The Chase Sapphire Reserve is currently my favorite credit card and for so many reasons. It offers a ton of travel perks and a generous earning structure, allowing me to redeem my Ultimate Rewards points at a minimum 1.5 cents per point. Though to take advantage of the Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits, I recommend that you take the following actions!
Things to do once you receive your Chase Sapphire Reserve card
1. Register rewards accounts with Chase’s travel partners:
If you don’t already have a rewards account with many of their travel partners, you may want to set them up now. You’ll need to have those accounts ready if you want to transfer points over from Chase. These include partners like Southwest, United, British Airways, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and many more.
2. Add your Reserve card to travel accounts, restaurant delivery, and ride-sharing accounts:
Since you’ll earn three points per dollar spend on dining and travel, it makes sense to make your Reserve card the default payment type. Also, a lot of folks are not aware that restaurant delivery and ride-sharing services count toward the dining and travel category. We did a video/post on “Chase Sapphire & Ink Bonus Categories”, so check it out for more details.
3. Activate lounge and rental card benefits online:
The Reserve card offers access into Priority Pass airport lounges, but you need to first register with the service through the Reserve’s card benefits. Just visit your Chase Ultimate Rewards page, click on Use Points, then select Card Benefits. Once you’re on the Travel Benefits page, just activate the Airport Lounge Access for Priority Pass. Priority Pass will then send you a membership card in the mail that will allow you access to their lounges. You can then set-up a digital Priority Pass card for use with the mobile app.
Also, while you’re there, register for your rental car benefits too. This is similar to the benefits you might receive if you have a corporate account. Basically, you’ll be able to expedite your rental car experience by walking directly to your rental car for pick-up and bypassing the reservation desk. It’s a small perk that can save you quite a bit of time when traveling.
4. Sign-up for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck:
Make sure to take advantage of this benefit. Chase will reimburse the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, up to $100 every four years. Keep in mind that Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck. If you’re debating between the two, go for Global Entry. It basically allows you to bypass the normal customs line when coming back into the US.
If you’re already enrolled in one of these programs, consider gifting it to a friend or family member. The charge will need to show up on your account in order to get credited. However, it’s a great way to give a loved one more efficient travel at the airport.
5. Transfer any current Ultimate Rewards points to your Chase Sapphire Reserve:
This may not seem necessary since it won’t change the total number of points in that you’re just moving the points out of another account (like a Chase Freedom) and transferring it under the Reserve card. However, the benefit comes from the redemption value. Since the Reserve card offers a 1.5 cent redemption rate when using their travel portal, it essentially increases the point value when using the Chase travel portal. The other Ultimate Rewards earning cards have a 1.25 cent redemption rate on the Chase travel portal.
6. Track your travel credit:
The Reserve card offers it’s card members a yearly $300 annual credit that is automatically applied to travel expenses. You’ll notice on your account and statement that you are receiving credits for those expenses. For example, since we are based in Los Angeles, we drive a lot and our parking charges often qualify as travel expenses. The same goes for Uber and Lyft charges. Don’t assume that it has to be an airline or hotel charge for the travel credit to be applied.
You can monitor your travel credit spend on your Chase account. From the Ultimate Rewards dashboard, click on your points balance, then click on Rewards Activity. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll see a diagram in the Travel Benefits section that shows the amount of the $300 travel credit that has been redeemed.
7. Monitor your spending and bonus:
As with the previous tip, keep an eye on your charges and whether you are getting the points awarded to your account. Chase makes it easy to see by showing the points on your account activity screen. All you have to do is click on the “+” sign on the left side of the charge in your posted activity to expand and see the points awarded.
8. Plan your card strategy:
Once you start building points, you’re going to want more of them! I suggest planning out your long-term card strategy. Chase has several cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, so it definitely pays to build a portfolio of cards that can earn points with your daily spend.
Do you have any tips for new Reserve card members? If so, please leave them in the comment section below.