Why Chase Sapphire Reserve is Worth the $450 Annual Fee

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve has been out for a day now and it is generated lots of hype.  Is this really the best credit card ever?  In my opinion the answer is yes, but the biggest deterrent for most people is the annual fee, a whopping $450 annual fee.  It is a high fee, but I still recommend the card because the benefits definitely outweigh the fee.  I am going to explain why Chase Sapphire Reserve is worth the $450 annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Before Applying

Before you apply for this card, make sure you have applied for under 5 credit card in the last 2 years.  If you have, your chances for getting the card are very slim and I don’t recommend applying.  The only more certain way to get approved is to go to the branch and ask a banker if you have pre-approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  If you are, apply right there at the branch.  If not, your chances for approval are slim.  I was able to go to the bank yesterday and the banker told me I was not pre-approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  I applied anyways, and got a pending message of a 7-10 day wait.  Reading reports from Reddit, my chances are slim on getting approved.  You can also do additional research from that thread, but from my own personal research, I would only apply online if you have less than 5 applications in 24 months or pre-approved in the branch.    

Benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • Earn 100K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,500 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,500 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 900+ airport lounges worldwide with complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre√®
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

How Much Value Can I Get?

The amount of value you can get from the credit card can be subjective because you can redeem points for first class flights that are $10K+, but a lot of people wouldn’t ever pay for that.  I am just going to talk about the minimum value.  Here is my breakdown:

  • 100,000 Chase UR points redeemed through Chase UR portal = $1,500
  • Global Entry credit = $100
  • Travel credit per year X 2.  You can $300 in 2016 and another $300 in 2017 = $600 
  • Total at least $2,200.  You also get other perks such as Priority Select Lounge Pass.

The annual fee is $450, so the total value for applying you could get $2,200 – $450 or $1,750 in travel.  I would say the effort is well worth it to get $1,750 towards travel.  

After a year holding the card, I would consider canceling the card to avoid another $450 annual fee.

I believe this credit card is the best card yet and it far outperforms it’s competitor AMEX Platinum. The annual fee may scare people off, but you get way more value than the annual fee.  I hate annual fees and rarely pay them, but I would for this one. The 100K offer may only be a limited time.  Unfortunately, my application is still pending and I really hope to get it.  Update I was denied for 5/24, sad day. 


2 comments for “Why Chase Sapphire Reserve is Worth the $450 Annual Fee

  1. aireyeonu
    August 27, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    I would disagree with you on one point. The card is worth keeping, imho, under the following circumstances. Can you make use of the $300 TC every year? That brings the AF down to $150. If you can make use of the UR category bonuses of the card to the tune of $55 of value, that brings AF down to $95. Any more category value and you’re ahead of the CSP. As always, your own circumstances dictate.

    • August 27, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      Good thought. I would keep chase ink plus because the 5X on your phone bill and cable makes it worth it. But yeah the 3X and 50% more can be more valuable. If you always transfer to miles then the 50% more is less valuable.

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