Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Chase Sapphire Reserve

Do you travel or dine out often and want to earn points for your spending? The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve may be worth considering. Both cards have high earning potential and several enticing incentives, particularly for travelers.

Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of each card, and the details that distinguish them from one another.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Annual percentage rate (APR): 16.49% to 23.49%, variable

Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95 in subsequent years

Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on travel and dining, one point per dollar spent on all other purchases (points worth 25% more if redeemed for travel)

Pros

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 or more within the first three months of opening an account (equivalent to $625 in travel)
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase of any amount within the first three months of opening the account
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Purchase and travel protections
  • 1:1 point transfer program

Cons

  • 5% balance transfer fee
  • Annual fee may not be ideal if you don’t travel or dine out often
  • High APR

Bottom line: This card is ideal if you travel or dine or often and want to earn points without paying a hefty annual fee. It’s also a great option if you’ve accumulated airline or hotel loyalty points elsewhere because you can transfer points to help offset travel costs.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

APR: 16.49% to 34.99%, variable

Annual fee: $450 ($75 for each authorized user)

Rewards: Three points for every dollar spent on worldwide travel and dining, one point for every dollar spent on all other purchases (points worth 50% more when redeemed for travel)

Pros

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within the first three months of opening an account (equivalent to $750 in travel)
  • Host of travel perks, including complimentary lounge access and $100 TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee waiver
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • No travel blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Purchase and travel protections

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Smaller annual fee also applies for each authorized user
  • High APR
  • Points are not transferable

Bottom line: This card is great for frequent travelers who spend a lot of time at the airport and dine out while on the go. The $300 annual travel credit partially offsets the steep $450 annual fee.

How Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve are similar

When it comes to rewards, both of these cards have you covered if you tend to spend a ton on travel and dining. Even better, both allow you to earn 50,000 bonus points within the first three months of opening an account. All you have to do is spend $4,000 or more.

You can also expect to pay an annual fee to take advantage of the benefits these cards have to offer. The good news is you won’t incur foreign transaction fees when using the card abroad.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred advantage

1. Lower annual fee

You’ll have to pay an annual fee of $95 after the first year. However, it doesn’t come anywhere close to the $450 annual fee that comes with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

2. Great for authorized users

If you’re looking to add an authorized user, this card may be a better fit. You’ll earn 5,000 bonus points by adding an authorized user and making a purchase of any amount within the first three months.

3. Points are transferable

Your earning potential is unlimited with the Chase Sapphire Preferred advantage. And you can maximize your points by combining them with points earned from select airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Participating airline travel partners include:

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Participating hotel travel partners include:

  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards®
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®
  • World of Hyatt

The Chase Sapphire Reserve advantage

1. Lucrative travel perks

Do you frequent airport lounges? As a cardholder, you’ll save lots of cash as complimentary lounge access is one of the major travel perks. You’ll also receive an annual $100 application fee waiver for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

2. Annual travel credit

You’ll receive a $300 annual travel credit just for being a cardholder. The credit can be applied to travel-related expenses, including those incurred for lodging and airfare.

3. Higher earning potential

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn three points per dollar spent on travel and dining while Chase Preferred cardholders only earn two. Points are also worth 50% more when redeemed for travel, but Chase Preferred cardholders only enjoy a 25% increase.

Which card is the better option?

If you’d rather not spend a ton on an annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred may be a better option. You’ll miss out on the generous travel perks and credits. But you’ll still have the luxury of transferring travel points with the 1:1 point transfer program.

But if you travel often or spend a lot dining out, the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve could easily outweigh the cost. At first glimpse, the $450 annual fee may be enough to scare you away from this card. However, you must take the $300 annual travel credit, complimentary travel lounge access and $100 TSA PreCheck and Global Entry fee waivers into consideration. Those items alone are enough to wipe out the cost of the annual fee.

CardRegular APR 
13.49% – 23.49%Apply
13.49% – 23.49%Apply
11.24% – 23.24%Apply
11.24% – 23.24%Apply
14.49% – 22.49%Apply