If you’re looking to give your Ultimate Rewards point balance a serious boost, consider the soon to be released “Chase Sapphire Reserve” credit card.
It’s still just a rumor (now it’s a fact and is live), but the details keep rolling in to the point where it seems almost certain it is a sure thing.
Here’s what we know about the new iteration of Chase Sapphire so far (
take with a grain of salt until confirmed). It is now confirmed!
100K Opening Bonus with Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite card that comes with a 100,000 Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus if you spend a certain amount of money in I’m assuming the first three months of account opening.
This minimum spend amount is unknown at the moment, but I would guess at least $5,000 seeing that Chase Sapphire Preferred is $4,000 for just 50,000 UR points.
I’m actually kind of worried it might be more than $5,000, but something like $7,500 seems a bit excessive. If it is, there are plenty of ways to boost spending to hit the minimum without going broke.
I usually try to time the opening of a credit card with a big minimum spend to a large purchase I have just to make life easier.
Update: The bonus spend is only $4,000 for the 100,000 UR points, which to me is a steal. I assumed they’d ask cardholders to spend a lot more, but the pricey annual fee may be one reason why.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Comes with $450 Annual Fee
Does the number $450 ring a bell? Think American Express Platinum and you’re on the right track.
It appears the Chase Sapphire Reserve will come with a hefty annual fee of $450 like Amex Platinum, and $75 annually for each additional card.
It kind of makes sense seeing that the Amex often floats a 100k sign-up bonus.
Now you just have to determine if you value Amex MR points more than Chase UR points.
All in all, it’s pricey and I don’t think that annual fee is waived the first year. So if you can’t hit the minimum spend you probably shouldn’t bother with this card.
If you’re patient, there might be an in-branch offer that waives the annual fee the first year, as was done with Chase Ink. I am going to hold out for something like that before I jump in on this.
Besides, I’ve got some spending to do on a new Chase Ink card that will give me 75,000+ Ultimate Rewards points.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Has a $300 Travel Credit
You can easily offset some (or all) of the costly Chase Sapphire Reserve annual fee thanks to the annual travel credit.
The good news is there’s a $300 annual travel credit that you can probably earn twice in 365 days (over two different calendar years) to more than offset the one annual fee.
The big question is what the airline credit can be used toward. If you can buy airline gift cards it’s a no-brainer.
If you can only use it for incidentals on flights it might not be as worthwhile. Still, if properly maxed out you could come out $150 ahead if you hit the credit twice in less than a year.
Update: You get a $300 credit annually for purchases in the travel category, meaning it could hypothetically be used for anything from hotel rooms to airfare to even ridesharing purchases like Uber and Lyft. If that’s the case this card is a steal!
And the statement credit will apparently post the same day your purchase posts to your account.
Over roughly two years (one annual fee charge) that equates to $150 in free travel and 104,000+ UR points, all for spending just $4,000. That’s pretty rad.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Offers 3X on Travel & Dining Worldwide
One great thing about Chase Sapphire Reserve is the rumored bonus categories. We’re talking 3X on both dining and travel worldwide, with dining the more interesting one for me. I eat out a lot so it’d be an efficient way to earn lots of UR points.
The only easier way to earn UR points is via Chase Ink and its 5X categories on things like internet, cable, cell phone, and office supplies. But if you had both cards open you could earn a boatload of UR points in a hurry with just plain old everyday spending.
The card is also expected to come with Priority Pass Select, which is airport lounge access that competitors like Citi offer via their Citi Prestige card. And things like a rebate for Global Entry and/or TSA Pre.
So in summary, the Chase Sapphire Reserve appears to be an ultra premium travel rewards credit card with one of the highest sign-up bonuses I’ve ever seen from Chase, which could be its greatest appeal.
Should You Apply for Chase Sapphire Reserve?
I don’t know if most savvy credit card churners would keep this card for more than a year, but I know a ton of them (if not all) would want to get their hands on 100,000 UR points for meeting a relatively low minimum spend.
This card is expected to be rolled out on August 21, 2016, so we should know in a few weeks if the rumors are all true. And what that pesky minimum spend is…it has been confirmed at just $4,000.
The $300 travel credit certainly makes the annual fee a lot less painful, if not icing on the cake of an already stellar deal.
I noted that I’m waiting because I’m working on a Chase Ink card spend at the moment, and also curious if this bonus could go even higher. Is it possible it could go to 150,000 UR points?
If you’re close to Chase’s 5/24 credit card cutoff, you may want to wait on applying for other credit cards to see if you can get approved for this special offer first.
My only concern in waiting is if the 100k sign-up bonus is lowered after the initial launch period. There’s no indication it will be, but we also don’t know if this is some sort of special bonus coinciding with the card’s launch.
We could find out in a few months that it was, and that the bonus is just 75,000, 50,000, or some other lower number. I wouldn’t wait if you don’t have any other cards on your radar, even if it does somehow get better. Besides, Chase is good about matching public offers.