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March 18, 2018

Chase Sapphire Reserve: Travel Credit

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The $300 annual travel credit is one of the best Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits. Learn what purchases count as travel, how to redeem the credit, and when it resets.

Chase Sapphire Reserve
Apply for Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase Sapphire Reserve has established itself among the top-tier travel credit cards, with a 50,000 point bonus, long list of travel perks and benefits, and selection of airline and hotel transfer partners. The card's many perks and benefits can help to balance out its $450 annual fee, with $300 in annual travel credits doing most of the heavy lifting.

For frequent travelers who are likely to use their travel credits in full each year, this perk can effectively offset the annual fee. To start now, visit Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Cardholders can also sign up for the Reserve's other cost-saving perks - such as Priority Pass membership and credit towards the TSA Pre or Global Entry application fee - to get the most of the $450 annual fee.

Is the $450 too much? Compare Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve to see which credit card should you apply for.

So how do you know if you'll be able to take advantage of those $300 annual travel credits, and how do you redeem them? Read on for details.

What purchases are eligible for travel credits?

Luckily, when compared to other credit cards that issue travel credits, Chase is liberal in what it considers to be a travel purchase.

AMEX Platinum Card (from American Express, a CreditDonkey partner) offers up to $200 annually in statement credits against incidentals with one selected airline (cardholder must designate their airline in advance). Plus, it has a $550 annual fee.

With Chase Sapphire Reserve, your $300 in travel credits can be redeemed against the cost of your tickets, fees, and upgrades with any airline (although in-flight purchases are not covered), whether they're charged by you or by an authorized user.

Outside of flying, the Reserve's travel credits cover a wide range of transportation and hospitality options:

Merchants in the travel category include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.

Please note that some merchants that provide transportation and travel-related services are not included in this category; for example, real estate agents, in-flight goods and services, on-board cruise line goods and services, sightseeing activities, excursions, tourist attractions, merchants within hotels and airports, and merchants that rent vehicles for the purpose of hauling. In addition, the purchasing of points or miles does not qualify in this category.

(Source: Chase Rewards Category FAQ's)

Tip: When Chase says that hotels and taxis are included in this category, they're being generous; with Chase, Airbnb stays and Uber rides also fall under the travel category.

Tip: When you charge a rental car to your Sapphire Reserve, you'll earn points on the purchase and save on insurance with the rental company by taking advantage of the Reserve's primary collision insurance for eligible rental cars. Coverage applies to most auto rentals, but check the fine print for exceptions.

Will I still earn points on travel purchases?

No. You do not earn points on purchases that qualify for the $300 annual travel credit. You will earn 3 points for each $1 spent after the first $300 on purchases in the travel category annually.

How do I redeem travel credits?

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Travel credits are issued at the beginning of each cardmember year for applications submitted on or after May 21, 2017.

Once Chase issues them, your travel credits will automatically be applied to your account as you charge eligible purchases. You won't need to call in or file a request to redeem credits.

If you purchase a large travel item over $300, you will be credited $300 at once. If you purchase small travel expenses (like parking garages and Uber rides), they will be credited as you make the purchases, until you reach $300.

How Do I Track My Travel Credits?

Keeping track of how many travel credits you've used is easy by logging into your card account. Go to your Ultimate Rewards dashboard. On the right hand side, you will see your travel credit activity.

You'll see how much of it you've used so far, as well as when the next travel credit will begin.

How Soon Does the Credit Post?

The credit posts immediately after the travel purchase posts to your account. You will see a credit for it right away on the same statement. You do not need to wait for the credit to post.

What about authorized users?

All travel purchases made by you and by your account's authorized users are eligible. Keep in mind that authorized users won't get their own $300 in travel credit - you'll be drawing from the same pool of travel credit.

Adding an authorized user to your Sapphire Reserve account costs $75 per year per authorized user.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Travel Credit is a great benefit.

Tip: Consider pooling Chase Sapphire Reserve rewards with the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Ink Business Preferred to maximize your credit card point earning potential.

Next Step: View the issuer's official application, terms, and details

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on March 18, 2018. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Chase website for updated information.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

More from CreditDonkey:

Chase Sapphire Reserve Review

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Chase Ultimate Rewards Review

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Chase Sapphire Reserve
Apply for Chase Sapphire Reserve
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 50K 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®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Go to issuer's official application, terms, and details
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
17.99% - 24.99% Variable

Compare Chase Sapphire Reserve to:

Compare Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Compare Chase Sapphire Reserve vs American Express Platinum

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Compare Chase Sapphire Reserve vs American Express Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

Travel credit cards are a smart way to earn flights and hotel stays. Our favorite is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card because of its bonus point offer and premium travel benefits. Read on to see if the annual fee is worth it for you.
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