The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve credit cards.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve credit cards. PHOTO: iStock

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Let’s get one thing out of the way right up front. Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve are winners at their respective price points. Or said another way, you really can’t go wrong with either. Even if you’re not an avid traveler just yet, both credit cards offer plenty of exciting perks and can get you well on your way to your next free adventure.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is aimed at the casual traveler, while the Chase Sapphire Reserve attempts to take the crown as the world’s most feature-packed, prestigious travel card anywhere. Below, we’ll break down advantages and disadvantages of both to help you make the best call for your lifestyle.

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

First, let’s take a look at all the key details of these two cards side-by-side:

Chase Sapphire Preferred Chase Sapphire Reserve
Sign-up bonus(after spending $4,000on the card in thefirst 3 months 60,000 bonus points 50,000 bonus points
Earning on travel 2 points per dollar 3 points per dollar(not including $300 travel credit)
Earning on dining 2 points per dollar 3 points per dollar
Earning on Lyft rides 5 points per dollarthrough March 2022 10 points per dollarthrough March 2022
Earning on everyday spend 1 point per dollar 1 point per dollar
Redemption value 1.25 cents per dollar in the Chase travel portal 1.5 cents per dollar in the Chase travel portal
Transfer partners 13 (10 airline, 3 hotel) 13 (10 airline, 3 hotel)
Airline lounge access No Complimentary airline lounge accessvia Priority Pass Select membership
Annual credits No $300 annual travel credit$60 annual DoorDash creditin 2020 and 2021
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit No Up to $100 every 4 years
DashPass subscription Complimentary for at least one year(must activate by December 31, 2021) Complimentary for at least one year(must activate by December 31, 2021)
Lyft Pink membership No Complimentary for one year
Foreign transaction fees None None
Annual fee $95 $550

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn 2 points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining purchases, 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months you have the card, and you can redeem those points through Chase’s travel portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point or transfer them to Chase’s 13 travel partners for potentially even more valuable redemptions. The Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee.

On the other hand, the Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3 points for every dollar you spend on travel and dining purchases, 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months you have the card, and you can transfer those points to the same 13 Chase travel partners.

But the Sapphire Reserve also comes with a $300 annual travel credit, a $60 annual DoorDash credit in both 2020 and 2021, complimentary airport lounge access, a complimentary Lyft Pink membership for one year, enhanced travel protections and you can redeem your points through Chase’s travel portal at a higher 1.5 cents per point. The Sapphire Reserve has a $550 annual fee.

Sign-up bonuses

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is ideal for people who want to travel for free, using easily redeemable points, but with the option to learn how to master transferable points down the line for even greater value.

It currently has a 60,000-point sign-up bonus offer after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s worth at least $750 in free travel when redeemed via the Chase travel portal for 1.25 cents per point.

Related: Get the classic Chase Sapphire Preferred travel credit card with a 60,000-point bonus.

Conversely, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is ideal for avid travelers who appreciate the finer things in life, value top-tier customer service and plan to spend heavily on travel and/or dining on the way to fantastic free trips. It currently offers 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

While the sign-up bonus is lower, there’s one wrinkle to consider: you’ll get 1.5 cents per point when you have the Sapphire Reserve and redeem points via the Chase travel portal. So if you plan on redeeming points that way, 50,000 points on the CSR are worth $750 in free travel — the same as 60,000 points on the CSP.

Redemption rates

Use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book travel directly on Chase
Use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book travel directly on Chase's website, or transfer them to partners. PHOTO: iStock

Many folks like easy, straightforward ways to redeem their points for travel. Others prefer more complex options through transfer partners. Others still may begin as a no-fuss type of redeemer, only to become a points-and-mile