7 reasons to choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred over the Sapphire Reserve — even though it doesn't come with as many flashy perks

chase sapphire

When Chase released its popular
Sapphire Reserve
credit card in 2016, it generated a lot of
buzz. With a high
sign-up bonus
plus an annual $300 travel credit, 3x points on
dining and travel, access to Priority Pass airport lounges, and
many of the same benefits — in some cases enhanced — as its
older sibling, the
Chase Sapphire Preferred
, the card offered more than enough
value to make up for its hefty $450 annual fee.

That fee, however, is still a lot of money to have to pay up
front. Plus, while the Reserve is excellent, the older Sapphire
Preferred is still a useful card with rich rewards and valuable
benefits. In fact, there are a few reasons you may want to consider
signing up for that older card, the
Sapphire Preferred
, instead.

Read on to see reasons that you may want to go for the
Sapphire Preferred
instead of the
Reserve
.

Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that
make these credit cards great options, not things like interest
rates and late fees, which will far outweigh the value of any
points or miles. It’s important to practice financial discipline
when using credit cards by paying your balances in full each month,
making payments on time, and only spending what you can afford to
pay back. 

1. The Sapphire Preferred has a (much) lower annual fee

I
often argue that the Reserve’s $450 annual fee is actually just
$150
. That’s because each card-member year with the
Reserve
, you’ll get up to $300 of statement credits on travel
purchases. In other words, the first $300 of travel purchases you
make, whether one big purchase or a lot of smaller ones, will be
canceled out by the credits. It’s basically a rebate of $300 of the
annual fee.

Still, $150 is still a decent bit of money. And though you’ll
get value back in the form of travel statement credits, you’ll
still need to pay $450 for the fee on your first statement, and not
everyone has that amount of cash to float or is willing to put up
that much.

The
Sapphire Preferred
, on the other hand, has an annual fee of
$95, a relatively standard fee for a rewards card.

Looking at the fees over the first 24 months makes the
differences even clearer — you’ll pay $900 for the
Sapphire Reserve
(with up to $600 in statement credits)
compared with just $190 for the
Sapphire Preferred
.

2. The Sapphire Preferred has a higher sign-up bonus

Though the
Sapphire Preferred
has a much lower annual fee, it actually
offers a higher
sign-up bonus
than the
Sapphire Reserve
— 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the
first three months. When you have the Sapphire Preferred, that’s
worth $600 as cash, $750 as travel booked through Chase, and
potentially even more when you transfer those points to a hotel or
frequent-flyer partner.

For comparison, the
Sapphire Reserve
offers 50,000 points when you meet the same
spending threshold.

3. The Sapphire Preferred has fewer perks than the Reserve but
offers many of the same crucial benefits

The
Sapphire Preferred
doesn’t come with the more premium
Reserve’s
airport-lounge access, concierge service, or a credit
to
cover the cost of enrolling in Global Entry/TSA PreCheck
, but
other than that the two cards have almost the same benefits —
that’s impressive, considering the Preferred’s much lower fee.

Both cards offer
trip-delay insurance
. If you’re traveling by common carrier —
airplane, train, ferry, bus, and similar public forms of
transportation — and your trip is delayed, you can be covered for
up to $500 of expenses, including a change of clothes, hotel room,
toiletries, and meals. Both cards’ trip-delay insurance kicks in
when the delay forces an overnight stay, or, if you aren’t stuck
overnight, the Preferred’s coverage kicks in after 12 hours, and
the
Reserve’s
after six hours.

Similarly, both cards offer
primary rental-car damage/loss coverage
, trip
cancellation/delay insurance, lost-luggage insurance, and various
purchase protections. There are minor differences in some of those
benefits between the cards, but for most instances, they’re
effectively identical.

4. You’ll still earn bonus points on dining and travel with the
Preferred

There’s no question that the
Sapphire Reserve’s
3x points on dining and travel makes it easy
to earn points quickly. But you’ll still earn bonus points on the
same categories with the
Sapphire Preferred
, even though they won’t add quite up as
fast. For every dollar you spend on dining and travel, you’ll earn
2 points, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

These categories are particularly useful because of how broadly
they’re defined. Dining includes restaurants, bars, cafes,
bakeries, ice-cream shops, fast-food stands, brewery tap rooms, and
delivery services like Seamless and Grubhub.

Travel, similarly, includes just about everything, big or small.
You’ll earn 2x points on taxis, Uber/Lyft rides, subways, commuter
trains, parking, tolls, rental cars, airfare, hotels, cruises, and
tours.

5. The
Chase Sapphire Preferred
has access to the same great transfer
partners as the Reserve — and offers similar flexible ways to
redeem points

As with the
Sapphire Reserve
,
Ultimate Rewards points
earned with the
Sapphire Preferred
can be exchanged for cash back, with each
point worth $0.01, or points can be used to purchase travel through
Chase. When you do that, you’ll get a 25% bonus, effectively making
your points worth $0.0125 each (the Sapphire Reserve offers a 50%
bonus, making points used to purchase travel through Chase worth
$0.015 instead).

Much more value could be gleaned from points, however, by
transferring them to one of Chase’s nine partnering airline
frequent-flyer programs or three hotel loyalty programs. The two
cards have access to the same transfer partners.

While this is more complicated, you can generally get more value
by booking frequent-flyer award tickets than you can by using your
points as cash or through Chase. You can even book flights in

business
or
first class
for fewer points than it would cost if you used
them as cash or through Chase’s website to buy the flights. For
example, my wife and I used the points from our
Sapphire Preferred
cards
to fly to Japan in first class for our honeymoon
.

6. The card doesn’t charge a fee for authorized users

If you’re planning to add a partner, a child, a friend, or
anyone else as an authorized user on your account, you may be
better off with the
Sapphire Preferred
. That’s because you can add as many users as
you want to your account free.  The
Sapphire Reserve
, on the other hand, charges $75 for each user
you add. Those users will get access to
Priority Pass airport lounges
, at least.

7. It’s easier to get approved for the Sapphire Preferred

While there’s no official publicly available formula for how
banks approve credit cards, common knowledge is that the
Sapphire Reserve
— which is a Visa Infinite card, requiring a
minimum credit limit of $10,000 — has higher standards for
approval than the
Sapphire Preferred
— a less-exclusive Visa Signature card.
You’ll still need a solid credit score for the Preferred, but you
have better odds of getting approved if you have a shorter credit
history.

The bottom line

Regardless of which card you choose, both offer class-leading
value.

Though the
Sapphire Reserve
is an excellent card — and I personally went
with the Reserve over the Preferred — the annual fee is a lot to
stomach. Depending on your cash flow, how you budget, or how you
view these benefits and rewards, the
Sapphire Preferred
may be a better option for you. 

Remember that you can always
upgrade to the Reserve from the Sapphire Preferred
after your
first year if you want to start with the Preferred and see how many
of its benefits you actually use. That way, you get the higher
60,000-point sign-up bonus, and get to ease your way in before
deciding to pay a higher annual fee.

Finally, don’t forget to also check out
the reasons you may want to consider the Reserve over the
Preferred, instead
, as well as our
in-depth comparison of the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase
Sapphire Reserve’s benefits
.

Click
here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred
card.


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Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
7 reasons to choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred over the Sapphire Reserve — even though it doesn't come with as many flashy perks