CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE October 2017
TOTAL RATING: 8
POINT VALUE: For a short time this card offered a 100,000 point bonus but at this time the bonus is down to 50,000 points. The card holder has 3 months to generate $4000 worth of spend on the card in order to qualify for the 50,000 points. To establish the value of a Chase Reward Point we used the point value assigned by rewardstock.com. Reward stock sets the value of a Chase Ultimates Rewards point at a whopping 2.39 points. We value the bonus on the Chase Sapphire reserve card at $1195.00.
BONUS VALUE LESS ANNUAL FEE: The annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve is $450 bringing the actual bonus value for the first year down to $745. This calculation is a little off in our opinion because the card offers a $300 statement credit at the time of the first anniversary that covers a large portion of the Annual fee but because you will be charged the $450 annual fee at the time that you receive the card we feel the $745 is the most accurate reflection of the value of the Bonus. That’s still a nice hefty bonus.
REDEMPTION FLEXABILITY: This card has a lot of flexibility that makes it a very valuable travel asset. There are two ways to use your points to purchase travel.
First, you can go to the Ultimate Rewards site and just book your travel by using points to pay the market value of the travel product. The site offers flights, hotels, cars and activities and you will get 1.5 cents worth of travel value for each point you use on travel.
The card also offers a point for point transfer with their partner airlines and hotel chains.
The site also allows members to buy gifts using their points valued at the rate of one cent per point.
As is demonstrated above if a person is willing to search out the best travel deals and then go to the Ultimate rewards travel site some amazing things can happen. Imagine traveling from Miami to Chicago round trip and using less they 15% of the points you got for your sign up bonus.
SPEND: With this card members will receive 3X points for credit card spend on restaurants and travel. That means that for every dollar you spend on restaurants and travel you will be receiving a travel value that is as high as 7.17 cents per dollar spent. That is a very nice return on your spend and adds up fast. Just for fun consider this: If you and your spouse went to a very fancy dinner and the final bill with tip was $410 you would have earned enough loyalty points for the round trip ticket from Miami to Chicago above. Now that’s cool.
For all other purchases you get 1 point per dollar but with the value of a point at 2.39 cents thats still a fair return on your dollar of spend.
FRINGE BENEFITS: This card is full of hidden benefits. First, Citi offers an excellent rental car insurance and other travel insurance. Next the card will reimburse $100 application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓. A $300 travel credit every anniversary if you keep the card. A membership in the Priority Pass airport lounge club that gives you entry into over a 1000 airport lounges world wide. Access to Visa Infinite Concierge who can help you with requests like dinner reservations, Broadway shows, music and sporting event tickets. Finally the card offers no foreign transaction fees.
ANNUAL FEE: $450
FINAL ANALAYSIS: The $450 annual fee is hefty and if you’re not a serious traveler may not make sense but if you are traveling a lot this card is a must have card. The bonus is great but the spend value with the 3X points on travel and restaurants is an amazing travel asset that can build value very quickly. The fringe benefits more then pay the high annual fee if you travel and use the lounges. This card could easily net a frequent traveler thousands of dollars of benefits each year and for a frequent traveler is a card they will probably want in their wallet all the time.
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