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3 Reasons to Pick Up the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Reserve

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve has become the gold standard credit card in the points and miles world, and for good reason. With great perks like lounge access and bigtime travel credits, it’s no wonder the card is so popular.

However, with a $450 upfront annual fee, that card isn’t for everyone. And while Chase’s other Sapphire card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, may be old news by now, it’s still a great option for frequent flyers.

Here are three reasons why you might want to opt for the Chase Sapphire Preferred instead of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

 

 

Click Here to get more information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. 

 

Free in Year One, Cheaper Thereafter

No one wants to spend their money on annual fees. And while we think you should do the math and weigh the benefits of every high-fee card before ruling it out, there’s no doubt the allure of a free card is strong.

That’s what makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred and other cards like it so great. You won’t pay a fee in your first year with the card, and the annual fee from thereon out is just $95. That’s in line with other entry-level credit cards out there. And compared to the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s $450 fee every year, it’s a steal.

And while the Chase Sapphire Reserve sweetens the deal with a ton of great benefits, those may not appeal to everyone. Meanwhile, what the Chase Sapphire Preferred brings to the table is exactly what the average traveler is looking for.

 

Same Great 50,000 Point Bonus

If you’re applying for a credit card, chances are you want a big stash of miles. So let’s compare what you get from the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Reserve:

You get an identical bonus but pay $450 more in year one with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You don’t need to do much math to work out which may be the smarter choice in your situation.

Of course, you can offset the $450 fee on the Sapphire Reserve with the $300 travel credit it provides, but if your main motivation is earning points and you don’t travel enough to justify the extra benefits (or the cost that comes with them), the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the better option.  

Click Here to get more information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. 

 

Transfer Partner Capabilities

There’s no denying that the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with some worthwhile benefits. And one of the biggest benefits is the additional value you get per point when booking directly through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

However, the best way to squeeze a ton of value out of your Chase points is by transferring them to nine airline or four hotel partners. And neither card has the edge here.

 

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer LingusAirline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
British AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
Iberia PlusAirline1:1Instant
JetBlueAirline1:1Instant
Singapore AirAirline1:112-24 hours
Southwest AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
United AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:1Instant
World of HyattHotel1:1Instant
IHGHotel1:11 day
Marriott RewardsHotel1:12 days

 

No matter if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve, your points transfer at the same 1:1 ratio to every partner. When you consider the additional upfront cost of the Reserve card, the additional value of the free (or far cheaper) Chase Sapphire Preferred card is undeniable.

The ability to transfer points is what makes Chase Ultimate Rewards so flexible and valuable. It’s one of the keys to unlocking some seriously valuable redemptions like business and first class redemptions. Study up on how to transfer Chase points with our guide.

 

Bottom Line

Chase Sapphire cards are some of the best out there. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is our #1 travel rewards card, after all. However, that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s our #1 starter card because the combination of affordability, points and earning make it a good fit in any traveler’s wallet.

 

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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