The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve were both just refreshed. But the Preferred really got a jolt: increased and new points earning categories, an anniversary point bonus, and $50 hotel credit. The Reserve got some new Chase Ultimate Rewards travel booking service points earnings.
If you don’t hold one of the Chase Sapphire cards — and haven’t received a new cardmember bonus for any Sapphire card during the past 48 months — you might be tempted to get one. Especially given that the Chase Sapphire Preferred‘s best-ever welcome offer is still available: earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in eligible purchases within three months of being approved for card membership. And the Chase Sapphire Reserve boasts 60,000 bonus points for new approvals who spend $4,000 within three months of getting the card.
Both offer redemption bonuses when booking travel through Chase. This helps you field a pretty great, effective Ultimate Rewards “team” when you combine them with cards such as the Chase Freedom Flex, Chase Ink Unlimited, and/or Chase Freedom Unlimited.
So which Chase Sapphire card is better for you? Below is a handy-dandy table comparing and contrasting the two products. Let’s take a quick look and then discuss a few things to consider. (We recommend using landscape viewing if you’re on a mobile phone.)
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Type of Points Earned||Chase Ultimate Rewards||Chase Ultimate Rewards|
|Current Welcome Offer||Earn 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases within three months of being approved for card membership.||Earn 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases within three months of being approved for card membership.|
|Primary Cardholder Annual Fee||$95||$550|
|Additional Cardholder Annual Fee||$0||$75|
|Annual $300 Travel Credit (Rolling 12-Month Card Membership Period — NOT Per Calendar Year)||No.||Yes.
Through December 2021, gas station and grocery store shopping purchases will count toward the $300 travel credit.
|Annual $50 Credit for Hotel Purchases Made Through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Travel Service||Yes.||No.|
|Up to $60 in DoorDash Statement Credits During 2021||No.||Yes.|
|Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021 (Enrollment Required)||$60||$120|
|Points Bonus Awarded Each Anniversary Year||10% of whatever you spent the previous anniversary year. For example, $25,000 in spending would earn you a bonus 2,500 Ultimate Rewards — on top of whatever bonuses you earned that year.||None.|
|Airfare Booked Through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Travel Service||5X||5X (after annual $300 credit is used)|
|Hotels and Card Rentals Booked Through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Travel Service||5X (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit.)||10X|
|Lyft Rides (Through March 2022)||5X||10X|
|Peloton Bike, Tread, and Accessory Purchase Over $1,800.||5X
(Maximum of 25,000 Points)
(Maximum of 50,000 Points)
|Dining at restaurants worldwide (includes eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)||3X||3X|
|Select Streaming Services||3X||1X|
|Travel (airfare, hotels, taxis, trains, rideshare, select parking, etc.)||2X||3X|
|Transfer to Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Partners||Yes||Yes|
|Transfer to Other Chase Cardholders||Yes||Yes|
|Point Value When Redeeming for Travel Through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Site||1.25 Cents||1.50 Cents|
|Pay Yourself Back on Eligible Purchases in Select, Rotating Categories||Yes.
(Through September 2021.)
(Through September 2021.)
|Pay Yourself Back Statement Credit Redemption Rate Per Point||1.25 Cents||1.50 Cents|
|Chase Dining Statement Credit Redemption Rate Per Point||1.25 Cents Per Point||1.50 Cents Per Point|
|Complimentary Priority Pass Select Membership (Enrollment Required)||No.||Yes. Includes dining credit at select airport restaurants.|
|Complimentary One-Yeard Membership in Lyft Pink (Enrollment Required)||No.||Yes.|
|Access to Chase Luxury Resorts & Hotels||Yes.||Yes.|
|Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance||Yes. (Terms, minimums, and limits may apply. See this document for more details.)||Yes. (Terms, minimums, and limits may apply. See this document for more details.)|
|Trip Delay Reimbursement||Yes. (Terms, minimums, and limits may apply. See this document for more details.)||Yes. (Terms, minimums, and limits may apply. See this document for more details.)|
|Travel Accident Coverage||Yes. (Terms, minimums, and limits may apply. See this document for more details.)||Yes. (Terms, minimums, and limits may apply. See this document for more details.)|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||$0||$0|
Other Features and Benefits
|Complimentary DoorDash DashPass Subscription for At Least 12-Months||Yes. (Activate by December 31, 2021.)||Yes. (Activate by December 31, 2021.)|
|Extended Warranty Protection||Yes.||Yes.|
Where Can You Apply for the Cards?
|Learn here how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.||Learn here how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.|
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Reserve: Which is Better?
This is purely subjective.
For a general points-earning card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is better. Especially now that it offers select streaming services and grocery store bonuses. (Both 3X) Plus, its travel earnings are now 3X — the same as the Reserve card.
One of my friends wanted to start collecting and redeeming points — and decided to test the waters with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. He wanted a Visa because it’s accepted more places than American Express. Plus, he likes flying jetBlue between LAX and JFK — and JetBlue is a Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partner. He doesn’t crave luxury and simply wants to travel affordably in an aisle seat. So the CSP serves him just fine.
So if travel benefits (lounges, statement credits, etc.) don’t do anything for you, go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. This is especially the case if you’re worried about annual fees. Consider that the Preferred’s is $455 cheaper than its Reserve sibling.
Personally, I slightly favor the Chase Sapphire Reserve over the Preferred because its trip cancellation-interruption-delay benefits are a little more generous (six hours vs the Preferred’s 12-hour minimum). The $550 annual fee essentially gets knocked down to $250 after you factor in the annual $300 travel credit. The $60 DoorDash benefit was great last year and this year. (I hope Chase keeps it!)
The 50% bonus redemption on Pay Yourself Back and travel purchased through Chase is also a big plus, versus the Preferred’s 25%.
Plus, the Reserve’s Priority Pass Select membership (enrollment required) still includes select airport restaurants and establishments. The American Express cards yanked that benefit from their Priority Pass-eligible cards. One of my clients gives me a flat per diem when I travel, so airport lounge access and restaurant discounts help keep my costs low. Worth noting: several lounges and airport restaurants haven’t yet reopened. So keep that in mind.
I also enjoy the Lyft Pink membership. Rides are discounted by 15% and I receive priority pick-ups at airports. The Chase Sapphire Preferred does not offer the complimentary Lyft Pink membership.
The Peloton benefits do nothing for me. I have a young child who loves running and swimming. That keeps me plenty active 🙂 .
The only person who can decide which card is better for you is, well, you. I prefer (no pun intended) the Chase Sapphire Reserve because I can make the annual fee work out across the statement credits, travel benefits, and points earnings/redemptions.
Chase Sapphire vets: which card do you prefer and why? Please tell us in the below Comments section.
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