I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 50,000 bonus points after $4000 in spending within 3 months as a signup bonus. It earns double points on travel and dining, so earns points quickly. And they’re valuable points. They transfer to:
- Airlines: United, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Air France KLM, Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, Aer Lingus
- Hotels: Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton
Last year Chase introduced the Sapphire Reserve card which was such a hit Chase filed an SEC 8-K advising of materially higher costs from new cardmember acquisition. It’s a $450 annual fee card that offers a $300 travel credit, a Global Entry credit, provides a Priority Pass for airport lounge access and 3 points per dollar on travel and dining.
That’s great but many people are now considering – a year later – whether it’s worth keeping the card after the excitement has worn off and without the signup bonus. If you’re in that camp consider product changing to a Sapphire Preferred Card so you’ll still be able to transfer points out to airlines and hotel programs.
Singapore Airlines Business Class
In fact in my opinion there are 5 reasons to choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card over Sapphire Reserve in the first place:
- Lower fee. $0 the first year then $95
- Bigger bonus. Both cards come with 50,000 points after $4000 in spending within 3 months, however the Sapphire Preferred also gives 5000 points for adding a no annual fee authorized user to the account and making a purchase within that timeframe.
- Easier approval. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a Visa Signature card while Sapphire Reserve is Visa Infinite which is going to need higher minimum credit.
- You already have Priority Pass. I have Priority Pass cards from several credit card issuers, so I don’t value another one. Some people don’t value airport lounge access, especially if the one they’d use the most is fairly spartan (e.g. one of “The Club” locations). If you don’t value that, then the higher fee is harder to justify.
- You don’t spend more than $500 a month on travel and dining. Maybe you use miles and points for your travel or it all goes on a company credit card. You need to put a decent amount of travel and dining spend on the card when the primary differentiator is one extra point per dollar justifying the annual fee.
Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
Chase limits approvals on both cards to folks who haven’t had 5 or more new credit card accounts in the past 24 months. If you’re getting started, I’d go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for its bonus. Use it and see its value. Then once you’re hooked consider whether the higher annual fee card makes sense. It’s a tough sell for most people to start with a card whose annual fee is $450, no matter the value, since that’s at that price point it’s a real decision to make.