Chase Sapphire Reserve Versus Preferred is a common question asked by those who collect credit card points. And, for some, you may not be familiar with either. Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred offer a valuable Ultimate Rewards program, top-notch benefits, and excellent travel protection. They are extremely popular in the travel community, and for a good reason. Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred are two of the most popular travel credit cards. But which one is right for you?
For the best combination of benefits and annual fees, the Chase Sapphire Reserve seems the best choice. Even though it’s a top-notch card, it may not suit you.
There is a 50,000-bonus point sign-up offer on the Chase Sapphire Reserve when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months after you open the account, whereas the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s sign-up bonus is 60,000 bonus points. Regardless, both cards’ sign-up bonus equates to $750 in spending power. You might prefer Chase Sapphire Reserve Versus Preferred, depending on your spending habits, travel goals, and existing credit card lineup.
We’ll compare the two cards below to help you make the best decision. And I’ll share with you which one I have and why!
Chase’s 5/24 Rule
Before we get into the benefits of these two cards, it is essential to note that you can’t have both cards simultaneously. Additionally, you must wait at least 48 months after receiving the bonus on one card before earning it on another. Making an informed decision is therefore crucial.
To maximize your chances of being approved, make sure you don’t bump up against Chase’s famous 5/24 rule.
Chase’s 5/24 rule means that you can’t be approved for most Chase cards if you’ve opened five or more personal credit cards (from any card issuer) within the past 24 months.
Why Chase Sapphire Reserve Versus Preferred
The Reserve will likely be more valuable if you are a frequent traveler and big spender in the long run. There is no doubt that the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the more premium card.
Comparison of Chase Sapphire Reserve Versus Preferred
|CARD||CHASE SAPPHIRE PREFERRED||CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE|
|60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months from account opening.||50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months from account opening.|
|Sign-Up Bonus||Worth $750 when you redeem it through Chase Ultimate Rewards® Portal.||Worth $750 when you redeem it through Chase Ultimate Rewards® Portal.|
|Earning Rates||– 5x per $1 on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® Portal.|
– 2x points on all other travel purchases.
– 3x per $1 on dining at restaurants worldwide, some online grocery purchases, and some streaming services.
– 1x per $1 on everything else.
*Other earning rates apply to promotional items that vary
|– 0x per $1 on hotels, car rentals, and Chase Dining purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® Portal.|
– 5x per $1 on flights purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® Portal.
– 3 points per dollar on travel and dining.
– 1x per $1 on everything else.
*Other earning rates apply to promotional items that vary
|Value Per Point In Chase Ultimate Rewards®||1.25 cents.||1.5 cents.|
|Travel Credits||$50 annual ultimate rewards hotel credit.||$300 annual travel credit.|
|Global Entry/TSA PreCheck||No||NoYes, up to $100 once every four years.|
|Priority Pass Select||No||Yes – Access to more than 1,300 airports lounges worldwide.|
|Authorized User Fee||$0||$75 per user per year.|
|Rental Car Insurance||Primary: Actual cash value of most rentals (excluding “high value” and “exotic” cars).||Primary: Max $75,000 for theft and collision.|
|Roadside Assistance||$59.95 per service call.||$50 per incident, up to four times a year.|
|Trip Cancellation Insurance||Max $10,000 per covered trip.||Max $10,000 per covered trip.|
|Trip Delayed Insurance||Max $500 per ticket for delays of 12 or more hours (or requiring an overnight stay).||Max $500 per ticket for delays of six or more hours (or requiring an overnight stay).|
|Baggage Delay Insurance||Max $100 per day for up to five days.||Max $100 per day for up to five days.|
|Lost Luggage Reimbursement||Max $3,000 per person – Max $500 per person for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders, and other electronic equipment.||Max $3,000 per person – Max $500 per person for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders, and other electronic equipment.|
|Emergency Medical & Dental||None||Max $2,500|
|Travel Accident Insurance||$500,000 for common carrier loss of life benefit.||$1,000,000 for common carrier loss of life benefit.|
|Purchase Protection||Max $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per year.||Max $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per year.|
|Partner Point Transfer||Southwest, JetBlue, Marriott, and Hyatt.||Southwest, JetBlue, Marriott, and Hyatt.|
|Additional Benefits||Anniversary boost 10% of total purchases made the previous year.||Access to the “Reserved by Sapphire” restaurant-booking feature.|
Here Are Some Reasons Why The Sapphire Reserve Makes Sense Over The Preferred
Premium Travel Benefits
When I first saw the annual fee for this card, it put me off. However, $300 of that fee is credited back to you if you spend $300 on travel using the card. If you are even considering this card you travel and getting the credit is easy.
Then, the additional perks take care of the $250.
- $100 TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Application Fee
- Priority Pass Select Membership (worth $99 per year)
If you’re not familiar with Priority Pass, it’s the handy card that gets you entry into more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide. Airport lounges can be a lifesaver for long-haul or connecting flights. All of them have food and drinks, and many offer alcohol. Then there are workstations, showers and so on. Your Priority Pass is good for you and one guest.
Assuming you use these benefits, you’ll offset the annual fee.
Higher Earning Rates
The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a higher earning rate than the Chase Sapphire Preferred. And there are always spend bonuses that help you wrack up the points. The more you spend in categories, the more significant the difference in rewards.
50% Redemption Bonus
Chase Sapphire Reserve also comes with a higher redemption rate when you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. The Chase Sapphire Reserve redemption rate is 1.5 cents for travel, compared to 1.25 cents each with the Preferred.
Here is an example of how this redemption bonus works.
- $1000 plane ticket will cost you 80,000 points with the Sapphire Preferred
- $1000 plane ticket will cost you 67,00 points with the Sapphire Reserve
Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal
This is one of my favorite perks!
You get access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal, and you can book any travel – even excursions. And you can shop from here. I’ve found this portal to be the broadest of all the points shopping portals. When you shop here, whether to purchase or redeem the tool shows you the price if you paid cash and the price in points. 90% of the time I’ve found the cash prices lower than those listed on other sites.
So, when I use it for travel, I get to redeem my points but with greater value.
Chase Pay Yourself Back
What is Chase Pay Yourself Back?
This is like paying for charges you’ve already made. You have up to 90 days to pay yourself back, and it’s straightforward. You select the charge and apply the points – they charge, then gone.
Superior Trip Insurance Coverage
A lot of travel cards recently eliminated trip insurance but not Chase! Both the Sapphire Preferred and the Reserve have excellent travel insurance benefits.
Some highlights that make the Reserve travel insurance superior:
- Higher coverage amounts
- Quicker protection
- Emergency medical and dental coverage (not on the Preferred)
Now, travel insurance on a credit card alone is not a reason to pick a card, but if you are comparing Chase Sapphire Preferred Versus Reserve – Reserve wins for travel insurance.
Why Chase Sapphire Preferred Versus Reserve
The reason to choose Chase Sapphire Preferred is the lower annual fee and more significant sign-up bonus.
You will earn more points when you sign up but the points redemption value is less, and you lose the premium benefits of Priority Pass and TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Application Fee.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Portal
You still get access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal, and all the same, options apply.
- Transfer points from partners
- Book travel or make purchases
- Pay Your Self Back
- Primary rental car insurance provides reimbursement for damage resulting from collision or theft for rentals of 31 days. If you’re eligible, you’ll be reimbursed up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles.
The critical difference is the Preferred reimbursement is up to $75,000.
No Authorized User Fees
Suppose you want to double down on cards and earn as a family. You can add additional users to the Reserve for free. Whereas if you add them to the Preferred, it costs $75 per user.
While not guaranteed, most consider it easier to get the Preferred vs. the Reserve approval.
Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve better than the Preferred?
It’s a matter of personal preference and spending habits but the Reserve is the superior card.
Can I get Chase Sapphire Preferred If I have Reserve?
No, you cannot have both cards simultaneously – it’s one or the other.
Is it worth it to upgrade Chase Sapphire preferred to Reserve?
If you are a frequent traveler, yes it’s worth the upgrade.
Is Chase Sapphire Preferred prestigious?
Yes, one of the most prestigious credit cards on the market.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is my all-time favorite card. Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred are great cards. My choice and the one in my wallet are the Chase Sapphire Preferred!
Looking For Ways To Maximize Your Travel? Start Here:
- 20 Ways to Earn Lots of Credit Card Rewards Points
- How To Avoid Resort Fees
- IHG Rewards Club Vs. Hiltons Honors
- International Driving Licenses – Which Countries Require Them and How Do You Get One
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the best travel tips and inspirational stories delivered monthly. No spam, no sales pitches – TRAVEL!
Brit On The Move™ Travel Resources
Ready to book your next trip? Use these resources that work:
- Book your Hotel: Find the best prices; use Booking.com
- Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the best prices on apartment rentals with Booking.com’s Apartment Finder.
- Travel Insurance: Don’t leave home without it. View our suggestions to help you decide which travel insurance is for you: Travel Insurance Guide.
- Want to earn tons of points and make your next trip accessible? Check out our recommendations for Travel Credit Cards.
- Want To Take A Volunteer Vacation or a Working Holiday? Check out the complete guide to how here!
- Want to Shop For Travel Accessories? Check out our Travel Shop.
Need more help planning your trip? Check out our Resources Page, highlighting the great companies we trust when traveling.