Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Chase Sapphire Reserve: Which credit card is best?

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When it comes to travel cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit cards are two of the best that Chase has to offer. We put them head to head to find out which one comes out on top as the travel card king.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Named the "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is still a contender for the title. Approved cardholders earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equivalent to $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit, 3X points on dining at restaurants, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

All cardholders get a $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year, access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select, and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Chase Sapphire Reserve®Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Rewards3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit2X points on travel and dining
Row 1 - Cell 0 3X points on dining at restaurantsRow 1 - Cell 2
Row 2 - Cell 0 1 point on all other purchases1 point on all other purchases
Sign up bonus50,000 bonus points60,000 points
Fees$450 annual fee$95 annual fee
Interest Rate19.24% - 26.24% APR18.24% - 25.24% APR

Chase Sapphire Preferred® powers up the points

Those who are looking to maximize their earning potential for travel will be happy with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card. It's a credit card built solely for the purpose of travel and dials everything into making that experience better, from its signup bonus, its rewards categories, and its redemption options.

Signing up for the card will earn new cardholders 60,000 in bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Those points normally amount to around $500 in travel rewards, but you can take that up to $750 when you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program. Their redemption program is well loved; Chase Sapphire Preferred was recently named the "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance in June 2018, due to Chase's lack of any blackout dates or travel restrictions.

After cashing in on one of the best signup bonuses in the industry, you'll earn double the points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. When you're ready to redeem those rewards, you'll get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. There are no foreign transaction fees, but the card does come with a $95 annual fee, which is a small price to pay for frequent travelers.

Which one should you get?

Both of these cards offer easy to understand rewards programs with flexible redemption options that a host of different airlines participate in. For many, the best card will be completely dependent on which features matter the most to you and if the annual fee is justified.

Joe Wituschek