If you couldn’t tell from my blog posts, I travel a decent amount. With all these travel, I was paying for it on my debit card never really thinking about it. However after realizing how much I was paying and not getting any benefits, I looked into different credit cards to benefit from all my travel. After a good amount of research, I settled on a family of Chase Bank cards and services.
Chase Sapphire Reserved
The Chase Sapphire Reserved card is the ultimate travel card. The key features are 3x points on travel and dining, points are worth 1.5 when booking in the Chase Travel Portal, travel reimbursement of $300 a year, Global Entry / TSA Precheck reimbursement, access to airport lounges, no foreign transaction fees, and trip/rental car insurance. The card has an annual fee of $450 a year, however with the travel reimbursement its only $150 and if you travel its extremely easy to earn that back in points or the other feature usage. Currently if you sign up and spend $4,000 in three months Chase will give you $750 in travel reimbursement.
I’ve had the card little under 6 months and the card has already paid for itself. I was able to take a business trip and place the expense on my card (which the $3oo travel reimbursement covered) and as a result I received $300 in cash (from my business reimbursing me), which brings the yearly annual fee down to $150. From there I applied for the Global Entry pass, which was $100 and brings the yearly fee down to $50. The lounge pass would be $100 a year and the airports I fly out of all have lounges that I can access with the pass, so now that $50 to $-50. Finally, I’ve met the $4,000 in three months so I get the $750 travel credit as well, so at the end of the day the first year of Chase Sapphire Reserved I’m actually positive $800 and that’s before I take in account points.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom United Card is a great compliment to the Sapphire Reserved card. The card has 1.5x points on everything, no annual fee, low APR (0% the first year), and if you spend $500 in the first three months you get $150. Points can on this card can be transferred up to the Sapphire Reserved card so they are worth more.
I put everything but dining and travel on this card and then will transfer the points up. I’ve also hit the $500 mark so I get $150 back. If you add that to my running total of benefits, now I’m $950 ahead.
Chase Checking Account
Currently there is a Chase promotion running that if you set up a new Chase Checking account and set up an automatic deposit of $500 or more in the first three months, you can receive a $200 bonus. I moved my checking from a local bank to Chase to take advantage of this offer so now my total bonus money sits at $1150 for the first year (without counting points).
Now granted the running total contains a significant amount of bonus money, if you travel there is no reason why you shouldn’t use Chase to take advantage of the benefits.