#Wallet

Best Travel Credit Card

November 2019

Chase Sapphire Reserve

THE JOAT'S Advice

You get 50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 within 3 months of opening your account, which is $750 when you redeem through Ultimate Rewards.  Also, if you have multiple Chase accounts, always transfer all of your points to your Sapphire account to take advantage of the 50% bonus.

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what we like

  • You earn 3 points per dollar on all travel and dining purchases, and 1 point for everything else. If you redeem points through their Ultimate Rewards site, you get an extra 50%, which basically means you get 4.5% cash back on travel and dining
  • Don’t let sticker shock scare you – the annual fee is really a net $150 because you get $300 in automatic credits back for travel expenses, including Uber and Uber Eats
  • FREE TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (which includes TSA PreCheck) because they reimburse you for the cost
  • FREE Priority Pass, which lets you and everyone you travel with get access to Priority Pass lounges at airports
  • No foreign transaction fees and fairly solid foreign exchange conversion rates
  • As we said above, Chase Sapphire cards get you get access to Ultimate Rewards, which is a travel site similar to Kayak or Expedia. Your points are worth 50% more when you book a flight/hotel/rental car/cruise on Ultimate Rewards, so you basically get 4.5% cash back for your travel and dining purchases when you redeem on Ultimate Rewards. Ultimate Rewards also gives you access to book “Experiences” hosted by Chase at expensive restaurants, sporting events and games, film festivals, etc.

keep in mind

  • The net $150 annual fee may still seem like a lot, but if the majority of your spending is anything like ours – restaurants in your free time and traveling via flights, Ubers, hotels, or Airbnb – your points earned will more than cover the $150 and make this card a no brainer.

review

There was a lot of fanfare when the Chase Sapphire Reserve launched in 2016.  It was announced exclusively through The Points Guy (link) and JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon announced to investors that their quarterly profits were down by $200 million because of the number of people who signed up for the card.  So, 3 years later, is it still the best card in the market?  An emphatic and undisputed YES from the JOAT.

 

You’ve probably heard about a lot of the perks, so we’ll highlight just a few important ones.

Sizing Tips & FAQs

I’ve never paid for a credit card before, do I really need to start?

Fair question, and neither had we. There are some great no fee credit cards we highlight on our site.  If the majority of your spend is in travel and food, it’s probably worth it to get this card.  If not, the Citi Double Cash card (link to post) is a good catch-all card for all expenses.

 

I already have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, am I good?

So did we. We chose to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, get the bonus points, and then downgrade our Preferred to a no-fee Chase card like the Amazon card (link to post). You could also close your Preferred, but it may affect your credit score.

 

Do I get charged extra for purchases made abroad?

 

No, there are no foreign transaction fees on this card and it is our choice for all spending done while out of the United States. Moreover, the FX conversion rates offered are fairly solid and do not gouge you like many banks often do.

 

Disclaimer: Applying for a credit card can impact your credit score. If you want to talk to us about your specific circumstances, drop us an email and we can talk it through one-on-one.

Have another question?

Related Products & Links

Capital One Venture – you earn miles instead of points. Airlines keep increasing their mileage requirements to get even the cheapest of tickets. We like that the Sapphire Reserve allows you to transfer to airline miles, but also give you other options such as booking directly with your points on Ultimate Rewards or offering cash back.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred – this was the first Sapphire card Chase introduced.  The annual fee is lower at $95, but doesn’t include any of the perks we highlighted above.  You also only get 2 points per dollar on travel and dining.  We’ve done the math – you will make up the $55 for the Sapphire Reserve with just the extra point you earn on the same purchases, let alone all of the other perks.

 

American Express Platinum Card – this has similar features to the Sapphire Reserve, but AMEX is less accepted at restaurants in the US, and abroad. That is a huge downside if you only have 1 travel card in your pocket

Have a better suggestion?

reviewed by

Jackie

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