As a frugal person, some might call me cheap. I’m very careful about what I spend money on and if I’m dropping dough, you better believe I find value in whatever it is. That’s why shelling out $450 to get a credit card contradicts my usual philosophy. Or does it?
Around 8 months ago I was approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. I was stoked. I just quit my job to go on a long Eurotrip and I knew I was going to reach the minimum spending requirement of $4,000 within the first 3 months in order to get the bonus points. The bonus equated to $500 cash or $625 toward travel when booking through the Chase online portal. It was a no brainer. I’ve since taken a few free flights using the bonus points plus the additional points I got for everyday spending and still have plenty left toward my next trip.
In addition to the bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers double points for spending on traveling (Uber, plane tickets) and dining (bars, restaurants, anywhere but the grocery store). Could it get any better? Yes. Indeed it can. Chase outdid themselves when they introduced Preferred’s big brother, Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The Undeniable Benefits of Chase Sapphire Reserve
Okay, maybe I did hesitate. I have a hard time justifying paying a $59 credit card fee. You’re about to tell me this metal (it’s not plastic) costs $450 a year?! After looking at the perks that come with it, I knew I had to get it. The Sapphire Reserve offers triple the amount of points on dining and travel. The bonus alone after the same $4000/3 month spending limit is 100,000 points! That’s a minimum of $1,000 when redeemed for cash. Why you would do that, I don’t know. If you would do this, let’s chat.
The real reason people are happily splurging on the big annual fee is the $1,500 you get toward travel when booking through Chase! Sure you pay $450 up front but you end up making $1,050 after three months. Oh one more thing, Chase also gives you a $300 annual credit towards what you spent on travel. Ultimately, you end up spending $150 for all these crazy benefits. The triple points will inflate the benefits even more. So many people raced to get this card that Chase ran out of the metal they use to make it!
Applying for Chase Sapphire Reserve
Now, this card is not easy to get. I was likely approved because I have a good track record with Chase thus far. I always pay my bill on time and I use the Preferred as my primary purchasing card. Even if you have good credit, you may not get approved. The clientele of this card has money to blow. The average income of a cardholder is more than $180k per year. Damn.
Chase actually lost $200 million promoting this card and reeling in people to sign up with the insane bonuses. That’s why as of March 12, they’re cutting the points bonus in half to 50,000. This will equate to $500 cash bonus or $750 in travel rewards. When that happens, it’s hard to justify picking the Sapphire Reserve over the Sapphire Preferred or other cards out there. The $450 price tag isn’t worth it especially when the Preferred has no annual fee for the first year. However, you still get 3x Reserve points and only 2x Preferred points so it’ll probably still be a greater benefit in the end, especially if you do spend a lot on dining and travel.
You can’t apply for this card online so you have to GO IN TO A CHASE BANK AND APPLY IN PERSON BY MARCH 11th. The banker should let you know the decision right away or you may have to wait a few days if the system has more checks to do. As long as you’re in there by then, you’ll get the big bonus.
Good luck. I’m not excited to have to put $4,000 on a credit card over 3 months, but I’m up for the challenge if it means all that free money toward my one love, travel! I personally prefer to spend money on flights, but Chase offers many different transfers to hotels across the globe. Pick your poison!
Assess whether you can spend $4,000 on a credit card in 3 months. Exclude rent/checking/other cash payments.
Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve by March 11th in a Chase Bank branch.
If approved, be ready to pay the $450 annual fee.