Over the course of the year, I’ve opened a number of new credit cards to take advantage of the signup bonuses.* To give my credit score a break from all those hard inquiries though, I decided to lay low for a bit. But then the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card screamed free money at me, and so after a couple months of resistance, I finally caved.
For an annual fee of $450, here’s what we’ve got:
- A whopping 100,000 point signup bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months (expired);
- A $300 annual travel credit for airfare and hotels;**
- 3x points for dining and travel;
- 50% more in travel redemption (this means that the 100,000 point signup bonus is worth $1,500 in travel); and
- A $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Hot damn, is this the ultimate travel rewards card or what? But that’s not all, you get access to 900+ airport lounges worldwide with a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. That was the kicker for me. My girlfriend and I have a few international trips planned for the end of 2016 and 2017, so getting access to hot showers, reliable WiFi and complimentary food and drinks between flights will be a tremendous benefit.
And the best part is that with the Sapphire Reserve, all of the points that I’ve already accumulated on my Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom Unlimited are now worth even more. As you can see below, my 66,277 points are now worth $994.16 in travel rewards on my Sapphire Reserve account (instead of just $828.46 previously on my Sapphire Preferred account).***
The only caveat for those of you who also have Sapphire Preferred or Freedom Unlimited card is that you’ll need to transfer your existing points over to your new Reserve card. This is pretty easy to do through the Ultimate Rewards homepage (linked to your Chase account). Just hover your mouse over your point balance and there’ll be an option to “Combine Points.”
As for that $4,000 spending limit, I plan on buying a Vanmoof Electrified S e-bike and paying for various moving expenses,**** so getting those initial 100,000 points will be a piece of cake.
**This helps defray that hefty $450 annual fee.
***On the Freedom Unlimited, each point is worth 1 cent toward travel rewards. On the Sapphire Preferred, each point is worth 1.25 cents. On the Sapphire Reserve, each point is worth 1.5 cents. A big shout out to my friends K and M for pointing this out.
****In a month or so, I’ll be joining my girlfriend over in sunny California.
UPDATE: The 100,000 point offer is no longer available but it appears that as of October 8, 2017, you can still get 50,000 points by spending $4,000 within the first three months. Be sure to read all of the terms and conditions before applying.