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Trying to choose between the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card can be tricky.
Both credit cards offer appealing perks for frequent travelers and those who enjoy dining out often. Both cards also offer 24/7 direct access to customer service specialists and are widely accepted throughout the world.
But there are also a few key differences between the cards when it comes to how fast you’ll earn points, the extra travel benefits, and perks each card offers, and the fees you’ll pay.
We’re here to help — we’ve outlined the benefits and features of each card to help you figure out which card might be the best fit for you.
Let’s dive right in.
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred®
|Chase Sapphire Reserve℠||Chase Sapphire Preferred®|
|Annual fee||$450 annual fee||$95 annual fee, but you pay nothing the first year as an introductory bonus|
|Current Welcome Offer||50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from opening your credit card account||50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from opening your account|
|Purchase Annual Percentage Rate (APR)||17.24% to 24.24% based on your creditworthiness||17.24% to 24.24% based on your creditworthiness|
|Late Payments||$15 to $37, depending on your balance||$15 to $37, depending on your balance|
Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ worth it?
Did your jaw drop a bit at that $450 annual fee? You’re not alone. The above-average annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ does put it out of reach for many individuals. But is the annual fee worth it?
The answer is simple: it depends. If you love to travel and travel often, then the bonuses and perks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ just might be worth that hefty annual fee.
Here’s what the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ offers you for that annual fee:
- For starters and probably most important, you’ll get a $300 travel credit for hotels or plane tickets credited back to your account. This effectively brings that $450 annual fee down to $150
- You’ll score a TSA PreCheck application fee credit (up to $100), which makes getting through security a breeze for frequent flyers
- Earn 3X points per $1 spent on hotels, flights, cruise lines, trains, taxis, and restaurants. The more you travel, the more you earn
- Gain lounge access at over 900 airports worldwide making those layovers and delayed flights a little more enjoyable
- Earn a 1:1 point transfer to airlines and hotel loyalty programs (i.e. 1,000 points on the card equal 1,000 partner miles and points)
- Enjoy accelerated access to Club 5C status with Relasis & Chateaux, a collection of luxury properties
- Enjoy benefits like complimentary upgrades and meals, early-check in and late check-out, discounts, and more at the Luxury Hotel & Resort collection
- Get access to Visa Infinite Concierge, which can help you make dinner reservations, book Broadway tickets, buy tickets for music concerts, and purchase tickets for sporting events
The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ also offers borrowers other little-known benefits like:
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ makes a canceled trip a little easier to swallow by offering cardholders trip cancellation or interruption insurance. If you cannot travel on or before the departure date or your trip is cut short or postponed, the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ will reimburse the cardholder and their immediate family for expenses up to $10,000, with a maximum of $20,000 per occurrence and a maximum benefit of $40,000 during a 12-month period
- Getting sick while you’re traveling can be a nightmare, but the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ has got your back. The card will cover up to $2,500 in emergency medical expenses, subject to a $50 deductible and up to $75 per day for a hotel room if a doctor determines you can’t travel immediately. You can be reimbursed for expenses such as hospital charges, x-rays and lab tests, ambulance services and medication
In comparison, for $95 annually, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers borrowers benefits like:
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months
- No annual fee for the first year
- 2X points on all travel, including hotels, airplanes, and trains
- 2X points on dining worldwide
- Get 25% more value on airfare, hotels, car rentals and more when you redeem your points through Chase’s online Ultimate Rewards portal
- No foreign transaction fees when you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred® abroad
- 5,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user to your account
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ vs Chase Sapphire Preferred®: Additional Benefits
|Chase Sapphire Reserve℠||Chase Sapphire Preferred®|
|Trip cancellation insurance||The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ will cover the primary cardholder as well as immediate family members for up to $10,000 if a trip is canceled. There’s a maximum of $20,000 per occurrence and a maximum benefit amount of $40,000 during a 12-month period||The Chase Sapphire Preferred® will cover the primary cardholder as well as immediate family members for up to $10,000 per covered trip and a maximum limit of $20,000 per occurrence and a maximum benefit amount per 12-month period of $40,000|
|Lost luggage reimbursement||Up to $3,000 per person and up to $500 per person for electronic equipment, cameras, watches, and jewelry||Up to $3,000 per person and up to $500 per person for electronic equipment, cameras, watches, and jewelry|
|Baggage delay insurance||The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for 5 days||The Chase Sapphire Preferred® reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for 5 days|
|Rental car insurance coverage||Up to $75,000 in coverage if your rental car is involved in a collision or is stolen. This is primary coverage that kicks in whether you're in the US or abroad||Up to the actual cash value of the rental car if your rental car is involved in a collision or is stolen. This is primary coverage that kicks in whether you're in the US or abroad|
|Roadside assistance||24/7 roadside assistance while traveling in the U.S. and Canada. Coverage includes up to $50 per incident, 4 times a year||24/7 roadside assistance while traveling in the U.S. and Canada. Fees applicable|
|Travel accident insurance coverage||Accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $1,000,000||Accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000|
|Greater value when you redeem points for airfare, hotels, car rentals etc. through Chase Ultimate Rewards||50% more value when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards (50,000 points are worth $750 towards travel)||25% more value when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards (50,000 points are worth $650 towards travel)|
How to choose between the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ and the Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card have similar interest rates, late fee charges, and neither card charges foreign transaction fees. Both cards also have similar travel coverage benefits, and offer 24/7 customer service to help you with your account.
For those who aren’t willing to shell out a three-digit annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card may be a better choice for you. But if you travel frequently, the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ can be worth its $450 fee.
When you should get the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ card
For frequent travelers, the perks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ definitely make this card worth its annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠’s rewards and redemption rates give it much greater earning potential and long-term value than its sibling, especially when you factor in that $300 travel credit.
Further, earning 3X points for every $1 spent on travel (including hotels, airfare, cruises, taxis, and trains) can really add up fast if you’re an avid traveler. The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ allows you to transfer points to some airlines and hotels, including British Airways, United, and Hyatt, at a 1:1 ratio, which could help you earn even more value for your points.
Add in the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠’s other travel benefits, such as access to more than 900 airport lounges, and the TSA Precheck fee reimbursement of up to $100, and you’ve got an offer that’s hard to beat.
>> Check out: Credible’s Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Review
When you should get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card
There are some cases when the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card might be the better fit. If you’re not a frequent traveler, you don’t typically dine out at restaurants, or you want to avoid a high annual fee, steering clear of the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ might not be a bad idea.
If you’re not traveling a lot and have no plans to do so, you won’t be taking advantage of the extra perks of the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠. In that case, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers some similar features at a lower price — plus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® has a $0 annual fee for the first year.
If you’re looking for a card on which to add an authorized user, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might be a better deal than the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠. You’ll have to pay $75 a year for an authorized user with the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred®, on the other hand, encourages you to add an authorized user, by offering a 5,000 point bonus for adding an authorized user within the first three months of account opening. If you are already planning on adding an authorized user to your card, this is a nice perk.
>> Check out: Credible’s Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Review
Other travel cards to consider
While the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® are some of the best travel credit cards out there, they aren’t the only options you have. Whether you’re looking for luxury travel benefits, a travel card with no annual fee, or enhanced security, there’s a travel credit card out there for you.
For frequent travelers looking for a generous rewards rate — 5x points per $1 spent on airfare purchased directly from airlines or booked through American Express Travel and on hotels booked on amextravel.com — as well as high-end perks like $200 a year in credit to offset airline incidental expenses, a 60,000 point welcome bonus, and Gold status at Hilton and Starwood hotels, the Platinum Card® from American Express is a card that should definitely be on your radar. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.
If you’re looking for an easy way to earn rewards on your travel, but you’d rather not pay an annual fee to do so, the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® card might be a good bet for you. With a 20,000 point welcome bonus, and unlimited points at the rate of 1.5X points per $1 spent, it’s a hard card to beat, especially with that $0 annual fee.℠ vs Chase Sapphire Preferred®"/>