Chase just announced a new welcome bonus for the Sapphire Reserve card — just in time for travelers looking to maximize spending over the holiday season.
The issuer’s premium travel rewards card — with a steep $550 annual fee — now has a welcome offer of 80,000 bonus points, worth up to $1,200 in travel. To earn the bonus, you’ll need to spend $4,000 within the first three months of account opening, or a bit more than $1,300 on average per month.
Credit cards with annual fees this high aren’t for everyone. But the Sapphire Reserve is one of our favorite travel cards today, and a bonus this high could be a great value for frequent travelers, especially as the holiday season approaches.
Here’s how to decide if the Chase Sapphire Reserve is right for you, and how to best take advantage of the new bonus.
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Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Valuable welcome bonus
- $300 annual travel credit and other added benefits
- 50% points value boost when redeemed for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- No foreign transaction fee
- Metal card
- $550 annual fee
- High APR
- Not a great choice if you travel infrequently
The Bottom Line
Luxe benefits and valuable points redemptions draw many people to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, despite its steep $550 annual fee. But if you travel often and your spending aligns with high-value rewards categories, the Reserve’s benefits can outweigh even the high cost of ownership.
Additional Card Details
- 50% redemption boost on points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or eligible statement credits via Pay Yourself Back
- $300 annual travel credit
- Up to $100 credit every four years toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee
- Complimentary airport lounge access through Priority Pass Select membership
- 10x points on Lyft rides through March 2025
- Complimentary DashPass from DoorDash subscription through 12/31/24
- Travel protections
- Purchase protections
How to Maximize the Chase Sapphire Reserve 80,000-Point Bonus
Points you earn with the Chase Sapphire Reserve get a 50% value boost when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That means you can get up to $1,200 in redemption value with the new 80,000-point bonus.
However, you can also maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards points by transferring them to Chase’s travel partners at a 1:1 ratio.
“80,000 Ultimate Rewards points are conservatively worth $1,200 for a Sapphire Reserve cardholder, and potentially more if you play the airline and hotel transfer partners right,” says Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com. Like NextAdvisor, CreditCards.com is owned by Red Ventures.
And while the $4,000 spending threshold can be steep, the upcoming holiday season may be a good time to take advantage if you’re in the market for a new travel credit card. If you haven’t yet booked your holiday travel, for example, you could use the Sapphire Reserve to book your flights, hotels, or rental car and put that spending toward your bonus for more free travel, while earning bonus points in those categories at the same time.
“I think the holiday season is a great time to sign up for a new credit card because your spending is probably higher than usual,” Rossman says. “So it’s easier to hit a sign-up bonus spending threshold such as $4,000 in 3 months. Of course, you should seek to pay in full to avoid interest, and you’ll want to take care to avoid spending more than you normally would.”
This boosted 80,000-point bonus is a limited-time offer, according to Chase, but the issuer hasn’t yet announced how long it’ll stick around. The Sapphire Reserve typically has a welcome bonus of 60,000 points with the same $4,000 minimum spend within three months (worth about $900 in travel). In the past, when Chase has offered boosted welcome offers worth more than $1,000 on its Sapphire travel cards, they’ve only lasted for up to a few months.
Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Right for You?
Even beyond its new sky-high bonus, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has a lot to offer, especially for frequent travelers.
For rewards on spending, you’ll get 5x points on flights and 10x points on car rentals and hotels booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on other travel spending worldwide, 3x points on dining (including takeout and delivery), and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
And a range of added benefits and annual credit can go a long way to offset the $550 annual fee. There’s a $300 credit toward travel purchases each year, Priority Pass Select airport lounge access, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit, and travel protection benefits. Plus, benefits with Chase partners like GoPuff, DoorDash, Lyft, and Instacart.
Just make sure you travel enough to take advantage of these benefits long-term. For frequent travelers, the benefits of this card and the redemption value of the points you earn can far outweigh the cost if you travel more than a few times each year.
“I think the biggest thing that sets this card apart from the Sapphire Preferred and other mid-tier travel cards is the airport lounge access,” Rossman says. “If you travel enough for that to be worthwhile, it’s a real game-changer.”
Otherwise, it may be difficult to justify the high annual fee, at least after earning the bonus your first year.
“The sign-up bonus is so lofty that you could consider trying this card out for a year or two and thinking of the sign-up bonus as offsetting that annual fee for a while,” Rossman says — given, of course, that you pay your balance in full and on time each month.