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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers a lot of travel benefits, including airport lounge access, robust travel insurance (including emergency evacuation coverage), and other luxury travel amenities. The Sapphire Reserve card also has a high annual fee, which makes you wonder if the Sapphire Reserve is only for rich people. We clarify the income requirements below.

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Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve for Rich People? What Income is Needed for the Sapphire Reserve?

The Chase Sapphire doesn’t have a publicly disclosed minimum income requirement, but several data points suggest that it’s best to apply with an annual income of $50,000 or more.

This Reddit discussion provides a few insights, such as:

  • Most approvals report an income between $50,000 and $180,000
  • Some data points report getting approved with an income near $30,000
  • Chase is reportedly willing to issue a total credit limit of up to 50% of your annual income (i.e., if you make $50,000 per year, your combined credit limit can be $25,000 between all of your Chase credit cards).

Further, the credit card provider takes several factors into consideration besides your gross income. For example, what’s your current debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and monthly mortgage/rent expenses? Chase wants to know your gross income and take-home pay to determine if you can afford the monthly payment.

Since the Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite product, its minimum credit limit is $10,000, and your income and credit history must determine whether you can afford to pay the balance for a new card.

Additionally, this card requires excellent credit (740-850 credit score) to have the best approval odds. Some data points suggest that having an existing Chase credit card open for at least one year can also help as you have a consistent relationship with the bank.

Related: Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Hard to Get?

Does the Chase Sapphire Reserve Give You a High Credit Limit?

The minimum credit limit for the Chase Sapphire Reserve (and any Visa Infinite product) is $10,000. You can be eligible for a higher limit if you’re “rich” by having a high income and minimal debts or housing costs.

Several cardholders with an annual income above $100,000 report a credit limit above $30,000. Earning six figures doesn’t guarantee a minimum $30k spending limit, but it’s more likely.

Related: What Credit Cards Offer the Highest Credit Limit?

Who is the Target Audience for the Chase Sapphire Reserve?

High-income millennials are Sapphire Reserve’s target audience. Reports indicate that the average cardholder was approximately 30 years old and earned at least $150,000 per year when the card was first launched in 2016.

Today, most cardholders are in their 30s or 40s, and it’s not uncommon to have an annual household income from $60,000 to $150,000.

Many “common people” use the Sapphire Reserve for its travel benefits that can offset the $550 annual fee if you take several trips per year. In particular, frequent flyers benefit the most from the card’s benefits.

Related: Which Premium Credit Card is Worth It?

Is the Sapphire Reserve a Luxury Card?

Yes, the Sapphire Reserve is a premium credit card that offers an array of benefits that most run-of-the-mill rewards cards don’t offer as they charge a smaller annual fee.

Here are some of the unique benefits a consumer card most likely won’t offer:

  • Unlimited visits to Priority Pass Select airport lounges (for the cardholder and two guests)
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Complimentary amenities at The Luxury Hotels & Resort Collection
  • Earns up to 10 points per $1 on travel purchases (most cards earn 5x or less)
  • Exclusive dining, entertainment, and sports experiences
  • Dining and retail partner benefits (DoorDash, Gopuff, Instacart, Lyft)

These benefits may sound like the Sapphire Reserve is for rich people. Yet, it is attainable.

Related: Most Exclusive Credit Cards for Your Wallet

Sapphire Reserve Travel Protection Benefits

This card also offers some of the best credit card travel insurance benefits with coverage limits exceeding the industry average. You can be eligible for complimentary coverage when booking your trip with the Sapphire Reserve.

Some of the trip protection benefits include:

  • Trip cancellation/interruption protection: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip
  • Trip delay reimbursement: Up to $500 per ticket after six delay hours or an overnight stay
  • Rental car collision damage waiver: Primary coverage up to $75,000 (theft & collision)
  • Emergency evacuation and transportation: Up to $100,000 in services
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: Up to $3,000 per passenger for checked or carry-on

Related: Chase Sapphire Reserve Review

How Much Do You Need to Spend to Make the Chase Sapphire Reserve Worth It?

At a minimum, you should spend at least $5,700 on travel and dining purchases that earn at least 3 points per $1 to offset the $550 annual fee. Depending on your spending habits, you might be able to spend less by booking travel or dining through your Chase Ultimate Rewards account instead of paying directly through the merchant.

Spending $5,700 on travel and dining can earn 17,100 Ultimate Rewards that are worth $256.50 with the 50% travel redemption bonus. This redemption method and the annual $300 travel credit completely offset the $550 annual fee.

You can also offset the annual fee by using the various additional travel benefits. Right off the bat, the $300 travel credit reimburses your first travel purchases each year. Next, several Priority Pass visits can cover the gap as a similar individual membership with unlimited visits costs $469 plus $35 per additional guest. As a reminder, two guests are free with the Sapphire Reserve.

Related: Are Credit Cards Worth Their Annual Fees? Things To Consider

Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Prestigious?

Yes, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a prestigious and respectable card as it requires excellent credit to qualify. Additionally, it has many unique travel and retail partner benefits that few competitors match.

One of the only rewards cards with more perks is The Platinum Card® from American Express, although it commands a $695 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

The Sapphire Reserve is also made out of metal. While more cards have a metal construction, this card’s materials tend to be reserved for luxury rewards credit cards.

Related: The Best Metal Credit Cards


In conclusion, is the Sapphire Reserve for rich people? You don’t need to be wealthy to qualify for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® as it’s possible to qualify with an average working income and few bills. There are many approved applications with an annual income above $50,000. This card’s benefits are geared for luxury travel and frequent trips so being rich is usually necessary to afford the lifestyle to justify the annual fee.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

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