Underrated Reasons Why You Need a Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

This popular travel card has the power to increase the value of all of your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points.

Keith M. RossoJuly 28, 2020

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is an extremely popular premium Chase credit card because it offers a valuable welcome bonus, an annual travel credit and a variety of lesser-known perks that can save you money or improve your travel experience. This metal card is ideal for frequent travelers and those who spend a good amount on dining. The ongoing credits and underrated benefits go a long way toward offsetting the card’s hefty $550 annual fee.

The well-known reasons

Here’s a quick overview of a few of the well-known Chase Sapphire Reserve® benefits:

  • Welcome bonus: Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® .

  • $300 annual travel credit: Cardholders earn a $300 reimbursement credit each year for travel purchases, which include airfare purchases, hotels, rideshare fares, bag fees and many other eligible purchases. This benefit alone puts a large dent in offsetting the card’s annual fee.

  • 3x points bonus categories: You’ll earn 3x points on travel purchases immediately after earning your $300 travel credit and 3x points on dining at restaurants.

  • 1:1 point transfers to popular airline and hotel programs: Cardholders can transfer points directly to a partner airline or hotel loyalty program to book awards, including Hyatt, Marriott, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and nine more.

Underrated reasons

Increase the value of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® points you earn with other cards

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal. This is 50% more than the value you get with the Chase Freedom Flex℠, for example. But if you have both cards, you can easily combine your points into your Chase Freedom Flex℠ account and take advantage of the increased value redemption option.

You can combine points with one member of your household as well. For example, if your partner has the Chase Freedom®, he or she can transfer the points to your Chase Sapphire Reserve® account, where you’ll get more value for your points. This feature is also useful when you don’t have enough points in either account to book your desired award.

Enhance your travel experience

Besides earning points to save on travel, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers several premium perks you can enjoy while you’re away from home, including:

  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, which gets you access to 1,300-plus airport lounges and restaurants worldwide.

  • Car rental discounts and upgrades at Avis, National Car Rental and Silvercar if you book with your card.

  • Primary rental car coverage of up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage.

  • Room upgrades, dining credits and more when you book a Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection hotel through the partnership program using your card.

  • Fourth night free, $30 hotel dining credit, late checkout and more at participating sbe hotels worldwide.

Get roadside assistance

Cardholders might reconsider paying for a AAA membership because roadside assistance coverage with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is complimentary. You’re covered for on-the-road mishaps such as fuel delivery, tire changes, jump-starts and lockouts. The benefit covers up to $50 per incident up to four times per year.

Save on food delivery with $120 in DoorDash statement credits

Cardholders can save on takeout and delivery with a complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash, which typically costs $9.99 per month. After activating your subscription, you’ll save on delivery fees from eligible restaurants. Cardholders also get $60 in credit for DoorDash in 2020 and 2021 (for a total of $120 in credit). Just charge your DoorDash orders to your Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Save on Lyft rides

If Lyft is your preferred rideshare service, you can take advantage of a huge bonus point earning opportunity because Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders earn 10 points per dollar spent on Lyft purchases through March 2022.

Cardholders also get one year of Lyft Pink, Lyft’s membership program. Upon activation, you’ll receive up to 15% off car rides, relaxed cancellations, priority airport pickups and up to three 30-minute bike and scooter rides per month.

Rest easy with purchase protections

If you’re buying a big-ticket item with your Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you’ll get three major protections:

  • Damage and theft protection: Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.

  • Extended warranty: Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer's warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.

  • Return protection: You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year.

Exclusions apply to these coverages, so check the card’s benefits guide before relying on these protections.

Enjoy VIP experiences

Through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, cardholders can access tickets to special events and VIP experiences, including concert and sporting events.

The bottom line

It’s not just the valuable welcome bonus and $300 annual travel credit that make this premium Chase credit card so popular. Cardholders can access and save money on a variety of travel and dining programs. Plus, combine points from other eligible cards to increase the value of your rewards.

If you’re considering applying, keep in mind this card falls under Chase’s unofficial 5/24 rule, which means that if you’ve opened five or more credit card accounts (from any issuer) in the past 24 months you might not be approved, regardless of your credit score.

The information related to the Chase Freedom® has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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 2020, including those best for:

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