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Chase has backed off of the big marketing push they made for Sapphire Reserve when it first launched. It no longer has the huge signup bonus that was so expensive for Chase, where there was talk of 6 or 7 year paybacks (it would take that long on average for a customer to turn profitable).
Now the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has the better signup bonus and in fact my favorite bonus of any consumer credit card.
- It’s offering 50,000 points after $4000 spend in 3 months, just like Sapphire Reserve. (The points transfer 1:1 to several different airline and hotel programs.)
- It does that while offering a $0 annual fee the first year (then $95) versus $450, even accounting for travel credits those points come at a much lower net cost than they do with Sapphire Reserve.
Singapore Airlines is a Chase Transfer Partner
Despite the Chase marketing push for ‘millennials’ with their $450 annual fee card it’s just as important to note that Sapphire Preferred seems like an easier approval. That’s because Sapphire Preferred is a Visa Signature while Reserve is a Visa Infinite. Visa Signatures can be approved with a lower credit line. You need for Chase to be willing to give you more credit to get approved for a Visa Infinite.
Bigger bonus and easier approval are two great reasons to get started with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. I’m always shocked by the miles and points veterans who argue the Sapphire Reserve is better for getting started in miles and points, no matter what the value proposition it’s a hard case to make for a $450 card, you get started with a low cost and low risk product, see it’s value, and that sets you up to accumulate and spend more points in the future.
That’s the lesson that frequent flyer programs themselves learned early on. When airline programs started it was common to receive 5000 bonus miles if you drained your account. The fear was you’d move on to another program and be released from the hamster wheel if your balance dropped to zero. What actually happened was that successfully redeeming points was tangible proof that the points you were earning had value and consumers who redeem points speed up their earn going forward rather than dropping out or changing programs.
Hyatt is a Chase Transfer Partner
Chase generally wants to focus with both cards on customers who aren’t switching from product to product, they usually only approve new accounts for people that have had fewer than 5 new cards in the past 24 months. Another great reason to start with Chase Sapphire Preferred, starting there becomes a sort of license to get other cards.