Chase Sapphire Reserve: 2021 Full Benefits Guide
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Packed with high-value travel benefits and complimentary perks, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is one of our favorite cards for frequent and aspiring travelers.
A cult favorite since it debuted in 2016, this frequently lauded travel card boasts some of the most generous travel protection benefits you’ll find on a rewards card, including primary car rental insurance, generous trip delay coverage and baggage protection and substantial insurance coverage for everything from temporary travel hiccups to genuine catastrophes.
The card also offers a number of luxe travel benefits that make traveling more comfortable — such as complimentary airport lounge access and an application fee credit for faster security screening — as well as a plump annual travel credit that effectively slashes the cost of the card’s $550 annual fee.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® benefits. We compiled this information directly from Chase and from its Ultimate Rewards members site. However, benefits are subject to change, so check your benefits guide for the most up-to-date information. You can also call the toll-free number on the back of your card to get more information. Note, terms apply to Chase credit card offers. See chase.com for more information.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® travel benefits
$300 annual travel credit. You’ll receive an automatic statement credit for every qualifying travel purchase you make — up to $300 per year. The list of travel purchases that qualify for reimbursement is extensive, making it relatively easy to use up the credit. For example, you can get a travel credit for a wide range of traditional travel expenses, such as car rentals, airfare, hotel rooms, cruises, limousine or taxi charges, travel agency charges and travel you book through a third-party discount site. Or you can use it up on everyday commuting expenses, such as train tickets, bus fare, ferry rides and tolls. Even parking lot and garage fees qualify for a statement credit.
Priority Pass Select lounge access. You’ll also be awarded free membership to Priority Pass Select, giving you and up to two guests free access to more than 1,300 airport lounges spread throughout 600-plus cities on six continents. In the airport lounges, you can enjoy free food and beverages and, in some lounges, take in a quick spa treatment before your flight. Priority Pass members are also given access to exclusive airport dining, shopping and spa discounts.
Global Entry or TSA Precheck Application Fee Credit. Chase will reimburse you up to $100 for a Global Entry application or up to $85 for a TSA Precheck application. That way, you can zip through airport security more quickly.
Special hotel perks, such as free breakfast and WiFi, room upgrades and resort credits. If you make a reservation with a participating Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection property — either through a qualifying travel specialist or through Chase Ultimate Rewards® — you’ll be rewarded with a number of free perks, such as breakfast for two, free WiFi, room upgrades when available and unique, property-specific gifts, such as a complimentary dinner, free spa treatment or free access to the resort’s golf course.
Relais & Châteaux property benefits. You’ll also get special perks, such as free breakfast and welcome gifts, if you book a stay with a Relais & Châteaux property, use the Visa Infinite Concierge to book your stay.
$0 foreign transaction fee. Save money on international purchases by using your Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which doesn’t charge a transaction fee when you charge a purchase in foreign currency.
$500 trip delay reimbursement. If your flight, train trip, ferry ride or other common carrier is delayed by more than six hours or requires you to stay in another city overnight, you’ll be reimbursed for up to $500 worth of food and lodging expenses. The protection is awarded to each ticket purchased with your Chase Sapphire Reserve®. So, if you’re traveling with a friend or family member, you’ll get up to $1,000 reimbursed.
$500 of baggage delay coverage. If your checked luggage is delayed by more than six hours, you’ll also be covered. Chase will reimburse you up to $100 per day for essential purchases, such as clothing and toothpaste, for every day your baggage is delayed, up to a maximum of five days.
Lost luggage reimbursement. If your checked luggage is lost or stolen while you’re riding on a common carrier, Chase will reimburse you up to $3,000 per covered traveler for any valuable items that you lost, such as jewelry, electronics and clothing. Some valuables are excluded, though, such as cash, tickets and furs. The coverage kicks in once you’ve exhausted any personal insurance or carrier reimbursements.
Trip cancellation insurance. If your trip is cancelled because of illness, severe weather or other qualifying unforeseen emergencies, Chase will reimburse you up to $10,000 per traveler (up to a maximum of $20,000) for any nonrefundable travel expenses you’ve already charged, such as prepaid hotel rooms or travel tours.
Trip interruption insurance. Similarly, if your trip is interrupted by a qualifying unforeseen event, Chase will reimburse you up to $20,000 ($10,000 per traveler) for nonrefundable travel purchases you’ll be forced to miss.
Primary car rental collision damage waiver. Like many travel cards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® also offers car rental insurance for theft and collision damage. But unlike many competitors, Chase offers up to $75,000 worth of primary car rental insurance (meaning you don’t have to tap your personal car insurance first), even if you’re traveling in the United States.
Roadside assistance. Chase also provides up to $200 worth of roadside assistance protection ($50 per incident) within a year, in the event that you lock yourself out of your car, get a flat tire, run out of gas or suffer some other roadside event that needs assistance.
Travel and emergency assistance. Chase offers a special hotline for cardholders who need a medical or legal referral while traveling.
$1 million worth of travel accident insurance. If you die, lose a limb or lose one of your senses, such as your hearing or vision, in a plane, bus, train or cruise accident, you or your beneficiaries will be entitled to up to $1,000,000 in insurance benefits through Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance (assuming you paid for the trip with your Chase Sapphire Reserve®). Chase also provides up to $100,000 worth of 24 Hour Travel Accident Insurance coverage for other travel accidents.
Emergency evacuation and transportation. Chase will also pay for up to $100,000 worth of medical and transportation expenses if you or an immediate family member need emergency evacuation while you’re traveling.
Emergency medical and dental coverage. Chase will reimburse you up to $2,500 for any emergency medical expenses you or an immediate family member incur while you’re traveling at least 100 miles or more from home.
Car rental discounts and upgrades. If you enroll in a car rental rewards program with National Car Rental, Avis or Silvercar, you’ll be eligible for special discounts, promotions and car upgrades through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
How to earn Chase Sapphire Reserve® points
Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Chase makes it relatively easy to rack up points by offering an expansive definition of what qualifies as a travel purchase. Purchases that earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent include standard travel purchases, such as airfare, hotel stays and car rental expenses, as well as everyday commuting costs, such as ferry, train and bus fare, parking fees and tolls. In addition, cardholders will earn 3 points per dollar spent when they visit fast food restaurants and fine dining establishments.
Also, cardholders can now enjoy 10x points on Lyft rides through March 2022, in addition to 15% off Lyft car rides and a year of complimentary Lyft Pink membership.
Sign-up bonus. Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s worth up to $900 in free airfare, hotel stays, car rentals or cruises when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Shop through Chase. You can also earn points when you use your Chase Sapphire Reserve® at select online retailers. All you have to do is visit the Shop Through Chase page after logging into Ultimate Rewards and click on your favorite retailers. You’ll be taken to the retailer’s online store and will receive as much as 1 to 15 points per dollar spent, depending on the retailer.
Points don’t expire. Don’t worry about saving points for months, or even years — your points will remain in your account for as long as your account is open and in good standing.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® reward redemption options
50% travel redemption value. If you redeem your points for travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll get a 50% more value on whatever points you redeem. For example, if you have 30,000 rewards points available, you’ll be able to buy up to $450 worth of travel.
Transfer points to partners. You can also transfer your points on a one-to-one basis to a variety of domestic and international airline and hotel partners. Travel partners include:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
Redeem your points for dining and merchandise. If you download the Chase Pay app, you can redeem points for merchandise or dining purchases at participating merchants, such as Best Buy and Starbucks. You can also redeem points for Apple merchandise purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Depending on when you redeem your points, Chase may even award a special redemption bonus. For example, in November 2019, it offered a 20% redemption bonus to cardholders who redeemed their points for Apple products.
Shop with Points at Amazon.com. You can pay directly for all or part of an Amazon purchase with Ultimate Rewards points.
Redeem points for VIP experiences. You can redeem your points for a wide variety of experiences, such as sporting events, private dinners and chef events, concert tickets, festival passes and more.
Cash back. You can redeem your points for cash back at a redemption rate of 1 cent for every point.
Gift cards. You can redeem points for gift cards from more than 195 participating brands. Gift card retailers and restaurants include Target, Lowes, Gap, iTunes, Sephora, GameStop, Macy’s, Red Lobster, PF Chang’s, Outback Steakhouse, Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, Chipotle, Chili’s, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Kohls, DSW and more. Chase may also offer point discounts on select cards.
Pay for just a portion of your purchase with points. You don’t necessarily need to save up a certain number of points to use them. If you want to pay with points through the Chase Pay app or purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can use up the points you’ve already earned and pay the remaining balance with your Chase Sapphire Reserve® — effectively giving you a significant discount on your purchase.
Combine points. If you don’t plan on using your points — or if you want to pool your points with another family member — you can transfer them to any member of your household who’s also an Ultimate Rewards member.
More Chase Sapphire Reserve® benefits
Purchase protection. If a new purchase you charged to your Chase Sapphire Reserve® is stolen or damaged, Chase will reimburse you up to $10,000 per item, up to a maximum of $50,000 per year.
Extended warranty. Chase will also extend a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less by one additional year.
Return protection. If a retailer won’t accept a return within 90 days of your purchase, Chase may reimburse you up to $500 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per year.
Exclusive event access. You don’t necessarily need to use your points to access exclusive events through Chase. Your Chase Sapphire Reserve® will also qualify you for access to a number of events that you can pay for with your card.
Contactless payments. Chase also offers contactless technology on its Chase Sapphire Reserve® cards, allowing you to pay for your purchases more quickly. You can tap to pay at any U.S. or international payment terminal that accepts contactless Visa payments.
Visa Infinite Concierge Service. If you need help booking a reservation, securing event tickets, sending a loved one flowers or picking an activity or restaurant, you can call Visa Infinite’s concierge hotline and speak with a personal concierge.
The bottom line
Despite its hefty annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers a ton of value to both frequent and occasional travelers. If your trip goes awry, for example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card’s travel protections could potentially save you hundreds — or even thousands of dollars — in unplanned expenses. The card’s generous travel credits and rewards should also more than make up for the card’s annual fee if you use your full travel credit and regularly use your Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
You don’t necessarily need to commit to the $550 annual fee each year, though, to benefit from many of the card’s best travel protections and benefits. The offers a similar selection of travel insurance benefits and other rewards perks for a much lower annual fee.