At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
For me, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has stood the test of time. This card holds a prime spot in my wallet, both for its excellent everyday benefits as well as its premium features.
Recently, there have been a few changes to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. While some of these changes make this card even more valuable, the fact that the annual fee has increased to an eyebrow-raising $550 means that I’ve had quite a few conversations lately about whether this card is still a keeper.
For me, the answer is an enthusiastic "yes." Here are the top 10 reasons why I love my Chase Sapphire Reserve®:
1. $300 annual travel credit
Each year, I get up to $300 in credits for travel purchases. This means when I use my card for things like airfare, hotels, Airbnbs, rental cars, etc. I get automatically reimbursed up to $300 each year.
Because these are purchases I would always make anyway, I view this perk as effectively lowering my annual fee to $250.
» Learn more: Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve worth its annual fee?
2. Points are worth 50% more
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is unique in that it offers 1.5 cents per point value on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. In other words, a $600 hotel stay could cost 60,000 points if I used a different Ultimate Rewards® card — but with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® it only costs 40,000 points.
I’ve found great deals on the Chase portal with this benefit, especially with boutique hotels that aren’t part of national chains.
3. Many great travel partners
In addition to being able to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, I get a ton of value redeeming points with Chase travel partners such as United, Hyatt and Marriott. For example, one of my favorite redemptions is to transfer Ultimate Rewards® to Hyatt, then book nights at one of their all-inclusive properties like the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, which is a steal at 20,000 points per night.
» Learn more: The most valuable perks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve
4. Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit
I’ve had Global Entry for years. Being able to speed through the fast lane at the airport has been a game-changer for me, and it got even better when I was able to use my Chase Sapphire Reserve® to renew my membership and get reimbursed for the $100 application fee.
5. Priority Pass membership
This feature gets me into over 1,200 airport lounges, which can be great for escaping a crowded boarding area, along with offering free Wi-Fi and snacks.
An additional benefit of Priority Pass is that I can eat at select airport restaurants and get a discount off the total bill (typically $28). Because of Priority Pass, I rarely pay for food in the airport anymore.
» Learn more: How to maximize your Priority Pass Select membership
6. Savings and perks on Lyft
Between now and March 2022, I’ll earn a whopping 10x points on all Lyft rides. Thanks to my Reserve card, I also now have a free year of Lyft Pink, which gives me 15% off car rides and up to three free 30-minute bike or scooter rentals each month (plus some other perks).
For me, the cost of Lyft rides can really add up over the course of the year, so this benefit makes me happy — and saves me money.
» Learn more: All the ways riding Lyft can earn you travel rewards
7. Savings and perks on DoorDash
This is a great new perk! In both 2020 and 2021, I’ll get $60/year in automatic statement credits when I order food through DoorDash, plus a free DashPass membership, which means free delivery on orders over $12 from eligible restaurants.
While I’m not currently a DoorDash customer, I’m looking forward to ordering meals using this service on those nights I just don’t feel like cooking. The food will taste even better because it’ll be free (or at least discounted).
8. No foreign transaction fees
I love traveling to different countries, but I don’t love paying an extra 3% in foreign transaction fees. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has no foreign transaction fees, which makes it a keeper for me when combined with all the other benefits.
9. An array of travel protections
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers trip delay insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage coverage and trip cancellation/interruption insurance. While I’ve never had to use these, I always book trips with my Chase Sapphire Reserve® — just in case.
» Learn more: Why I chose the Chase Sapphire Reserve card
10. Primary car rental insurance and roadside assistance
Using the Chase Sapphire Reserve® gives me peace of mind every time I rent a car, because I know I’ll have extra coverage if I get into a fender bender. In addition, I’m covered for roadside emergencies when I need a tow, jump-start, tire change, locksmith or gas.
My Chase Sapphire Reserve® covers up to $50 per incident four times a year. I’ve used it several times, and the service provided has always been top-notch.
The bottom line
As you can probably tell, I love my Chase Sapphire Reserve®. While the $550 annual fee is steep, I get enough value from the card that it’s more than worth it for me. This is definitely the card I use most, and I look forward to many more years of having it in my wallet.
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:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best travel credit card for you 7 reasons to get a Chase Sapphire Reserve card Earn more points and miles with these 6 strategies