The Chase Sapphire Reserve is consistently ranked as one of our top credit cards for frequent travelers due to the card’s hefty perks – including valuable travel and purchase protections – and the amazing value of the points it earns. But don’t just take our word for it – here’s a deep dive into all of the benefits the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers to help you decide if this premium card is worth it.

Note that like all Chase credit cards, the Sapphire Reserve is subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. That means if you have opened five or more new credit cards in the past 24 months, you will automatically be declined. Read more about the Chase 5/24 rule here.

What Benefits Do You Get With the Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Earn 3X Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining

What makes the Chase Sapphire Reserve one of our favorite cards is that it offers 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on dining, including delivery services, and on nearly all kinds of travel expenses including airfare, hotels, rental cars, trains, buses, cruises, travel agencies, taxis, rideshare, public transit and more. Better yet, there’s no cap on how many points you can earn.

travel and dining

Annual $300 Travel Credit

As soon as you open the card – and each year after you renew it – you’ll get a $300 credit to use towards travel purchases. There’s nothing special you need to do to get this credit: it will automatically be applied to the first $300 in travel-related purchases you make with your card during your account anniversary year.

Through June 30, 2021, the travel credit will also apply to purchases at gas stations and grocery stores.

Lyft Pink membership + 10x Ultimate Rewards points on Lyft

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders automatically get a free one-year membership to Lyft Pink, which gives you 15% off every Lyft ride, 3 free bike or scooter rides every month, and extra perks like priority for airport pickups, waived lost and found fees, and waived cancellation fees. You’ll also earn 10x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on Lyft rides.

DoorDash Credits and DashPass Membership

In 2020 and 2021, Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders get an annual $60 credit toward food delivery on DoorDash, as well as a complimentary DashPass membership which waives the delivery fee on orders over $12 and reduces the service fees on your orders.

Purchase protection and extended warranties

When you purchase an item with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll automatically receive purchase protection of up to $10,000 in coverage against theft or damage for 120 days from purchase. Chase will also add an extra year of warranty coverage for items you purchase that have a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less. And if a merchant won’t let you return something you purchased with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card within 90 days, Chase will reimburse you up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year.

Primary rental car insurance

If you rent a car and pay with your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can decline the collision damage insurance offered by the rental car company – Chase will provide that coverage automatically, and you won’t have to file a claim with your personal auto insurance.

Travel and Purchase Protection Benefits of Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve isn’t just a great card to use for travel because of the 2X bonus categories, it also comes with a host of insurance policies that can help you in case travel doesn’t go as expected.

Travel protection benefits

When you use your Chase Sapphire Reserve card to purchase travel, you’ll automatically be covered against unexpected expenses if your trip is delayed, interrupted, or canceled, or if your baggage is delayed, damaged, or lost. If you or a family member get sick while traveling, you may be eligible for up to $2,500 towards medical expenses, and up to $100,000 for a medical evacuation. Using any of these benefits just once will likely make the card pay for itself. (As with any insurance, important exclusions apply, so be sure to read the fine print before booking your trip.)

Travel protection benefits-medical evacuation

Travel protection benefits

Transfer points to airline and hotel loyalty programs

Our favorite thing about Chase Ultimate Rewards points is that you can transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to your choice of ten airline partners and three hotel programs. Participating programs include:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Air Canada Aeroplan (coming in 2021)
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt
Chase Sapphire Reserve travel benefit: annual $300 travel credit

Redeem points through the Chase Travel Portal for 1.5 cents each

In addition to transferring points to partners, you can also spend them directly on airfare, hotels, rental cars, cruises and activities through the Chase Travel Portal. While all Ultimate Rewards credit cards allow you to redeem points this way, not all cards are created equal.

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your points are worth 1.5 cents each – 50% more than a no-annual fee card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited. This offers a more flexible option for redeeming points, especially since airline tickets booked through the travel portal will also earn miles in airline frequent flier programs.

guide to using chase ultimate rewards travel portal

Pay Yourself Back

In May 2020, Chase introduced a new way to use your points with its “Pay Yourself Back” feature. This allows you to redeem your points to cover purchases made on your card in certain categories. This is currently scheduled to last through September 30, 2021.

Currently, those categories include restaurants, home improvement stores, grocery stores and select charities. Sapphire Reserve cardholders get a value of 1.5 cents per point redeemed when using their points this way, which is unprecedented in terms of redeeming points for statement credits.

No foreign transaction fees

While this is a standard perk for credit cards with an annual fee, it’s particularly important for frequent travelers, since foreign transaction fees (around 3% in most cases) can add up quickly if you use a card that charges them.

What Other Cards Should You Consider in the Same Price Range?

When it comes to ultra-premium travel cards, the Sapphire Reserve’s main competitors are the Citi Prestige Card and the The Platinum Card from American Express.

hotel category

Citi Prestige Card

The Citi Prestige has an annual fee of $495 but comes with a $250 annual travel credit, Priority Pass, and a Fourth Night Free benefit for hotel reservations booked through Citi’s travel portal. It also earns an impressive 5x ThankYou points on restaurants and air travel and 3x on hotels and cruises.

The biggest downside of this card is that it offers no protection for car rentals, canceled or interrupted trips, or lost or damaged luggage.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

With the Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll pay a $550 annual fee (rates and fees), which is offset by an up to $200 credit for airline incidentals valid on your preselected airline, up to $200 in Uber credits (up to$15 per month plus an extra up to $20 in December), and two up to $50 Saks Fifth Avenue credits.

It also comes with Priority Pass, though unlike the Sapphire Reserve and Prestige, you can’t use it to access airport restaurants. However, with the Platinum card, you’ll get access to the Centurion Lounge network, as well as Delta Sky Clubs when flying on Delta. The card earns 5x Membership Rewards points on air travel and on prepaid hotels booked through Amextravel.com.

Which of the three cards is the best fit for you ultimately depends on what you’re looking for: the Sapphire Reserve offers the best travel protections, the Platinum Card excels when it comes to airport lounge access, and the Prestige has the most points earning potential.

Also look carefully at how each card allows you to offset the annual fee, and the options they offer for redeeming the points you earn.

When Does a No-Annual-Fee Credit Card Make More Sense?

If you’re not ready to pay an annual fee, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a good alternative. You’ll earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent (marketed as 5% cash back) on travel booked through the Chase travel portal, 3x points (3% cash back) at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5x points (1.5% cash back) everywhere else.

If your goal is to transfer points to airline or hotel partners, you’ll eventually need an Ultimate Rewards card with an annual fee, but once you have one you can combine the points from the Freedom Unlimited with those from the new card and then transfer them to partners or use them for other higher-value redemptions.

Also worth considering is the Citi Double Cash Card, which earns 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you make purchases and another 1% when you pay your credit card bill). Like the Freedom Unlimited, if you open a Citi Premier Card or Citi Prestige card in the future you can convert your cash back into Citi ThankYou Points and then transfer those to airline partners.

Final Thoughts

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best travel rewards credit cards out there. While it does have a high annual fee, it is packed full of benefits including travel insurance, car rental insurances, a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit, a $300 annual travel credit and more. It’s not hard to get more than enough value out of this card to justify the annual fee if you are a regular traveler.