Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve? (2017)

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are among my favorite reward currencies for many reasons.  These points are earned with Chase Sapphire credit cards.  One of the most common questions I get is “which is better?”  While Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve are not the only 2 cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, they are the ones you will read about the most on this site.  If you are new to miles and points, a Chase Sapphire is a great choice for your first card.  There is also a business version of this card that has its own set of perks.  In this post, I will compare the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve cards.  Since these are Chase cards, please familiarize yourself with Chase’s 5/24 policy.

Paris Chase Sapphire Ultimate Rewards

Ultimate Rewards can get you free Paris flights and hotels !

 
chase ultimate rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Signup Bonus50,00050,000
Annual Fee$95 (waived for the first year)$450
Bonus Categories2 points per dollar on travel and dining3 points per dollar on travel and dining
All other purchases1 point per dollar1 point per dollar
Annual travel credit$0$300
Global Entry fee creditNoYes, $100
Airport lounge accessNoYes
Primary rental car insurance YesYes
Foreign Transaction FeesNoNo
transfer to Ultimate Rewards air and hotel partners1:1 transfer ratio1:1 transfer ratio
Use points to pay for travel using Ultimate Rewards booking portal OR1.25 cents per dollar1.50 cents per dollar
Trip and purchase protection YesYes
Cost to add authorized users:$0$75 (this includes lounge access and trip protection but not the $300 travel credit)

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Signup Bonus: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 during the first 3 months

Annual Fee: $95. Currently (November 2017), this fee is waived for the first year.

Bonus Categories: Earn 2X Points on travel and dining worldwide.  Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Auto Rental Insurance: Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.

No foreign transaction fees: There are no foreign transaction fees when you use your card for purchases made outside the United States.  Other cards charge about 3%.  For example, if you spend $5,000 internationally, you would avoid $150 in foreign transaction fees.

Trip and purchase protection benefits:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred trip protection benefits

Redeeming points from Chase Sapphire Preferred:

See also: Ultimate Rewards booking portal vs. transferring to partners

Transfer your points to partners at a 1:1 ratio:

Chase Ultimate Reward Transfer Partners May 2017

UR hotel transfer partners

Get 1.25 cents per point when redeeming through Ultimate Rewards booking portal: For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Signup Bonus: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 during the first 3 months

Annual Fee: $450. I know that is a lot of money but depending on your spending habits and your travel needs, it may be worth it.  Read an example of how annual fees can be offset

Bonus Categories: Earn 3 points per dollar on travel and dining worldwide.  Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

$300 Annual Travel Credit: Each year, automatically receive $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card.*

*For cards issued prior to May 21, 2017 the travel credit is per calendar year, not membership year.  This means that you get the 300$ for the year in which you sign up and then another 300$ in January.  So you’re effectively getting 600$ in credit for the first year.  For cards issued after May 21, 2017, it will be reimbursed by membership year.

Global Entry or TSA Pre ✓® Fee Credit: Receive a statement credit of $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve travel benefits

Airport Lounge Access: Enjoy 900+ VIP lounges in over 400 cities worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass Select.

Car Rental Insurance: Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.

No foreign transaction fees: There are no foreign transaction fees when you use your card for purchases made outside the United States.  Other cards charge about 3%.  For example, if you spend $5,000 internationally, you would avoid $150 in foreign transaction fees.
Trip and purchase protection:
Chase Sapphire Reserve Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve trip and purchase protection benefits

Redeeming points from Chase Sapphire Reserve:

See also: Ultimate Rewards booking portal vs. transferring to partners

Transfer your points to partners at a 1:1 ratio:

Chase Ultimate Reward Transfer Partners May 2017

UR hotel transfer partners

Get 1.50 cents per point when redeeming through Ultimate Rewards booking portal: For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel. Remember this is 1.25 cents per point with Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Conclusion:

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Chase Sapphire Preferred are both great cards for anyone.  Depending on your needs and goals, one of these cards may fit your situation better than the other.

For us, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a better fit for a few reasons:

  • We can justify the annual fee in many ways:
    • $300 travel credit
    • $100 Global Entry fee reimbursement since we will likely have to get it for the babies soon
    • The sign-up bonus was actually 100,000 when I signed up. 50,000 is still a good deal though.
  • We eat out often, so 3 points per dollar instead of 2 is nice
  • We travel a lot.  Even though we cover a lot of our travel expenses with points and miles, there are still costs such as rental cars. We get 3 points per dollar on these expenses rather than 2
  • Airport lounge access is nice, although I’m not sure we would pay such a high annual fee if it weren’t for the other benefits that come with this card.

Worried about meeting minimum spend? Read this! Contact me with any questions and let me know which card you choose.

 

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