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That’s because the signup bonus is better (both offer 50,000 points after $4000 spend within 3 months, but Sapphire Preferred also offers 5000 bonus points for adding a no annual fee authorized to the account) and because the annual fee is much lower ($0 the first year then $95 for Sapphire Preferred vs $450 a year for Sapphire Reserve).
The question of whether to get Sapphire Reserve versus Sapphire Preferred comes down to how much you value Priority Pass membership and earning 3 (versus 2) points per dollar on travel and dining, and whether you value Sapphire Reserve’s $300 travel credit at face value or whether you discount it somewhat relative to cash.
Miles to Memories runs the numbers on year one and finds that he comes out way ahead with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. That’s because he “would need to spend $6,666 dollars in the dining and travel category to make up the difference” and he doesn’t spend that much.
I’d put it a little bit differently. It’s not whether you spend that much in a year in those categories, it’s whether you would put that much on the card.
Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3 points per dollar on travel. But I prefer to put my airfare on my Platinum Card by American Express which earns 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar. So Reserve’s spending in the travel category, for me, needs to be enough for the extra point to be worth the higher fee without airfare.
Both Sapphire Preferred and Reserve earn valuable points that transfer to a variety of airlines and hotels, most instantly.
- Airlines: United, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Air France KLM, Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, Aer Lingus
Hotels: Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton
Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
But given the value price point of Sapphire Preferred, it’s still a huge winner. And despite both cards being subject to 5/24, Sapphire Preferred as a Visa Signature and not a Visa Infinite is generally easier to get too.