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Chase Sapphire Reserve® Review

Best premium travel credit card with airport lounge access and good point multipliers.

By Sebastian F.|Updated on 3/14/2024

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best premium travel cards that also works for everyday life expenses. There is a $550 annual fee but $300 in credits and other perks that help offset this.

card art for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a strong premium card if you care about earning points or benefits when you travel. Despite the $550 annual fee, the $300 travel credit, Priority Pass membership, and travel insurances make the card worth considering.

Read the full review

Point Multipliers

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® (CSR) earns Ultimate Reward (UR) points and has many competitive categories, including:

  • 10x on Chase Dining through Ultimate Rewards
  • 10x on hotels and car rentals through Chase Travel℠
  • 5x on flights through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on other travel worldwide
  • 3x on dining
  • 1x on all other purchases

Reward rates for travel take place once the $300 annual travel credit is used.

Optimal Strategy

The CSR is a great card to earn points and also get travel protections and other benefits.

The $550 annual fee is offset by a $300 annual travel credit that’s reimbursed each account anniversary year. For many, it makes the “effective” annual fee only $250 for the card.

The card also comes with a Priority Pass, allowing you and two guests to visit partner airport lounges for free. Unlike other issuers, Chase's Priority Pass membership works for airport lounges and restaurants.

Redeeming Points

The CSR earns Ultimate Reward (UR) points which provide a ton of flexibility whether you’re focused on cash back, travel, or aspirational travel.

Cash Back

At a minimum, points can be redeemed for 1 cent per point (1 CPP) as a statement credit. 3x = 3%.

Travel / Pay Yourself Back

CSR increases the value of your points when booking travel through the Chase Travel Portal or via the “Pay Yourself Back” program. Here, you earn 1.5 CPP, so 3x is 4.5% in value.

Aspirational Travel

Points can be transferred to airline and hotel partners – generally more useful for aspirational travel (i.e., first or business class flights).

Chase Trifecta

The CSR is often combined with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® to create the Chase Trifecta. This means the cashback (points) you earn via the Freedom cards can be redeemed for more value.

Alternatives

If you value airport lounge access and want even more options, The Platinum Card® from American Express might be a better fit.

If you don’t care about airport lounges and want a lower annual fee (while elevating the value of your other Chase points), then the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (CSP) might be better.

If you’re focused on earning points and want additional categories, the Citi Premier® Card and American Express® Gold Card are worth considering.

card art for the The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Check if you're pre-approved for this card or special offers using the CardMatch Tool.

The Platinum Card® from American Express is one of the best travel cards, especially if you can use the many credits. For many, this becomes a highly subsidized lounge access and travel perks card.

Read the full review
card art for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is ideal for those optimizing for cash back or travel. Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards for cash back at 1.25x on select categories through Pay Yourself Back or travel via Chase Travel℠. The card is also a basic travel card with good spend multipliers and benefits like no foreign transaction fees and primary collision damage waiver (terms apply).

Read the full review

Main Takeaway

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a strong premium card if you care about earning points or benefits when you travel. Despite the $550 annual fee, the $300 travel credit, Priority Pass membership, and travel insurances make the card worth considering.