Cardholders of the Sapphire Reserve will earn 5 points per dollar on flights and 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals when purchasing travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3 points per dollar on other travel and dining and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. There’s also a first-year welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
In addition to the ongoing rewards you can earn on the card, the Sapphire Reserve comes with a $300 annual travel credit, applicable to any travel purchases charged to your credit card.
Chase Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed for statement credits, cash back or gift cards at a rate of one cent per point. You can also use your points to shop directly with brands like Amazon.com and Apple, although that’s typically worth less than a penny a point.
If you redeem your rewards for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site, they’ll be worth 50% more. For example, redeeming 10,000 points is worth $150 toward travel when used this way. You can also use your points for 25% more value through Chase’s Pay Yourself Back program on select purchases in rotating categories.
Additionally, you can transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to more than a dozen airline and hotel partners, which include programs like United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Hyatt. Be aware that once you transfer to a travel partner, you cannot transfer the rewards back to your Ultimate Rewards account.
To determine the rewards potential of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card we reviewed the elevated rewards categories and calculated what the average American household might spend in those areas. Forbes Advisor uses data from multiple government agencies in order to determine both baseline income and spending averages across various categories. The 70th percentile of wage-earning households brings in $116,000 annually and we estimate spending in each category from that number.
Forbes Advisor estimates that a typical U.S. household interested in travel cards at this income level spends $4,886 on flights, yielding 24,430 points if booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. We estimate this same household spends $4,030 on hotels, yielding an additional 40,300 points if bookings are all made through Chase Ultimate Rewards. All other travel spending booked another way is estimated to be $1,586, which earns another 4,758 points.
Our sample household also spends $3,856 on dining, earning 3 points per dollar for a total of 11,568 points. After subtracting travel and dining expenses, Forbes Advisor estimates that the referenced U.S. household would have $21,819 in spending that could reasonably be put on a credit card. At 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar, that spending would earn 21,819 Ultimate Rewards per year.
This puts the annual earnings of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card at 102,875 Ultimate Rewards. This would be worth $1,028.75 in cash back or $1,543.12 in travel booked through Chase, not counting the welcome bonus earned after meeting the minimum spending requirement.