Without question, the best credit card out there right now is the Chase Sapphire Reserve. In August, Chase introduced the card, which is a premium product meant to compete with the American Express Platinum and Citi Prestige cards. The Reserve is an upgrade, of sorts, on Chase’s prior top-of-the-line card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, my go-to credit card for years.
The Sapphire Reserve is an overall fantastic product. Like the Preferred, it earns Ultimate Rewards Points, one of the two or three most valuable rewards currencies around. The card earns 3x points on travel and dining. It comes with an annual travel credit of $300 applied automatically to any charge coded as travel (including even Uber rides). It will get you a membership in Priority Pass, giving you access to hundreds of lounges in airports across the globe, and it comes with a $100 credit on Global Entry and PreCheck application fees.
The Reserve comes with a $450 annual fee and a sign-up bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points, after spending $4,000 in three months. While I always prefer to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners rather than using them to purchase travel directly through Chase, the Reserve allows you to redeem points for 1.5 cents each, meaning the 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth a minimum of $1,500.
When you add in the $300 travel credit, and consider the fact that the travel credit is earned every calendar year, while the annual fee is charged every 12 months, so in the first year of having the card (and paying the $450) you’ll earn $600 in travel credits, its very easy to see how much value this one credit card has and feel justified in paying the (significant) annual fee. In 365 days of having this card, assuming you can meet the minimum spending requirement, and without taking into consideration the extra points you will earn from travel and dining purchases, or any of the other benefits, your $450 annual fee will reward you with $2100 in direct travel compensation.
However, there’s one catch. A significant one.
Chase recently instituted what is referred to as the “5/24 Rule”. While unofficial, the rule is enforced strictly, and stipulates that Chase will not approve new credit cards on Chase core products (the Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example, as opposed to, say, the Chase Southwest Airlines Credit Card) for anyone who has opened five or more credit cards in the last two years.
For obvious reasons, this rule excludes the likes of me. Which is the one and only reason why I do not have the single hottest credit card in the points collecting community right now. Shame!
Researching my credit report (remember – utilize Credit Karma to stay on top of your credit score!), I can see that my fifth-youngest credit card was opened on May 27, 2015. On May 28, 2017 (only six months to go!), I will no longer be excluded by the 5/24 rule, and, assuming the sign-up offer remains awesome, apply I will.
The same holds true for Danielle. She’s freed from the tyranny of 5/24 later next year as well. Then, ours will be a two Chase Sapphire Reserve card family.
You may be wondering how I only have five cards showing on my credit report as having been opened in the last two years, given the insane number of points I’m earning. Good question. While applying for a business credit card results in a hard pull on your personal credit score, after that, business credit cards do not show on your credit report, and, so, have no impact on the likes of the 5/24 rule. I recently applied for the American Express Business Platinum card, in fact, and am looking forward to maximizing a whole host of awesome benefits from it, including 100,000 American Express points. But negatively impact my efforts to go Reserve, this card will not.
Bottom Line: If you have a solid credit score (750+), expect to spend at least $4,000 in the next three months, and can handle floating the $450 annual fee, apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve!