Should you apply for a Chase Sapphire Reserve NOW – or wait? (Maybe wait)

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Hurry! January 11th is the LAST DAY (for bloggers to collect commissions) for you to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Except it’s not. 

The biggest thing the bloggers are mentioning but not emphasizing is that the offer is expected to be available in a Chase branch until March 12th. Now, if you don’t live by a branch, ignore this. Apply now because the 50,000 extra points is worth more than what you lose.

But this “apply in branch until March” thing is huge because if you hold the card over two calendar years, you can get the $300 travel credit in both years and only pay the $450 annual fee once. If you apply online right now, you’re going to have to really strategize to use that second credit in less than one billing cycle. I actually have been waiting to get mine and with this news, my plan is to go to a branch around March 1st to get it so I have two full months to use the second travel credit in 2018 before deciding if I want to pay the fee again or cancel.

So yes, it’s a great card. But it’s an even better card if you get $600 in travel credits ($300 a year) for one annual fee. Better still if you use your $100 Global Entry / TSA Pre Check fee during the same one membership year.

Don’t forget that if you have signed up for 5 credit cards (any issuer) in the last 24 months you can’t get the Reserve. Maybe waiting another 2 months gets you under 5/24?

Here’s a direct link to apply online before January 11th if you still want to.

The below is a refresher on card benefits:

  • 100,000 point Ultimate Rewards bonus
  • Points redeemable at 1.5 cents per point on all travel (so it’s at minimum a $1,500 signup bonus)
  • $450 annual fee
  • $300 annual travel credit good on any travel purchase (air/hotel, etc). While Citi Prestige is good for any airline expense (which one ups the Amex Platinum credit scheme), this one ups the Prestige by allowing any travel expense.  That really makes this a $150 a year annual fee card.
  • $100 Global Entry / PreCheck credit (presumably once every 5 years)
  • 3x earned points on all travel and dining
  • The Visa Infinite benefits (although not quite the same as the Ritz Carlton Infinite benefits – at minimum there is NO $100 airfare credit)
  • The above includes PRIMARY rental car insurance domestically – which is actually a fantastic feature the Citi Prestige doesn’t have
  • Priority Pass Select lounge access