Credit Cards » Credit Card Guides » How to Maximize Benefits With The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
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How to Maximize Benefits With The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers benefits such as airport lounge access, travel credits and rewards. Here's how to make the most of it.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: January 1, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: January 1, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

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Depending on your specific card, Chase has many rewards and points available to you. Many people choose to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card because of the spending rewards, amazing travel perks, travel credits that can add up to hundreds of dollars of savings, and more.

You pay an annual fee of $550 for this card, so you need to make sure you are maximizing the benefits in any way you can.

Here are ten ways you can quickly get the most out of your card.

1. Make Sure to Get the Sign-Up Bonus

Getting approved for the Reserve card may be challenging, but if you meet the requirements–  you qualify for a nice sign-up bonus. 

Chase Reserve sign-up bonus includes 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening) but a lower sign-up bonus compared to the Reserve card – 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Try to put all the purchases you can on the card while still being able to pay the balance back at the end of every month. You need to get bonus points, so spend as much as possible in the dining and travel categories. Remember that balance transfers don't count.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase Secure Website 

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Reward details

1X – 10X 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels, car rentals when you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit. Also, earn 3x points on dining at restaurants and travel (after meeting the $300 travel credit), then 1x points per dollar spent on all other purchases

Current Offer

60,000 points 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Credit Rating

Good – Excellent

Annual Fee

$550

0% Intro

N/A

APR

22.24%–29.24% variable APR

On Chase Secure Website 

2. Use Your Travel Credits

Since the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is not associated with a specific airline or hotel, you can use the $300 annual credit towards any hotel or airline you want to travel with.

Since the annual fee is $550, you need to make sure you use the travel credit every year to help you make some of the money back. This is a very high credit compared to other premium cards, such as the Platinum Card from American Express, which offers an annual statement credit for up to $200 in airline incidental fees.

If the credit is unused, it doesn’t roll over to the new year, so make sure to find a way to use it before your card’s anniversary expires. The credit will automatically apply if you use it for travel, and you will even be able to get triple points on certain travel opportunities.

redeem Chase anniversary night on IHG
Example: redeem Chase anniversary night on IHG

3. Transfer Points to Get More Value

This might not be the best value option, but it could work better for you if you want to use a certain partner airline or hotel loyalty program. In some cases, you might be able to find more value in this option if you redeem them at certain times of the year or when promos are happening.

You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to one of the partner airlines or hotels that work with Chase. For example, if you find a $500 flight on Air France for 25,000 points, you can use the 25,000 points that you have with Chase to purchase the flight. This keeps you from having to earn points with several different airlines to save money on flying.

Some partner airlines of Chase include Air France/KLM, Iberia, Southwest, United, Emirates, Iberia, and Aer Lingus, and British Airways. Hotel options include Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, and Intercontinental Hotels Group. Overall, Chase offers an extensive network compared to other credit cards portals such as the Capital One travel or Citi ThankYou program.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Airline Transfer Partners - Aer Lingus, Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates
Chase Sapphire Reserve Airline Transfer Partners - Aer Lingus, Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates (Screenshot from Chase app)

4. Try Not to Use Other Redemption Options

While it's considered one of the top travel cards, Chase does not offer many different redemption offers, and many of them are not as lucrative as redeeming all the credit you have for travel. For example, some redemption offers to include getting a statement credit or an automatic electronic deposit into your checking account.

While this might seem like a good idea if you are hard strapped for cash or need to lower your balance, it will not give you the same amount of perks as redeeming the same credit for travel.

Chase Sapphire Reserve book a Gift Card Example
(Screenshot from Chase app)

Try not to go for the gift cards either unless they are offered a discount or promotion. Otherwise, your points are only worth a penny each. Having a gift card might seem like a good plan, but you won’t earn enough money to travel or go on a vacation.

Consider not using points for Amazon shopping either. Points are only worth 0.8 cents each. This is not a good deal at all even though you might feel like you are getting free things from Amazon.

5. Combine the Offers with Another Chase Card

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you have ample opportunity to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards. If you combine the offers and rewards with another Chase card though, you’ll find yourself getting even more points and rewards.

There are two other options from Chase that give you Chase Ultimate Rewards Points including the Chase Freedom Flex and the Chase Freedom Unlimited. These cards are advertised as cashback cards, but you can still earn reward points and transfer them to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The Chase Freedom Flex earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on selected categories each quarter and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Also, you can earn 3% cash back on dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services), drugstore purchases , and 1% on all other purchases.

Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 55% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, 3% on drugstore purchases and 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

how to combine points on Chase Ultimate Rewards
Example: how to combine points on Chase Ultimate Rewards (Screenshot from chase.com)

6. Get as Many Reward Points as You Can

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, earning as many reward points as possible is the key. The easiest way to earn points is to spend most of your money on travel and restaurants. For every $1 spent you get 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you get even more points.

You’ll earn 5 points for every dollar spent on travel and 10 points for hotels, dining, and car rentals. Remember that the triple points don’t just mean airfare and hotels. Other qualifying purchases include train fares, taxi rides, and fees you might pay for parking garages or parking lots.

Chase Travel Portal redeem points for flight
Chase Travel Portal: redeem points for flight(Screenshot from Chase app)

 Dining points also include fast food and fast-casual, so every time you eat out you need to hand the worker your Chase Sapphire Reserve card. You can also earn points on Lyft rides.

However, there are no a lot of rewards on everyday spending compared to the Amex Gold card, for example, which offers 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases.

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Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
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Amex gold

Rewards Plan:
1X – 4X 4X points at restaurants (including Uber Eats purchases in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X points), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 2X points on rental cars through amextravel.com and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 points 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership

upgrade cash rewards

Rewards Plan:
1.5% 1.5% cash back on payments
Welcome Bonus:
$200 Earn a $200 bonus after you open & fund a Rewards Checking Plus account & make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days. If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions.

AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Card review

Rewards Plan:
1-6% 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and selected U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit and U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
$250 $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

7. Redeem Your Travel Points Through Chase Directly

Similar to other portals, such as the Amex membership rewards, you can use your rewards points through gift cards or cashback or redeem them for travel. Redeeming them through travel is often the most beneficial option, especially if you plan a long-haul trip or need to book an extended stay at a hotel. Points for travel are worth 1.5 cents each which is 50% more than their cash value.

So, when you use your travel reward points, you get 3% to 4.5% of your money back rather than just a gift card or cashback. When you book through Chase, you also don’t have any blackout dates like you would if you were directly spending points through the airlines.

If you earn the sign-up bonus and use your points to book travel, you’ve already covered your high annual fee to use the card for at least one year. This should make you feel better about paying a hefty fee for a card.

Chase book hotel with points
Book hotel with points (Screenshot from Chase app)

8. Take Advantage of Food Delivery Perks

Chase has now had a partnership with DoorDash since January 2020. This means Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will get a $60 DoorDash credit. This works the same as the travel credit. Every time you spend money at Door Dash, you will automatically get reimbursed until you have reached $60. You can use it all at one time or on several different transactions. Whatever works for you.

You also get a free DashPass subscription. This means you will never pay to deliver fees over orders that are over $12. You still have the service fees though and you still need to tip the driver. Delivery fees are pretty steep though especially if you are far away from the restaurant you are ordering from.

This means you will save $4 or $5 every time you order food. It might not seem like too much at first, but if you order food even a few times a week, you will be saving beaucoup bucks.

9. Use Other Travel Perks

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has more travel perks than just travel reimbursement. When you sign up for the Priority Pass Select, you get free lounge access to more than 1,000 lounges worldwide. You can also get more hotel perks if you sign up for the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection Program.

These benefits include free room upgrades, free breakfast, and late or early check-in. If you book more than 3 nights, you will get the fourth one for free as well as a $30 hotel credit. It's pretty similar to the most attractive hotel credit cards available.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Travel Perks
Chase Sapphire Reserve offers some of the best travel perks for a credit card (Photo by Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

10. Leverage International Travel Perks

Along with basic travel perks, you also get special international travel perks. The card automatically has travel assistance and concierge service along with no foreign transaction fees and travel and purchase protection. Keep in mind that you might still face cash back fees when it comes to using the card at international ATMs.

The Reserve card is also one of the top cards for Global Entry or TSA precheck since it provides a credit of up to $100. If you have Global Entry, you will be able to have the membership for 5 years. You are also eligible for reimbursement every time you renew if you still have the Chase card and have paid the annual fee. 

To be reimbursed, you need to charge the fee to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Make sure not to use another card. This allows you to enter back into the United States without having to wait in the long immigration lines.

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Rewards Plan:
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Welcome Bonus:
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Welcome Bonus:
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The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
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amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

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Welcome Bonus:
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Rewards Plan:
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Welcome Bonus:
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Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

FAQ

In case you don't travel frequently or don't want to pay the high annual fee.  People who travel frequently can earn some fantastic rewards from this card

This card is more difficult to obtain than some of the other Chase credit cards. However, if you have a credit score of at least 720, you will have a good chance of approval.

Through the Chase credit card reward portal, you can redeem your points in a variety of ways. Cash, travel credit, statement credit, and gift cards are among the benefits available.

With this card, you will receive cashback on all purchases.  This means that it can be convenient and predictable when used for everyday purchases.

If you travel frequently, this is an excellent choice. It provides a plethora of fantastic travel-related rewards that can enhance your road trip experience.

Yes, you can get pre-approved for the Reserve card This allows you to avoid a hard credit check only to find out that you are not able to qualify for this card.

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Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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