For a card with a hefty annual fee of $550, you must be wondering whether the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is worth it. The best way to find out whether the Chase card is right for you is to know how it works.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is marketed as a travel rewards credit card. It earns you points on purchases. You can redeem the points for airline tickets, hotel accommodations, or goods. Chase has partnered with more than a dozen airline and hotel brands that accept the points as a credit for plane tickets or hotel stays. You need an excellent credit score to get approved for the card.
How does the Chase Sapphire Reserve card work?
Apart from the $550 annual fee, the card charges an additional $75 for each authorized user. The authorized user arrangement means you can let your spouse or child spend with the card at your expense. You can accumulate points quickly by sharing the card with others through the authorized user arrangement. The card charges interest rates of between 18 percent and 25 percent.
Can the Chase Sapphire Reserve be used on all travel purchases?
The card earns you points on many travel expenses. For example, you earn rewards when you pay for plane tickets with the card. You also earn points when you use the card to book hotels, cruises, and car rentals. The card rewards spending on trains, buses, and limousines. Payments for toll highways, timeshares, and parking lots also earn points for the Chase card members.
However, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card doesn’t reward certain travel expenses. For example, you won’t earn points when you pay for in-flight goods or services with the card. Also, goods or services bought with the card on-board cruise lines aren’t rewarded. The card doesn’t offer rewards for money spent at tourist attractions or for purchases from merchants at the airport or hotels.
Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve card worth it?
The card will reimburse you $300 as soon as you spend that much on eligible items. The refund cuts the effective annual fee to $250. After you reach the $300 initial spend, you’ll earn more points for spending on travel and meals. If you spend $4,000 within the first three months of receiving the card, you’ll get 60,000 points, which is equivalent to $900.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is ideal for frequent travelers. The card can also work who spend a lot of money traveling because they can take advantage of the refund and generous bonus points.
However, the card may be a burden for those who don’t travel often or spend a lot because they won't be able to take full advantage of its potential. For example, you would miss the $900 travel credit bonus if you can’t hit the $4,000 spending threshold in three months to unlock the perk. The card may also be a burden to someone who carries a balance or makes late payments. For example, the interest on balances and penalties on late payments can quickly erode any rewards you may have accumulated.