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The sign-up offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has been increased from 40,000 to 50,000 points after $4,000 spent within the first three months. You can earn an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months as well.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi Thank You Premier

Recently, TPG reader Jason tweeted me to ask:

@thepointsguy —”Which card would you recommend using for travel expenses: the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Citi Thank You Premier card?”

Which card is best for travel? Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has been one of the top travel credit cards for a while now, as you can earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants. (However, be aware that “travel” doesn’t include gas.) You can also get 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months with the $95 annual fee waived first year.

However, it’s good to know that the Citi Thank You Premier card has just changed in order to nip at Chase’s business, and now allows you to earn 3 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on travel — including gas. You can also get 50,000 points after spending $3,000 within first 3 months with the $95 annual fee waived first year, and you earn 2 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on dining and entertainment. The Sapphire Preferred doesn’t offer any bonus points for the entertainment category.

However, not all miles and points are created equally, and that’s precisely why we do our monthly valuation series. Three ThankYou points are worth about 4.8 cents in value, while two Chase Ultimate Reward points would be 4.2 cents; right off the bat it would seem like a good deal to get the 3X bonus categories and earn more points by going with Citi.

However, Citi transfer partners are not nearly as diverse as Chase partners. Here’s what I mean:

Chase Partners

Airlines: British Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic
Hotels: Hyatt Gold Passport, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott RewardsRitz-Carlton Rewards

Citi Partners

Airlines: Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, Flying Blue (Air France, KLM), Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways
Hotels: Hilton HHonors

I love that Ultimate Rewards transfers to Southwest, United and Hyatt. Citi ThankYou partners seem to be less useful, because they don’t have any US-based airline partners and Hilton is the only hotel partner. There’s definitely value there, but I think Chase Ultimate Rewards points are even more valuable.

What I’d recommend is using both cards and earning points in both programs. A nice balance would be to use the Citi ThankYou Premier for gas purchases and entertainment purchases, and then use the Chase Sapphire Preferred for all other travel and dining —this is the mix I typically use to earn as many points as possible on each. If I absolutely had to pick one, I’d go with Chase Sapphire Preferred; whereas the Citi ThankYou Premier offers a great sign-up bonus and category spend bonuses, I feel the Chase Sapphire Preferred still has the edge because I value their transfer partners more. It’s all about having options!

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
16.24%-23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below 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.