This post was written by Chloe at Off Hour Hustle.
Travel credit cards are a great tool to make travel more affordable and enjoyable. One classic, and my personal favorite, is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Combine this card with the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited and you’ll have great benefits as well as maximum rewards for travel to make the best travel points credit card. How can you make use of this card for the greatest travel experience? Let’s break it down.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Basics
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a premium credit card, which means that the benefits come with a $550 annual fee. This may seem like a pretty expensive card at first. However, if you travel even once a year, the benefits can definitely outweigh the fees.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a variety of travel benefits.
- $300 travel credit per year.
- TSA Precheck or Global Entry: Reimbursed on statement for $100 per 4 years.
- Priority Pass Select membership which includes access to 1200+ lounges worldwide
- Hotel benefits: Various hotel perks like room upgrades, free meals, and more at partnered locations.
- Travel insurance: Trip delay, baggage, travel accidents, emergency, evacuation, emergency medical when far from home.
Priority Pass Select membership along with TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry are amazing for the frequent traveler. Most Priority Pass lounges come with an open bar, comfortable seating and recliners, meals/snacks, and some even come with their own bathrooms and showers. You’ll be saving tons of money for every time you would previously spend on airport food and drinks and saving time with TSA.
By having the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you also have access to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection. These are among the world’s finest properties and come with perks such as meal credit, room upgrades, and early check-in/late check-out.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve also comes with DoorDash DashPass ($120 value) for one year and $120 DoorDash credit split across two years. You also receive Lyft Pink ($200 value) for one year and 10% return on Lyft purchases through March 2022. These added benefits are great for travel as you get more cash back on Lyfts to and from the airport as well as food delivery for a late night snack! These benefits alone easily make the Chase Sapphire Reserve the best travel points credit card but there’s even more!
Getting Travel Points
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve in combination with two of Chase’s no annual fee cards, the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited, you can maximize your travel points and get the best bang for your buck. When all three cards are combined, you can get the most travel points for your spending.
All three of these Chase cards give you signing bonuses, which you can accumulate to redeem for travel. It’s important to spread out when you apply for these cards so that you can get all the signing bonuses organically.
|Credit Card||Signing Bonus|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||50,000 points after $4000 spend in first three months|
|Chase Freedom Flex||20,000 points after $500 spend in first three months|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||20,000 points after $500 spend in first three months|
When you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll earn 3x points for every $1 spent on restaurants and travel. And for a limited time, you’ll also earn 3x points on groceries until April 30, 2021.
With the Chase Freedom Flex, you’ll earn 5x points on every $1 spent for rotating categories each quarter, 3x points on restaurants and drugstores, and 1x on everything else. The Chase Freedom Unlimited will give you 1.5x points on everything.
Use the right cards for every purchase to get the maximum travel points possible.
Redeeming Travel Points With Chase Ultimate Rewards
Now that you have the maximum amount of travel points for your spending, how can you redeem them to get even more?
Transferring Points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Through Chase’s portal, you can move your points from Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited to Chase Sapphire Reserve. While the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited by themselves are touted as cash back cards, transferring the points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve will give you better value when you redeem them.
Points can be redeemed via Chase Ultimate Rewards by transferring to travel partners, booking travel through Chase, or booking fares with points.
When you use your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, your points will be worth a cash value of 50% more. You can book plane tickets, hotel stays, or car rentals through the portal.
When you transfer your points to travel partners, you can redeem your points at rates from 1x to 10x based on where you redeem them. Some examples of travel partners are United MileagePlus, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, and the World of Hyatt. Make sure you check with each travel partner to see where you can get the most value for your points for your particular travel destination.
What do you think of the Chase Sapphire Reserve? Do you see it as the best travel points credit card? For the next time you travel, make sure you get the Chase Sapphire Reserve for the points and the benefits. Your next trip will be one of the best you’ve ever had!
Chloe is a software engineer who has a passion for personal finance. She blogs about credit cards, investing, and side gigs at Off Hour Hustle. When she’s not coding or writing, you can find her climbing, hiking, and skating.