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Chase Sapphire VS Chase Sapphire Reserve VS ?


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Renewing discussion on travel credit cards.

Looking to ditch my BOFA RCG credit card. I'm finding that I could be getting better perks with others. I've read some of the exchanges on these boards about travel credit cards. I am interested in hearing how booking travel with either the Chase Sapphire or the Chase Sapphire Reserve works. Do you feel you get a good exchange for points to travel? Is it still possible to book a cruise with MEI using redeemed bonus points? Do I reserve flights through the Chase website or any airline website? Which card do you use and why did you select it over the other? 

If you use another travel card, would love to hear about it. We fly out of Saint Louis and Springfield, MO

NOTE: I pay our credit card bills in total every month. No point in rewards if their suck'n you dry with interest fees.

 

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Great topic, I'm curious, too.  I currently only use my Royal Caribbean BOA card for Royal Caribbean purchase, and my Costco Visa for, literally, everything else, and never carry a balance.  But when I look at other cards I fear that I won't be able to book independently or book flights with Delta.  I'm interested in the responses.  (I'm pretty fearful of reward cards as the reward redemption seems complicated and overwhelms me).

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29 minutes ago, SpeedNoodles said:

 (I'm pretty fearful of reward cards as the reward redemption seems complicated and overwhelms me).

^^^^^^^ Exactly! ^^^^^^^^^^

 I do recall some message board posters saying how they enjoy the travel insurance perk, but I don't recall if they carried the cancel for any reason or if you could pay more for that.

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12 hours ago, Baked Alaska said:

Renewing discussion on travel credit cards.

Looking to ditch my BOFA RCG credit card. I'm finding that I could be getting better perks with others. I've read some of the exchanges on these boards about travel credit cards. I am interested in hearing how booking travel with either the Chase Sapphire or the Chase Sapphire Reserve works. Do you feel you get a good exchange for points to travel? Is it still possible to book a cruise with MEI using redeemed bonus points? Do I reserve flights through the Chase website or any airline website? Which card do you use and why did you select it over the other? 

If you use another travel card, would love to hear about it. We fly out of Saint Louis and Springfield, MO

NOTE: I pay our credit card bills in total every month. No point in rewards if their suck'n you dry with interest fees.

 

I have The VentureOne Credit card by Capital One & the Quicksilver Credit card that is also provided by Capital one & I use both cards for 1/3 to 1/2 of my monthly purchases & 100% of my travel purchases. Those 2 credit cards do not offer travel insurance, but they do give reward points/cash for every purchase and once the transactions and rewards points are updated I can then redeem the reward points/cash if/when I have enough points for each transaction that I would like to redeem my earned points toward. I have used both of those 2 cards for over 2.5 years & I have been redeeming my earned rewards whenever I had enough points to redeem them for any of my purchases that I made using those 2 cards. Neither of those cards offer travel insurance & has no annual fee like most other travel credit cards for each industry that is travel related or offers travel insurance.

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I have the Sapphire Reserve.

The annual fee is a bit alarming at first, but once you see the perks (including the travel insurance), it’s totally worth it for us.

From a “points” standpoint, it’s good. 3X for Travel and Dining. I usually transfer those points to an airline for 1:1 redemption and use them for my flights.

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I use the Bank of America Travel Card. Have been very happy with it. No annual fee, 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases. Those points are redeemed for anything travel related. I use the card for almost all my personal and business purchases. I’ve not paid for a cruise in 4 years. My points have covered 3 or 4 cruises per year. The trick is to make sure you pay the balance off each month so you don’t pay interest. If you can’t do that then it’s worth it at all as the interest rate is high, but if you can it’s the only way to travel. 3 years ago I took my family of 6 on a 2 week vacation to Greece, England and Scotland. The total cost of the trip was $20,000. The points covered all but $1500 for meals. Plus the card offers free currency exchange. 
Also it is very easy to redeem the points. Use just log into your account and apply the points to your purchase and it removes it from your balance.  The card does offer some insurance but would suggest additional protection. 

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4 hours ago, chodnett said:

I have the Sapphire Reserve.

The annual fee is a bit alarming at first, but once you see the perks (including the travel insurance), it’s totally worth it for us.

From a “points” standpoint, it’s good. 3X for Travel and Dining. I usually transfer those points to an airline for 1:1 redemption and use them for my flights.

Same here.  Extremely satisfied with the Reserve.

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5 hours ago, chodnett said:

I have the Sapphire Reserve.

The annual fee is a bit alarming at first, but once you see the perks (including the travel insurance), it’s totally worth it for us.

From a “points” standpoint, it’s good. 3X for Travel and Dining. I usually transfer those points to an airline for 1:1 redemption and use them for my flights.

Thanks, @chodnett. When you transfer the points, are you then able to book the flight on the airline's website, or do you have to do that through the Chase website? Do points expire while they are with Chase, and finally, when you transfer the points to the airlines, do you find that they expire faster than the points they were earned with the airlines?

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I have the business version of the Sapphire Rewards and love it. 

I've always been leery of credit cards with high annual fees, but after @monorailmedic convinced me, I'm really happy with the decision.

Terrific rewards, and the perks it offers are pretty compelling too.

12 hours ago, Baked Alaska said:

NOTE: I pay our credit card bills in total every month. No point in rewards if their suck'n you dry with interest fees.

super troopers yes GIF by Fox Searchlight

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1 hour ago, Baked Alaska said:

Thanks, @chodnett. When you transfer the points, are you then able to book the flight on the airline's website, or do you have to do that through the Chase website? Do points expire while they are with Chase, and finally, when you transfer the points to the airlines, do you find that they expire faster than the points they were earned with the airlines?

Chase's points have to be redeemed through Chase's website. If you transfer the points to an airline, you would have to book through the airline. Chase points do not expire but airline points are governed by their own programs so they may or may not have an expiration.  Generally, I think it makes sense to keep the points at Chase until you know how you are going to use them because the transfer is pretty instantaneous.  Also, you have to do the math to see which booking option makes sense.  If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, booking through Chase's website gives you a 50% bonus to the value of your points.  This means it is sometimes cheaper to pay for a flight in "cash" by using Chase points at 1.5 cents per point than to transfer to the airline to pay for the same flight with airline points.

It is true that the $450 annual fee (which is moving to $550 but I believe they delayed that due to Covid) looks steep but your first $300 in travel costs each year are rebated to you (immediate credit after the charge) so it's really only $150 (to be $250) as long as you actually travel (and that includes gas station charges).  There's numerous other perks including access to airport lounges (mostly international with Priority Pass), pays for your TSA PreCheck every 4 years, etc. which may or may not be useful to you.  But the more of them you use, the less that $450 ($550) matters.

Chase also lets you combine points from all their cards.  So I have a Chase Freedom card which gives 5% on a single category like dining/gas/amazon/etc each quarter.  After earning those points, I can transfer them to the Sapphire Reserve's balance and use the 50% bonus redemption for travel.  That means I effectively earn 7.5% back on certain purchases.

Rewards are a bit of a game and there are plenty of websites dedicated to maximizing your redemption value.  I don't have the energy to track my rewards that closely but I'm confident I get way more value than the annual fee and that's all that matters to me.

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6 hours ago, chodnett said:

The annual fee is a bit alarming at first, but once you see the perks (including the travel insurance), it’s totally worth it for us.

I felt the same way at first, but agree that it quickly becomes totally worth it.  Heck, the first year's annual fee was eliminated off the bat with the sign up points bonus.

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1 hour ago, SpeedNoodles said:

 I looked once at the Sapphire Reserve card and Delta wasn't on the list of airlines that they had a relation with.  In fact it's a pretty small list of US airlines.  I'm still confused, lol.

I'm a Sapphire Reserve guy too and everyone covered all I'd say and more.

Delta & Chase you'd have to book through Chase's travel portal or convert the points to cash.

If you're looking for Delta specific rewards give the American Express cards a look, I believe they will transfer to Delta. They have branded cards too I believe but I'd consider the Platinum, that's American's premium card, like Chase's Sapphire.

What I like about Chase personally is I have a bit of a trifecta: Freedom (5% rotating categories), Freedom Unlimited (1.5% always), Sapphire Reserve (3% travel & dining + perks). I can transfer the points earned on two of the cards to one, making it one large balance of points.

Being close to United EWR and used to be close to JetBlue (SWF) (airlines are pulling out of that small airport and my reason for going to it's main destination FLL is no longer an option -- but they are big in JFK -- ugh) I also got those branded cards for sign up bonus plus Chase transfers to them. They do come with some perks but not sure it's worth the fee for those perks, so once I get a chance to use those points I'll downgrade or cancel them.

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32 minutes ago, sk8erguy1978 said:

I'm a Sapphire Reserve guy too and everyone covered all I'd say and more.

Delta & Chase you'd have to book through Chase's travel portal or convert the points to cash.

If you're looking for Delta specific rewards give the American Express cards a look, I believe they will transfer to Delta. They have branded cards too I believe but I'd consider the Platinum, that's American's premium card, like Chase's Sapphire.

 

I looked on their list of airlines and they didn't even mention Delta.

airlines.PNG.02c65992574d49e7b782e184782bf6d0.PNG

American Express is really useless to me as a credit card because too many places don't accept it (notably Costco, where 80% of my spending occurs).

 

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42 minutes ago, sk8erguy1978 said:

I'm a Sapphire Reserve guy too and everyone covered all I'd say and more.

Delta & Chase you'd have to book through Chase's travel portal or convert the points to cash.

If you're looking for Delta specific rewards give the American Express cards a look, I believe they will transfer to Delta. They have branded cards too I believe but I'd consider the Platinum, that's American's premium card, like Chase's Sapphire.

What I like about Chase personally is I have a bit of a trifecta: Freedom (5% rotating categories), Freedom Unlimited (1.5% always), Sapphire Reserve (3% travel & dining + perks). I can transfer the points earned on two of the cards to one, making it one large balance of points.

Being close to United EWR and used to be close to JetBlue (SWF) (airlines are pulling out of that small airport and my reason for going to it's main destination FLL is no longer an option -- but they are big in JFK -- ugh) I also got those branded cards for sign up bonus plus Chase transfers to them. They do come with some perks but not sure it's worth the fee for those perks, so once I get a chance to use those points I'll downgrade or cancel them.

AMEX operates the Centurion club in the larger airports also.  If you use all the benefits like Uber credits etc, it dilutes the annual fee.  I live near DFW and have high status with American Airlines so I'm wed to their platinum card.  But if I were to relocated to a non-AA hub, I'd go AMEX.

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7 minutes ago, SpeedNoodles said:

I looked on their list of airlines and they didn't even mention Delta.

airlines.PNG.02c65992574d49e7b782e184782bf6d0.PNG

American Express is really useless to me as a credit card because too many places don't accept it (notably Costco, where 80% of my spending occurs).

 

Right, for Chase you'd have to use their portal and you can book with whoever, think of it like kayak. As mentioned, you do get a better value for points, BUT, you're not booking direct, which isn't something I'm a fan of.

You can also use Sapphire to buy direct with Delta and redeem points for cash to pay the bill, although not ideal.

If 80% is at Costco, check out cards that give good bonuses for that too... Maybe a card that pays 2% at grocery stores or something... Although, those are usually cash back, but you can use the cash to pay the airline tab... (Just tossing ideas, someone might be better on how to get lots of points from Costco.)

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3 minutes ago, cruisellama said:

AMEX operates the Centurion club in the larger airports also.  If you use all the benefits like Uber credits etc, it dilutes the annual fee.  I live near DFW and have high status with American Airlines so I'm wed to their platinum card.  But if I were to relocated to a non-AA hub, I'd go AMEX.

Until the pandemic I used Uber a lot.

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14 minutes ago, cruisellama said:

AMEX operates the Centurion club in the larger airports also.  If you use all the benefits like Uber credits etc, it dilutes the annual fee.  I live near DFW and have high status with American Airlines so I'm wed to their platinum card.  But if I were to relocated to a non-AA hub, I'd go AMEX.

Ditto 

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I really like Chase Sapphire.  Lyft's premium service (pink, I think) is included with the card, as is some credit for Lyft.  Also, during Covid, they have changed their reward system slightly have given 5 points per dollar on grocery store purchases.  In addition, right now, you can use points to pay for certain categories on the card and you get a bonus for that.  Math is not my thing, but it works out that points are worth about 25% more when you use them to pay qualified categories on your statement.  That's a big benefit right now, when we aren't traveling. 

I have used their lost luggage coverage, and it is fabulous.  My son's luggage was over 5 hours late, and he got a $100 to spend on clothes.  The amount goes up the longer the delay.   

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I rotate between the Chase Sapphire preferred, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and Discover It cards. As mentioned above about the Sapphire reserve, it has a large annual fee, while the preferred has a more reasonable annual fee. It includes a decent points structure for purchases and redemption, and also provides travel insurance. So it is my go to for booking travel. Plus they have a dedicated travel site that you can book thru, and sometimes find deals... but not always. 

I stack that with the freedom unlimited card for other purchases to gain points that can be transferred to the sapphire card if needed. 

I use the discover card for their 5% cash back category purchases when they don't apply to the Chase cards.

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2 hours ago, vanelli56 said:

I rotate between the Chase Sapphire preferred, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and Discover It cards. As mentioned above about the Sapphire reserve, it has a large annual fee, while the preferred has a more reasonable annual fee. It includes a decent points structure for purchases and redemption, and also provides travel insurance. So it is my go to for booking travel. Plus they have a dedicated travel site that you can book thru, and sometimes find deals... but not always. 

I stack that with the freedom unlimited card for other purchases to gain points that can be transferred to the sapphire card if needed. 

 

Okay, so stupid question coming up (but I know I'm not the only one wondering), why would you keep two Chase cards? Why not just keep the Sapphire if that is where you are utiltimately going to redeem your points? 

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Reward point gathering experts would tell you you want to have 3 Chase cards - Freedom (for 5% rewards on rotating categories), Freedom Unlimited (for 1.5% rewards on everything), Sapphire Reserve (for 3% rewards on travel/dining but 1% on everything else which is why you want the others).  For each charge, you use the most appropriate card to get the best rewards, then move the points over to the Sapphire Reserve's reward balance and use the points there with 50% bonus when booking travel through Chase.  Done perfectly, you would never get less than 2.25% return on any purchase and could get as high as 7.5%.

And that's just with Chase's terms of use.  If you can transfer the points 1:1 to an airline and redeem for a particularly good flight, some lucky users have reported getting an effective 10+% return.  But it takes effort to track those deals.  Of course, many of this site's users clearly enjoy checking their booked cruises daily to find repricing opportunities so they might also enjoy the reward game.

Personally, I use 2 Chase cards (Freedom and Sapphire Reserve) and my Discover card (also 5% cash back rotating categories but conveniently never the same as Freedom's).

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29 minutes ago, Baked Alaska said:

@Atlantix2000 this actually makes sense, but waaayyy to much juggling. I appreciate your explaining it, though!!

As a trifecta user, it's not too bad actually. The challenging part is to remember what the 5% are and to put that card in your wallet. Although, I do have everything in Google Pay too, so no biggie, but again, remembering LOL. Without going into boring details, some quarters the categories are either something you can automate online (Netflix) or you're not interested (Amazon but get 5% cash back via Amazon a different way).

Also ... as to Chase cards ... I also have the United Card. Sure, some perks that I try and take advantage of (able to get wife TSA Pre & Lounge, etc) but it's not going to be a "forever" card. My main reason was the sign on bonus points & that Chase is a partner with United. So, I have the sign on bonus points (I tried to use them but COVID) and if I needed a little extra, I could transfer from my Chase pile. I'd rather have the perks of the Sapphire Reserve so I'll ditch the Chase card once life gets back to normal. It's a fee card so not something I can call a "sock draw card."

Same reason for getting the JetBlue card (not Chase), great perks (check bag, discount in-flight purchases, 5k miles) but mainly 60k sign on bonus and I can transfer any Chase points to them. It also comes with a small fee (there is a version without fee) and while it is worth it if you fly JetBlue, I'd rather book a flight with Reserve for the insurance and other perks. That's worth more to me than a free checked bag and 3% more points (6% JB Card 3% Sapphire). So, again, COVID, but I plan to downgrade it to the one without a fee and just get 50% off my in-flight beer and snack.

So, you see it's a bit of a game :).

Edited by sk8erguy1978
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2 hours ago, sk8erguy1978 said:

Exactly why I bring my Rolodex of cards :).   

This is basically my life.  I have tons of cards and keep an updated list of which kinds of charges to use on which card.  I actually don't make too many purchases so it tends to not be too difficult for me to keep up with.  I'm not loyal enough to any specific airline to chase which travel card works the best for my situation.  I just try to go for whatever gives me the most cash back since that's not tied to only be used one any specific thing.  

i got the lowest level Delta Amex because it was offering a great introductory points offer (70,000) and no fee for the first year and a $100 Delta credit.  I tend to fly economy with them and with the card I get a free checked bag, so that's been helpful.  Delta points never expire either.  I would do the research to see what the typical intro offer for points is and keep checking back until they run another high point sign-up bonus.

Usually if I know I have a big purchase coming up, that's when I'll sign up for a new card so I know I'll hit the required spend for the offer.

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20 hours ago, Baked Alaska said:

Okay, so stupid question coming up (but I know I'm not the only one wondering), why would you keep two Chase cards? Why not just keep the Sapphire if that is where you are utiltimately going to redeem your points? 

Not a stupid question at all.... 

If I remember the points tiers correctly... the Sapphire only gives 1 point for anything outside of its bonus/restaurants/travel categories of purchases. The Chase freedom card gives a flat 1.5 points on everything. So, the freedom card is kind of my default card if a purchase does not fall into a special category for more points on the sapphire or discover IT cards. 

That... plus it had a decent sign up bonus at the time.... so I figured why not. :-)

Example for this month.... Discover has 5% back on restaurants... so 99.9% of my discover charges this month are restaurants. (Typically I would use the Sapphire otherwise at 2%)

Sapphire is 2% on travel and restaurants normally, but lately they have added gas and groceries as a bonus category. So this month all my gas and groceries are on the sapphire. (worth 2.5% if redeemed for travel thru their portal)

And the Chase freedom has been for everything else, such as amazon and any other random purchases for 1.5%. 

Lately I have not been keeping the points and just redeeming cash back, which has been getting us anywhere from $15-$30 dollars back a month. 

And yes.... we ALWAYS ALWAYS pay off our cards each month. I was a slave to Credit card debt in my 20's and early 30's.... NEVER AGAIN! I do this to try to get back some of that interest I gave them over the years! LOL (I'll most likely never get it all back, but every little bit helps!)

And to be honest... rotating 3 cards and remembering each can be a chore sometimes, but i'm also the kind of person that picks up that penny on the sidewalk too. So, why not take the free money. :-)

~Cheers

Edited by vanelli56
typo
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17 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

Usually if I know I have a big purchase coming up, that's when I'll sign up for a new card so I know I'll hit the required spend for the offer.

Same. Some are easy, like when I snagged the JetBlue card just for the bonus, I needed to spend $1000 so it wasn't bad, others can be a bit more expensive.

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20 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

Me too.  I guess I'm a dinosaur.  I still love the RCCL Visa card !

19 hours ago, Baked Alaska said:

@SpeedNoodles I've only used it for OBC or Cruise Planner purchases.

My wife has it and uses it for her everyday spending. She's not into the points game. She has yet to redeem them, maybe for come Cruise Planner stuff for September 2021. Is there a portal or something to access and get the points? Curious / asking for her.

Edited by sk8erguy1978
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15 minutes ago, sk8erguy1978 said:

Is there a portal or something to access and get the points? Curious / asking for her.

She can go online to her account - there's a link for " View MyCruise Points on the main account page.

1389850539_cruisepoints.PNG.e6086f46c040c8201777584bb71875e6.PNG

The you have an option to "Redeem Cruise Points".

857284155_cruisepoints.thumb.PNG.1e5af8c0f2eae42e0b68703f65d99d8d.PNG

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