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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
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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.

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.

Not only are expenses in the travel category eligible for travel credit redemption; they'll earn you 3x points when you charge them to your Sapphire Reserve card. And with your rewards points on the Reserve worth 1.5 cents each when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, that value can add up quickly.

Tip: When you charge a rental car to your Sapphire Reserve, you'll earn 3x points on the purchase, be able to redeem available travel statement credits against it, 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?

Yes. When you receive statement credits against a travel purchase on your Reserve card, you'll still accumulate 3x points for that spending. This includes purchases made to meet the spending minimum for the Reserve's 50,000-point sign-up bonus.

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 - so you won't need to call in or file a request to redeem credits.

This makes travel credit redemption remarkably easy with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but it also makes it easy to lose track of how many travel credits you've used.

If you're planning to use your credits for a flight or other large travel expense, remember that smaller charges - like parking garages, highway tolls, and taxis - can chip away at your store of travel credits in the meantime.

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.

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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®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Named a 'Best Travel Credit Card for 2017' by MONEY® Magazine
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no 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
N/AN/A
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
$450

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Chase Sapphire Preferred

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