2024 Chase Sapphire Reserve Review with Current Benefits

Here’s the ultimate Chase Sapphire Reserve review with everything you need to know about maximizing cardholder benefits, secret perks, how to earn free flights, and an exclusive signup points bonus!

When I committed to traveling more often, finding a good travel credit card for everyday use was the natural next step.

And with a solid set of core member benefits and rotating perks that change out year to year, the JP Morgan Chase Sapphire Reserve is the best credit card for travel lovers, in my opinion. This detailed review will tell you exactly why and how to decide if it’s the right card for you.

Already ready to sign up? Earn 60,000 extra points sign up bonus (2 roundtrip flights) when you apply with this link!

Chase Sapphire Reserve card next to bucket of beers on pool ledge.
Luxury stay in Cabo San Lucas partially paid for with Ultimate Reward points

Current Enrollment Bonus & Intro Offer

For 2024, the joining bonus for new Sapphire Preferred or Reserve accounts is 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening the account. And the tips in this review make it so easy to meet that!

Opening bonus terms and amounts typically change each year but the best promotions with the most points points come from a referral. My Sapphire referral link works for both Reserve and Preferred cards so you’ll maximize points no matter which you choose to apply for.

The Reserve interest rate ranges from 22.49% to 29.49% variable APR with no intro APR. Balance transfer fees cost the greater of $5 or 5% of the amount transferred–keep in mind that balance transfers don’t earn points.

Speaking of earning points, let me count the ways!

Earning Points

Points on Sapphire cards are called Chase Ultimate Rewards and there’s no limit on the number of points you can earn. They also never expire.

Since this is a traveler’s credit card, it makes sense that you earn 3x points on dining and travel purchases. Dining includes delivery or takeout and dining at restaurants.

But what counts as travel for Chase? Airfare, hotels (as well as Airbnb but not vrbo), rental cars, rideshares, taxis, & car services, cruise bookings, parking fall into the Chase travel category.

*Note that gas is no longer part of the travel category, as was the case in 2020 and 2021.

Right now, you can earn the most points per dollar in the following bonus categories:

  • 10x points on hotels booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • 10x points on car rentals booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • 10x points on reservations through Chase Dining
  • 10x points on Lyft rides
  • 10x points on Peleton purchases
  • 5x points on flights booked through Ultimate Rewards

The points value for all other purchases is one point per dollar spent. Returns and refunds will result in deduction of the corresponding points.

sitting on balcony overlooking wooded mountain view.
Hotel stay in Banff, Alberta paid for with Ultimate Reward points

Top 5 Reserve Cardholder Perks

There are currently over 50 Chase Sapphire Reserve cardmember benefits. Let’s break down the most exciting card benefits then get into secret ones you haven’t heard about.

$300 Annual Travel Statement Credit

Your first $300 of travel expenses are reimbursed to your account each year and, as an avid solo traveler, I max this out every year. Qualifying purchases include airfare, hotels and other lodging options (including campgrounds), rental cars, transit (think trains and buses), toll road fees, and parking.

Global Entry, TSA Precheck or NEXUS fee Credit

This card benefit has seriously streamlined my travel experience for both domestic and international trips. TSA Precheck minimizes security screening at US airports and Global Entry makes returning from other countries breezy.

And this credit card gives you a statement credit for either one every four years (which is how often you’d need to renew). Not sure which one to get? Global Entry includes TSA Precheck so that’s what I recommend!

Instacart+ Membership and Statement Credits

Complimentary membership to this grocery delivery service aligns with my weekly routine and pursuit of a soft life so I’ve made full use of this perk, including the $15 monthly statement credit on Instacart orders.

Food Delivery Discounts

$0 delivery charges and reduced fees comes with DashPass and a $5 DoorDash credit pops up in my app balance at the beginning of each month. And since DoorDash and Caviar merged the membership perk applies across accounts!

Lyft Pink Membership

This benefit includes free priority pickup upgrades for faster service, ride discounts, cancellation forgiveness, free monthly rides, discounted Grubhub+ delivery and more.

I use rideshare options regularly when traveling and always check both Lyft and Uber before booking. Lyft is consistently cheaper than Uber when my Lyft Pink membership is activated.

So this section alone clears how to earn free travel with a Chase credit card but I actually left off one of the best benefits because it deserves its own section. Keep scrolling!

Sapphire Lounge Access

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you get complimentary Priority Pass Select membership to access over 1,400 airport lounges, restaurants, and services. I love this feature for getting work done, unwinding, and enjoying a meal or drink before departure and helps me comfortably make the most of layovers and delays.

In my opinion, the best lounges are international, like the full service lounge with beds and showers I checked into before leaving Paris, the cozy fireside lounge in Calgary, Alberta or the Punta Cana, Dominican Republic lounge with a swimming pool overlooking the tarmac!

But there are some interesting lounges stateside, including the golf-themed player’s lounge I spent a layover in on the way to Alaska. And Chase has been opening exclusive spots under Sapphire Lounge by The Club in cities like Boston (new for 2024), San Diego, and Hong Kong to add to the benefits. Next time in in New York, I plan to hit up the JFK Reserve lounge.

I was also immensely grateful to check into the brand new Sapphire Terrace at AUS during an unexpected delay a few months back.

All lounges include a variety of amenities from meals and cocktails to live music, charging stations, private rooms and cardmembers can bring along up to two guests for free, per visit.

holding passport, Priority Pass card, and Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.

The Best Underrated Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits for Travel

Car Rentals – I have extra peace of mind when I pick up a rental car in any country because this card provides roadside assistance for lockouts, flat tires, etc. as well as collision damage waiver rental car coverage (so I don’t need to purchase extra insurance in most cases).

Chase Sapphire members also enjoy upgraded status with car rental programs like National and Avis.

Emergency Assistance – Cardholders have emergency medical insurance and dental benefits for expenses incurred while traveling. This might not be the sexiest perk but it’s so important!

Purchase Protection – Eligible items purchased on your Sapphire Reserve have extended warranties, purchase protection, as well as fraud alerts and liability protection

Trip Interruption – I travel mostly with just a carry-on but when I do check bags, I can breathe a little bit easier knowing I have baggage delay insurance through Chase. There’s also trip delay reimbursement (think flight delay or flight cancellation), and lost luggage reimbursement.

Reserved by Sapphire provides access to exclusive sports, dining, music, and entertainment experiences at events like Art Basel, Fashion Week, and a number of music and food festivals across the country.

Customer Service is available via a dedicated customer service line on the back of your card and I’ve never had an issue reaching someone quickly which is clutch especially, if you’re far from home. This card also comes with Visa Infinite concierge access.

What is the annual fee for Sapphire Reserve?

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit cardholders currently pay an annual fee of $550 for access to all the perks and privileges of membership vs the Preferred annual fee of $95.

When do you pay the annual fee? Annual fee is due on your first statement and then once per year on your cardmember anniversary. In the past, members have reported being able to get the first annual fee waived but that has not been the case since I joined in 2019.

If that membership fee sounds steep, let me share how to get your money’s worth for the Chase annual member fee!

Is the Annual Fee Worth it?

Here’s what I consider in deciding if this card and its annual fee make sense for me and my lifestyle.

Can you pay off your balance in full each month?

I know that this is 101 for how to use a travel credit card responsibly but it bears repeating that carrying a balance on your credit card will result in interest charges and you don’t want to pay more for this card than the annual fee, do you?

Will you use the statement credits?

Currently you get up to $300 back on travel purchases each year and $240 on Instacart and DoorDash orders plus complimentary Lyft Pink, DashPass, and Instacart+ memberships. These three benefits combined nearly offset the annual fee for me but if you aren’t confident you’ll use them, it might not be worth it for you.

How much do you value the other card benefits?

Having been a Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholder for about five years now, I have my go-to perks that I use all the time and others that are just as valuable but don’t really come up as often. With the annual fee offset by statement credits, I regard these as free.

I use my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card for everyday purchases and to book travel then pay off the balance in full each month.

And I’ve redeemed the points for roundtrip flights, accommodations, and excursions in places like New York City, Los Cabos, Mexico, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Banff, Alberta.

Jazzmine in Culebra beach water.
Rountrip airfare to San Juan, Puerto Rico paid for by Ultimate Reward points

How to Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Redeeming points through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal is key to getting the most out of them as you get 25% more value with the Preferred card and 50% more with Reserve.

But if you want to transfer points to loyalty points programs with your favorite hotel or airline, you can do so at a 1:1 ratio, which is one of the unique perks of Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The list of hotel partners and airline partners is long and I’ve taken advantage of bonus points promotions that multiply the number of points I’m transferring to get even more for my money. Last fall, I stayed at a gorgeous four-star Marriott property in Atlanta by transferring points to my Marriott Bonvoy account via the rewards portal!

Lastly, there are rotating and recurring discounts when you redeem points on purchases from brands like Apple and Peleton.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I upgrade my Chase Preferred card to Reserve?

Yes and you can call the number on the back of your card to request an upgrade.

What’s the authorized user fee for Chase Sapphire Reserve?

There’s an annual fee of $75 for each additional card added to your account for an authorized user. Each user has access to the same benefits and authorized users get their own Priority Pass card but only the primary cardholder can redeem rewards points through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Can I do a balance transfer with this card?

Yes, you can do a balance transfer for a fee with either Chase Sapphire card. Just note that you don’t earn Ultimate Reward points on balance transfers.

What credit score do I need to get the Reserve card?

There is no published minimum credit score but as a Visa Infinite card, you generally need good to excellent credit, which is 700 score or higher. Eligibility and approval odds will depend on your entire credit profile not just your score.

Do Sapphire cards charge foreign transaction fees?

There are no foreign transaction fees using Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred.

I hope this was helpful to you and if you have any other questions about my experience with this card or earning the 60,000 signup bonus, just let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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