Chase Sapphire Reserve – How to Apply

The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card has gained popularity among military members due to its tailored benefits that cater to the unique needs of active-duty service members.

This premium credit card, part of the Chase Trifecta of cards, simplifies travel and enhances lifestyle experiences for service members by offering many advantages, such as fee waivers and extensive travel protections.

With a full list of benefits and perks, it’s easy to see why the Sapphire Reserve is one of the best Chase credit cards for military service members.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Military Benefits and Rewards

Product Name: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Product Description: The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a premier travel credit card that offers a rich array of benefits, making it highly appealing for frequent travelers. It includes a $300 annual travel credit, triple points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus in point value when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Designed with high spenders in mind, the card also offers an annual fee waiver for active-duty military members, enhancing its value proposition for those serving in the military.

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  • Annual Fee: annual_fees (waived for active-duty military members under MLA/SCRA benefits)
  • APR: Variable APR based on the Prime Rate, typically ranging from reg_apr,reg_apr_type on purchases and balance transfers
  • Welcome Bonus: bonus_miles_full
  • Rewards:
    • 3 points per dollar spent on travel (immediately after earning your $300 travel credit) and dining at restaurants worldwide
    • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Point Value: Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (e.g., 60,000 points are worth $900 towards travel)
  • Annual Travel Credit: $300 travel credit that automatically applies to travel-related purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Lounge Access: Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership providing access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit: Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years
  • Travel Protections:
    • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
    • Auto rental collision damage waiver
    • Baggage delay insurance
    • Trip delay reimbursement
    • Travel accident insurance
    • Emergency evacuation and transportation coverage
  • Purchase Protections:
    • Purchase protection against damage or theft
    • Extended warranty protection
    • Return protection
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Benefits: Special benefits at over 1,000 properties worldwide through the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
  • Dining Benefits: Special access to events and experiences, including exclusive dining events and the Visa Infinite Dining Series
  • Lyft Benefits: Earn 10x points on Lyft rides, plus get a complimentary 2 year Lyft Pink All Access membership including member-exclusive pricing and benefits when you activate by December 31st, 2024.
  • DoorDash Benefits: Get complimentary access to DashPass – a membership for both DoorDash and Caviar – which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on eligible orders for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Peloton Membership Credit: Earn 10x total points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $150 (with a maximum earn of 50,000 total points through March 31st, 2025).
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
  • Credit Needed: Excellent

How to Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve involves a straightforward process:

  1. Check Eligibility: Ensure you meet the credit requirements—typically, a good to excellent credit score is necessary.
  2. Complete the Online Application: Visit the Chase website, locate the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, and complete the application with the required details, such as your military status.
  3. Documentation and Verification: Submit proof of your active-duty status as required for military benefits, including the annual fee waiver.
  4. Approval: Following submission, Chase may approve your application instantly, or additional verification might take a few days.

Strategies for Managing Your Card with Changing Military Status

Timing Your Changes

Based on feedback from servicemembers, it’s advisable to wait until Chase requests a re-verification of your military status before downgrading or canceling the card. This can potentially extend your benefits.

Downgrading Options

If transitioning from active duty to reserve status and not on active duty for more than 30 consecutive days, consider downgrading to Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom Unlimited to maintain your credit line without a high annual fee.

Benefits Usage and Financial Planning

Understand the usage of your card’s benefits, especially if your military status changes. If the benefits like travel credits and insurance protections are frequently used and valued, maintaining the card could still be advantageous.

Credit Cards

Compare Top Military Credit Cards

Compare the rates, fees, and rewards of top credit cards for military servicemembers and veterans, including cards with waived annual fees under the SCRA.

Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Worth the Annual Fee?

The value of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card can vary significantly depending on whether the $550 annual fee is waived, as it typically is for active-duty military members under the Military Lending Act (MLA) and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Let’s break down the value for both scenarios—when the fee is waived and when it is not—to see if the card is worth the cost.

For Servicemembers with the Annual Fee Waived

For active-duty servicemembers who benefit from the annual fee waiver, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers exceptional value. Here’s a look at how the math works out:

  • $300 Travel Credit: This effectively reduces the out-of-pocket expense by $300 annually, as it applies automatically to a wide range of travel-related purchases.
  • Rewards Earning Potential: Assuming moderate spending, let’s estimate $12,000 spent annually on travel and dining (earning 3x points) and $6,000 on other purchases (earning 1x points). This results in 42,000 points from travel and dining, plus 6,000 from other purchases, totaling 48,000 points. If redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 50% bonus, these points are worth $720.
  • Lounge Access: Priority Pass Select membership could cost up to $429 if purchased independently.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck: A $100 credit every four years, averaging out to $25 per year.
  • Travel and Purchase Protections: Difficult to monetize, but certainly add value, particularly for those traveling frequently or stationed overseas.

Total Annual Value: $1,300+ (Travel credit, points value, lounge access, and Global Entry) minus $0 (no annual fee for active-duty) equals a net gain of over $1,300.

For Veterans or Servicemembers Without the Fee Waiver

When the annual fee is not waived, determining the value requires careful consideration of how much the cardholder will utilize the benefits:

  • $300 Travel Credit: Still applies, effectively reducing the annual fee to $250.
  • Rewards Earning Potential: Using the same spending scenario as above, the 48,000 points earned are still worth $720 when redeemed for travel.
  • Lounge Access: $429 value, assuming full utilization.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck: $25 annualized value.

Total Annual Value: $1,300+ (Travel credit, points value, lounge access, and Global Entry) minus $550 (annual fee) equals a net gain of $750+.

The Bottom Line on the Chase Sapphire Reserve

For Servicemembers with Fee Waiver

The card is unequivocally worth it. The benefits far outweigh any costs (which are null in this scenario), providing substantial value in travel perks, protection, and rewards.

For Veterans or Others Without Fee Waiver

The value here hinges on usage. If you travel frequently and utilize the perks like lounge access and travel credits, the card can offer good value, surpassing the cost of the annual fee.

However, for those who travel less or might not fully leverage the travel credits and lounge access, the card might not offer enough value to justify the fee. This calculation also assumes optimal redemption of points through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel, which maximizes their value.

In both scenarios, how much one travels, and their spending patterns play a critical role in the value assessment of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. For active users, especially those who can have the fee waived, the card offers exceptional value. For others, it might require more careful consideration to ensure the benefits are fully utilized to offset the annual fee.

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