Chase has already become the most prolific credit card issuer, and BestCashCow ranks the Ultimate Rewards points as being more valuable than Citibank and Amex flexible travel points. While all points are transferrable to Singapore Airlines and Citibank points are also transferrable to British Airways, Chase offers the additional options on transferring to United and Hyatt.
The new Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers the most effective way to rack up these valuable points. Even though it has a $450 annual fee, it comes with 100,000 points after spending $4,000 in three months. The 100,000 points when redeemed, for example, through Hyatt for three nights at the Park Hyatt in New York or Paris (at 30,000/night) more than covers the $450 annual fee. The annual fee is also covered through a $300 travel credit that is applied per calendar year directly to cover airline and hotel charges (if you hold the card from the middle of 2016 into 2017, you could get the credit twice, or $600 in credits over your first year of card membership).
Additionally, the card produces 3 points per dollar spent on travel and at restaurants (compared with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card that only generates 2). Since we value these points as high as 3 cents per point, it effectively means that you can receive 9% back in value for your spend in these categories. This article explains how the card can be paired with other Chase cards to receive large blocks of valuable points for telecom spend and spend in rotating categories.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card also comes with primary rental car insurance coverage, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
This card is designed to compete with the Citibank ThankYou Prestige card and the Amex Platinum card. We think that it compares very favorably as it produces high volumes of Chase points, which are the most valuable transferrable points. However, those cards - especially the Prestige card - still offer significant benefits and should be considered as well, especially for those who do not value United and Hyatt as transfer partners.
See the most valuable travel rewards credit card sign-up bonuses here.