As you know, I’m a big freaking fan of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, because, for effectively $150/year, you get gobs of points on everyday spending (3 points per dollar on dining, travel, transportation, and lodging).
Welp, if you haven’t got a Reserve yet, get off your ass and over to a Chase branch before March 11, and apply for one. Starting March 12, the bonus 100,000 points that you get for signing up drops to 50,000 points. Don’t apply online, because that bonus has already dropped.
Those 100,000 points are worth, for example, four domestic roundtrips in economy, or one international roundtrip in business (or close to it). You can instantly transfer the Ultimate Rewards points you earn to United, Southwest, Air France, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Korean (more useful than you’d think), Singapore (five-star business class to Europe and Asia). The points also transfer to hotels: Hyatt, IHG, Marriott/Ritz Carlton (though this latter at a disadvantageous rate). Once transferred, you can book award flight or award stays, where there is availability.
Alternatively, 100,000 UR points are worth $1,500 towards the cash price of tickets on any airline at any time, if you book travel using Chase’s web site. This is less potentially valuable than transferring points, but it’s less complicated, and more flexible, especially if the cash price of the ticket is cheap.
And the card comes with swell benefits like lounge access (better overseas than domestically), customer service that answers without you wading through a voicemail tree, free Global Entry/TSA Pre application, and a host of insurances and travel protections.
If you’re freaked out because the card costs $450/year, keep in mind you’ll get $300 of that back pretty effortlessly, because the first $300 each calendar year that you spend on travel or transportation (including taxi, Uber, subway, etc) will get credited back to you, so your net cost is $150 annually.
And, for everyday spending, if you pair the Reserve with the no-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited, you can earn 1.5 points per dollar on all your other spending (that isn’t dining, travel, transportation, or lodging). You appear to be earning cash back, but you’re really earning the same UR points, which you can transfer to the Reserve using Chase’s web site, whenever you feel like it. So, I highly recommend you also get a Freedom Unlimited and make it your daily card if you want more points, and who doesn’t want more points? (If you’re like me, you could carry both cards, and use each depending on what you’re purchasing.)
Anyway, just go to a Chase and get the fucking thing. It’s a hot card with a hot bonus. But not for much longer.