Last August, Chase created a veritable earthquake in the Points world when it unveiled the Chase Sapphire Reserve. This card made it possible to get an easy $2100 in travel for a single $450 annual fee. And in less than a year’s time! It’s still possible, but only through January 11. I rarely tell you guys “act now”, but this is one of those times. This is quite simply the best signup offer I have ever seen.
What’s happening on January 11? It’s the last day Chase will offer 100,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points as a signup bonus. After that, the bonus will drop to 50,000 points. What does that mean? It means that instead of getting $2100 in travel for $450, you will get $1350 in travel for $450. That is still very good return, but why miss out on an extra $750?
WHERE DOES THE $2100 FIGURE COME FROM?
Let me quickly remind you where the $2100 figure comes from:
- The 100,000 points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when booking travel through Chase. That’s $1500 right there.
- Each calendar year, Chase offers holders of this card a $300 travel credit. This means that any travel (flights, hotels, car rentals, taxis, Ubers, cruises) you purchase with this card will be credited back to you, up to $300. The credit resets after your December statement, so if you applied today, you would get both a 2017 $300 credit and a 2018 $300 credit before your next $450 annual fee.
$1500 + $300 +300 = $2100. Again, if you apply after January 11, you will only get 50,000 points ($750 in travel) rather than the current 100,000 points ($1500 in travel). As I said, this is the best signup offer I have ever seen.
THINGS TO POINT OUT:
- The points are very easy to use if you book through Chase’s travel portal. If there is a seat or room available, you can pay with points.
- It is possible to score more value from your points by transferring them to Chase’s partners (such as United, Southwest, Hyatt to name a few) to redeem for flights or hotels. You can also use the transfer option for “topping off” an account. So, if you are just short of an award (e.g. you need 30,000 Marriott points for an award night and you only have 27,000), you can transfer some Chase points to your Marriott account.
- You can redeem these points for cash back at 1 cent per point, but I would not do so. It just sacrifices a tremendous amount of value from your points.
- Chase has implemented something called the 5/24 rule for most of their cards, and the Sapphire Reserve is affected by this rule. Quite simply, if you have been approved for 5 or more cards in the last 24 months (not counting store credit cards and non-Chase business cards), you will almost certainly not be approved for the card.
- If you do not pay off your credit card bill in full each month, then skip this card. The finance charges would obliterate any rewards you gain on an ongoing basis.
- If you own the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and/or Chase Ink Business cards, the points they earn can be combined with those from the Sapphire Reserve, thus making them all worth a tremendous 1.5 cents apiece. I actually have and use all 4 of them.
- The card earns a fantastic 3 points per dollar on travel and dining. Since the points are then worth 1.5 cents apiece when redeemed, that’s a healthy return of 4.5%.
- The card also comes with a Priority Pass membership, which gives you and your family free access to hundreds of lounges around the world, though most of the lounges are in international terminals.
- After the first year, you can downgrade the card (just call Chase) and keep your points, but they will be worth less than before.
- The card also comes with a reimbursement for TSA Precheck ($85 value) or Global Entry ($100 value). Each is good for 5 years and makes air travel much more pleasant.
- The card provides primary rental car collision insurance. Many cards offer secondary insurance, but primary insurance means there is no need to involve your personal car insurance. A very big, underrated benefit. This actually saved me hundreds when I hit a heavy, but unseen object in the road.
I absolutely love Chase cards, and I especially love Ultimate Reward points. This card was THE game changing card of 2016, and the signup bonus is insane. I’d hate to see you miss it. If you think you will travel at all in 2017, go get the card..and enjoy where it takes you.
So, what do you think? Is this card really all that? Tell us in the comments section!
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