Chase Sapphire Preferred VS Reserve Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve Cards (Which Is The Right Card For You)

I want to break down the differences between the two Chase Sapphire cards. Both The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards have some great perks and rewards. The Sapphire Cards are superb “personal spend cards.” Earning a great return on travel and dining purchases with zero foreign transaction fees. However, one is not the same as the other and I am going to break them both down for you to help you determine which card is right for you and will ultimately benefit you and your desire to travel in the end.

Annual Fees

Both Cards come with annual fees that are not waived for the first year like many other credit cards. Again, both cards have zero foreign transaction fees.

The Preferred Card has a $95 annual fee with a zero annual fee for authorized users.

The Reserve Card has a $550 annual fee with a $75 annual fee for authorized users.

Adding an authorized user to your Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve card can help you earn more points and offers the authorized user the same perks as the main account holder including a separate priority pass that comes with the Reserve Card however, the TSA/Global Entry Credit can only be used once every calendar year.

While the Reserve has a high annual fee, the perks of the card actually negate that fee as I will explain in just a bit.

Sign-Up Bonuses (Boost those Ultimate Reward Points)

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards offer a great sign-up bonus after meeting the spend requirement of $4,000 in the first 3 months. 

The Preferred Card offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which are worth 20% more when redeemed through the chase booking portal.

 Favorite travel rewards card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, for reasons which I’ll get into more below. When you sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, your bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening – that’s worth $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards!

1 point=1.25 points

The Reserve Card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which are worth 50% more when redeeming travel through the Chase booking portal. 

1 point=1.5 points 

Of course, meeting that spend requirement can be tricky for some and others can easily meet that spend requirement in one month. 

Pro TiP: To maximize earning points when trying to meet your spending requirement, or even just earn a solid return on your spending, use the Chase Shopping Portal to shop online and make purchases with your card that will earn you more points per dollar and boost your Chase UR points.

There are a lot of reasons to keep your Chase Sapphire Preferred®. First off, you get 2X points on travel and dining and 1X points on all other purchases with your card, which can really add up fast. Obviously spending a lot on travel and dining out, so those double points make a huge difference. Those points are redeemable for things like plane tickets, hotel stays, and cruises. You can either transfer them to a partner for 1-to-1 points, like United or Southwest, which are both options or use your points in the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal. In order to maximize the points you earn, you’ll want to put every charge that is in the travel or dining category on your Chase Sapphire Preferred® to always get those 2X points.

Chase Travel Transfer Partners

Both cards offer the same transfers to travel partners. This is a feature that makes both of these cards highly valuable as you can transfer the points you accrue to frequent flyer programs and hotel chains to score some really incredible award seats/rooms and save on the number of points you use.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Partners:

  1. Aer Lingus AerClub
  2. Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  3. British Airway Avios
  4. Emirates Skyward
  5. Iberia Plus
  6. JetBlue TrueBlue
  7. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  8. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  9. United Airlines MileagePlus
  10. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Redeem Chase UR points for business class with Singapore Airlines Krisflyer program

Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Partners:

  1. World of Hyatt
  2. IHG Rewards Club
  3. Marriott Bonvoy

The Differences In Regards to “Return on Spending”

This is quite simple to remember. Both cards earn a spending bonus in the Travel and Dining categories. 

The Travel category includes airfare purchased directly through an airline or OTA(Online Travel Agency) as a third party. Hotels, airbnbs, tour companies, bus tickets, train tickets, metros, rideshares like UBER, LYFT. Even other rideshares in other countries like Grab, parking, etc. Basically anything that is coded as travel on the billing or transportation would be included in this category. However, GAS is not considered a travel expense. (You can use the Chase Freedom Unlimited to earn 1.5x the points. Or Use the Chase Freedom for 5x the points. “ONLY IF” Gas is included in the quarterly cash back spend bonus.)

The Dining category includes a lot under that category. All restaurants, fast food, bars (including night clubs), breweries, cafes, coffee shops. Even meal delivery. Door Dash, Grubhub, Caviar, Eat24, Seamless, but not Postmates. Vending machines even, and many food trucks or pop-up food spots. Not-included, bakeries (weird because some might actually be coffee shops). Food catering, Amazon restaurants, meal subscriptions, places within larger merchants(i.e. places located inside hotels sometimes) and grocery stores.

Use the Sapphire Reserve Concierge to get into Michelin Star “Cote” In New York City and then earn 3x the points on dinning

The Preferred Card earns 2x the points on all Travel and Dining as well as 5x the points when using LYFT.

The Reserve Card earns 3x the points on all Travel and Dining as well as 10x the points when using LYFT. (Boost your miles way faster with this card)

Travel Protections With the Sapphire Cards

Both Cards offer an extremely solid array of travel protections as well as comprehensive car rental insurance. So both cards are equal in this area. These travel protections are a big reason I advocate these cards to people looking for a travel card.

This Includes coverage for…

  1. Trip delays
  2. Trip cancelation 
  3. Lost luggage
  4. Medical emergencies while traveling
  5. Car rental insurance
  6. Extended warranties on products bought

These are all things that are absolute no brainers for me. I can attest from experience that you will be covered so long as it falls into their guidelines for coverage. Their guidelines are pretty broad.

The Perks of The Sapphire Cards

This is the category that really sets these two cards apart in what they offer you. I will also show you how the benefits for the Sapphire Reserve Card outweigh the high annual fee.

The Sapphire Preferred Card benefits we have already covered. The Sapphire Reserve Card benefits make this card one well rounded, BAD-ASS credit card… Let’s go!

  1. The card has a $300 a year annual travel credit. This is good for using on flights, hotels, upgrades on flights, anything in the travel category. $550-$300=$250 annual fee. Still too much? NO! Is the answer.  
  2. Complimentary Priority Pass membership that gets you access to over 1,300 plus airport lounges around the world. Plus, dining credits at many airport restaurants for yourself and two guests. That’s a $429 value right there.
  3. One year of complimentary membership with LYFT Pink, which is valued at $240. Including discounted rates for rides and priority pick up at airports.
  4. DoorDash annual credits of $60 a year for 2 years. That’s $120 total. Not to mention the delivery fees are waived for food orders and earn the 3x on all orders.
  5. Complimentary TSA Precheck/Global Entry fees of $100 every calendar year. You can use these for anyone. Just as long as you use your card to pay for the fee, Chase will credit your account. 
  6. Special car rental privileges with AVIS, National, and SilverCar by Audi.
  7. Luxury Resort and Hotel collection will give you upgrades to rooms. Complimentary meals for you and a guest. Early check-in and late check-out. Special amenities and more.
  8. 24/7 Visa concierge services with access to a Chase Concierge. Beneficial in helping you with requests. Requests like dinner reservations, Broadway shows, music, and sporting event tickets.
  9. And much, much more!

So with the example I gave, you can easily see how the card benefits outweigh the annual fee of $550. In my opinion, this card honestly pays for itself.

Bottom Line

You ultimately need to do the math of your spending. How much traveling you plan on doing. What benefits are going to ultimately benefit you the most in the grand scheme of things. Do you only travel once a year or less? The Sapphire Preferred card might be for you, especially because you can earn more points with the Refer-A-Friend Feature.

Planning on doing a lot of traveling? Or just want to feel like a boss in life and get those extra perks for the comfort of your everyday life and traveling? Well, I would recommend the Sapphire Reserve Card. The choice is yours. I personally love my Chase Sapphire Reserve and the benefits I get with it. I will be holding onto this card for quite awhile. Simply due to the fact that I get so many benefits with the card. More valuably, the ability to use the transfer partners chase has, and the ability to earn rewards. 

Always Triploaf and keep your journey fun and interesting…Let’s Go!!!

Finance disclosure

Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.