Credit Cards

Is the New Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Worth Keeping Long-Term?

By now you’ve read hundreds of headlines about the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. And you’ve been well conditioned to hit the “apply” button on your favorite blogger’s links. Undoubtedly, the Sapphire Reserve’s 100,000 point sign-up bonus is huge and a great reason to get the card. The $4,000 spending requirement is easily met and the sign-up bonus alone justifies the $450 annual fee. All signs point to “get this card!” but what about keeping it for long-term use?

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card New Application
The New Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card comes with a 100k point sign-up bonus!

To summarize, the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card are as follows:

  • 100,000 point sign-up bonus after $4,000 spent in 3 months
  • $300 statement credit for flights and hotel charges (per calendar year)
  • $100 credit towards Global Entry application fee
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • 3 points per $1 on travel and dining
  • 1 point per $1 on all other spending
  • $450 annual fee, not waived the first year
  • Some Visa Infinite benefits (excluding the $100 airline companion fare credit)

It’s also worth noting that points are worth 1.5 cents each towards travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. Normally, with Ultimate Rewards credit cards like the Chase Ink Plus or Chase Sapphire Preferred card, points are worth 1.25 cents each. This is even more significant considering the incredible deals that can be found on the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. So this benefit, more than anything else, makes this card somewhat appealing to me for long-term use.

Most of us will easily spend at least $300 annually on flights and hotels. So charging them to the Sapphire Reserve card not only partially off-sets the $450 annual fee, but may also reward us with 900 Ultimate Rewards points. This is more generous than what most other reward credit cards offer for travel purchases. So really, the annual fee is $150, which is a mere $55 more than the annual fee on the Sapphire Preferred card. Factor in the Global Entry application fee and the fact that you can get the $300 travel statement credit twice during your first year, you’re coming out way ahead.

These are all great reasons to sign up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. But are they worth the annual fee past the first year? If you’re not getting the Global Entry application fee covered through another rewards credit card and spend enough on travel and dining to really milk those 3 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 paid out in those categories, then it may be worth it. Personally, I’m not finding a compelling reason to keep paying even $150 for this card because Chase isn’t the most manufactured spender-friendly bank, so I can’t justify the cost based on the amount of points I can generate from credit card spending. The lack of meaningful category bonuses makes it even less compelling. 

However, if you’re a big spender in the travel and dining categories and you plan on making use of the Priority Pass Select membership, then this card might be a good fit for you in the long run. In my case (if I can even manage to qualify for this card in spite of the 5/24 rule) I’ll probably use the Sapphire Reserve for its sign-up bonus and then cancel it after the first year.

If you’re interested in getting the new Sapphire Reserve credit card, Chase will begin accepting applications for the Sapphire Reserve card on August 21, 2016. If you’ve stayed out of the credit card churning game over the past 24 months, you’re about to get rewarded in a big way…

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  1. I do like that points are worth 1.5 so I can stay at Disney hotels for less and I think it will have primary car rental insurance.

    • What makes you say Chase is not so MS friendly? Everyone and their brother who blogs thinks the Chase Sapphire is the best card to start MS’ing since Chase points are so flexible. However, since it’s a bank card and if as you say they are not so MS-friendly, if they close your account you lose the points. That really puts a damper on the appeal of Chase.

      • You have to be careful with Chase because they have been known to shut down heavy ms’ers. And considering how they issue some of the best and most valuable rewards credit cards, you really don’t want to be on the outs with them.

        • Do you have a rule of thumb for the max $MS/mo you would put on a Chase card? Or ratio of $MS/$total spend per mo? Thx!

          • Not really – I just make sure I don’t spend more than my income and I mix in a lot of normal spending (bills, the occasional Starbucks card reload).

          • I am very conservative about fees. I look at MS and churn as a way to enable travel that I would not do otherwise. In that sense, cash outlay is still cash burn and I need to find a way to offset the cash costs with cash earnings (portals, cash back cards, earning interest on MS float, etc) in order to justify the cash expense. The $450 fee just isn’t worth it to me.

            Ps – 3rd paragraph from bottom you say Preferred once when you mean Reserve.

          • Thanks for catching that! I’m the same way about annual fees (or any expenses related to this hobby). I do like that they give you $300 in travel credits, so it does go down to $150. For me at least, this is still higher than I’d like to pay since I won’t make use of the other card perks.

    • The increased value for Ultimate Reward redemptions is a huge plus. As someone who rarely ever rents a car, the insurance isn’t a huge draw for me but I definitely understand its value.

  2. Since I also stupidly signed up for the Citi Prestige card on the last possible day before their terms changed, I’m now over 5/24. 🙁
    Does anyone know if I can get Global Entry credit for my spouse’s application using one of these cards (so mine using Prestige, and his using Sapphire Reserve if I happened to get approved)?

    • Oh no! Well at least you got your Citi bonus. Also, they may make an exception to the 5/24 rule if they don’t see a huge influx of applications. Fingers crossed on that one. Typically, yes, you can use a credit card’s Global Entry fee credit for someone else. They don’t see who the credit is for – just the charge.

      • Kind of a recent influx, been listening to the bloggers! 2 Delta AmEx Gold (business + personal, right before bonus went down), Chase BA (because not under 5/24) & hubby got Chase IHG (also because not under 5/24). So I really hope the Reserve card cal slide under the wire as it did for many who applied during the briefly open test window earlier this week!

  3. Hope 5/24 rule will be excluded.

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