My Chase Sapphire Reserve points are currently worth 20% more on Apple purchases, but I'm not taking the bait
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- Select Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders can get 20% more value for their points when they use them to buy Apple products through November 15.
- This means each Chase point is worth 1.2 cents, rather than the standard 1 cent.
- By comparison, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when you use them to book travel directly through Chase, and potentially much more with transfer partners like United and Hyatt.
- So while this is a better deal than the standard redemption rate for Apple purchases, you'll still get more value when you use Chase points to book travel.
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The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the travel rewards card I recommend to anyone who's willing to pay a $450 annual up front, because it offers great benefits like a $300 annual travel credit and 3x points on travel and dining in return. While I've decided to close or downgrade some rewards credit cards because they're not worth the annual fee to me, the Sapphire Reserve has a safe spot in my wallet.
I've been guilty of hoarding my Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a while, but I won't be jumping on this new offer for using Chase points to purchase Apple products.
Doctor of Credit reports that some Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders are eligible to get 20% more value for their points when redeeming them for Apple purchases. This may seem like an exciting offer at face value, but let's break down why it's probably not the best use of your points.
Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will far outweigh the value of any points or miles. It's important to practice financial discipline when using credit cards by paying your balances in full each month, making payments on time, and only spending what you can afford to pay back.
20% more value for your Chase points with Apple
Chase is offering select Sapphire Reserve cardholders a bonus that gets them 20% more value per point toward Apple purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site. It's a targeted offer, so not every Reserve cardholder will see it. This offer is available through November 15, 2019.
Without the bonus, Chase points are worth 1 cent apiece toward Apple purchase, so if, like me, you're eligible for this deal, you'll get 1.2 cents per point toward the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or whatever other Apple purchase you're eyeing.
Read more: Chase Sapphire Reserve review
Why this isn't a great use of your Sapphire Reserve points
That 1.2 cents per Chase point is obviously better than 1 cent per point, but I'd strongly advise against using your rewards this way unless you have absolutely zero intention of traveling - or even booking travel for someone else as a gift - in the foreseeable future.
This is because you can get much more value out of your Chase points when you use them toward flights, hotels, cruises, and more. With the Sapphire Reserve, your points are worth 1.5 cents each toward travel booked directly on the Chase website - so even with the 20% bonus your points still won't get you as far toward Apple purchases.
That's not even taking into account the type of value you can get from your Chase points when you transfer them to airline and hotel partners like British Airways, Hyatt, and United. Business Insider's David Slotnick got almost 6 cents per point in value when he transferred Chase points to Virgin Atlantic to book first-class flights to Japan that would have cost more than $20,000 in cash.
Another reason to think twice about jumping on this offer for Apple purchases is that you have to make the purchase through Chase, so you can't comparison-shop and take advantage of a lower price if a sale is running somewhere else. Plus, if you're buying an expensive piece of tech, you'll probably want purchase protection in case something goes wrong with your device right after you buy it, so you'd be better off paying with a credit card (like the Chase Sapphire Reserve) to get this coverage.
Another upside of making an Apple purchase with a credit card rather than with points is that you're earning valuable rewards on your purchase. If you do go this route, don't forget to go through an online shopping portal to earn extra points or miles on your purchase. Sometimes, airline shopping portals offer as many as 8 miles per dollar with Apple.
Not all point redemptions are created equal
Not everyone wants to use points for travel, but if you have the Sapphire Reserve, chances are you do travel at least occasionally - otherwise, the perks probably aren't worth the fee for you. Given that, it's hard to make a strong case for using your Chase points to purchase Apple products, even with the 20% bonus.
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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.