Chase Sapphire Reserve® (CSR) Review
2020.5 Update2: The “Pay Yourself Back” (i.e. 1.5 cents/point redemption) feature is now live:
2020.5 Update: Several improvements were made because of the COVID-19 pandemic:
- You can now use your $300 travel credit at grocery stores and gas stations, from Jun 1st to the end of this year.
- You can now redeem your UR points at a fixed rate of 1.5 cents/point for grocery stores, home improvement stores and dining establishments, from May 31st through Sept 30th.
- The renewal annual fee will be only $450 before the end of this year.
2020.1 Update: Several changes were made today:
- The annual fee is increased from $450 to $550;
- $60 Doordash credit per year in 2020 and 2021 (we don’t know what happens after that); complimentary DashPass membership til the end of 2021.
- One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink membership, and 10x UR points on Lyft.
- 50k offer: earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months! The previous best offer was 100k when this product was released, but we are unlikely to see that again.
- We estimate that Ultimate Rewards (UR) points are worth about 1.6 cents/point, see below for a brief introduction. So the 50k sign-up bonus could be worth about $800!
- If you have this card, you can transfer your UR points to partner airlines miles and hotel points. You can also use your UR points at a fixed rate 1.5 cents/point on the Chase UR travel portal. This makes UR points worth at least 1.5 cents/point!
- Each year (account anniversary year), automatically receive up to $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card.
- Earn 3x UR points on travel (after using full travel credit) and dining. Earn 1x UR point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Chase is known to be quite flexible with their definition of travel and includes merchants such as Uber and some public transportation.
- Complimentary Priority Pass Select (PPS) card for the primary cardholder and authorized users. You can bring up to 2 guests for free.
- Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre application fee.
- [New] $60 Doordash credit per year in 2020 and 2021 (we don’t know what happens after that); complimentary DashPass membership til the end of 2021.
- [New] One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink membership, and 10x UR points on Lyft.
- Visa Infinite benefits, including: Visa Infinite Hotel Collection, Visa Infinite Hotel Privileges, Visa Infinite Car Rental Privileges. But note that the $100 air discount benefit is NOT included.
- Primary car rental insurance.
- No foreign transaction fee.
Refer a friend. You can earn 10,000 bonus UR points for every approved account you refer, up to a maximum of 5 approved referrals (50,000 UR points) per calendar year.
- Annual fee $550, NOT waived first year. $75 annual fee for each authorized user. Note that the annual fee does not count towards the minimum spending requirement (and this is true for all credit cards)!
- The lowest credit limit is $10k, so it requires good income and credit history.
Introduction to UR Points
- You can earn UR points with Chase Freedom Student, Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU), Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP), Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR), Chase Ink Cash (Business), Chase Ink Unlimited (Business), Chase Ink Preferred (Business), etc.
- You can move your UR points from one UR card to another at any time.
- UR points never expire. You will lose the UR points on one card if you close the account, but you can prevent losing your UR points by moving the points to another UR card beforehand.
- If you have Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP), Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR), or Chase Ink Preferred (Business), UR points can be transferred to some hotel points. One of the best way to use UR points is to 1:1 transfer to Hyatt points. UR points can also be transferred to some airline miles. One of the most common and best way to use UR points is to 1:1 transfer them to United Airlines (UA) miles (Star Alliance), and combine them with the UA miles earned from the UA card. Other good options are: Southwest (WN) (Non-alliance), British Airways (BA) (Oneworld), Virgin Atlantic (VS) (Non-alliance), etc. If you use UR points in this way, the value is about 1.6 cents/point.
- If you have Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR), you can redeem your UR points at a fixed rate 1.5 cents/point towards air tickets or hotels on UR travel portal; if you have Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) or Chase Ink Preferred (Business), you can redeem your UR at a fixed rate 1.25 cents/point towards air tickets or hotels on UR travel portal.
- If you have any of the UR cards, you can redeem your UR points at a fixed rate 1 cent/point towards cash.
- In summary, we estimate that UR points are worth about 1.6 cents/point.
- For more information about UR points, see Maximize the Credit Card Points Values (overview), and Introduction to UR: How to Earn and Introduction to UR: How to Use (very detailed).
Recommended Application Time
- [5/24 Rule] If you have 5 or more new accounts opened in the past 24 months, Chase will not approve your application on this card, no matter how high your credit score is. The number of new accounts includes all credit card accounts, not only Chase accounts. See this post for details about how to possibly bypass this rule.
- The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 48 months. Note that what this 48-month clock starts from when you last got the sign-up bonus, not the time you open the account or close the account.
- Don’t apply for more than 2 Chase credit cards within 30 days, it’s highly likely that you will get rejected.
- We recommend that you apply for this card after you have had other Chase credit cards for at least 3 months, or after you have had a credit history for more than a year.
A few years ago, when Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) was initially launched, it was a fantastic card that everyone love. However, nowadays, CSR itself is weakened several times by quite a bit, and other banks has improved their premium cards. CSR is not the superstar any more.
Now the annual fee is $550, if we assume $300 travel credit and $60 Doordash credit are fully used, we still have about $200 equivalent annual fee to pay. Since we can’t get both CSR and Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) due to Chase’s application rules, we need to make a choice between these two. The main advantages of CSR are: faster points earning rate (3x vs 2x); 1.5 c/p redemption rate; PPS card for lounge access. If you don’t travel enough to take advantage of these benefits, or you have other better premium credit cards, then probably CSP is a better choice.
Related Credit Cards
Recommended Downgrade Options
- Chase Freedom. Even if you already have a Freedom, you are still able to downgrade your CSP to have a second Freedom.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU).
- Chase Sapphire. If you are not able to downgrade your card to the above good cards, you can downgrade it to this card and try to product change in the future.
- Call 800-436-7927 to check Chase application status. This is an automated telephone line, and the information has the following meanings: Receive decision in 2 weeks means your application is probably approved; Receive decision in 7-10 days means your application is probably rejected; Receive decision in 30 days simply means your application requires further review and there’s nothing to tell you for now.
- Chase reconsideration backdoor number: 888-270-2127 or 888-609-7805. Call it if you didn’t get approve immediately. Your personal information will be acquired and they will then review it. You seldom answer questions, instead, just enjoy the music and then you get approved or rejected, or further information is needed to be hand in to the branch or faxed.