Enter: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Unless you have lived under a rock the past few years, you know that Chase offers some of the most popular and lucrative travel credit cards in the biz. Southwest, Hyatt, Marriott and United are mainstay Chase co-branded cards that can be found in most travelers’ wallets.
So what is the deal with the Sapphire Reserve card?
Chase confirmed the release of the Reserve card on Twitter today. At this time, all signs point to an August 21st launch date. The Reserve card is said to be offering a 100,000 point sign up bonus. These points are worth 1.5 cents a piece if utilized for booking travel in the Ultimate Rewards Travel Center. Simple math says these 100k points are worth at least $1,500 towards travel! Your 100k Ultimate Rewards can also be transferred to a number of travel partners like Southwest, Marriott and Hyatt. (No, they won’t count towards Companion Pass, unfortunately)
The most notable benefit to this card, other than the YUGE sign up bonus, is the $300 annual travel credit. This travel credit is extremely easy to use, you just spend money on travel related charges! Yep, even hotels and airfare will be reimbursed. Chase will automatically credit your account for each travel charge, up to a combined $300 per calendar year. If you do things correctly, you can utilize the full $300 before December 31st and then utilize $300 more after January 1st. That means you can get $600 of travel credit before the second year annual fee becomes due.
Annual Fee: $450
Don’t be scared by the $450 annual fee. The fee will be due on your first statement, so roughly 45 days after you receive the card in the mail. This $450 does not count towards your $4,000 minimum spend. Remember, if you pull things off correctly you will receive $600 in travel credit plus $1,500 in travel from your points (or even more value if transferred to partners). $2,100 in travel for a $450 fee = $1,650.
Oh but there’s more…
This card gives you $100 credit towards TSA Precheck or Global Entry application. If you are already enrolled in one of these programs you can use the credit for a friend or family member.
Upon approval of the Reserve card, you will be enrolled with a Priority Pass Select membership. This membership grants you access to over 900 airport lounges worldwide! Many of these lounges offer free munchies and are always quieter compared to waiting around in the terminal.
The major unknown is whether this card will fall under Chase’s strict 5/24 rule. The 5/24 rule, if applicable, means you will likely not be approved for the card if you have opened five or more credit cards in the past 24 months. This is taking into account all personal cards you’ve opened in the past two years from all banks, including Chase cards that you are an authorized user on. American Express business credit cards do not report to the credit bureaus, so those would NOT count towards the 5/24 rule. I am going to apply for this card since 100,000 points is worth a gamble, I am at 16/24, so yea…
Stay tuned for more updates at August 21st nears, this could be the best sign up bonus and card benefits of the year!