I am a big proponent of starting your Travel Hacking journey with a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. One reason is the value of the sign up bonus which is currently 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points worth a minimum of $750 at 1.25 cents per point. The annual fee is $95 and there are many perks with this credit card. It is a relatively low cost way to test the waters with a Chase credit card that offers a lot of valuable perks. This post will explain why I am contemplating a Chase Sapphire Reserve upgrade.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
Did you know that there is also a premium version of the Sapphire Preferred credit card known as the Chase Sapphire Reserve? This credit card currently offers a 50,000 point sign up bonus worth $750 at 1.5 cents per point and an annual fee of $550. As you can see, that’s a very high annual fee as compared with the Sapphire Preferred.
Reasons to Upgrade
Even so, there may be reasons to consider a Chase Sapphire Reserve upgrade from the Sapphire Preferred if you travel quite a bit. The fact that your points are worth 25% more with the Reserve is one reason. Again, the points with Preferred are worth 1.25 cents per point whereas with the Reserve, they are worth 1.50 cents per point.
Reductions in the Annual Fee
Here is another reason to consider a Chase Sapphire Reserve upgrade. Card holders of the Sapphire Reserve receive a credit for up to $300 on any purchases that code as travel. This effectively takes the annual fee down to $250.
One of the great perks with this card is enrollment in the Priority Pass Select Airport Lounge Access Program. Card holders and up to two guests get free access to over 1300 Airport Lounges in over 600 cities in 148 countries around the world.
Priority Pass lounges offer a comfortable place to relax while you are at the airport. Offerings vary but generally include free food and drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. You’ll find comfortable seating and ample space to spread out to get your work done.
Priority Pass Partners
In some cases, where there is no Priority Pass lounge in an airport, card holders and up to two guests can dine at a Priority Pass partner restaurant. Food and drink allowances vary but can be as high as $28 per person.
In some airports, Priority Pass offers access to Minute Suites where you can sleep for one hour in a comfortable bed. You can purchase additional sleep time at a discounted rate.
In the Minneapolis airport, you have access to a putting green, golf lessons and use of a golf simulator all for free!
Value of Priority Pass Select Membership
It’s hard to put an exact value on this perk as Priority Pass offers several membership tiers none of which correspond exactly to the perk offered by Chase.
Right now, $199 membership offers 10 free visits per year and a cost of $32 per visit thereafter. Members pay $32 each per guest. Currently the most expensive membership is $429 for unlimited free visits but still charges $32 per guest. Remember that with the Priority Pass Select Membership, the card holder and up to two guests get in free.
I’ll value this perk at a conservative and somewhat arbitrary $300. It all depends on how much you use this benefit.
Now let’s factor the $300 value of Priority Pass Select into the annual fee of $550 for the Sapphire Reserve. If you are keeping track, our current Sapphire Reserve annual fee is $250. After the travel credit of $300, you can see that we’ve wiped out the annual fee entirely!
More Sapphire Reserve Benefits
But wait, there’s more. The Sapphire Reserve also offers a credit of up to $100 every 4 years to reimburse for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. If you already have one of these two great travel designations, consider using this perk for a family member or friend. Just use your Sapphire Reserve card to pay for TSA OreCheck or Global Entry.
Also, you’ll earn 3 x points on travel and dining worldwide. However, with the Sapphire Preferred, you earn just 2 x points on travel and dining. The additional points add up quickly for frequent diners and travelers.
Additional Partner Perks
Right now, Chase has relationships with Lyft and DoorDash. With Lyft, you’ll earn 10 x points for each dollar spent through 3/2022. Also, you’ll receive 15% off every car ride and a free subscription to LyftPink which offers additional benefits for one year.
With DoorDash, get unlimited free deliveries for one year as long as you order a minimum of $12 of qualifying food purchases.
Even More Sapphire Reserve Benefits
Other perks of the Sapphire Reserve include no foreign transaction fees when you use your credit card overseas. As well, receive trip interruption and cancellation insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and auto rental collision damage waiver coverage. There are additional purchase protections and warranties and a few other travel perks too numerous to mention here.
All things considered, it might make sense for you to upgrade from the Sapphire Preferred to the Sapphire Reserve. I recommend waiting until you’ve had the Sapphire Preferred for one year before making the request to upgrade.
To do this, call Chase customer service or send a secure private message through the Chase online portal. Tell them you want to upgrade your Chase Sapphire Preferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. It’s that easy! I’ll be requesting the Chase Sapphire Reserve upgrade this coming month.
Are you considering making this upgrade to the Sapphire Reserve? If so, scroll down and leave a comment and tell me why you are making the switch.