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The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is full of different types of travel benefits, including things like trip insurance and lounge access. But the Sapphire Reserve also offers some great hotel benefits that many people don’t even know about.
This article will talk you through all of these different hotel benefits and give you some tips on how to utilize some of the perks for upgrades with the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection and Relais & Châteaux. I’ll also cover whether or not the Sapphire Reserve offers hotel status and how that compares to other cards.
What are the Chase Sapphire Reserve hotel benefits?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve has some of the best hotel benefits out of any travel rewards credit card and it offers the following perks:
- 3X bonus points on hotel stays
- $300 travel credit (usable on hotel stays)
- Points transfer to hotel partners
- The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
- Elite Hotel Benefits at Relais & Châteaux
- Sbe hotels
- Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection
- Chase Travel Portal
3X bonus points
The first hotel benefit is that the Chase Sapphire Reserve will earn 3X on hotel purchases, since it earns 3X on all travel and dining purchases.
Chase states that the following purchases are eligible to be considered travel:
Merchants in the travel category include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.
Earning 3X Ultimate Rewards on hotel purchases is great. If you value Ultimate Rewards at 2 cents per point that’s like earning 6% back which is very competitive. But take note of some of the co-branded cards that earn better returns on hotel spend with their respective brands. The Chase Sapphire Reserve won’t always be your best option for hotel spend.
$300 travel credit
The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a $300 travel credit which can be used to cover any purchase that codes as travel, which would include hotel purchases.
This $300 travel credit helps to offset the $450 annual fee of the Sapphire Reserve down to an effective $150 annual fee which is very manageable. If you were expecting to spend $300 on hotels in the next year then you could pick up this card and legitimately consider your annual fee to be $150 since you were already going to spend $300 on hotels.
It’s very easy to justify paying $150 for Priority Pass airport lounge access, 3X on dining and travel, and other special perks like primary rental coverage. Thus, for a hotel spender, the Reserve often fits perfectly into your travel plans.
Sapphire Reserve hotel partners
The Sapphire Reserve earns points that can be transferred (1:1) to the following hotel programs:
- Marriott Bonvoy
Hyatt is by the far best hotel partner if you ask me. That’s because it’s usually possible to get the most bang for your buck when you stay at Hyatt properties. It’s often possible to get 1.5 cents per point or higher when staying at Hyatt properties, which is not something that could be easily achieved with IHG or Marriott.
This is huge because it means that you don’t have to waste your points when transferring for hotel stays. It always feels great to travel for free when your hotel expenses are covered by points but hotel partners are often not good choices for transferring points due to the value of their currencies. This means that in order to cover your hotel stays with points, you often have to sacrifice value — but not with Hyatt!
Hyatt has a smaller footprint so that is one drawback to the program. It can be difficult to find Hyatt properties in some cities/regions whereas other programs like Hilton and Marriott are much more widespread.
It’s also nice to have Hyatt as a transfer partner because the Chase World of Hyatt card comes with some solid perks. It comes with the following benefits:
- Bonus earning:
- 4X spent with your card at Hyatt hotels, including participating restaurants and spas
- 2X on local transit and commuting, including taxis, mass transit, tolls and ride-share services
- 2X at restaurants, cafes and coffee shops
- 2X on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline
- 2X spent on fitness club and gym memberships
- Free nights:
- Receive one free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort every year after your cardmember anniversary
- Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
- Elite status:
- Receive 5 qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every yea
- Earn 2 additional qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
- $95 Annual Fee ($20 higher now)
IHG can be a useful transfer partner if you can take advantage of IHG PointBreaks which allow you to redeem your points at IHG properties for much cheaper award prices. When taking advantage of these specials, you’ll be able to capitalize on the value of your points.
Since Chase also offers an IHG credit card, this is a great way to supplement your balance with IHG.
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card comes with the following features:
- Annual free night certificate at an “eligible hotel”
- 10X for spend at IHG
- 2X at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Automatic Platinum Elite Status
- 20% discount on purchases of IHG points
- 4th night free on award stays
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit of up to $100 every 4 years
- No foreign transaction fees
- $89 annual fee
You can find some solid Marriott redemptions if you search long and hard enough. You probably won’t get the level of value that you get with Hyatt, but you can still come across some deals. The best value historically can be had in the Hotel + Air packages though.
These are packages that allow you to redeem Marriott points for airline miles and free night awards for various categories. By using these packages, you can often optimize the value of your Marriott points. So if you want to transfer your Ultimate Rewards to Marriott, you should definitely look into those.
You might also consider picking up the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card which comes with the following benefits:
- 1 Free Night Stay every year after account anniversary (valued up to 35,00 points)
- 6 points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott hotels
- 2 points for every $1 you spend on all other purchases and your points don’t expire as long as you make purchases on your credit card every 24 months
- Receive 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year
- Automatic Marriott Silver status
- Marriott Gold status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year
Does the Sapphire Reserve get you elite status?
One of the areas where the Sapphire Reserve might be lacking is when it comes to offering hotel elite status. The Amex Platinum Card has a leg up on the Reserve because it offers Hilton Honors Gold status and Gold status with Marriott.
While many other premium cards don’t offer hotel status, it would have been great if the Reserve offered something like Hyatt Explorist status or at least a bottom-tier status like Discoverist.
The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
- Daily breakfast for two
- Complimentary Wifi
- Room upgrade (based on availability)
- Early check-in and late check-out (based on availability)
- Special benefit at each property (the value of this perk is usually at $100 but sometimes lower at around $50)
- Extra amenities, gifts and more
The special benefit will vary depending on the property but you can expect things like the following: lunch or dinner for two, a spa treatment, golf green fee waivers, welcome gift, or airport transfers. The value of this perk is usually at $100 but sometimes lower at around $50.
However, sometimes the value can be much higher if you make a premium booking such as booking a suite. For example, the Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong offers a complimentary round trip private transfer for Hong Kong International Airport or Kai Tak Cruise Terminal or $200 Food and Beverage credit per room, per stay for Suite bookings while normal booking just get a one-way transfer or a $100 credit.
So here’s a rundown of the “heavier” benefits.
- Dining and spa credits
- Airport transportations
- Couple’s massage
- Afternoon tea
- Executive Lounge access
And then here are some of the “lighter” benefits, often offered in conjunction with the above.
- Welcome chocolates
- Daily Fruits and Newspapers
- Chinese silk scarf
- Bottle of wine
- Complimentary canape service
- Welcome Drink
You can use the link above to search for luxury properties in the program but you shouldn’t have trouble finding some world class properties all around the world like the Park Hyatt.
The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection is a program that is very similar to Amex’s Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR), which also offers special benefits at certain luxury properties for Platinum cardmembers. Note: the Sapphire Reserve is not the only Chase card that grants access to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.
Elite Hotel Benefits at Relais & Châteaux
You’ll get access to Relais & Châteaux, which is a “prestigious collection of independently owned and operated luxury hotels and restaurants, representing approximately 500 establishments globally.” At these properties, you can receive a VIP welcome which includes things like a bottle of champagne in room on arrival and also free breakfast (at some properties).
You can also get accelerated access to Club 5C status with Relais & Châteaux after staying just 2 nights at qualifying properties in a 12-month period. Club 5C will provide you with the following benefits:
- Room upgrade subject to availability upon arrival
- Personalised welcome in each one of the Relais & Châteaux properties (VIP Welcome)
- Discovery Privilege to enjoy the cultural and gourmet treasures of each property
- Club 5C Concierge service
- Newsletters with details of exclusive offers tailored to wishes and preferences
- Invitations to attend prestigious events
I recently stayed at a Relais & Châteaux property in Rome, right next to the Coliseum, and it was one of my most memorable hotel stays. Many of these hotels are boutique-type properties in beautiful buildings that give you a much better “local” feel than some chain hotels do so you definitely want to check out this program.
- Read more about this perk here.
Sbe hotels is a new benefit of the Sapphire Reserve. It offers free nights and elite-like benefits to a small network of properties, most of which are located in Miami. Here are some properties you might book:
- Bahamas: SLS Baha Mar
- Doha: Mondrian Doha
- Istanbul: 10 Karaköy
- Las Vegas: Delano Las Vegas
- London: Sanderson
- London: St Martins Lane
- Los Angeles: Mondrian Los Angeles
- Miami: Delano South Beach
- Miami: Hyde Midtown
- Miami: Mondrian South Beach
- Miami: Redbury South Beach
- Miami: Shore Club
- Miami: SLS Brickell
- Miami: SLS LUX Brickell
- Miami: SLS South Beach
- Miami: The Raleigh (under renovation)
- New York: Hudson
- New York: Mondrian Park Avenue
- New York: Redbury New York
Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection
- Best available rate guarantee
- Automatic room upgrade upon arrival, when available
- Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, when available
- Complimentary continental breakfast daily
- $25 USD food or beverage credit per stay
- VIP Guest status
- Late check-out upon request, when available (3 pm)
- Special amenity unique to each property, such as an additional dining credit or spa credit
These benefits are essentially the same benefits that you get with the Visa Signature Hotel Collection but you get the upgrade to a special amenity which should be worth around $100. The complimentary benefit may be one of the following, but not inclusive, to:
- An additional $75 Food & Beverage credit, on top of the existing $25 Food & Beverage credit
- A $100 spa or golf credit
- A $100 credit towards room rate
- Guaranteed room upgrade at time of booking with a minimum value of $100
Chase Travel Portal
With the Sapphire Reserve, you’ll be able to redeem points at a rate of 1.5 cents per point through the Chase Travel Portal. This is a great rate for using your points at hotels and it often means that you’re getting more value from your Ultimate Rewards than you would from points with a hotel loyalty program.
That’s significant because it means that in many cases you may not want to transfer out your points and instead use the Chase Travel Portal to optimize the value of your points.
The drawback to using the Chase Travel Portal is that some hotels won’t allow you to receive your elite benefits because you didn’t book directly with the hotel. This is a major drawback since it means you’ll be potentially missing out on value (but I’ve received elite benefits many times).
You also won’t be able to earn hotel points for your stay so those are some things to consider before using the Chase Travel Portal.
Priority Pass airport lounges
The Sapphire Reserve also offers access for you and two guests to Priority Pass airport lounges. While these aren’t exactly hotels, they can make your life much easier when transitioning from air travel to your hotel, especially when you’re not able to check-in early to a hotel and you can access an arrival’s lounge.
Platinum Card comparison
The Amex Platinum Card offers a much more stout line-up of hotel benefits in my opinion. That’s due to the hotel elite status it offers and the FHR program that I think is superior to the luxury program offered by the Reserve (and allows you to earn 5X on some hotel purchases). It comes with a ton of great benefits including:
- 60,000 points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months
- Priority Pass access for you and two guests
- Centurion lounges access for you and two guests
- Delta SkyClub access when flying with Delta
- Hilton Honors Gold elite status
- Marriott Gold
- Rental car status
- 5X on airfare
- 5X on hotels booked through the Amex Travel portal
- $200 Uber credit and $200 airline credit
- TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry $100 credit
- Annual fee: $550 (NOT waived first year)
The Sapphire Reserve has some interesting and valuable hotel benefits. I do wish it offered status with a program like Hyatt since in my opinion that would make the card much more attractive and on par with the Platinum Card in that department. But the benefits aren’t bad and having Hyatt as a 1:1 transfer ratio is a huge win since it means that you don’t waste your points on hotel transfers.
H-Town based Attorney turned credit card rewards expert. Founder of UponArriving.com.