Today, UPS dropped off my Chase Sapphire Reserve card and it felt like Christmas came early! Opening the card could not have been easier and I continue to be impressed by Chase’s customer service. I will quickly share my experience opening the Sapphire Reserve card and some tips about opening the card. One thing I do not understand is why my card did not come in the fancy box as seen in this video, but as long as the card comes with all of the benefits regardless of how it was shipped, I am very happy!

Applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve: I held off until the official landing page with 100,000 ultimate reward point offer was live on Chase’s website. I entered my information and received the dreaded “application pending” page. Surprisingly, a day later, a Chase representative called me regarding my application. They wanted to confirm some of my information and once confirmed, I was instantly approved for the card. It it worth noting, Chase will unofficially deny applicants that have opened more than 5 credit cards in the prior 24 months, but this unofficial policy “5/24 Rule” can be waived by a Chase Private Client representative. Once I was approved for the the card, I asked for expedited shipping and Chase was happy to fulfill my request.

100,000 Ultimate Reward Sign Up Offer: Chase is currently offering 100,000 Ultimate Reward points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of opening the account. It is important to note that the 3 month period begins the day you are approved for the card not the day the card is activated! Recently, it took a month for me to receive my Sapphire Preferred card, but a quick call to Chase and they extended the sign up offer by a full month! If for any reason it takes extra time to receive the card, it never hurts to call Chase and ask for an extension.

It is also important to note that the first $300 in travel expenses (offset by the automatic travel credit) DO NOT count toward the $4,000 sign up requirement.So the first $300 spent with “airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages” will not count toward the $4,000 required signup bonus spend.

Priority Pass Membership: The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with complimentary Priority Pass Select membership granting you AND guests into Priority Pass lounges. The good news is that like the Citi Prestige card and unlike the American Express Platinum card, guests can accompany the cardholder into the lounge for free! Unlike the Citi Prestige card and like the American Express Platinum card, you must call Chase to activate your Priority Pass membership. Once you call, Chase will accept your enrollment and you can expect your Priority Pass card and membership materials in the mail within 2-3 weeks.

$300 Travel Credit: Similar to the Citi Prestige card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers an automatic travel credit of up to $300 per calendar year for travel related purchases. Travel categories are listed above, but offer wide variety of merchants. Most importantly, the travel credit is automatically applied to your statement AND is based on a calendar year. If you plan on opening this card, make sure to do so before the end of the year to take advantage of your 2016 credit.

Card Activation: Chase did not have an activation sticker on the card when I received it, so make sure to call customer service and activate the card. I love when you call the number on the back of the card, the call is quickly answered by a real person happy to assist! This is a good time to also activate your Priority Pass Membership.

I know I have covered the Chase Sapphire Reserve extensively in the past few days, but it really is the best all around travel reward credit card on the market today. It also comes at a time where the old dominate card, the Citi Prestige card, continues to announce negative changes. If you are interested in applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, please apply here. If you are interested in a full listing of benefits offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, check out Chase’s website for further detail.