Official Details Of What May Be The Most Compelling Credit Card Ever

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Update: This offer for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is expired. Learn more about the current offers here.

In late July I first posted about the rumored card that Chase is planning on introducing this month, called the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. This is intended to be a premium credit card that could compete with the likes of The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Citi Prestige Card. A few days later we found out more rumored details of the card.

Well, for the first time ever, Chase has officially acknowledged the Sapphire Reserve Card on Twitter, linking to a post by The Points Guy.

Let’s take a look at what we know about the card so far.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card details

While there are still some unknowns as of now, here’s what we know:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve sign-up bonus: 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee: $450
  • Chase Sapphire Reserved bonus categories: 3x points on travel and dining purchases worldwide (50% better than the 2x points offered on those categories with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 annual travel credit: this credit can be applied towards any purchase coded as travel, including a hotel, taxi, airfare, etc., making this the best travel credit offered by any card
  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve will come with a Priority Pass Select membership, though we don’t know if it will come with guesting privileges like the Citi Prestige Card
  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve will come with a $100 Global Entry fee credit
  • Points earned on the Sapphire Reserve Card can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards travel through the Ultimate Rewards website, rather than the 1.25 cents per point offered on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve will be a Visa Infinite

My thoughts on the Sapphire Reserve Card

This will be a very, very compelling credit card. It goes without saying that the sign-up bonus is huge, possibly the best sign-up bonus we’ve ever seen on any credit card. The card should go live at some point next week.

But even beyond that, this card is a long term keeper.

By my mental accounting, the real cost to hold onto this card is $150 per year. I (obviously) spend more than $300 per year on travel, so I value that travel credit at face value, which is how I come up with that “cost.”

On top of that, the travel credit is based on calendar years rather than cardmember years, so you’ll actually get $600 in credit before your second year’s annual fee is due, meaning you’ll come out $150 ahead with your first year’s annual fee.

But even in subsequent years you’re paying the equivalent of $150 per year to earns triple Ultimate Rewards points on dining and travel, which is incredible. I conservatively value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me that’s a return of over 5% on dining and travel purchases.

Add in all the other benefits that come with the card, and you’re looking at an amazing offering.

Chase Sapphire Reserve bottom line

This is going to be an incredible credit card. Between the sign-up bonus and huge return on everyday spend, this might just be the all around most compelling credit card I’ve ever seen.

What do you make of the upcoming Chase Sapphire Reserve Card?

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  1. I think I am ready too. For sure once you get this card there doesn’t appear to be any reason to keep the CSP.

  2. Any idea if they plan to target current CSP holders or if it’s just a free for all to get this offer? I presume as long as you have the card that 1.5 cents per point applies to even those that have previously been in your account? (Not that I would ever use these points that way)

  3. Lucky, what do you plan on doing with your CSP once you get this one? It will become obsolete to have the CSP and CSR when CSR gets 3x on travel and dining?

    It’s my first travel reward credit card and my oldest active credit card, if I were to cancel it after getting the CSR what would be the expected ramifications to doing so? I feel like it will hamper the age of my open and active accounts tremendously.

  4. I would apply for this card in a heartbeat BUT the stupid 5/24 rule from Chase won’t approve me.

  5. Had to fly back to the US on short notice for some emergency but you’re still able to churn out these credit card posts. Thanks lucky!

  6. @ Bill — I’m sitting at the airport waiting for the next available flight to where I need to be… what would you prefer I do instead?

  7. Any idea whether this will “activate” the Freedom and Ink cards in the way the Sapphire currently does? I mean, seems like it would as an UR-earning card, right? Because, if so, the CSP is indeed now obsolete for anyone who can get this one.

  8. Do we know anything about the authorized user situation on this card yet (cost, features extended to AUs, etc.)?

  9. Ben, I figured you were trying to fill time with the number of posts you’ve written tonight. It’s never fun to not be able to get to family/friends quickly.

    Ignore those, like Bill, who can’t say anything nice. I hope that everything works out okay with whatever you’re dealing with in your personal life. You seemed like such a nice guy when we met in the lounge of the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport a few years back. You don’t deserve others nasty comments.

    Wishing you the best and the strength to handle whatever has come your way.


  10. @ Nate — Authorized users will be $75 each, though we don’t officially know the benefits extended to them. I suspect they’ll be entitled to a Priority Pass Select membership and obviously the triple points on dining and travel, though I would guess that’s it. Could still be very compelling for the increased points earning potential.

  11. @Lucky, how sure are you about the Gogo passes? I haven’t seen anything about it for the Ritz Visa Infinite card.

    @Drew, I’m in a similar boat. My plan is to downgrade to the ‘regular’ Sapphire (no annual fee). I know it’s no longer available directly, but I’ve heard it’s possible to product change to it.

  12. @lucky – Sorry, may sound like a stupid question, but referring to the comment by lopere: are applications to this card already available? I thought the card was yet to be officially released.

  13. @ Drew — I’d probably cancel my Sapphire Preferred, since this card presumably has all the same benefits, but is better. As far as the impact on your credit score, it all depends on how many total cards you have, what your average card age is, etc. In general assuming you manage your credit responsibly, I don’t think the impact of canceling it would be huge.

  14. With this travel credit of $300, does it automatically show up on your statement for the first $300 of spend that is coded as “travel?” Or do you have to request the credit? Thanks, looking forward to jumping on this next week!

  15. @ RakSiam — Based on how Ultimate Rewards points usually work, I suspect you’ll be able to transfer points between cards, so should be able to redeem them all at 1.5 cents each. We’ll see if they have an offer for existing Sapphire Preferred cardmembers. It wouldn’t surprise me if they do.

  16. @ Andy — Based on what we know it seems like it will automatically post for your $300 in travel purchases.

  17. @ JDH — Hasn’t officially been announced, though based on how other cards handle it, I suspect it will come with a membership.

  18. @ Giles Crowe — Not a stupid question at all. The application was accidentally made available earlier today for a limited time, though was quickly pulled. The card is only supposed to be released next week, as far as I know.

  19. @ Andrew B — Hmmm, I could be wrong, though it was my understanding that it’s a standard Visa Infinite benefit, but perhaps not?

  20. If 5/24 is waived for people applying then I’m getting this card asap. If not, then my wife can get it first until I’m clear of 5/24 🙂

    Time to move away from AA miles and start collecting UR

  21. @lucky – firstly, thanks! secondly, I do hope you get home soon! third – I do have the Crystal Visa Infinite card through City National and my understanding was that the Gogo in-flight wifi was part of a special benefit with that specific card and not something with the Visa Infinite Program indefinitely. However, I could be wrong.

  22. how are people applying for this card already? I don’t see it listed anywhere on Chase’s website.

  23. @RakSiam A link to a developers version of the application was made public this morning and some people jumped on it and were approved. That page now requires a password to get to it. Official applications start next week.

  24. I’m a student with a 750 score and a part-time job. Even I am going to apply because I feel like they will hand this out like hot cakes and papa needs him some points. Easily will become by go to card. Eat dirt Citi Premier, Chase is kicking you butt out of the ballpark.

  25. This is the best credit card by far. No joke.

    Aug/21st is a momentous day indeed. I have strated a petition on white house website to declare this day as national holiday.

    Please join me in making sure this day is honored the way or deserves to be.

  26. Any info on rental car insurance for this card? One of the reasons I keep the CSP is because it offers primary rental insurance coverage, which is important if you don’t otherwise have car insurance. Living in Manhattan, most of us don’t have car insurance so the CSP benefit is helpful. Thx!

  27. Note that business cards usually don’t appear in credit reports.

    This means most business cards from other issuers don’t count toward 5/24, but (since Chase knows about their own business card accounts) Chase business cards probably do count against 5/24.

  28. I wonder if this will finally push Amex to offer some sort of bonus points category for the Platinum Card.

  29. It seems like Chase has missed the mark a little bit on this one in that there is no reason to keep the CSP once you have this card. Citi and Amex have more cleverly set up their cards so that there is reason to keep both the mid-range and high-end cards, thus generating more annual fee revenue for the company.

  30. @Bgriff: I think Chase is doing exactly what they wanted.

    My father wouldn’t pay a single penny for a credit card annual fee, no matter how much the benefits were. For him, Chase would offer the Freedom series of cards.

    I have many friends who only fly once or twice a year. For them, Chase would offer the Sapphire Preferred. You’re not going to convince someone who books on Spirit / Allegiant / EasyJet to spend a lot for annual credit card fees.

    Then there’s your road dogs. For them, the Sapphire Reserved.

    This is no different than how many of the “luxury” car brands now have near-luxury offerings. A product for every budget.

  31. 100k UR bonuses were offered on a targeted basis when the CSP launched and it was, at that time, pretty easy to talk Chase into matching you to that offer. So while it may be the first public 100k UR bonus, many of us got 100k for signing up for the CSP.

    Also, I’m excited to juice my UR account 100k, but frankly the long term implications are potentially destabilizing to the “points world.” I’m fairly certain that the way UR points flooded the market a few years ago was the main catalyst for United’s massive devaluation … with all the blogs pimping “apply for the CSP and Ink and Freedom and within a few months you’ll be flying in Lufthansa first” … it turned out that wasn’t so profitable for United anymore…

  32. @Justin,

    With the new anti churn rules how many people on this page are going to be eligible. Unless Chase waives 5/24, this card and its huge targeted bonus will be beyond the reach of most people reading this blog. Probably the biggest reason Chase could do a 100K signup bonus.

  33. Lucky, if I have the existing Sapphire Preferred, do I have to move the points over to the new card (assuming I am approved) before I cancel the other?

  34. @Lucky – Wouldn’t you rather downgrade the CSP to Freedom Unlimited rather than cancel in order to retain your credit history in this account?

  35. I applied yesterday and was approved for 15k. The only other premium card I have is the Citi Prestige, and I think I will end up keeping both, but only use Prestige to book hotels for 4th night free.

  36. I’ve been planning on building a house…5/24 won’t bother me one bit! While it’s been hard to pass on good signup offers it’s now a good thing for me 🙂

  37. does the 5/24 rule apply to authorized users as well? What I mean is: do those (my cards and the ones I am an authorized user) add up to the 5/24 rule? I have 3 Chase cards, but are also on 3 of my wife’s Chase cards as an authorized user (and she is on mine). Thanks.

  38. Finally a card that’s excited me sufficiently to make me look forward to getting as soon as it is out. If the benefits are as advertised, it will make nearly all prior Chase (especially the UA co-brands) and non-Chase (SPG AMEX, already was) cards obsolete, especially for those who patronize UA.

  39. Chase will waive the 5/24 rule. In fact, they have to or the product will flop. Your casual user will NOT pay a $450 annual fee, no matter how good the benefits are. Your heavy road dogs, (to borrow someone else’s term) who already have every card under the sun? They’ll pay $450 if the benefits are right.

    The question for me is whether or not I keep the Citi Prestige long term. My annual fee comes up in a month or two, and with the loss of the AA lounge benefit, and the mediocre transfer partners, that’s a really tough sell. At best it’s a break even proposition for me, because it’s hard for me to really capitalize on the 4th night free hotel benefit.

  40. If 5/24 is in play, it would absolutely be worth going to a Chase branch to see if an in-person application makes a difference. My plan is to do that and, if approved, downgrade my CSP to Freedom Unlimited.

  41. Seems counter-intuitive to negotiate a launch announcement via TPG, and then implement the 5/24 on it.

    Could be the most prolific signup period ever if no 5/24 or even no 5/24 for the top tier credit score customers.

  42. Would someone please explain the 5/24 rule and clarify as someone else asked whether authorized user cards count? Also how does cancelling the Sapphire Preferred card within the first 12 months to take this card affect credit scores?

  43. @JSB, @Dan
    I too am trying to decide what to do with Prestige and Premier. Unless you are taking advantage of the 4th night free, is there any reason to keep Prestige, once you have CSRerserve? Since I seldom can use the 4th night free, I think I will drop Prestige once the benefits change in July 2017. Probably will drop Premier as well.

    What are your plans for Prestige and Premier?

  44. To everyone who asked about downgrading I spoke with a rep for what it’s worth you can apply to this card downgrade your CSP card and keep the account open. So in my case I was thinking of downgrading to the chase freedom I’ll forgo the sign up bonus to keep my old account standing and my small bankroll of points. Onky thing I’m concerned about is the 5/24 rules means I have to wait until January one feature of visa infinite too thst I saw that’s nice is 12 gogo in flights and 100$ off 2 economy or better tickets on the same itinerary through their portal if the price is similar I wonder if you get points with the airline as well this as well as the travel credit could easily makes up this cards annual fee in one transaction.

  45. Sorry for all the typos on my phone and can’t edit the 5 24 rule means you can’t open 5 or more credit cards with any issuer as far as I know within a 24 month period.

  46. Lucky,

    No doubt that the Chase Sapphire Reserve appears quite compelling – especially as to how the Reserve card can increase the return on a Freedom card from 5.0% to 7.5%. But, the seemingly compelling benefits also call into question how Chase will profit from this credit card. Chase Sapphire Preferred profits have financed an extensive affiliate link network at numerous blog websites to heavily market the Sapphire Preferred card. There are no annual bonuses with the Sapphire Preferred card to offset the annual fee like with the Marriott Premier or the Southwest Premier cards other than the flexibility of its point transfer. How does Chase make its profit from the Sapphire Reserve card? Relentless devaluation of transferred redeemed points over time? Higher uncompetitive prices at the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal to recover the 50% bonus? Maybe some folks won’t take advantage of the $300 travel credit (hard to imagine)? Eventual erosion and adjustment of the long term card benefits? High value clients that make monthly payments on a high interest super premium rewards card? What is the offset for providing a large signup bonus of 100,000 points worth $1500? A credit card with a long term compelling value proposition would not require this much of a carrot if any at all (like the Citibank Double Cash card). Banks are not in business to give money away. I would be most interested in your response.

  47. @Micheal C — Personally I would not keep any of the Citi cards if I’m keeping CSR card and not using the 4th night free. IMO most of the benefits overlap with the exception of 4th night free.

  48. I am definitely over the 5/24, but not wayyy over since I do NOT do AOR. + I keep $$ with Chase so I’m waiting to see how this goes for people. Just got a targeted 80,000 pts offer with the IHG card which we’ve never yet had. Also, I have closed some Chase cards in the past year, will this help since my available credit is not maxed? Good luck all. I’ve never had a failure yet. 😉

  49. When are you going to post a link so I can apply through your link rather than TPG’s? I’d rather you get the referral credit.

  50. Hey Ben, Where’s your link for the card? I’d like to give you you credit for a great blog and informing me of the card. Thanks

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