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UBS Visa Infinite vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve – does a $495 annual fee beat $550?
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
If you’re an avid traveler looking for a premium travel credit card that offers valuable travel protections, generous travel credits and personalized concierge services, the UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® are two cards you should be looking at.
Both cards offer Visa Infinite Benefits (including luxury hotel benefits, car rental discounts, and more) as well as additional benefits of their own. And both charge a hefty annual fee for those benefits, with the UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card at $495 a year and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® at $550 a year.
Despite their high annual fees, these two cards offer enough value for those seeking luxury travel benefits to make up for the annual fees to carry them. We’ll break down the details of what each one offers, so you can decide which card is right for your wallet.
What are Visa Infinite benefits?
Visa Infinite is a step up from Visa Signature. Visa Infinite cards come with an assortment of luxury benefits, and there are only a few cards in the U.S. that have this affiliation. Here are some of the Visa Infinite benefits you’ll get when you have a card such as the UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®:
- A statement credit of $100 to cover the Global Entry application fee.
- Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges via a Priority Pass membership.
- A statement credit for airline incidentals like checked luggage charges and in-flight food.
- Access to the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection, with benefits such as VIP status, complimentary breakfast daily and an upgrade when available.
- Visa Infinite Concierge Services, which can assist you 24/7 with such tasks as travel planning, dinner reservations, and tickets for sports events and entertainment.
- Discounts and VIP benefits on car rentals with Avis, Hertz, National and Silvercar.
- A discount on booking GroundLink’s chauffeured black car service.
UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Here’s how the cards stack up against each other when it comes to rewards, bonuses and fees:
|UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®|
|UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card||Chase Sapphire Reserve®|
|Sign-up bonus||None||Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.|
|Rewards||3x points for commercial air travel, 2x points for gas and groceries, and 1 point for all other eligible purchases||5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases|
|Foreign transaction fee||$0||$0|
|Regular purchase APR||15.24% variable||16.99%-23.99% Variable|
UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card pros and cons
UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card pros
Elite concierge service. Though both the UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® have concierge services offered as part of their Visa Infinite benefits, the UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card takes it a step further by offering its own UBS Concierge. If you want that personal touch and assistance to help you book reservations, make travel plans and offer you advice about major purchases, the UBS team is there to serve you.
You get a chance for good redemption value. The UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card has an unusual redemption scheme for its rewards. You pay 25,000 points for an airline ticket worth up to $350 and 50,000 points for a ticket up to $900. If you redeem 25,000 points for a $350 ticket, that’s a value of 1.4 cents per point, and if you redeem 50,000 points for a $900 ticket, that’s a value of 1.8 cents per point.
If your ticket costs more than $350 or $900, you must make an additional payment in increments of 5,000 points for amounts of up to $50. For example, for a ticket worth up to $950, you’ll pay an additional 5,000 points. But for a ticket more than $950 but up to $1,000, you’ll pay an additional 10,000 points. The downside to this structure is that for situations where your ticket is just over a $50 increment, you’re getting less value for a batch of 5,000 points.
An annual airline fee credit of up to $250. You have to select the airline you want your credit to go toward, and you can use it for transactions such as preferred seating upgrades, ticket change or cancellation fees, checked baggage fees and more.
Up to $500 reimbursement with the Any Airport Club program. If you pay a fee for an airport lounge membership, you might be able for a statement credit for up to $500 as a reimbursement. You’re only eligible for this if your spending on your UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card was $50,000 or more during either the current calendar year-to-date or the prior calendar year.
Credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Receive a statement credit of up to $100 every four years when you charge the application to your UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card.
A villa service credit of up to $700. This can be used when you’re at a Villas of Distinction property for amenities such as having a private chef for an evening, receiving an in-villa massage or getting a rental car throughout your stay.
Primary collision and theft insurance coverage on rental cars. This is primary coverage, which is valuable because most credit cards only offer secondary coverage on rental cars. Secondary coverage doesn’t kick in until after your auto insurance is applied.
Complimentary WiFi passes. With this card you get 12 complimentary Gogo in-flight WiFi sessions.
Additional travel benefits. Helpful travel benefits on the UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card include:
- Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance (up to $5,000).
- Trip delay reimbursement if the trip is delayed more than six hours (up to $500 per ticket).
- Lost luggage reimbursement (up to $5,000).
- Baggage delay coverage (up to $100 per day for three days, limit $300 in a 12-month period).
- Travel accident insurance.
- Emergency medical evacuation and transportation coverage.
- Roadside assistance.
UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card cons
A high annual fee. At $495, this card’s annual fee might be slightly less than that of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, but it’s still one of the most expensive credit cards to carry listed on our site.
A complicated redemption structure. Rather than just allowing you to redeem points for a set value, the UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card does things in two tiers — you’ll need to redeem 25,000 points for a ticket worth up to $350, and 50,000 points for a ticket worth up to $900. If you go over either of those amounts, you can only make additional payments in batches of 5,000 points.
You can’t transfer your points. Many travel cards, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, let you transfer points to airline miles or hotel loyalty program points, but you can’t do that with the UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card.
The $250 airline fee credit can only go toward one airline. This limits the value of the credit if you travel on multiple airlines.
The trip cancellation coverage has a $5,000 limit. By contrast, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers coverage of up to $10,000 per person (to a maximum of $20,000 per trip).
You can’t apply online. Instead, you must call UBS at 888-762-1232 and ask them to send you an application by mail.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® pros and cons
Chase Sapphire Reserve® pros
Point value boost. Ultimate Rewards points earned on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 in travel when redeemed that way.
Additionally, from May 31 through April 30, 2021, cardholders can get 50% more value from their points when redeemed for statement credits to cover purchases in the following categories: grocery stores, dining (including restaurants, takeout and eligible delivery services) and home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s.
A $300 annual travel credit. Receive up to $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card. Once you earn the $300 travel credit, you will begin earning the three-point rate on travel purchases.
Transfer points at a 1:1 value. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to the following airline and hotel travel partners:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue Air France KLM
- Iberia Plus
- IHG Rewards Club
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Marriott Bonvoy
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying ClubIHG Rewards Club
- World of Hyatt
Earn more points on Lyft. Earn 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2022.
Get a complimentary Lyft membership. This Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with one year of complimentary Lyft Pink membership (activation required). Benefits of membership include priority airport pickup and 15% off every other car ride. Activate by March 31, 2022.
Earn up to $120 in DoorDash statement credits. This card offers the chance to earn up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases through Dec. 31, 2021 ($60 in statement credits through Dec. 2020 and another $60 in statement credits through Dec. 2021).
Get a DashPass subscription for a minimum of one year. DashPass is the DoorDash service offering $0 delivery fees on orders of more than $12.
Credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Receive a statement credit of up to $100 every four years when you charge the application to your Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Auto rental collision damage waiver. This benefit offers primary coverage, which is valuable because most credit cards only offer secondary coverage on rental cars (secondary coverage kicks in after your own auto insurance is applied, and covers whatever your insurance won’t).
Additional travel benefits. Helpful travel benefits on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® include:
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance (up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip).
- Trip delay reimbursement if your trip is delayed more than six hours or requires an overnight stay (reimbursement of up to $500 per ticket).
- Lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000 per passenger).
- Emergency evacuation and transportation.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® cons
An expensive annual fee. At $550, this is one of the most expensive annual fees you’ll find for a credit card listed on our site.
Which card is right for you?
Both cards come with extensive airport lounge access thanks to a complimentary Priority Pass membership. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has a slightly more expensive annual fee of $550, but it also offers a better annual travel credit — a credit of $300, which automatically reimburses you for a variety of travel purchases, rather than the UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card $250 airline fee credit, which can only be used on one airline. Plus, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® lets you transfer your points to travel partners.
The main value of the UBS Visa Infinite Credit Card is its enhanced concierge service. If you want high-quality travel assistance, you could benefit from having this card. However, we think most cardholders will be better served with the flexibility of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, as well as the straightforward value you get redeeming points for travel via the Ultimate Rewards portal.