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Chase Sapphire Reserve® vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Should You Upgrade?

The recently released Chase Sapphire Reserve® has caused many to question its value and comparison to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Though it's considerably more expensive, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® packs a ton of value to justify its price tag. However, that doesn’t mean the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is obsolete. Each of these cards will continue to have an audience. Which card is better will change from person to person and will be impacted by factors like spending and budget.

Comparing the Chase Sapphire Reserve® vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The following table summarizes the most important benefits and features of both cards.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best if…You're a high spenderYou'd prefer a lower annual fee and have lower spending habits
Annual Fee$450$0 Intro for the First Year. Then $95
Authorized User Fee$75 per card$0
APR17.74% - 24.74% Variable17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Earnings Rate3 points per $1 spent on restaurants and all travel; 1 point on everything else (3 points on travel after you earn the $300 travel credit)2 points per $1 spent on restaurants and all travel; 1 point on everything else
Estimated Point Value$0.0150$0.0125
Bonus50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Estimated Bonus Value$750$625
Other Benefits$300 annual travel credit; Priority Pass Select Membership, TSA Pre/Global Entry fee reimbursement-
Can you transfer points to Ultimate Rewards partners?YesYes
FX FeeNoneNone
NetworkVisa InfiniteVisa Signature
ReviewChase Sapphire Reserve Credit CardChase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with virtually all the benefits you’d get on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Both belong to the Ultimate Rewards program, and allow you to transfer your points to any of the participating loyalty programs — British Airways Executive Club, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Hyatt Gold Passport®, Marriott Rewards®, IHG® Rewards Club and Ritz Carlton Rewards®.

The Short-Term Comparison

Cardholders who can spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening can qualify for the bonus on both cards. If that’s the case, the annual fee difference between the two cards becomes negligible for the first two years. The welcome offer on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is worth $125 more than that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Those who can’t qualify for the bonus should only consider the long-term benefits of each card.

What about Alternatives to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?

Remember that, when it comes to credit cards, you are never limited to just two options. If you’re questioning the value the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® have for you, it’s worth taking the time to explore other cards. We outlined two popular options which provide similar offers to the two Chase cards discussed above.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express can be viewed as an upgraded version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The card charges a higher annual fee — $0 for the first year, then $195. In return, it gives a $100 annual airline fee credit, and a better rewards rate on airline ticket purchases. Cardholders get 3x points for airfare purchased directly from airlines, 2x points at US restaurants, US gas stations and US supermarkets, and 1x points on other eligible purchases. All-around, the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express isn’t as good as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. However, because it has a substantially lower annual fee, some consumers may feel better about applying for it.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express lies entirely on the other side of the credit card spectrum. This card doesn’t prioritize earning points and rewards, unlike all the other offers discussed in this article. Instead, paying the $550 annual fee unlocks a suite of luxury benefits. Users get access to airport lounges through Priority Pass Select, just like with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Additionally, The Platinum Card® from American Express throws in access to Centurion Lounges. These are located in eight major U.S. airports and are of a higher quality than most other lounges. Cardholders also receive special promotions and perks. That includes things like complimentary gold status with Hilton and Starwood hotels, free Boingo Wifi hotspots, and the Platinum Dining® Program. A few months ago, cardmembers were also given a chance to purchase tickets to the sold-out Broadway musical Hamilton. Benefits like that aren’t easily translated to a monetary value. However, some consumers looking for luxury may find these types of benefits well-worth the $550 annual fee. While the Chase Sapphire Reserve® does include some premium perks, it still doesn’t fully match The Platinum Card® from American Express. You can see a more in-depth comparison between the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and The Platinum Card® from American Express here.

Comments and Questions

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer's Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers see our disclosure page

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Info about the following cards: Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.