I decided to log in to my Chase account today to double check that my recent Airbnb purchases counted as a travel purchase and earned 3x points per dollar.

Sure enough the Airbnb charge posted correctly and earned 3x points per dollar, but I was also pleasantly surprised with several other things.

$450 Annual Membershit Fee

Like most high-end travel credit cards I suspected that the $450 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve would post within the first billing cycle. This turned out to be the case with the annual fee hitting my account a roughly two weeks after I opened it.

I’d surmise that the annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve posts the 1st of the next month after opening your account.

The funny thing is that it looks like someone at Chase made a little typo since the description under the fee was “Annual Membershit Fee”.

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Using My $300 Travel Credit

One benefit that I love about my new Chase Sapphire Preferred card is that the $300 annual travel credit posts automatically when you make eligible travel charges with the card.

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This worked flawlessly on my recent Airbnb charges as the $300 travel credit was applied instantly when the charges posted to my account. This is much easier than, say for example, the travel credit benefit that comes with the Ritz Carlton credit card which only covers qualifying travel incidentals such as baggage/fees and requires you to call in to redeem.

Another nice aspect about the travel credit benefit on the Sapphire Reserve is that the travel credit will automatically apply to any eligible travel charges until the full $300 credit is used. This means you can make several small travel charges and each time the credit will automatically post.

Getting $600 in Travel Credit

Lastly, if you recently applied for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card don’t forget to redeem the $300 before the end of 2016. If you don’t redeem the credit before the start of 2017 the existing credit will be forfeited and a new $300 credit balance will start at the beginning of the year.

This also means that you can get $600 in travel credit before paying the second years annual fee, essentially making it possible to keep the card for free or even make money if you always close the card when you are up one travel credit.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Bonus: 25,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. Earn an additional 10,000 points after spending additional $2,000 within the first 6 months.

Benefits:
-- 2X Starpoints per dollar spent at SPG properties
-- 1X Starpoints per dollar spent on all other purchases.
-- No foreign transaction fee.
-- Free in-room internet & unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi.
-- 2 stay credits and 5 night credits towards elite status with Starwood each year.
-- Starwood Gold status when you spend $30,000 on the card annually.

Annual fee: $0 the first year, then $95

Quick review: Starpoints are incredibly valuable when redeemed for free nights and flexible since you can transfer them to numerous airline programs. When Starpoints are transferred to an airline program in increments of 20,000 points you get 5,000 extra miles. This means that for every dollar you spend on the card you are essentially earning 1.25 miles of the airline of your choice.