If you feel that this post is biased, it’s because hiding my enthusiasm for a card that’s funded multiple international trips is a bit difficult. Although the American Express Platinum is a worthy rival to The Chase Reserve, personal experience with the Reserve has made me a bit of a loyal fan. But you never know what might happen in the points world. The Chase Reserve is the ultimate travel credit card and it’s potential is fully unlocked when it’s used for that purpose.

We’ll go over the key benefits of this card that make you forget  you’re paying $450 a year to maintain this card.

Sign-Up Bonus

Yes, Chase has set precedence with its grand opening bonus of planetary proportions, but the past is the past. If you’re holding out for that kind of bonus, I don’t see you joining the Reserve Club any time soon. That isn’t to say, the current offer of 50,000 points is anything shy of great. This bonus can absolutely be redeemd at 1:1 for a $500 value, but you’ll see that it has even greater value when used towards travel.

$300 Annual Credit

At the beginning of your membership renewal the $300 annual credit resets. From that moment on, any purchase that qualifies as travel, whether that’s airline purchases, Uber, or public transportation, Chase will automatically credit your account until you’ve been credited a total of $300. So already we’ve reduced the annual fee to $150 (450-300).

1.5X Chase Portal Multiplier

Across all credit cards, each point is worth $0.01 when redeemed as a statement credit, gift card purchase, or non-travel related redemption. However, when you own the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you not only have access to the Chase Portal but are given a 1.5X multiplier. Now, your points aren’t worth $0.01 but $0.015. Thinking it’s not much right? What about if we amplify it to 50,000 points. Your sign-up bonus which was worth $500 is now worth $750 when redeemed through the portal. The math is simple, $500 x 1.5 = $750.

If that wasn’t enough, you’ll actually find flights on the portal that aren’t offered on Google Flights. And for someone like me who likes to add multiple legs with different airports, this is a huge plus as it takes out the hassle of finding different segments and trying to sew them together.

3X Points

Buy $10 worth of food and get 30 points. 3X points is just another way of saying 3% cash back. I just avoid saying that because I want everyone to get in the habit of redeeming for rewards rather than simply cash back.

The Chase Reserve gets you 3X points on all restaurant, including cafes and dessert shops, as well as any travel purchases. This includes airfare, car rentals, public transportation, and car share services.

In order to justify the remaining $150, we have to be able to redeem our points for a value of at least $150. Since we will only be using the Reserve for restaurant and travel purchases at 3X points, that comes out to $5000 in spend. Remember $5,000 is equal to 5,000 points and at 3X points, $5,000 in spend turns into 15,000 points.

If you were to cash out those 15,000 points, you would receive $150, but that’s not where the value in Chase points are. With the Reserve you get a 1.5X multiplier when the points are redeemed on the Chase portal for travel. That means 1 point is now worth 1.5 points.

Take a moment to work this backwards and you’ll see that the required $5,000 in spend to earn the equivalent of $150, turns to $3,333 to get your money’s worth.

It looks like this. You take the total number of points you need to accumulate (15,000) and divide it by the point multiplier (3). Then you take that value and divide it by 1.5 instead of 1.

It looks like this: ($15,000/3)/1.5 = $3333

If you’re confident you can spend $3333 to $5000 a year on restaurants and travel, the Reserve is absolutely worth it and this doesn’t even include the 50,000 sign-up bonus valued at $750 or any of the other incredible benefits.

Priority Pass Membership

I’m not sure if I end up going to these different countries or throw in random layovers for the country itself or my love of lounges. It’s a great feeling knowing you can post up for a recharge on food and battery. It might even be a great way of curbing those of us who are always late to be a little earlier.

Every major airport has lounges that have partnered with Priority Pass to give us a place to rest. There are some, especially in Asian countries that offer impeccable service but there are also others that provide the basics. But there aren’t any that don’t beat waiting at the gate. One of the other great qualities about our membership is that we’re allowed to bring two or even an unlimited number of guests with us, at no charge.

Global Entry Credit

What better feeling is there than driving down the carpool lane or going to the fast-pass lane at a theme park? It’s seeing TSA pre stamped on your boarding pass and keeping your shoes on for security. It’s walking up to a kiosk and skipping the long lines in customs to enter the U.S.

Global Entry members have their own line and customs is no longer such a headache. You don’t even have to fill out the form they give you on the flight! Membership in Global Entry also automatically enrolls you for TSA pre so you get to skip that line as well. When you apply, just use your Reserve card to pay the $100 fee and Chase will automatically credit that $100 back to your account. Since membership lasts 5 years, Chase extends this benefit once every 5 years.

Conclusion

And if you’re as easily amused as me, it’ll be the cool factor of having a metal card that gets you over the fence. All-in-all, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a card I can’t promote enough. It is the ultimate card for travelers who don’t stick to one airline or one hotel chain and gives you the most flexibility when it comes to booking trips.

And remember, if you apply at ThePointsMarket.com, you’ll get an extra sign-up cash bonus from us!

Transforming travel from a possibility to a reality. 

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