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Wife wants CSR but is it worth it?

Valued Contributor

Re: Wife wants CSR but is it worth it?

@FortifiedHM wrote:

@Green456 wrote:

$5000 on travel

$10,000 on non travel

$2000 on dining.

What is point redeem value on Chase portal?

1.5cpp (lowest price not guranteed).





total $540


return: (540-150)/17000=2.3%, not a great return.

@FortifiedHM, this seems overly simplistic for proper valuation.


I notice that you carry many other travel cards so you may dismiss the added value of the CSR perks for members who only want to carry one of the premium high-fee travel cards, members like myself who do not incur travel expenses for business and who travel less frequently for leisure, maybe just a few times a year.  I carry the CSR and only applied for it after careful consideration of the benefits I would get for my $450 fee.  This was the first card I've had with an annual fee for a couple of decades and I didn't enter into it lightly. 


Your valuation of the spending is a good start, and yes, as you pointed out, the return on CSR Ultimate Rewards points is 4.5% (CSR dining and travel), 7.5% (CF 5% categories), and 2.25% (CFU - everything else) when you combine your points under the CSR card on the portal and redeem the points for travel with Chase.  I carry all three cards now which makes a huge dent on that annual fee. 


Yes, you do get the automatic $300 travel credit.  Very easy.  I got that on my first statement and it applies to all sorts of travel expenditures.


Yes, I know that Priority Pass Lounges are more outside of the US and may not be all someone expects them to be.  Still, the annual fee on the Priority Pass website for level of access you get with CSR (Prestige) is $429.  Definitely worth something, even if you don't value it highly.


You neglected to include the reimbursement for Global Entry in your calculations.  $100 credit once every five years is $20 per year benefit.  While I know some of your other cards may give this benefit too, the person who applies for this as their only card to have Global Entry reimbursement gets more of a return from it.


CSR has Roadside Assistance included which reimburses up to four calls per year at up to $50 per call.  The equivalent AAA plan (basic AAA) plan I found in my state costs $50 per year. 


I have compared travel insurance plans and I haven't found any other card that provides such complete and generous coverage for travel.  CSR is a Visa Infinite (one level above Signature) and even beats AMEX Platinum, hands down, from my research.  Value this what you will, but it could easily pay for your annual fee many times over with one use.  For example:


  + Primary rental car coverage which does not require your own insurance paying first and is included in the AF.

         Saves you money on every car rental if you decline damage protection.

         *AMEX offers secondary coverage; primary is available for an additional fee per rental.

          (Secondary coverage will require you to still pay your deductible and may affect your insurance rates.)

  + Trip Cancellation insurance: Up to $10K per person, $20K per trip.  (AMEX: N/A?)

          *Anyone who has ever booked a cruise or tour package knows this coverage can

            cost hundeds of dollars for protection on a single trip, if purchased separately.

            When you spend thousands on a reservation, this is good insurance to have sometimes.

  + Delayed Baggage insurance:  Begins to pay for delays starting at 6 hours at $100 per day for up to 5 days.  (AMEX: N/A?)

  + Trip Delay Insurance:  Begins to pay for delays starting at 6 hours and pays up to $500 for unexpected expenses.  (AMEX: N/A?)

  + Emergency Evacuation and transportation.  Pays up to $100,000 if a covered passenger becomes ill or injured. 

          *AMEX:  Similar.  However, says Global Assist hotline will help but only says 'assistance MAY be provided at no cost."

  + Accidental Death and Injury insurance:  CSR pays up to $1 Million for a covered loss.  (AMEX: only pays $500K?)

  + Lost luggage insurance.  Up to $3000 per passenger.  (Also offered by AMEX).


So, from my calculations -

$450 annual fee

-$300 travel credit

-$20 Global Entry reimbursement avg per year

-$50 AAA equivalent roadside assistance

= $80 effective rate


Then subtract whatever additional valuation and peace of mind you get from

- Cash back described above, based on your spending habits

- Trip protections described above

- Priority Pass lounge access

- The ability to transfer points 1:1 to many other airline and hotel partners


So to me, it became a no-brainer that this was a great card, especially if I use it as a primary travel card, combine it with other Chase cards, and don't dilute the benefits by using other premium travel cards with annual fees.

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Message 31 of 32
Frequent Contributor

Re: Wife wants CSR but is it worth it?

That's a well thought out post about your CSR valuation. Sounds like it really works for you, that Chase Trifecta is still hard to beat.

You can get access to Delta Skyclubs with the Amex Delta Platinum at $29 a visit. I've found them to be better on average than PP lounges and more available domestically with less crowding issues.
Message 32 of 32
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