I just secured the Chase Sapphire Reserve which will lead to even more Chase Ultimate Rewards points for me each year, to include 100,000 bonus points this year after the spending requirements.
I was reading one of my favorite travel blogs (the points guy) and saw that only there was only a few days left to apply for it. I hadn’t heard of any huge difficulties in being approved but was leery. I had no intentions of applying for another card this year but figured what the heck. In addition, I have had great success with being approved for Chase cards and have really enjoyed the perks.
I already have the Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee) but will call and downgrade that to the Chase Freedom which has no annual fee. The $450 annual fee on the Sapphire Reserve looks huge at first but if you do some research you will see really what you are doing is going from a $95 annual fee to a $150 plus some more benefits and more points.
I will be paying $55 more per year but here is the breakdown:
- $450 annual fee but they give you $300 in travel credits per year meaning when I pay for hotels, airfare, taxis, tolls, car rentals, etc., that automatically gets deducted from my statement up to the $300. That’s how the fee basically drops to $150
- I will secure the 100,000 bonus points which technically could be converted into $1,500 in travel or transfer them to a partner.
- I will be earning 3X the points on dining and travel, rather than 2X which will get me at least an extra 10,000 points annually based on my initial calculations. I’ve earned about 26,000 total points this year so that will go up to 36,000. All the experts break it down that if you spend $2,600 a year on the travel and dining expenses it’s worth it to switch.
- The preferred and the reserve both have other great perks such as car rental insurance and trip delay coverage.
- I will be adding some nice perks for air travel. You get a $100 credit towards TSA pre-check or global entry. Although I already have this my wife does not so I will look in to using it for her to get TSA pre-check.
- I will be adding access to over 900 airport lounges. Although I only fly a handful of times per year, this will be a nice perk. We also will be flying more hopefully as the kids get older so having a place to rest and rejuvenate while traveling is nice.
Finally, remember this(and most travel cards) is a high interest card so don’t carry a balance!