Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Sapphire Reserve

With so many travel and rewards credit cards out there, it can get confusing at times.  But, it’s your lucky day!  I am here to break it down for you and tell you what you need to know to get the most out of your credit card.  Today I will go over the differences between the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Sapphire Reserve cards and help you determine which one is right for you.

While these cards have similar names and similar benefits, there are a few very important differences.


Link: Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Overview


Sapphire Preferred vs Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • 50,000 point bonus after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months – worth at least $625!Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Sapphire Reserve
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year
  • 2x points on travel and dining
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • Points worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards Portal or transfer 1:1 to travel partners
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Purchase and Extended Warranty Protection

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • 50,000 point bonus after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months – worth at least $750!
  • $450 annual fee
  • $300 annual travel creditChase Sapphire Preferred vs Sapphire Reserve
  • 3x points on travel and dining
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • Points worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards Portal or transfer 1:1 to travel partners
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement
  • Purchase and Extended Warranty Protection
  • Global Entry ($100) or TSA Pre Check ($85) Fee Credit
  • Priority Pass Select (lounge access) membership
  • $75 annual fee for authorized user
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Sapphire Reserve - Earn bonus points every time you eat out with either of these cards.
Both of these cards offer bonus points on dining purchases!

What’s The Big Difference?

As you can see the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with lots more benefits, and a heftier pricetag.  So, is it worth it?

The first thing I want to point out is that the Sapphire Reserve has a yearly $300 travel credit.  This credit is automatically applied to your first $300 in travel expenses each year – anything from hotels and airline tickets to parking.  If you are worried about spending at least $300 in travel expenses in a year, don’t even think about getting this card.  If $300 in travel expenses is easy for you, read on.

The $300 travel credit effectively makes this card’s fee $150 instead of $450.  That’s an easier number to swallow, isn’t it.  The Sapphire Preferred has a fee of $95 so really, the Sapphire Reserve is only $55 more expensive per year than the Sapphire Preferred.  Still with me?

So, for an extra $55 per year, you can earn an extra point per dollar on all of your travel and dining purchases (3x points vs 2x points) plus get TSA PreCheck ($85 value) or Global Entry ($100 value), a Priority Pass membership (value varies) plus enhanced insurance coverage.  In addition, booking through the Chase portal will get you 1.5 cents per point vs 1.25 cents per point.

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Sapphire Reserve - Earn bonus points every time you eat out with either of these cards.
I used my Chase Sapphire Reserve in New Orleans to buy a Hurricane (keepin’ it classy)…and I got 3x points!

Which One Is Right For You?

There are a lot of articles out there that will break down all the numbers and show you fancy math to tell you which one you should get.  That’s boring and makes my head spin.  So, I am going to keep it simple.

Get the Sapphire Preferred if you…

…travel a “normal amount” and spending $450 on a credit card makes you feel ill

…are a total newbie to points and miles and aren’t sure how much you will be spending on travel (you can always get the Sapphire Reserve later)

Get the Sapphire Reserve if you…

…travel a lot! (author raises hand)

…plan on using the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit.

…spend a lot of time in airports that have a Priority Pass lounge.

…have unlimited funds

My Take

I have gotten both of these cards.  The Sapphire Preferred was the first awards credit card I got.  Once the Sapphire Reserve came out last year, I jumped on it.  Since then I have canceled my Sapphire Preferred because it’s silly to have both (after the first year), and I value the extra benefits of the Reserve.

If you enjoy the points and miles game, I would say get both for the first year (to get both bonuses), then you can decide which one to keep long term.  And don’t forget to pair either of these cards with the Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited to supercharge your points earning!

Happy Travels!

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