It's here!

The new Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card is the biggest news in travel this year. In exchange for a hefty $450 annual fee (not waived the first year) you will receive at least $2,100 in free travel via the 100,000 ultimate reward point sign up bonus, $300 in travel credits per calendar year, and numerous other perks. Make the most of your card’s benefits by doing these four things as soon as your card arrives in the mail:

Sign up for Lounge Access

Chase Sapphire Reserve gets you Priority Pass membership. This means that you and your guests can access over 900 airport lounges with the membership card. The membership card takes a while to be mailed out after you enroll so take care of this one right away. The signup page is

Figure out your Minimum Spending Deadline

Spending $4,000 on one credit card in 3 months is no easy task for most people. Typically Chase gives 115 days from approval (almost 4 months!) to meet the deadline. However that is not always the case. To figure out your specific deadline log into your Chase account and send a secure message to customer service asking for your Sapphire Reserve deadline. They will message you back within a day or two with the exact date.

Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check?

With the Sapphire Reserve you receive a statement credit for enrolling in either Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check. Global Entry lets you speed through immigration on international flights coming back to the US while TSA Pre-Check gives you quicker security wait times for domestic flights. Both memberships are good for 5 years of travel. I would recommend signing up for Global Entry as it comes with TSA Pre-Check too. You can apply for Global Entry here.

No need to activate the card  – Crack open a beer and celebrate!

Here was one unexpected benefit I noticed on receiving the card. I didn’t need to call an 800 number to activate the card. It showed up ready to go. Now that you have lounge access, Global Entry and your minimum spending deadline figured out it’s time to crack open a beer and start planning your next round of free travel. Cheers!

Pint from Green Wolf Brewing in Middleburgh, NY