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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® Card, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, Chase Freedom® Card, Chase 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.
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.