I want to first make my spiel. Why I really wanted to start this blog.
I am in a position where I pay for myself independently to live – that’s eat, sleep, travel, enjoy, etc. And I can comfortably pay for those things. If you at all align with my lifestyle, you should have a credit card earning points. When I see any of my peers spending on a debit card I cringe. To avoid dragging on, treat a credit card as you would a debit card. If you are spending you should be earning. As long as you don’t spend money you don’t have, there is absolutely no risk in spending on a credit card. As mentioned in my intro blog, there is a certain need to credit card spending to start building that credit.
So what card should I get….
Whether it’s the numerous blogs I read raving on about the card, or the weight it brings to my wallet, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is by far my leader in the clubhouse. As someone just entering the game, the most obvious question is, “why should I pay $450 a year for a credit card when I can pay $95 for the Preferred and get it waived my first year? Classic question I get constantly (not really). But a very valid question.
So why did I decide to pay for a premiere credit card as my first true travel rewards credit card?
- 100,000 point sign-up bonus after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months
This is what made this card almost literally fly off the shelf. Chase was backordered on this card because demand was so high when it was introduced. Unfortunately, this sign-up bonus has been cut in half (50,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, valued at around $625), but still is an extremely good value.
- $300 travel credit
I basically subtract this immediately from the $450 annual fee. So right there it’s at $150. If you expect to spend $300 in travel a year (for me that’s a no-brainer), I believe this card is a sure thing. The Sapphire Preferred does not have this travel credit.
- 3x points on travel and dining
In comparison to the 2x on travel and dining with the Preferred, this makes the card that much more valuable. For me, travel and dining are my two largest spends as I spend a majority time on the road.
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel
This is one of the largest reasons Chase is so valuable compared to its competitors. I will dedicate and entire blog to the Chase transfer partners and their value, but many travel experts now see similar value in booking directly through the portal. I have seen tremendous value in the portal especially with flights, but I look forward to digging for rewards through the numerous partners. (Gary Leff has an amazing blog about 17 travel rewards he has found, with some amazing value) With the bonus and the points gained dining, the amount of money saved
Read about the transfer partners here.
- Global Entry refund
For anyone that travels even just a few times a year, this Global Entry pass is an extremely valuable perk. I haven’t gotten a ton of value from using it at customs, but it does give you TSA PreCheck, which I have used to its full potential. At times it has saved me a ton of time, but I especially enjoy the perk of not having to take my shoes off, or my laptop out of my bag. Makes the security process a breeze.
Now I did have Global Entry before I applied for this card, so in this scenario there are other options to take to still benefit from the reward. Read about them here.
- Priority Pass membership
Something I deem as highly underrated. For people who don’t travel as much this is probably something that is harder to take advantage of, but Priority Pass is a growing lounge network in the states that I have personally been able to use a ton. After a long week at work I usually want to enjoy one or two (or three..) drinks at the airport and with airport prices we all know that begins to add up. With the lounge offering free drinks, I save a ton of money right there.
I dive into this awesome perk in an entire blog, which you can read about here.
- Metal card
And last but not least, the swag it brings to your wallet. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve pulled out my Reserve and got some sort of reaction about the weight of the card. Not always saying they are completely positive, but I feel way more important than I really am. There are not too many cards out there that are made in metal.
The final leg…
I didn’t want to clutter this post with information about other premiere options (which are worthy in their own right), but instead focus on the main reasons I love the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Once I immediately subtract the $300 travel credit, I compared the Reserve to the Preferred at a $150 vs $95 (waived the first year) fee. If you are able to take advantage of the $100 Global Entry refund, that’s $50 vs $0 in the first year (not taking into account time and stress you save in the future at the airport – because TIME=$$$). With these dollar amounts taken into account, the incredible value of Chase Rewards when traveling, and the numerous other perks, I knew this card was a no-brainer for me, as it should be for you.