What To Do When You Receive Your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

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I’ve written extensively about why the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card is a fantastic card that’s worth getting. In this post I wanted to look at what you should do once you’ve applied for the card, received it, and activated it.

The good news is that there’s not a huge learning curve in terms of maximizing the benefits of the card, so there’s not that much to know. So in no particular order, here’s what you should do once you’ve activated your Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card:

Request your Priority Pass membership

One of the great perks of the Sapphire Reserve is that it comes with a Priority Pass membership, which gets you access to over 1,000 airport lounges around the world. This is something you have to activate, though.

To do this go to the Ultimate Rewards website and click on “Earn Points” and then “Card Benefits,” and then you should see the button to activate your Priority Pass membership. Your card should arrive in the mail within 2-3 weeks.

For a full step-by-step guide of how to request your membership, see this post.

Use your Global Entry fee credit

The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card offers a Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credit of up to $100. I always recommend signing up for Global Entry over TSA Pre-Check, since Global Entry automatically gets you access to Pre-Check, while the inverse isn’t true.

You only receive this benefit once every four years. In the event that you already have Global Entry, note that you can use this benefit for someone else. All that matters is that your card is charged for the fee. There’s no registration required on Chase’s end. Just use your card for the purchase and it will automatically be reimbursed.

Get your $300 travel statement credit

One of the best perks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card is that it offers a $300 annual travel credit. This is automatic, so there’s no registration required. Just start spending money on travel, and any spend up to $300 for a purchase categorized as travel (which includes Uber, subway tickets, flights, hotels, etc.) will be reimbursed.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter at what point in a given year you use this, though I know many people prefer to recoup as much of their $450 annual fee as quickly as possible, so this is one way to do that.

Update the card on file for travel & dining purchases

One of the best aspects of the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card is that it offers triple points on dining and travel purchases. Travel has a very broad definition and includes things like subway tickets, Ubers, etc.

Once you have this card, make sure you update the card you have on file with Uber and other services that would qualify for bonus points, so that you can be sure you’re maximizing the points you can earn.

Transfer your existing Chase points to maximize their value

In the event that you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardInk Business Preferred℠ Credit CardChase Freedom® CardChase Freedom Unlimited®, and/or Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, you’ll want to consolidate your points.

That’s because points earned on the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase, while points earned on the other cards can be redeemed for 1.0-1.25 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase. The great news is that Chase lets you consolidate points, so you can transfer over the points you’ve earned on any of those cards and redeem them at the better value through the Sapphire Reserve. This can increase the value of your other points by as much as 50%.

You should be able to combine these points directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards website.

Decide if you want to add authorized users

You can add authorized users to the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card for $75 each. Authorized users earn triple points on dining and travel (which credit to your account), receive excellent travel and car rental coverage, and receive a Priority Pass membership. This can be worth it for the Priority Pass membership alone, since you can easily get way more than $75 of value out of that.

Adding authorized users won’t make sense for everyone, but it’s at least worth considering.

Take advantage of your car rental perks

Just for having the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card you can receive complimentary Emerald Club Executive and Avis Preferred membership, and you can also receive 30% on the cost of Silvercar rentals of two days or more. All of these perks are facilitated by Visa Infinite.

To access these offers, go to the Ultimate Rewards website and click on “Earn Points” and then “Card Benefits,” and then you should see all the benefits listed.

Bottom line

All things considered, the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ Card has a fairly limited learning curve once you receive it. Chase wants the card to be rewarding without much effort, and I really find that to be the case. However, there are a few things to be aware of, so hopefully the above is a good starting point for anyone just getting the card.

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Comments

  1. @Lucky Is the primary card holder allowed to bring a guest into the lounge? Or does the guest have to be an authorized user?

  2. Do points transferred over from the Sapphire preferred expire after a certain number of days like citi points do?

  3. @Tom – with the priority pass you get with CSR, you are allowed to bring unlimited guests to the lounge.

  4. Is there a way to see when you last used the Global Entry credit? I have several cards that offer this benefit but I want to use the right one when it’s time to renew my Global Entry.

  5. The problem is that if you already have a Chase Preferred card getting a reserve is actually tricky. I spoke with Chase and they will not transfer points from one card to the other nor will they give you a sign up bonus if you already have the preferred. I would need to drain my account of points and close the account and then start all over again as it was explained to me by Chase. It doesn’t really seem like the hassle. Am I missing something?

  6. @Tom I’ve had the car since it started I’ve been able to bring in 5 guests at a time my wife kid and others I believe its unlimited if I’m not mistaken I’m not sure if they have to be on the same flight or not but they were in my case.

    @nick what I did was downgrade my CSP to a freedom card I didn’t lose any points.

  7. Overall this is my go to card, and we LOVE it. Thank you for mentioning it last year!

    Overall perks are great but We haven’t found the elite status to be that amazing for car rentals (although I’ve never used Silvercar)

    Car rental Rates have been consistently better on Costco (we have checked 5 times this year)

    But the other perks are fantastic

  8. This is like your 10th post about the CSR in the past two weeks, can you give it a rest please? Or consolidate it all into one post? I rarely post on your blog posts but this is getting ridiculous. How much commission are you getting for referring folks to the CSR?

  9. – My Chase Sapphire Reserve is coming up for renewal
    – I have collected 100,000+ points on it so far
    – What other Chase card can I “downgrade” this card to – so that I keep access to the ultimate rewards points (without having to transfer to United/Southwest or other partners)
    and not pay the $450 fee
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Appreciate your advise, as always

  10. I’m re-evaluating my credit card situation. Main cards are Barclay’s Aviator Red & Citi Exec (for lounge access). I did close to $50,000 in EQD’s & 375,000 miles in AAdvantage, so not sure how important Red 3,000 EQD’s are.
    The one thing I like about Exec card is that it covers car rentals overseas + your deductible in US. Soon after I got the card I did a 3-1/2 week driving trip in New Zealand, & figured the card had more than paid for itself that year. But my CapitolOne Venture also has car benefits, I think (I need to explore this further). BTW, I had used the CapitolOne for the cash back last month cause I have many miles & just figured I’d rather have the cash back.
    Any comments?

  11. Avis and Budget are the same company. Do they have reciprocal benefits? Like can I book on Budget with an Avis Preferred number?

  12. My AmEx platinum Priority Pass card came with an expiry date several years out. I wonder if it will still be active if I cancel the card.

  13. @ s — Yes, all qualified purchases should count toward minimum spend. The credits shouldn’t have an impact, but we always recommend spending a bit over the minimum just in case you have to return a purchase, etc.

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