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The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is so valuable for frequent travelers and wanderlusters alike for its points-earning potential plus a jam-packed arsenal of travel benefits and perks. The flexibility of earning and burning Chase Ultimate Rewards points (compared to individual airline frequent flier miles or hotel points) makes this card the first one I pull out of my wallet regularly, both at home and on the road.
If you travel enough, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card will deliver substantial benefits that offset the hefty $550 annual fee. I use this card for lounge access, travel protection benefits in the event of delays or lost baggage, its monetary annual travel credit, and its points-earning program that plumps up my balance quickly so that I can redeem them for free travel often.
Instead of endlessly searching to find a seat where I could use a reasonable number of miles for a business-class trip to Hawaii, the Maldives, or even short hops within Europe, I can redeem Chase points like cash. Or I can transfer them to several different airline or hotel loyalty programs to get even greater value. For example, I have moved points from Chase to United often to redeem for Lufthansa first-class flights (United’s Star Alliance partner). Complete with Mercedes rides to the plane, caviar in the sky, and showers in a private airport terminal, it reminds me why a bit of extra planning on my part can yield outsized value.
Read on for a full Chase Sapphire Reserve review, including why I think it's one of the best credit cards on the market and how else I use its perks.
Why it’s worth it
This card is really a no-brainer for frequent travelers or those who dine out often. If you don’t fit into either category, there may be other cards that better suit you. But, road warriors, revenge travelers, and ready-to-vacation retirees have a lot to enjoy when it comes to the Chase Sapphire Reserve's perks.
One of the easiest benefits to take advantage of is the $300 annual travel credit, which kicks in any time you make travel-related purchases with the card. This includes airline tickets, car rentals, and hotels, among other things. If you spend more than $300 per year on travel, you’ve already covered more than half of the card fee. This year alone, I used the credit by the second week of January to pay for a quick weekend getaway to New York; it’s basically a free refund on much of the annual fee.