I know – a hotel card from American Express and a flexible rewards card from Chase – how are they supposed to work together???
Why the Hilton Ascend Card is a Great “Companion” for the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Link: Hilton Ascend Card – 100,000 Points and Free Weekend Night – (this is a personal referral offer that will give me 25,000 Hilton points if you are approved – thanks!) Note: this offer currently is set to expire tomorrow.
Actually, it is because of a negative change that Chase made to their Chase Sapphire Reserve this year that makes this match a nice one. We found out that Chase had planned to cut the unlimited guest feature from their Priority Pass membership (due to go into effect August 26, 2018) and limit it to 2 guests per cardholder.
No More Unlimited Guest Feature for the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s Priority Pass Membership
For some people, that is not a real problem since most of us likely are not traveling with more than 2 people (that do not have lounge access) per trip. But, for family trips, it definitely can be a problem.
Option 1: Get an Authorized User Card for the CSR (cost $75 per year)
One solution is to get another adult that would be traveling with you an authorized user card on your Chase Sapphire Reserve. This would allow them to also get a Priority Pass membership through the CSR and then they could also bring in 2 guests for a total of 6 people. For our family, that is perfect.
But, that authorized user card costs $75. Personally, I find it to be totally worth it since it does come with that lounge access as well as the primary car rental insurance. However, not everyone is in the same boat and they feel that having 2 CSR cards in the same family is redundant.
Option 2: Get the Hilton Ascend Card from American Express (cost $95 per year)
Enter the Hilton Ascend card from American Express! While it has some nice spending categories and elite status, it also has one more unique feature – it comes with a Priority Pass Select membership as well but includes 10 free lounge visits per year. Each visit after the 10 costs $27 and is billed to the card.
This means that you could use that card to get 10 free visits (for guests is fine – you just have to be there to swipe it) in conjunction with your Priority Pass membership from the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The Hilton Ascend card comes with a $95 annual fee (so higher than the authorized user fee on the CSR) but gives you Hilton Gold status and the ability to earn a free weekend night (see this post for why you should spend on the Hilton Ascend card). Not only that, but you can also earn 25,000 Hilton points when you successfully refer someone to the card.
I would imagine most people that are disappointed about the loss of the unlimited guests with the CSR probably would only be over the limit a few times a year – at the most. With the Hilton Ascend card and its 10 complimentary visits, you could let it be a nice “companion” card for your Chase Sapphire Reserve in those situations.