The Chase Sapphire Reserve card provides great value, offering 3X Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining as well as a $300 annual travel statement credit. Plus, its extensive consumer protections make this an excellent card to use alongside its complimentary Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership membership.
Employing travel credits can be straightforward, but there are some key points you should keep in mind to maximize their use. Read on for tips on how you can optimize its value.
1. Use it for airfare.
For travelers who enjoy travel, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card may be an ideal solution. Offering one of the most flexible annual travel credits among premium credit cards and an unrivalled set of luxury perks.
This travel credit is particularly effective at covering airfare because it covers the full ticket price rather than just one fare class. Furthermore, you can use it for incidentals like seat selection, extra luggage fees, onboard food services and wifi usage and hotel stays; making this credit much simpler to use than many other cards that require preselecting an airline and are limited in their scope of coverage.
To qualify for the travel credit, purchases made with your card and marked “travel purchase” qualify. That covers many airfares, hotel stays, car rentals and even unexpected expenses like limousine rides, cruises or parking fees and ride share costs – as well as your annual renewal fee of course!
Utilising your Sapphire Reserve card’s travel credit is as straightforward as making payments and checking your rewards activity afterward to see if one has been applied. There is no activation process or codes needed, as well as no annual reset date as this credit doesn’t roll over from year to year unless used before December 31st each year.
Chase uses a merchant category code system to categorize transactions and determine whether they should count toward earning bonus points or credits like this one. You can refer to Visa’s Merchant Data Standards Manual to view which retailers have specific codes assigned, so you know ahead of time if any purchase should qualify or not.
2. Use it for hotels.
Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can make the most of the $300 annual travel credit by using it toward offsetting its $550 annual fee, yet if not fully utilized within one year it will expire without being returned for use next year – therefore understanding which activities count and making use of all available benefits are crucial in order to maximize return.
Airline charges qualify as travel and can earn three times more Ultimate Rewards points when purchased with your card, in addition to hotel bookings and deposits. Cruise bookings, trip cancellation fees and onboard purchases such as snacks may also count; plus you could use credit for taxi rides or road toll payments!
Other travel benefits on the card include up to $100 in credits toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership, which allows you to avoid long security lines by speeding through. Furthermore, through Priority Pass Select you’ll have access to thousands of airport lounges around the world; plus up to two guests can travel free with you!
Other travel credit cards also offer similar perks, but the Sapphire Reserve’s are among the most generous. Its travel credit is especially convenient as it does not require activation or special codes on purchases to receive it; rather it appears automatically applied on your statement as soon as qualifying purchases are made and reset annually on cardmember anniversary date compared with other top travel cards such as The Platinum Card(r) from American Express which reset their annual travel credit monthly instead.
3. Use it for car rentals.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with an annual fee, but comes equipped with many travel benefits that could offset its cost, depending on your spending patterns and travel plans. Utilizing its $300 credit could even potentially cover its entirety!
The card’s travel credit is one of the more versatile ones on offer, enabling you to use it on airfare, airline incidentals (such as seat selection, extra luggage fees, onboard food and wifi service) hotels as well as car rentals – often overlooked when thinking of travel purchases.
To take advantage of this credit, simply make eligible travel purchases with your card and claim them on your monthly statement. No special codes or websites need to be booked – Chase will automatically apply the statement credit when qualifying purchases post to your account; and until your total credits for 2018 reach $300 total credits can remain available to you.
Sapphire Reserve’s other great perk is its free membership to Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, both of which can help save you time at airports by helping to avoid long lines. Furthermore, Priority Pass Select membership gives access to thousands of airport lounges; unbeatable travel insurance and rental car coverage is included with it; plus there are VIP benefits at certain Relais & Chateaux properties around the globe!
4. Use it for dining.
Since its release in 2016, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has proven itself an outstanding credit card choice for rewards points and travel benefits, including an attractive $300 travel credit that helps offset its $550 annual fee – making it one of the premier cards available for luxury travel enthusiasts.
As soon as you make a purchase with your credit or debit card, the purchase is assigned a four-digit merchant category code identifying whether it falls into either dining or travel categories. Travel purchases cover things like taxi rides and ride share services, mass transit tickets and tolls, parking garage fees and cruises – making it difficult to determine whether a purchase fits either category – it might be wise to do some preliminary research beforehand to be certain about whether an item qualifies.
As an added benefit, this card comes equipped with Priority Pass Select membership which gives you and up to two guests free access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide – providing an ideal place for relaxation while traveling. Plus there’s trip delay reimbursement coverage, rental car insurance protections and other travel protections, plus the $300 travel credit thrown in!
Of course, this credit card’s $300 travel credit won’t last forever — it resets on your anniversary date each year — so in order to maximize this benefit you need to plan purchases carefully each year in order to take full advantage of this benefit. Luckily it can be applied toward many travel-related expenses and shouldn’t be difficult to utilize given how easily bonus points can be earned through dining purchases and other card-qualifying purchases.
5. Use it for other purchases.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit is considerably more generous than airline credits offered on cards such as Amex Platinum or Ritz Visa, which typically cover limited categories (airline incidentals like seat selection, extra bags and onboard food). Plus, cardholders can redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards at a minimum rate of 1.5 cents per point – meaning 60,000 points earned through sign-up bonus will translate to at least $900 toward travel!
This card provides numerous travel-related benefits, including trip cancellation and car rental coverage, priority airport lounge access for you and two guests, unbeatable travel insurance coverage and priority access for airport lounges – helping offset its $550 annual fee.
Note, however, that not all purchases qualify for the $300 annual travel credit: these may include traveler’s checks or foreign currency purchases as well as balance transfers, cash advances or payments of fees; casino gaming chips, race track wagers or lottery tickets don’t count either.
If you aren’t sure whether a purchase qualifies, review your card’s terms and conditions or call customer service for further guidance. The Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit resets every year on the anniversary of account opening; check your statement or call the number printed on its back to find this date.
This card comes with several other perks, including a complimentary membership period for Priority Pass and DoorDash DashPass membership through March 2025; additionally, there’s a $100 application credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years.