Chase Sapphire Reserve® vs. the Mastercard® Black Card™ 2019 Comparison
Unless you’re super rich, traveling in total luxury is pretty much impossible. However, we’d settle for the ability to speed through airport security and spending a little time relaxing in a lounge before boarding our flights. And if we can pay for some of our flights with our credit card rewards, that would be even better.
Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Mastercard® Black Card™ offer these opportunities, but in entirely different ways. Let’s take a look at these two premium travel rewards cards and see if one is right for you.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Mastercard® Black Card™
50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
15 months of 0% APR financing on balance transfers completed within 45 days of account opening, with a 3% balance transfer fee
Rewards for Spending
3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining; one point per dollar spent elsewhere
2% rewards toward airfare; 1.5% rewards toward cash back
Foreign Transaction Fees
Trip cancellation and interruption coverageTrip delay reimbursementBaggage delay insuranceAuto rental collision damage waiverTravel and emergency assistance servicesEmergency evacuation & transportationPriority Pass™ Select airport business lounge membership
Trip cancellation and interruption coverageTrip delay reimbursementBaggage delay insuranceAuto rental collision damage waiverTravel and emergency assistance servicesTravel accident insurance$200 annual airline credit$100 Global Entry application fee creditPriority Pass™ Select airport business lounge membershipLuxury Card travel program
Purchase protectionExtended warranty protectionReturn protection
Luxury Card conciergeExtended warranty protectionReturn protection
Mobile Wallet Compatibility
Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
Contactless Payment Compatibility
Live Chat, Phone: 24/7
Phone: Mon–Sun 7A–12A; Email
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Review
Mastercard® Black Card™Review
About Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Mastercard® Black Card™
About Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is Chase’s premier premium travel rewards card. It comes with a generous signup bonus and offers big bonus rewards for both travel and dining purchases. You can redeem your reward points for a variety of awards including cash back, merchandise and travel reservations. In addition, you can transfer your rewards to airline miles or hotel points.
However, keep in mind that this is a luxury travel card. As such, it charges a large annual fee of $450. Still, we’ve found that it can be a great credit card pick for consumers who travel very frequently and who have the patience to figure out how to maximize their travel rewards.
About the Mastercard® Black Card™
Although the Mastercard® Black Card™ charges a hefty $495 annual fee, it’s only the middle of the three products in Mastercard®‘s Luxury Card Range — the highest tier being the Gold Card™, which requires a $995 annual fee.
Still, the Mastercard® Black Card™ offers many of its more expensive sibling’s bonuses (minus the 24-karat gold plating of course). Its most valuable feature is the Priority Pass™ Select airport business lounge access. This card also offers 15 months of 0% APR financing on balance transfers, along with numerous travel insurance and shopping protection benefits.
How Are They the Same?
Both cards offer a lot of features. First, let’s discuss their similarities.
Both cards charge high annual fees. In the case of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you’ll pay $450. The Mastercard® Black Card™ requires an annual payment of $495.
In more positive news, neither card charges foreign transaction fees, so you can shop abroad with peace of mind. In addition, both cards offer similar travel benefits such as coverage against trip cancellation and interruption, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement.
When it comes to shopping, both cards offer extended warranty and return protection.
And both cards offer access to Priority Pass™ Select airport lounges.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers 3x Ultimate Rewards points on all travel and dining purchases and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. These points are worth 1.5 cents each toward travel booked through Chase or can be transferred to airline miles or hotel points. You also get a $300 annual statement credit card toward any travel purchase. And you have access to more than 1,000 Priority Pass™ Select airport lounges around the world.
The Mastercard® Black Card™ offers 2% value for airfare redemptions and 1.5% for cash back. You also get a $100 annual credit toward airline purchases and a $100 credit toward the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. You also receive a Priority Pass™ Select membership that’s good for access to more than 1,000 airport lounges around the world. Account holders also receive luxury gifts from name-brand companies and a subscription to Luxury Magazine.
Winner — Taking fees into account, Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers more practical value. The Mastercard® Black Card™ is better for someone looking for luxury bonuses as much as rewards.
There’s a clear winner here: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card gives you 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months after you open an account.
Currently, The Mastercard® Black Card™ doesn’t offer any signup bonuses.
When the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card was launched in 2016, it was immediately very popular. Credit card users quickly realized that the rewards, benefits and fee credits it offered were worth the steep annual fee. After the $300 annual travel credit alone, the net cost is just $150.
With the Mastercard® Black Card™ 2% cash back toward travel is good, but there are plenty of cards with a much lower annual fee that offer equivalent rewards. With only a $100 annual airline credit offsetting its $495 annual fee, this is not a card for those who are strictly focused on value per dollar.
Who Are They Best For?
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is perfect for award travel enthusiasts who want to redeem their rewards in different ways. You can get outstanding value when you transfer your rewards to airline miles or hotel points and redeem them for very pricey flights and free nights at hotels. Or you can still get decent value when you redeem your points directly through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Travel Center.
On the other hand, the Mastercard® Black Card™ is ideal for someone who wants both luxury and simplicity and who isn’t focused on maximizing the value of their credit card rewards. It’s great for consumers who really appreciate things a like slick-looking card and receiving luxury gifts throughout the year.
If you can’t afford a private jet, then you might as well have a little bit of luxury when you brave bustling modern airports. By choosing the card that best meets your needs, you can feel a little pampered when you might need it most.