In this Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits guide, we’ll review our favorite ways to use the card and its perks, how much you can save, and why this card is one of the best travel cards on the market.
What’s the best way to travel the globe for free? Cash in on the best travel rewards credit cards, of course!
Between the signup bonuses, travel comforts, and supersized point earning opportunities, the right card can help you travel the world in style for thousands less. I know because our family has used rewards to travel to Europe, the Caribbean, and all around the U.S. for pennies on the dollar.
So, if you’re looking to up your rewards card game, you’re in the right spot. Our favorite travel card for frequent travelers is the the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, and it’s not hard to see why.
The benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card are hard to beat. In this piece, we’ll explore what this king of travel cards has to offer – including it’s massive signup bonus, a hefty annual travel credit, and a lot more.
Without further ado, here’s our list of the top Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits we think you’ll love. Enjoy!
1. Get 50,000 Bonus Points When You Sign Up
Earning bonus points is a big draw for opening new credit card accounts, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve doesn’t disappoint.
New cardmembers receive a massive payday of 50,000 points to play with when you sign up and spend $4,000 on the card in the first three months. With the price of groceries, utilities, and other daily living expenses, you’ll hit that spending target in no time.
This card also provides access to the most lucrative credit card rewards program out there: Chase Ultimate Rewards. If you tap into the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, your 50,000 bonus points are worth a whopping $750 in travel purchases. With the Sapphire Reserve Card, your points will also go 1.5x further when redeemed for travel experiences through the portal.
Even better, you can also transfer your points to more than a dozen partner loyalty programs to make your points go even further. The 1:1 transferability can provide some sweet deals with partners like Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Hyatt, IHG brand hotels (like Intercontinental, Kimpton, Holiday Inn), and more.
Redeeming them for gift cards is also an option. The points won’t go as far, though, so I wouldn’t recommend going this route. Still, it’s nice to know there’s always an option for those who don’t love to travel.
2. Score a $300 Annual Travel Credit
Even if you aren’t planning any big trips, you’ll love the $300 annual travel credit since it doesn’t limit you to just airfare and hotels.
According to Chase, the travel category includes a variety of options like car rentals, cruises, campgrounds, trains, buses, ferries, toll bridges, and parking fees, along with the airlines and hotels you’d expect.
With all the different choices, you’ll have no trouble spending your $300 credit each year on travel costs. Plus, the credit effectively makes the $450 annual just $150 bucks.
Of course, if the annual fee scares you off, you can always grab the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with its $95 annual fee instead. You won’t get all of the benefits of the Reserve Card, but it’s still a great card – especially for travel rewards card beginners. For more info, just follow the link to check out our Chase Sapphire Preferred Review.
3. Credit for Global Entry/TSA Precheck Fees
If you have experience waiting around at the airport, you know how aggravating it is. And that goes double (or triple!) when you’re traveling with children.
Global Entry and TSA Precheck can significantly cut down the time you spend in line, and your Chase Sapphire Reserve travel benefits give you up to $100 back every four years to help cover the application fee.
How much time can you save? Well, Global Entry can get you in and out of customs in a flash, and TSA Precheck cuts your wait from an average of 30 minutes to less than 5.
4. Free Airport Lounge Access
Speaking of waiting around at the airport, having complimentary access to comfy travel airport lounges all over the world is a real treat. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, access to over 1,000 Priority Pass lounges around the world is included.
Normally, it costs $99 to $429 for a Priority Pass membership, making this is a real big deal if you’re somebody who travels frequently. Personally, our family uses this perk all the time. It’s a HUGE benefit and makes long layovers incredibly more bearable.
The next time you’re waiting for your flight at the airport, just find a Priority Pass lounge and flash your membership card for free Wi-Fi and complimentary snacks and drinks while you relax in comfort.
5. Travel Redemption Has 50% More Value
As we mentioned earlier, when you’re approved for your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, you’ll discover just how valuable the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal is.
Exchanging your points for gift cards or merchandise is possible, but redeeming for travel is where this card really shines.
Every point you earn has 50% more redemption value when you book travel through the Chase portal. That means your 50,000 signup bonus can equal $500 in gift cards or a whopping $750 toward your next vacation.
6. No Foreign Transaction Fees
A 2019 credit card fee study from U.S. News and World Report found less than half of travel credit cards will waive foreign transaction fees. That means more than half will charge you for using your card internationally. *smh*
What good is a travel credit card if it doesn’t save you from paying foreign transaction fees?!? You’re trying to spend less on travel, not more! Getting whacked with 3% (or more) in fees can put a damper on an otherwise frugal vacation.
Thankfully, the Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits include zero foreign transaction fees.
7. Earn 3x Points on Travel and Dining
Not only are your Chase rewards worth more when you redeem them for travel, but you also earn 3x as many points when using your Chase Sapphire Reserve to pay for travel and dining purchases. That even applies to fast food, too.
So, the next time you’re planning a fine dining experience or swinging through the drive-thru after a busy weeknight, cash in on extra points by paying with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
8. Trip Cancellation/Interruption Benefits
One of my favorite benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is that it comes with trip cancellation and interruption insurance. Honestly, this can potentially save you thousands.
When you think about how fast vacation expenses add up, even a simple week-long beach getaway can be a significant investment.
If your trip is canceled or interrupted by illness, severe weather, or even jury duty, your reimbursement could total up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for things like tours, hotels, and passenger fares.
How’s that for peace of mind?
9. Trip Delay Coverage
Since we’re talking about what could go wrong when traveling, you’ll notice your Chase Sapphire Reserve also covers you if your trip is delayed.
Travel delays aren’t just a pain in the butt, they can also be a pain in your wallet. Extended delays could end up costing you some significant cash that you didn’t plan to spend.
For delays of more than six hours or requiring overnight stays, Chase’s trip delay coverage provides a reimbursement of up to $500 per ticket for costs associated with lodging, meals, and more.
10. Primary Auto Rental Coverage
Yes, you read that right: Your Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits include primary coverage when renting a car with your card.
If you’re wondering what the big deal is, know that some cards only provide secondary auto rental coverage. Primary coverage is superior since you don’t need to file a claim with your insurance company (or anyone else’s) before exercising this benefit. It also means you can decline those expensive collision policies offered by the rental car company.
As long as you’re not renting for over 31 days in a row, the auto rental benefits cover you for up to $75,000 in reimbursement for collision or theft damage.
11. Lost Luggage and Baggage Delay Insurance
When you’re traveling, checking your bags with the airline doesn’t guarantee that your luggage will make it from point A to point B at the same time you do.
If you travel often, you’ve likely been one of those unlucky people who have had their baggage delayed or even lost. This can be stressful and even expensive if you have to buy toiletries or clothing in the meantime.
Don’t fret, though. Your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card has lost luggage and baggage delay coverage that includes:
- Reimbursement up to $3,000 per passenger if your bags are damaged or lost
- Reimbursement up to $100 a day for toiletry and clothing purchases for five full days if your bags are delayed over six hours
12. Accidental Death and Dismemberment Coverage
Accidental death and dismemberment coverage is one of those “worst case scenario” travel benefits you’ll be glad to have if something unfortunate happens.
If you buy airfare, a train ticket, bus fare, or a cruise with your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, you and your immediate family members suffers are eligible for up to $1,000,000 in accidental death and dismemberment benefits.
Hopefully, you never need to use this coverage. If you do, it’s nice to know it’s available.
13. Roadside Assistance
When your car breaks down or your tire goes flat close to home, you could call your neighbor, family member, or friend; but, when you need help in the middle of the night or are away from home, calling roadside assistance from Chase can get you back on the road.
The next time your battery needs attention, you have a flat tire, run out of gas, or get locked out of your car while traveling in the U.S. and Canada, Chase’s roadside assistance will be there no matter the time of day or night.
14. Emergency Evacuation and Transportation
You can’t plan for an injury or sickness. Even if you could, you sure wouldn’t plan it during a vacation. Unfortunately, sometimes life takes us by surprise, and you may need emergency evacuation while traveling.
As long as you bought your trip with your Chase Sapphire Reserve, the cost of emergency evacuation and transportation for you, your spouse or partner, and your kids are covered up to $100,000.
Keep in mind that the benefits administrator must pre-approve all expenses. Still, it’s nice to know your card can help you cover the cost of any air ambulances, land ambulances, or private transportation expenses if you have an emergency and need to get out of there.
15. Emergency Medical and Dental
Not having to worry about emergency evacuation expenses is one thing, but the cost of treatment for medical or dental emergencies is quite another.
If your health insurance won’t cover treatment, your card comes with $2,500 coverage for emergencies relating to sickness or an injury. You’ll also have $75 per day in Chase Sapphire Reserve hotel benefits for up to 5 days if you need additional time to recover before going home.
Although it’s nice that the card covers at least a little, we all know that medical and dental emergencies can be super expensive. If you think you want more coverage in this area, check out our big list of the top travel insurance companies.
16. Easy Upgrades for Car Rentals
While the primary car rental insurance is a sweet bonus, your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is packed with “enhanced benefits” such as upgrades and discounts, too.
If you enroll in a loyalty program from National Car Rental, Avis, or Silvercar and use your card to book your car rental, you become eligible for luxury car upgrades and premium rates.
The difference might not seem like much, but leveling up your rental car could give you more room to hold luggage, souvenirs, or to relax and ride in comfort while you take in the sites.
17. Flexible Rewards Points You Can Use
Some credit cards limit how your points can be used. If you have a Best Buy credit card or an Amazon Visa, for example, you know the points you earn only apply toward purchases with those specific retailers.
Why settle for restrictions on how your points can be redeemed? You earned those points fair and square, and having the freedom to spend them how you want is another reason the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is so awesome.
When you open an account, you open the door to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program – which provides tremendous flexibility in how you redeem your points. Here are a few options:
- Redeeming points for travel scores the best bang for your buck. When you book through the Chase portal, your reward points are worth 50% more than what you’d get if you redeem them for gift cards or cash back.
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card also lets you transfer your points to partner loyalty programs like Southwest, United, IHG, Marriott, and more. The best part about this option is you won’t lose any points – you get a 1:1 point transfer.
- Do you want to shop at Best Buy? Go ahead and exchange your Chase points for gift cards to Best Buy or another of the nearly 200 different stores and brands.
- If you’re an avid Amazon shopper, you’ll love the flexibility of paying for purchases with your reward points during Amazon’s checkout process.
- Want cash back instead? The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card offers that too. Your cash back can be sent by direct deposit to your bank account, or you can take it as a simple statement credit.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits: Final Thoughts
If you love to travel, the Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits are absolutely outstanding. Heck, even if you’re not a huge traveler, there is plenty to like about this card.
Sure, the $450 annual fee is pretty steep. Still, the $300 annual travel credit and airport lounge access quickly make up for the cost. If that still scares you off, be sure to check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits here. (Psst…it’s only got a $95 annual fee.)
Oh, and don’t forget about the 50,000-point signup bonus! That’s a huge point haul worth $750 in travel redemptions through the Chase portal, or you can transfer those points to one of Chase’s travel partners for even more value. I mean, what’s not to love, right?
That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading and happy traveling!
What’s are your favorite Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits? Share them with us in the comments below!