New products, Rewards

Reserve is so hot Chase ran out of metal cards

Jeff Herman

The new Chase Sapphire Reserve rewards card – with its extraordinary 100,000-point sign-up bonus and $450 annual fee – is proving so wildly popular the issuer has run out of the special metal cards.

Last week, Chase started issuing plastic cards until the metal card supply can be restocked, Chase spokeswoman Lauren Francis confirmed. She said Tuesday that Chase is working to get the metal cards to new cardholders as soon as possible.

Guess that adds a double meaning to the Reserve name, as applicants now are essentially reserving one of the cards made with a mix of metals – though the plastic ones will substitute until the metal ones arrive in the mail.

Francis told Bloomberg that Chase approved “tens of thousands of applications” in the first two days. (The card was unveiled Aug. 21.) She added that the majority of the cards are going to millennials, a demographic group that had been thought to be more credit shy than previous generations.

Demand for the rewards cards “significantly exceeded our strongest expectations,” Francis told Bloomberg.

So what has would-be cardholders lining up to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve card?

According to our review, “If you have $450 to spare and can manage another $4,000 in spending in the card’s first three months, you’ll get more than your money’s worth with this generous travel card, which tops our list for best rewards card.”

That 100,000-point sign-up bonus alone is worth, by some estimates, up to $1,500 or more.  Tony Mecia, author of’s “Cashing In” column, wrote last month that the Reserve card’s 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points “can be transferred to United Airlines’ frequent flier program (among others) and are the equivalent of four round-trip domestic plane tickets, two round-trip tickets to Hawaii or one-and-a-half round-trips to Europe.”

That’s a lot of free travel – whether it’s to see the family at the holidays, a vacation abroad next summer or just several long weekends on the beach this winter.

Other perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve also includes a $300 travel credit that can be used to pay for airfare, hotel stays or other travel-related purchases. For frequent world travelers, the card also comes with a one-time $100 credit for Global Entry, a U.S. Customers and Border Protection program that lets travelers speed through airport security lines and customs.

As our Chase Sapphire Reserve review says, “Despite its similarities with other super premium cards, no other rewards card quite matches the generosity of the new Sapphire Reserve card.”

Worth noting: Chase is cracking down on card churning. If you’re someone who signs up for a credit card, snags the bonus and then cancels the new card, you won’t be approved for the Reserve card if you’ve opened five new credit card accounts in the past two years. With that note on the card’s online application, Chase’s long-rumored “5/24 rule” now looks to be official, Wallaby Financial noted in a blog post.


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