[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. For current terms and conditions, please see card agreements. Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Chase is launching a new premium travel credit card that comes pretty loaded with perks.
The new Chase Sapphire Reserve, set to debut next week, will offer cardholders three points per dollar on travel and dining worldwide; one point per dollar on all other purchases; an annual $300 statement credit that can be put toward any travel purchases charged to the card; an application fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check; Priority Pass Select airport lounge access and — wait for it — a 100,000-point signup bonus if you spend $4,000 in the first three months of opening the account.
Given Chase’s plan to let Reserve cardholders redeem points through its Ultimate Rewards travel reservation portal at a rate of 1.5 cents each, that sign-on bonus could net you $1,500 toward a future vacation. (And that’s not counting the $300 statement credit you’ll get each year.)
Of course, all those perks come at a price: The card will carry a $450 annual fee ($75 for authorized users), which applies to your first statement. So, while you may ultimately recoup the funds and then some (at least in your first year), you’ll have to throw down a pretty penny ahead of time.
Remember, you must spend $4,000 in the first three months of opening the account to get the mega-sign-on bonus. That may not seem like a tall order for frequent fliers or big spenders, but those on a tighter budget may want to crunch the numbers to be sure the spend justifies the means — this year and beyond.
Chase has yet to provide information on the annual percentage rates (APRs) the card will carry. The company did say Reserve won’t have foreign transaction fees.
Chase Sapphire Reserve is not Chase’s first Sapphire-branded card. It joins the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card (see full review here), which carries a $95 annual fee (waived the first year); a base rewards program offering two points per dollar on travel and dining; and one point per dollar everywhere else. It also has a 50,000 point sign-on bonus, which can be equivalent to $625 in travel credits, given those points are worth 1.25 cents when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
The Skinny on Premium Rewards Cards
Premium rewards cards, in general, can be a great way for big spenders to earn points, miles or cash back on their purchases. But this plastic is best suited to those who don’t carry a balance — otherwise those rewards will get lost to interest — and spend enough to recoup any annual fee tied to the card.
Of course, no matter what card you’re considering, it’s important to read the terms and conditions carefully to be sure it’s the right one for you. It’s also a good idea to check your credit because it typically takes a stellar score to qualify for the best cards on the market. You can see where you currently stand by viewing two of your credit scores, updated each month, for free on Credit.com. If you’re carrying debt, you can see how long it will take to pay off by trying our lifetime cost of debt calculator.
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