Chase Sapphire Reserve Unveils Enhanced Welcome Bonus

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When the Chase Sapphire Reserve launched in 2016, it was extremely well received by travel and credit card enthusiasts. Among the appealing elements of the card was its 100,000-point welcome bonus. In fact, the offer was so good that some that missed it have been waiting for it to come back around. While those holding on for 100k will have to keep waiting, Chase has just unveiled its best deal for the Sapphire Reserve since those early days.

Currently, new cardholders can earn 80,000 Ultimate Reward points when they spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within their first three months. These points are worth up to $1,200 when redeemed for travel bookings on the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal or via the Chase Pay Yourself Back program. For context, prior to this latest offer, the Sapphire Reserve’s welcome bonus was 60,000 points for the same $4,000 in spending. Note that the Chase Sapphire Reserve does carry a $550 annual fee.

Beyond this generous intro bonus, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a bevy of other benefits for travelers. First, the card includes up to $300 in annual statement credits for travel purchases. Additionally, Sapphire Reserve customers gain airport lounge access via Priority Pass Select. In terms of rewards, the card earns 5x points on flights purchased through the Chase travel portal, 10x points on Chase Dining, 3x points on general travel purchases, 3x on dining, and 1x on all other purchases.

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As mentioned, Sapphire Reserve customers also have the option of redeeming their points for 50% more value via the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal or Pay Yourself Back program. Current Pay Yourself Back categories include Airbnb bookings, dining, eligible charity donations, or paying the card’s annual fee with points. Alternatively, customers can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to several airline and hotel travel partners, redeem points for statement credits, and more.

While the Chase Sapphire Reserve has remained one of the most popular travel cards on the market, recently, the offering did gain some competition from Capital One. Earlier this year, the bank launched the Venture X card as its first premium travel card. Despite having a lower annual fee than the Sapphire Reserve ($395 versus $550), the Venture X also has a $300 travel credit — although it can only be redeemed using Capital One’s travel portal. Nevertheless, it’s possible that the hype surrounding the Capital One card helped inspire Chase to raise its offer.

In any case, those who missed out on the now long-gone 100k deal for the Chase Sapphire Reserve but have continued to consider the card may have found their next best opportunity with this latest offer. Of course, there’s also no guarantee, especially as the travel and credit card landscapes quickly evolve. Ultimately, those interested should consider all of the long-term benefits of the card to make their decision on whether or not to apply.

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Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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