Chase Sapphire Reserve: Why It's The Best Travel Card For Beginners
We use credit card points pretty aggressively to pay for our travels. In fact, we haven't paid for a plane ticket or hotel room in over two years. Do you want to get started with points and miles? What card should you get first? Keep reading to find out why we think the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is the best card for beginners.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
We already wrote about how to get started with credit card points. We think points and miles are a great way to travel more often, without spending your own money. Why should you start with the Chase Sapphire Reserve? First off, Chase has a rule about how many cards you can have before they decline you for a new one. It's called 5/24. It means that you can't open more than five new cards, from any bank, within a 24 month period. If you do, they will automatically decline you. So start with Chase. Get five cards from them, and then move on.
But why the Chase Sapphire Reserve? The Reserve Card is our favorite for many reasons. We love it for the earning potential and the value of the points you earn. We also like the perks that come with it. With this card, you'll receive 3 points per dollar for spending on travel and restaurants. You'll also earn 1 point per dollar on everything else. You can then redeem those points for 1.5 cents apiece, at a minimum. If you transfer them to their travel partners, like United Airlines, you can get even more value. There's also a pretty sweet signup bonus of 50,000 points when you initially apply. That's a great head start!
What about other perks? TSA precheck and Global Entry are services that let you skip the regular TSA line and go through a shorter one. It costs 99$ every five years. The Reserve card gives you credit for it. So it's free. When you book plane tickets with the card or even just pay the taxes on an award redemption, you receive travel protection and medical insurance anywhere in the world. You also become a Priority Pass member. That allows you to enter Airport lounges all over the world. Lounges are quieter than the terminals, and they have free snacks and drinks.
Those perks do come at a cost, however. This card has an annual fee of 450$. Before you freak out though, you get most of that fee back. How? Every year you receive a 300$ travel credit. You can use it on anything from hotels, plane tickets or Uber rides. It's also pain-free. When you make an eligible purchase, Chase credits you the next day. You don't have to do anything. The purchase is just removed from your bill. That effectively brings the annual fee down to 150$. You can make that up with the TSA Precheck credit, increased redemption value or free gin and tonics from all the lounges you'll be hanging out in. Plus, after the first year if you don't think it's worth it, cancel or downgrade to the Sapphire Prefered card. It only has an annual fee of 99 dollars.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is our favorite credit card. We use it all the time and happily pay the annual fee every year. Even if you don't like the sound of this card, make sure you're using the best card to maximize your rewards. And for God's sake don't get the Capital One Venture Card. It’s the worst. Travel is a lot more fun when you don't have to pay for it. What do you think about using credit card points for travel? Does the thought of opening a new card make you nervous? Answer below in the comments.