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If you’re a big traveler, you might want to consider getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
This premium card comes with a steep $550 annual fee, but you can easily earn your money back by making the right moves. New cardholder bonuses and benefits quickly add up to more than the annual fee in services, credits and points. Follow these tips and you’ll see the value of your Chase Sapphire Reserve® in no time.
1. Download the app
This isn’t advice specific to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, but it’s going to make your life a lot easier when it comes to tracking your points. The Chase mobile app is available through the App Store and Google Play store, and you can use it for everything from paying your credit card bills to setting up account alerts, and of course, tracking your points.
2. Earn bonus points
The welcome offer for new Chase Sapphire Reserve® holders is pretty enticing: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
The $4,000 must be in qualifying purchases, so that means money transfers, gambling or betting transactions and fees don’t count.
3. Plan a trip
This is a credit card built for travelers, and you’ll want to have a trip on the books so you can start earning points. Chase Sapphire Reserve® holders get a $300 travel credit applied annually. This applies to any purchases made toward travel, including cruise lines, campgrounds, hotels, air travel and more.
Once the $300 is spent, you’ll start earning 3X the points on any additional travel purchases (or 5X on air travel and 10X points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®). The travel credit re-ups every year.
If it's a road trip, through March 2022, cardholders will automatically start earning 10 points per dollar on Lyft rides. Plus, get one year of Lyft Pink, Lyft's membership program upon activation, which comes with up to 15% off car rides, relaxed cancellations, priority airport pickups and up to three 30-minute bike and scooter rides per month.
» Learn more: Chase 5/24 rule explained
4. Sign up for TSA Precheck or Global Entry
Airport security checkpoints can get busy. With this card, you can offset the cost of saving time at the TSA line or when returning from an international trip with Global Entry.
TSA Precheck lasts for five years and ensures you don’t have to remove your shoes or belt or take your computer out of your carry-on bag when passing through TSA checkpoints at certain airports. Global Entry allows for expedited entry to the U.S. when returning from foreign travel.
Just pay the registration fee for either TSA Precheck or Global Entry with your Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and the money (up to $100) will be credited back to your account within 24 hours.
5. Activate Priority Pass Select
Cardholders gain access to airport lounges worldwide through the complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. But note: You must activate this benefit, and it can take some time to process, so make sure to set up your new account before your trip begins. Once it's activated, you’ll be able to visit any of the Priority Pass Select lounges at no additional cost. Traveling with a companion? It’s just $27 for a guest to enjoy the comfort of the lounge with you.
6. Go out to eat—or order in
All purchases on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® earn 1 point per $1, but anything that counts as dining gets 3X points. You can make this your exclusive dining card if you want to rack up points.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® also earns 3X the points on food delivery platform DoorDash; in January 2020, the card began offering a free DashPass membership for at least one year. You have to activate this offer by December 31, 2021, and you'll also get a $60 credit for DoorDash orders in 2021. The credit is automatic but service and other fees may not be included.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card