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chase-sapphire-preferred-logoI don’t think I’ve ever seen a new credit card coming out that has been as hyped as the upcoming Chase Sapphire Reserve card.  It is certainly a premium card, and not one that I would recommend most beginners signing up for.  I thought it might be a good idea to do a comparison of the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred card, so if you’re looking to get one of these 2 cards, this comparison of the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred card might help

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred: Signup bonus

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a signup bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards.  The best known bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred is 50,000 Ultimate Rewards with another 5,000 points if you add an authorized user.

ADVANTAGE: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Chase Sapphire Reserve: Ultimate Rewards redemptions

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card gives you 1.25 cents per point when redeeming travel at the Ultimate Rewards portal

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card gives you a value of 1.5 cents per point

(SEE ALSO: Why it pays to check the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall before transferring points)

Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred card have the advantage over just having a Chase Freedom card, which only gives a value of 1 cent per point, whether it’s on travel purchases through the Ultimate Rewards mall or just as statement credits.

ADVANTAGE: Chase Sapphire Reserve cardchase-sapphire-reserve-logo

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred: Transfer partners

Although the Chase Sapphire Reserve has an advantage over the Chase Sapphire Preferred card when redeeming through the Ultimate Rewards mall, the real value of both cards is their ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards to partners, such as United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Hyatt Hotels and more.

ADVANTAGE: Even (both cards have the same transfer partners)

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Chase Sapphire Reserve: Category spending bonuses

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card gives 3x on travel and dining and 1x on everything else.  Chase Sapphire Preferred card gives 2x on travel and dining and 1x on everything else

WEAK ADVANTAGE: Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred: Other benefits

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers primary rental car insurance, no foreign transaction fees, trip cancellation insurance, trip delay reimbursement and baggage delay coverage

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has all of the above PLUS

  • $300 annual travel credit, applied automatically to anything in the travel category
  • $100 reimbursement for Global Entry
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access

BIG ADVANTAGE: Chase Sapphire Reserve 

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred: Annual Fee

I saved the big one for last, of course.  With all those additional benefits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve also comes with a hefty $450 annual fee, and $75 for additional authorized users (who don’t end up with many of the benefits).  In contrast, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee AND it’s waived the first year.  No additional fee for authorized users.

Yes, some of the extra fee can be covered by the $300 annual travel credit (above under other benefits), but $300 in travel credits is NOT the same as $300 in cash.

HUGE advantage to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card

Bottom line: Comparing the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred card

Deciding whether to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes down to what you’re looking for in a card.  I always recommend that you first figure out WHAT TO DO with your miles and points BEFORE applying for a card.

To me, if you were just starting out, or relatively new to miles and points, I would recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred card

(SEE ALSO: Why I keep recommending the Chase Sapphire Preferred for people starting out)

If you’re more experienced, and feel confident in the system you have in place that the $450 annual fee will not be wasted, then the Chase Sapphire Reserve card becomes more attractive.  Certainly other than the annual fee, there’s no arguing with the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits.

Wherever you stand in the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred battle, you can apply for top rewards credit cards by clicking on the image below

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