Per ThePointsGuy, Chase finally has announced one of the the most lucrative sign up bonus of all time is coming to an end. Ever since Chase officially launched the Chase Sapphire Reserve in August 2016, the card has offered a 100,000 Ultimate Reward point signup bonus after spending just $4,000 in the first three months. Going forward the signup bonus will be just 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
Since the Sapphire Reserve card offers a generous redemption rate of $0.015/point for travel booked directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the signup bonus is worth a guaranteed $1,500! It is also very possible to get even more value out of the signup bonus when transferring Ultimate Rewards points directly to travel partners. Overall, considering the card has an effective annual fee of just $150 (after $300 travel credit) by earning the signup bonus the card basically paid for itself for about 10 years!
Per ThePointsGuy, Chase will officially stop advertising and accepting online applications for the Sapphire Reserve with the 100,000 signup bonus on January 12, 2017. Apparently, you will continue to be able to visit a Chase brand and apply for the card with the 100,000 signup bonus until March 12, 2017.
Should I Apply?
Sure the 100,000 points after spending just $4,000 is one of the best signup bonus I have ever seen, but beyond that the Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best all around credit cards on the market today. I have had the card since August and absolutely love it!
The $300 travel credit is automatic and posts instantly and just reset after my December 2016 statement closed. I recently reloaded my Chicago Ventra transit card and immediately the charge was offset by the travel credit.
Also, earning 3x points on Taxis (Uber/Lyft), Airfare, Hotels, Trains, Parking, and Dining adds up extremely quickly. Sure, ever since American Express enhanced the Platinum Card to earn 5x points on Airfare I no longer use the card to pay for flights, but I pretty much use the card for everything else.
$100 Global Entry / TSA PreCheck Rebate – I already had TSA PreCheck, but I was able to go with a friend to a registration center and pay for their application. It was a win-win since they got TSA PreCheck for free and I got even more value out of the card!
Ultimate Rewards Points are extremely valuable. Sure, points are worth exactly $0.015 when paying for flights through the Ultimate Rewards portal, but if you transfer points to United and use the points to pay for a Lufthansa first flight ($7,421 from ORD – FRA) you can get a whopping $0.10 per point! I’m sure more experienced hobbyists can find ways to get even more value out of Ultimate Rewards Points as well.
Transferring Ultimate Rewards Points Between Accounts
One of the most overlooked features of the Sapphire Reserve is the ability to transfer points from other Chase rewards credit cards into the Sapphire Reserve’s Ultimate Reward account. For example, if you also have the Chase Freedom you can earn 5x “cash back” on Gas for Q1 2017 and then transfer those “points” to your Sapphire Reserve Ultimate Rewards account. This may be the best “strategy” for any Sapphire Preferred cardholders who do not think applying for the Sapphire Reserve makes sense to them.
Really the only downside to the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the card is subject to the 5/24 rule which essentially automatically declined applicants who had opened more than 5 credit cards in the past 24 months. Many points hobbyists were disappointed by this rule as it prevented them from earning the 100,000 signup bonus. However, many discovered that exceptions to the rule could be made for Chase Private Clients. If you are still hoping to capitalize on the lucrative signup bonus, but are in excess of the 5/24 rule, visiting a branch before March 12, 2017 may be your last chance to score the bonus.
I got a little excited while writing this as you can see from the exclamation marks and the content going beyond a simple PSA about the end of the 100,000 signup bonus, but I am genuinely excited about this credit card. For years I saw the Chase Sapphire Preferred deemed one of the best travel credit cards and did not truly buy the argument, but there is no denying the Sapphire Reserve is one of the best, if not the best, rewards credit card on the market today. If you have not yet applied for the card I really think you’re doing yourself a disservice by not considering adding this card to your wallet. If you are worried about the annual fee of $450, it is important to remember the effective annual fee is just $150 (after the automatic travel credits). If that fee is again too high after a year or two you should be able to simply cancel the card or convert it to another Chase credit card.