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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has held the torch for most beloved premium travel credit card for several years now, and for good reason. The card is part of one of the best credit card rewards programs, offering generous perks and flexible points that make it the perfect one-stop-shop for just about any jet setter's credit needs.
The card's sign-up bonus, worth at least $750 in travel spending, is one of the best on the market. Here's everything you need to know about the Chase Sapphire Reserve®'s sign-up bonus, from how to make sure you're eligible to the best ways to redeem it.
A look at the Chase Sapphire Reserve® sign-up bonus
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® currently lets you Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Those points will cover flights, hotels, rental cars or tours, although it's possible to get even more value with other redemptions methods discussed below.
Other benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card:
- $300 annual travel credit
- 3X points on travel and dining worldwide
- 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
- 50% more in travel redemption
- Complimentary airport lounge access
- Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit
- Complimentary Lyft Pink membership
- Complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription
- Up to $120 in DoorDash statement credits through Dec. 31, 2021
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is often heralded for its flexibility, and that applies to the card's benefits as well as its points system. Even compared to other premium travel cards offering similar perks, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® goes the extra mile by not restricting users with their fine print.
The $300 annual travel credit is easy to use, since it applies to any purchase that falls under Chase's travel category, not just airline fees. The card's 3X bonus spend categories are also broader than what's offered by some competitors. For example, dining isn't restricted to U.S. restaurants and travel isn't restricted to certain types of purchases (such as flights booked directly with airlines).
Chase Sapphire Reserve® sign-up bonus rules
The last thing you want to do is spend toward a sign-up bonus only to find out you're not eligible, so it's important to understand Chase's bonus restrictions and application rules.
If you currently have one of Chase's Sapphire cards, whether it's the Chase Sapphire, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you won't qualify for this sign-up bonus. Even if you close the card, you can't qualify for this bonus if you've earned a new cardmember bonus for any of Chase's Sapphire cards within the past 48 months. These months are counted from the date you earn the bonus, not the date you open the card.
You can call Chase and ask to upgrade or downgrade your Sapphire card, which is referred to as a product change. You could upgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, for example. However, you won't be eligible for the sign-up bonus.
Finally, only new purchases count toward meeting the minimum spend requirement. In other words, balance transfers, cash advances, money orders and other similar cash-like purchases, as well as fees – such as interest and the annual fee – don't qualify.
The Chase 5/24 rule
According to Chase's unpublished 5/24 rule, Chase won't approve credit card applicants who have opened five or more credit cards in the past 24 months, whether those cards were opened with Chase or another bank.
This means that if you've opened more than four credit cards in the past 24 months, you are not eligible to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, as you won't be approved. It's worth noting that business credit cards may not count toward your five card limit, since they often don't show up on your personal credit report.
How to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve® bonus
Once you've made sure you qualify for the bonus, you should make sure you can meet the spending requirement to earn it. You'll want to put every purchase you make on your Chase Sapphire Reserve® until you've spent $4,000 in the first three months. The timer starts when you open your account, not when you receive your card.
If your regular spending isn't sufficient to get you there, there are some tricks to ramp up your spending. You can pay your rent or mortgage with a credit card through services like Plastiq and PlacePay, but they do charge a fee. While paying these fees usually isn't advisable, the cost may be worth it to earn a big sign-up bonus.
Another option is to buy gift cards for stores you shop at regularly — in other words, spending money now on purchases you'll make in the future. However, you need to have enough money in the bank to float these purchases. If you end up carrying a balance on your credit card, the interest fees will outweigh any rewards you earn.
How much are 50,000 Chase points worth?
The Chase Ultimate Rewards® program is a travel favorite because of the high value it offers, but that value does depend on how you redeem your points. More convenient options like cash back only get you 1 cent per point, while transferring your points to travel partners can yield as much as 4 cents per point.
|Travel portal redemptions||1.5 cents|
|Transfer to travel partners||1.0 to 4.0 cents|
|Gift cards||1.0 to 1.1 cents|
|Pay with points at checkout||0.8 cents with Amazon, 1.0 cents with Apple|
|Cash back||1.0 cents|
|Average value||2.0 cents|
Best ways to redeem 50,000 Ultimate Rewards® points
There are two best ways to redeem 50,000 Ultimate Rewards® points:
- Redeem them through the Ultimate Rewards® portal at 1.5 cents each for a total value of $750.
- Transfer them to a travel partner for a redemption that will yield a value of more than 1.5 cents per point.
Redeeming Chase points through the Ultimate Rewards® portal
Luckily, it's very easy to use your points on redemptions through the Ultimate Rewards® portal. It's powered by Expedia, and you can book any flight, hotel, vacation rental, rental car, cruise, tour or attraction that you'd find on Expedia and receive a 50% redemption bonus. Even if you don't plan on taking a vacation for a while, you can always redeem your points for local activities, tours in your area or vacation rentals for a weekend trip.
Redeeming Chase points with transfer partners
If you want to squeeze maximum value out of your Chase points, transferring them strategically to one of Chase's transfer partners – 10 airlines and three hotel chains – is usually the way to go. You can transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to any of the loyalty programs below:
- United MileagePlus®
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
- Flying Blue Air France KLM (can book Delta and Alaska flights)
- British Airways Executive Club (can book American Airlines flights)
- Aer Lingus, AerClub (can book American Airlines flights)
- Iberia Plus (can book American Airlines flights)
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (can book Delta flights)
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Emirates Skywards®
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- IHG® Rewards Club
- World of Hyatt
- Marriott Bonvoy™
This doesn't always yield the highest value, so it's important to do the math before transferring your points. The chart below details real redemption options and their respective value. In the first case, it makes more sense to redeem points through the Ultimate Rewards® portal where you could probably even find that same hotel. In the second case, the Park Hyatt New York yields a value almost double what you'd get from the Ultimate Rewards® portal.
Room cost in cash as of 7/9/2020
Room cost in points as of 7/9/2020
|Redemption #1||Holiday Inn & Suites Across From Universal Orlando||$75.05||12,500 points||0.6 cents each|
|Redemption #2||Park Hyatt New York||$796.00||30,000 points||2.65 cents each|
Should you sign up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® now?
Thanks to the card's extreme flexibility and high-value redemption options, anyone who travels regularly is likely to find plenty of value in the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. If you have big purchases planned for the next few months, signing up for the card now in order to meet the sign-up bonus makes sense. If not, you could hold off and time your application so that it lines up with your highest spending months.
If you're taking a break from travel and worried you won't get use out of the card's travel-related perks, you should know that Chase has offered some tweaks to its benefits in light of the slowdown in the travel industry. In addition to allowing you to redeem your points for grocery, dining and home improvement purchases for a bonus, Chase recently announced that the $300 travel credit applies to gas station and grocery store purchases as well, through Dec. 31, 2020.
FAQs about the Chase Sapphire Reserve® bonus
When does the Chase Sapphire Reserve® bonus post?
The bonus will post to your account within six to eight weeks of qualification.
Can I get the Chase Sapphire Reserve® bonus twice?
You can earn the Chase Sapphire Reserve® bonus twice as long as it's been at least 48 months since you earned a sign-up bonus from any Sapphire card and you no longer hold any of the Sapphire cards.
Does the Chase Sapphire Reserve® have a referral bonus?
No, unfortunately, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® does not offer referral bonuses.
Will the Chase Sapphire Reserve® 100,000 bonus come back?
The last time Chase offered the 100,000 bonus publicly was when the card launched in January of 2017, and there's no talk of the bonus ever returning. While it's possible, it seems unlikely given the extremely high value of that bonus and the fact that it was offered upon product launch in order to gain attention for a new product.
Am I eligible to receive the Chase Sapphire Reserve® bonus?
Can you get the Chase Sapphire Reserve® bonus by upgrading from the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
No, you can't get the Chase Sapphire Reserve® bonus by upgrading from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Product changes don't qualify for sign-up bonuses.