Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred: Which is Really Better?

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred: Which is Really Better?

If the travel gods set out to create the ideal travel card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Preferred would be their masterpiece.

Even with its annual fee of $550, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® provides a lot of value for regular travelers with its high rewards rate, excellent features, and sign-up bonus.

The card debuted to considerable excitement in 2016, and Chase even ran out of the metal credit cards due to insufficient supply.

For many years, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® was a shockingly more affordable option than its $95 annual fee brother, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. For many, the card’s rich rewards and bonuses justified the price.

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Preferred: Which is Better?

Two of the most talked-about travel credit cards on the market are the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

This is due to the valuable Ultimate Rewards program, outstanding bonuses, and excellent travel coverage. But which one is most suitable for you?

You might think that the Chase Sapphire Reserve, with its higher annual cost and more luxurious amenities, is always the superior option. Although it is a higher-tier card, it is not always the best selection. 

Depending on your spending patterns, travel aspirations, and credit card portfolio, the Sapphire Preferred may be a more appealing option for your wallet.

We’ll compare the two cards below to assist you in making the best choice.

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred

Let’s compare and contrast the Chase Sapphire and Reserve credit cards.

Sapphire Preferred: Key Features

For an annual fee, cardholders of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card receive the following benefits:

  • Annual travel credit: $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
  • Authorized user fee: None
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Points transfer: Chase hotel and airline partners receive a 1:1 point transfer.
  • Travel insurance: Trip Delay Reimbursement, Lost Luggage Reimbursement, and Trip Cancellation or Interruption insurance are all included.

Sapphire Preferred: Rewards and Bonuses

With a sign-up bonus, numerous methods to earn extra points, and additional travel advantages, this is an excellent credit card for travel and everyday spending.

  • 3x points on dining and 2x points on travel: You may earn 3x points on dining purchases and 2x points on travel purchases with Chase Sapphire Preferred. Extra points accumulate at a faster rate, allowing you to redeem them for the things you desire.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem points for travel: When you redeem your points using the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, the value of your points increases to 1.25 cents per point.

When redeeming your points for travel-related purchases, including airfare, hotel stays, auto rentals, and cruises, through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel site, you can gain 25% extra value.

Sapphire Reserve: Key Features

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a premium travel credit card with privileges, perks, and a rewards program for the card’s annual fee.

  • Annual travel credit: Each anniversary year, a $300 travel credit can be used to repay travel-related items such as airfare, hotel stays, car rentals, and more.
  • Authorized user fee: Each approved user will be charged $75.
  • Airport lounge access: Priority Pass is a rapidly expanding airport experience program that gives members access to premium experiences ranging from airport lounges to spas to sleeping pods. If you have a Sapphire Reserve card, you can get a Priority Pass Select membership for free.
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Travel insurance: Collision Damage Waiver for Car Rentals, Trip Delay Compensation, Lost Luggage Compensation, and Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
  • TSA PreCheck/Global Entry/NEXUS credit: When you use your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to pay for a TSA PreCheck, NEXUS, or Global Entry application, you can get up to $100 back. This credit is only available once every four years.

Sapphire Reserve: Rewards and Bonuses

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has a higher annual fee than the Chase Sapphire Preferred card but offers superior travel benefits, making it an excellent choice for regular travelers.

  • 3x points on travel and dining: After spending the first $300 on travel purchases each year, you may earn 3x points on all dining and travel expenditures with Chase Sapphire Reserve.
  • 10x points on hotels and car rentals, and 5x points on flights: You can earn points at these rates when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® after spending the first $300 on travel purchases each year.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem points for travel: You can get 50% more value in rewards when redeeming your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel gateway for airlines, hotel stays, auto rentals, and cruises.

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Preferred: Perks that Come With Both Cards

We’ve discussed the distinctions between both cards extensively, but let’s go through some of the benefits that come with both.

Sign-up Bonus

Check the website for the most recent sign-up bonuses available for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards. 

Sign-up bonuses normally require you to spend a certain amount of money during the first few months.

Food Delivery

If you activate your Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred card by December 31, 2023, you will receive a complimentary Dash Pass subscription for at least one year. 

This membership entitles you to free delivery and discounted service costs at participating Dash Pass restaurants on orders of $12 or more.

Transferable Points to Travel Partners

Both cards allow you to transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to any of Chase’s travel partners. This can help you save money on hotel stays and travel. Among Chase’s transfer partners are:

  • United
  • British Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Air France
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Aer Lingus
  • Hyatt
  • Marriott
  • IHG

Which Card is Right for You: Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve?

On the one hand, the Sapphire Reserve Card is ideal for regular travelers who will use travel-related bonuses to offset the annual charge. 

For people who don’t travel as much or don’t want to pay such an annual charge, the Sapphire Preferred Card offers fantastic privileges in exchange for a lesser annual fee. 

Both cards provide sign-up benefits as well as a robust rewards program in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Does Sapphire Preferred Suit You?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with a sign-up bonus and faster point earning for travel, dining out, and other purchases.

With a cheaper annual fee and Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program, this credit card might be an excellent choice for both frequent and infrequent travelers.

Does Sapphire Reserve Suit You?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is ideal for frequent travelers who wish to take advantage of valuable travel benefits.

This credit card earns more points for travel and dining out, as well as an annual travel credit. You could also make use of other benefits, such as Priority Pass Select membership, to enhance your travel experiences.


Compare the advantages and annual fees of each Chase Sapphire card to find the one that best fits your spending habits and travel demands. You can use our Card Comparison Tool to compare them.

Whether you go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, the rewards and advantages can help you get the most out of your money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card worth it?

Frequent travelers may find it easy to justify the Sapphire Reserve’s expensive annual fee, as there are numerous ways to offset the cost, including multiple trip credits, access to lounges, significant point earning, and more.

Can I Upgrade from the Sapphire Preferred to the Sapphire Reserve?

Yes, you can upgrade (or downgrade) between Sapphire cards. However, it is important to note that product changes are often ineligible for welcome incentives.

Can I combine my Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve Ultimate Rewards balances?

Yes. Chase lets you combine your Ultimate Rewards balances from numerous credit cards into a single amount in order to make a greater redemption.

Why is Chase Sapphire Preferred so popular?

Because of its significant bonus rewards, travel privileges, and multiple transfer partners, Chase Sapphire Preferred is quite popular.

What card is better than Chase Sapphire Preferred?

For individuals who prefer a higher earn rate on all expenditures, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is an ideal alternative to the Sapphire Preferred.

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