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In the credit card world, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are two of the most talked-about options thanks to the valuable Ultimate Rewards points they earn along with travel protections and perks.
While the Sapphire Reserve is overall the superior pick if you’re fine with paying a $450 annual fee, having either card in your wallet is a smart choice, since you’ll be earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can transfer to 13 travel partners including British Airways and Hyatt and will enjoy various travel protections. But if you’re on the fence about which to pick, you’ve come to the right place.
Now that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is offering an increased sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, you may be wondering if this is the best pick for you, or if it’s worth paying more for the more premium Sapphire Reserve. We take a look at the break-even point in other posts, but here we’ll focus on card benefits.
Before we get into the two cards’ benefits, note that you can’t hold both the CSP and the CSR — and you need to wait at least 48 months between earning the sign-up bonus on one card before you can earn it on the other. So keep that time frame in mind if you already have one of these cards or are weighing applying to either.
The table below compares the various features, fees and benefits offered by the two cards, making it easy to find the differences without needing to hunt through the benefits guide.
Main Benefits and Features
|Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Earning rates||2x points on travel and dining, 1x on everything else||3x points on travel and dining, 1x on everything else|
|Sign-up bonus||60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months||50,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months|
|Point value for UR portal redemptions||1.25 cents||1.5 cents|
|Credits||N/A||$300 annual travel credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit|
|Lounge access||N/A||Priority Pass Select|
|Authorized user fee||$0||$75|
As you can see, the main differences between the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve are annual fee (with the Reserve’s falling in line with other premium travel rewards cards), earning rates, sign-up bonus and extras like lounge access and travel credits. These differences are pretty significant, and the $300 annual travel credit also goes a very long way to offsetting the high annual fee.
Travel Coverage and Purchase Protection
It’s also worth comparing the two cards’ coverage for things like travel delays, trip cancellation and purchase protection. While they offer some identical benefits, there are a few differences:
|Card||Chase Sapphire Preferred||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Rental car insurance||Primary; “expensive and exotic cars” are excluded||Primary; provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision|
|Roadside assistance||$59.95 per service call||Coverage up to $50 per incident 4 times a year|
|Trip cancellation insurance||Up to $10,000 per covered trip||Up to $10,000 per covered trip|
|Trip delay insurance||Up to $500 per ticket for delays of 12 or more hours (or requiring an overnight stay)||Up to $500 per ticket for delays of 6 or more hours (or requiring an overnight stay)|
|Baggage delay insurance||Up to $100 per day for up to 5 days||Up to $100 per day for up to 5 days|
|Lost luggage reimbursement||Up to $3,000 per person (up to $500 per person for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders and other electronic equipment)||Up to $3,000 per person (up to $500 per person for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders and other electronic equipment)|
|Travel accident insurance||$500,000 for common carrier loss of life benefit; $100,000 for 24-hour loss of life benefit||$1,000,000 for common carrier loss of life benefit; $100,000 for 24-hour loss of life benefit|
|Purchase protection||Up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account||Up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per year|
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is clearly the more generous of the two cards, with fewer restrictions attached to its primary car rental insurance; free roadside assistance (up to a limit); and higher trip cancellation insurance, travel accident insurance and purchase protection.
If you hold the Sapphire Preferred Card and are planning on signing up for the Sapphire Reserve, you should consider downgrading the former to a no annual fee option like the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited. When paired with the CSP or CSR, these no annual fee Chase cards can help you boost your Ultimate Rewards balance on quarterly rotating bonus categories and everyday purchases, making up an important part of our so-called Chase quartet.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has long been a TPG favorite, and the Sapphire Reserve only improves upon that card’s many strong features. This post doesn’t tackle whether the Chase Sapphire Reserve is necessarily right for you — see the review for more info on that — but hopefully you’re now clear on the main differences between Chase’s flagship consumer cards.
For more on the Chase Sapphire Preferred:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Review
- 5 Reasons Chase Sapphire Preferred Should Be Your First Card
- 10 Years Later, Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred Is Still My Top Rec for Family Travel
- 24 Fun Facts About the Chase Sapphire Preferred
And for more on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve Review and Application Link
- Questions and Answers About the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
- Everything You Need to Know About Chase Sapphire Reserve Perks
- Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve: Benefits, Coverage & More
Our points and miles guide is a great place to start if you’re new to The Points Guy.
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NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel