I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. Citibank is an advertising partner of this site, as is American Express, Chase, Barclays and Capital One. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same). Terms apply to the offers and benefits listed on this page.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 60,000 bonus points after $4000 in spending within 3 months as a signup bonus. It earns double points on travel and dining, so earns points quickly. And they’re valuable points. They transfer to:
- Airlines: United, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Air France KLM, Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, Aer Lingus, JetBlue
- Hotels: Hyatt, IHG, Marriott
In 2016 Chase introduced the Sapphire Reserve card which was such a hit Chase filed an SEC 8-K advising of materially higher costs from new cardmember acquisition. It’s a $450 annual fee card that offers a $300 travel credit, a Global Entry credit, provides a Priority Pass for airport lounge access and 3 points per dollar on travel and dining.
That’s great but many people are now considering – more than 2 years later – whether it’s worth keeping the card after the excitement has worn off and without the signup bonus. If you’re in that camp consider product changing to a Sapphire Preferred Card so you’ll still be able to transfer points out to airlines and hotel programs.
Singapore Airlines Business Class
In fact in my opinion there are 4 reasons to choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card over Sapphire Reserve in the first place:
- Bigger up front bonus. 60,000 points after $4000 spend within 3 months instead of 50,000 points for Reserve.
- Easier Approval. Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite and requires approval for a higher credit limit. Chase has shared average credit scores of 785 and average incomes over $180,000 for cardholders. Readers report frequent rejections apply for the card. Why not get Sapphire Preferred and if you want the Reserve card request a product change after a year?
- You already have Priority Pass. I have Priority Pass cards from several credit card issuers, so I don’t value another one. Some people don’t value airport lounge access, especially if the one they’d use the most is fairly spartan (e.g. one of “The Club” locations). If you don’t value that, then the higher fee is harder to justify.
- You don’t spend more than $500 a month on travel and dining. Maybe you use miles and points for your travel or it all goes on a company credit card. You need to put a decent amount of travel and dining spend on the card when the primary differentiator is one extra point per dollar justifying the annual fee.
Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
Chase limits approvals on both cards to folks who haven’t had 5 or more new credit card accounts in the past 24 months. If you’re getting started, I’d go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for its bonus. Use it and see its value. Then once you’re hooked consider whether the higher annual fee card makes sense. It’s a tough sell for most people to start with a card whose annual fee is $450, no matter the value, since that’s at that price point it’s a real decision to make.
If you want Sapphire Reserve, since it’s become so hard to get (both anecdotally, and based on the data Chase has released), the best way to get it can be getting approved for a Sapphire Preferred Card and then asking to product change after a year.