[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. For current terms and conditions, please see card agreements. Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Remember that new premium travel credit card we reported on last week? The one with the massive $1,500 sign-on bonus? Well, prospective cardholders can now apply.
Chase has officially launched its Sapphire Reserve. The new travel credit card touts a laundry list of perks, including a standard rewards program offering three points per dollar on travel and dining and one point per dollar on all other purchases; a $300 annual travel credit; an application fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ and, yup, 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.
Those points amount to a whopping $1,500 when you redeem them through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
But be careful not to let your eyes get bigger than your head: The card also carries a $450 annual fee ($75 for any authorized users). And it’s not waived the first year, so in order to receive that big ol’ bonus, you’ll have to put down a significant amount of money upfront (that $450 annual fee, charged to your first statement, and the $4,000 you’d need to charge in the first three months to earn the points).
For frequent fliers who can pay those charges off on time and in full — a best practice when it comes to any rewards credit card (otherwise, you’ll just lose those points to interest) — the card comes loaded with some other attractive travel perks: Priority Pass Select airport lounge access, certain travel and purchase protections; no foreign transaction fees; 24-hour access to customer service specialists; special car rental privileges via National Car Rental; Avis and Silvercar; and special benefits at top hotels and resorts with The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
It carries variable purchase and balance transfer annual percentage rates between 16.24% and 23.24%, based on creditworthiness, and 25.24% on cash or overdraft advances. Cardholders who don’t pay their monthly bills on time are subject to a late fee of up to $15 if the balance is less than $100, $27 if the balance is $100 to $249, and $37 if the balance is $250 or more.
Thinking About a Rewards Credit Card?
It’s important to read offers very carefully before you apply. If a card carries a steep annual fee, you may want to crunch some numbers to see if your current spending habits would recoup the charge. Spending more than you normally would, or ultimately can afford, just to score a bonus (no matter how big) could easily land you in credit card debt — and effectively register all those extra bonus points null and void. (You can calculate the lifetime cost of any debt you’re currently carrying to get an idea of how interest can add up here.)
If you are prone to carrying a balance, you may want to look into low-interest or balance-transfer credit cards. But, no matter what card you choose, be sure to check your credit before you apply. You typically need a good credit score to qualify for cards with the best terms and conditions, and you don’t want to incur a hard inquiry only to have your application rejected. (You can see where your credit currently stands by pulling your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and viewing two of your credit scores for free each month on Credit.com.)
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Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.