The New Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card – It’s Official

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UPDATE: Chase has confirmed that the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card will not come with the $100 companion airfare benefit that other Visa Infinite cards come with – that takes some value away from this card.

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If you follow the miles & points world with any regularity you will have to have been somewhere very remote and internet-free over the past two weeks not to have heard the rumors about a new high-end Chase credit card that’s supposedly coming to market soon. Either that or you forgot to pay your internet bill.

Well, the rumours were correct and Chase has confirmed that the card will exist and that it will be launching “next week”.

First things first. At the time of writing, Chase has made a sum total of zero announcements about the details of this card but it has tweeted this….

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….and linked, somewhat surprisingly, to The Points Guy where more details were posted.


The Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

Launch Date

The new Chase card is set to be called the “Chase Sapphire Reserve” credit card and the rumours have been saying that it’s expected to be launched on 21 August 2016 (which seems a bit strange to me considering that’s a Sunday) so I’d be expecting to see it appear possibly on the 22nd.


  • Annual Fee of $450
  • Authorized user fee of $75


  • 100,000 Ultimate Rewards Points sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of having the card
  • $300 in travel credits – this includes all travel categories including hotels, airfare, rental cars etc…
  • Priority Pass membership (we don’t yet know how good a membership this will be)
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre-check credit
  • Use Ultimate Rewards Points at a value of 1.5 cents each for travel booked through Chase
  • No foreign transaction fees

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We also know that the card will be issued as a “Visa Infinite” credit card but, unlike the new Ritz-Carlton Card, will not come with a $100 companion airfare discount.

In short, this means that cardholders get $100 off domestic round-trip flights, booked for two or more people, as may times as they choose to book such a trip.

Bonus Categories

  • 3 points/dollar on travel
  • 3 points/dollar on dining
  • 1 point/dollar on all other transactions

Thoughts On The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card (CSR) looks like a very interesting proposition and one that’s clearly been designed to go up against the Citi Prestige credit card:

  • Citi Prestige offers 3 points/$ for air and hotel bookings while the CSR will offer 3 points/$ on all travel
  • Citi Prestige offers 2 points/$ for dining while the CSR will offer 3 points/$
  • Citi Prestige offers a $250 credit airline fees (including airfare) while the CSR is set to offer a $300 credit for all travel categories.
  • Citi Prestige allows cardholders to redeem points for travel at a value of 1.25 cents while the CSR will see cardholders able to redeem points at 1.5 cents each
  • Both cards offer Priority Pass membership but it will be interesting to see if the CSR’s version will be as good as that of the Citi Prestige where cardholders can invite up to two guests into lounges for free.

Something the CSR doesn’t appear to offer is anything to compete with the Prestige’s “4th night free” benefit and that seems like a bit of weakness in this card’s offering.

The big draw of this card (at least for the short-termists) will be the 100,000 point sign-up bonus….and who doesn’t want 4 nights at the Park Hyatt Maldives just for spending $4,000 in three months on a credit card?!

park-hyatt-maldivesPark Hyatt Maldives – image courtesy of Hyatt

I like the look of this card and, on the face of it, it should be possible to recoup the $450 annual fee with the various benefits the card is set to offer – the $300 airline credit will reduce to annual fee to just $150 and it shouldn’t be difficult to earn back all of that (and more) in benefits over the course of a year.

Warning – Chase’s 5/24 Rule

The Chase Sapphire Reserve could be a very useful card to hold and it’s the major reason why I don’t think anyone should be applying for other credit cards right now.

Chase has been implementing a rule (commonly referred to as the 5/24 rule) which means that the bank will only consider credit card applications from customers who have applied for no more than 5 credit cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months.

This rule hasn’t been implemented for all of Chase’s credit cards but there’s no reason to believe that they’ll give people a pass on this new card.

If you’re a miles & points enthusiast then its very likely that you’re either close to, right on or over the 5 card per 24 months limit right now and, while those in last two categories can’t do much more than hope that Chase doesn’t implement its own rule, those in the first category shouldn’t do anything to jeopardise their chances of being approved for this card should they wish to apply for it.

CSR Application v Citi Prestige Application

I know a few people may be considering applying for the Citi Prestige card despite the announced devaluation (I have a blog coming up on that tomorrow) but I would strongly advise against applying until the Chase card launches – yes, I’m saying that despite the new rule that Citi is implementing.

You may think that you already know all you need to know about the two cards and you may think that you have no intention of applying for the Chase card…but what’s your hurry?

citi prestige credit card

  • The Citi Prestige has just reduced its sign-up bonus (although there are rumours that a link to a 50,000 sign-up bonus still exist)
  • Citi’s new restrictive sign-up rule isn’t set to be implemented until 29 August (according to a couple of normally reliable blogs) and you can’t be 100% sure that you won’t want to apply for the Chase card until you’ve had all the details directly fro Chase (like what the Priority Pass membership will be like).

Put simply, by applying for the Citi Prestige now you’re putting another mark on your credit file that Chase may use to reject your application should you change your mind and decide to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve card as well.

There is no upside that I can see to applying for the Citi Prestige before you’re 100% sure what the CSR offers but there’s plenty of downside.

Bottom Line

I’m holding off final judgement until I see what the Priority Pass membership looks like but the fact that the $300 travel credit will reimburse all travel categories means that this card stands much more chance of being a keeper than if it was more like the Amex airfare credit.

Having said that, it’s worth bearing in ming that, for $355 less, you can get (or probably already have) the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card and while that may not have the airline credit or Priority Pass membership it only offers 1 fewer point per dollar spent on dining and travel expenditure….and that could make it the more economical card to keep for ongoing spend.


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