How much did I make on Chase Sapphire Reserve's Bonus Categories?

Well the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a year old now, so I figured it was time to look back on a year's worth of spending to see how "worth it" the card was beyond the amazing 100,000 point signup bonus. (We spent our 100k bonuses on our upcoming Japan trip)




I kept my Amex Premier Rewards Gold card, but shifted most of my dining and non-airfare travel to the Reserve to take advantage of their 3x points in both of those categories. So how many extra points did doing that get me?

After looking it over I made a total of 29,617 Chase Ultimate Rewards points on dining. If I'd charged that dining to Amex (which only has 2x bonus in that category), I'd have only made 19,547 points. Those extra 9,892 points are worth about $200 (I value my Amex points around 2¢ each).

The card has an annual fee of $450, but when you subtract the $300 annual travel credit and Global Entry fee reimbursement ($100 every 5 years), the effective annual fee is $130. So just on dining alone the card has covered its annual fee.

In other words: spending $6500 per year on dining or $3250 on non-airfare travel is enough to offset the Reserve's annual fee versus the Amex Premier Rewards card. 

The travel category more difficult to calculate. They both earn 3x points for airfare. Amex even allows you to earn an extra bonus point per dollar for booking through their travel portal. But on the other hand Chase gives you 3x on all travel charges (e.g., hotels, subways, car rentals, and taxis), not just airfare. So even though I charged most of my airfare to my Amex, I still made 44,225 points on travel (worth $291) using my Sapphire.

So, oddly, this flips the question on its head: should I get rid of my Amex card? I thought about it for a minute and realized that the Amex Offers have netted me 39,000 points in the past 12 months (here plus here) – four times more than the annual fee for the card.

Amex has a very different list of airline transfer partners, so it's a good idea to accrue both Amex and Chase points for maximum flexibility. I could potentially switch to an American Express Card with no annual fee, but I'm concerned that I might not get the same lucrative Amex offers on a cheaper card.

I'm still hearing whispers in dark corners of Reddit that an Amex "Sapphire Killer" card is in the works, so I might hold out for that :) 







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