent attempt to limit people who only sign up for credit cards for the rewards. The rule is that if you have five or more new accounts (credit/charge cards) on your credit report within the past two years you will not be approved. From reading mileage threads online, it doesn’t seem to be a definite rule as people who would otherwise fall into this rule claim to have been approved.
⇒ Annual Fee — The annual fee is $450 and an extra $75 for any additional authorized user. It’s steep, but for me, the benefits outweigh the costs. It’s in the same league as the Citi Prestige Card and the Platinum AMEX.
There’s more benefits to add to the list, but these struck me as the most important perks. So what’s the verdict — will the Chase Sapphire Reserve make its debut in your wallet?