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For many year Chase Sapphire Preferred was regarded as the the go-to travel credit card for many in the point and miles community. It had everything you could “want”…double points on dining and travel, great travel protection, and the ability to transfer points to a bunch of valuable airline and hotel partners.
Then Chase Sapphire Reserve came onto the scene and stole the show with everything you could “want”… triple points on dining and travel, great travel protection, the ability to transfer points to a bunch of valuable airline and hotel partners, a $300 annual travel credit, a Priority Pass membership, and more.
Even with a $450 annual fee, Sapphire Reserve has been an extremely popular consumer card though in this post I wanted to highlight a few reasons you may want to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
#1: You Don’t Want to Way A $450 Annual Fee
Let’s just get talk about the elephant in the room…the annual fee.
There is a huge gap between $450 and $95 and psychologically, a lot of people have a hard time justifying a $450 annual fee.
While the Sapphire Reserve does have a $450 annual fee, the net cost for the card should only cost you $150 per year (after factoring in the $300 travel credit), which I consider as good as cash.
However, if the remaining $55 difference is still a concern, the Chase Sapphire Preferred (with a $95 annual fee) is a better option.
#2: You’re A “newbie” To Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR)
If you’re just getting started with Ultimate Rewards (or with points in general), starting out with the Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card. As I mentioned above, the card has a lower annual fee, so it’s a great way to explore Ultimate Rewards without going head first and paying a large annual fee.
Additionally, it’s possible to upgrade to the Sapphire Reserve if you determine the benefits fit your lifestyle and are worth the annual fee. You could then transfer your points from Chase Sapphire Preferred to your new Chase Sapphire Reserve and see Ultimate Rewards from a new angle.
#3: You Want A Better Welcome Bonus
When Chase Sapphire Reserve first came on the market, it offered a hefty 100,000 point welcome bonus for few months. However, at the moment Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months, while Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months.
Personally, I prefer more points for spending the same amount of money. Again, you can upgrade to the Sapphire Reserve if you determine, the benefits fit your lifestyle, and are worth the annual fee later.
#4: You Want To Add Authorized Users
Granted, there are there are benefits to adding an authorized user to Chase Sapphire Reserve (including a Priority Pass membership for authorized users), but if the goal is to add an authorized user for spending purposes, each authorized user will have to spend quite a bit annually in the dining and travel categories to off-set the $75 fee of Chase Sapphire Reserve.
#5: Redeeming Points For 1.5 Cents Each Towards Travel Is Not As Important
AIRLINE TRANSFER PARTNERS (transfer points at 1:1 ratio)
- United (Star Alliance)
- Singapore (Star Alliance)
- Air France/KLM Flying Blue (Skyteam)
- British Airways (OneWorld)
- Aer Lingus (OneWorld)
- Iberia (OneWorld)
- Virgin Atlantic
HOTEL TRANSFER PARTNERS (transfer points at 1:1 ratio)
However, the area where the points differ is if you prefer to redeem the points as cash towards the cost of a travel purchase.
- If you have Chase Sapphire Preferred, points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each towards a travel purchase.
- If you have Chase Sapphire Reserve, points can be redeemed for 1.50 cents each towards a travel purchase.
If this is an aspect that you value, Chase Sapphire Reserve has a slight advantage. Personally, I prefer to redeem Ultimate Rewards points by transferring them to partners, so this isn’t a feature I utilize at all. In my case, the points are equally valuable.
Ultimately, there are pros and cons to obtaining any card on the market. However, I think if you’re just getting started with Ultimate Rewards (or points in general), Chase Sapphire Preferred is a solid card. In addition, Chase Sapphire Preferred is offering 10,000 more points than Chase Sapphire Reserve for the welcome bonus. This is the highest welcome bonus we’ve ever seen on Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Do you have, either, Chase Sappire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve? What has been your experience?