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Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Sapphire Reserve
Now that we know the full details of the new Chase Sapphire Reserve card, it is time to really look at which cards within the Ultimate Rewards ecosystem it makes sense to keep and spend on. Clearly the Sapphire Reserve is designed to be an upstream product to the Sapphire Preferred and thus I doubt many people will keep both. So the question then becomes which card is worth getting and which is worth keeping. Let’s take a look as we battle the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Sapphire Reserve.
Note: Chase has been known to be strict on approvals for people who have opened up 5 or more cards in the past 24 months. (The so called 5/24 rule.) This rule often applies to the Sapphire Preferred. We do not yet know how it will apply to the Sapphire Reserve.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards after $4K spend + 5K for adding an authorized user.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 100,000 Ultimate Rewards after $4K spend.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Reserve – With double the bonus and the same manageable amount of spend required, the Sapphire Reserve ups the ante with an amazingly valuable bonus.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: 2X Dining & Travel
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 3X Dining & Travel
Winner: Chase Sapphire Reserve – The winner here is clear. Chase has taken the same bonus categories and made the Sapphire Reserve superior in every way.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: Primary CDW on rentals, Trip insurance, no foreign transaction fees, 1:1 points transfer, points worth 1.25 cents towards travel.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Primary CDW on rentals, Trip insurance, no foreign transaction fees, Priority Pass Select lounge access, 1:1 points transfer, special auto rental discounts, $100 Global Entry credit, points worth 1.5 cents towards travel.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Reserve – Once again the Sapphire Reserve is stacked against the Sapphire Preferred. It has all of the same benefits and then many many more. Next we’ll tackle value.
First Year Value
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: $95 annual fee (waived the first year.)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: $450 annual fee (not waived) + $300 in travel credit each calendar year.
If we assign a value of 1.5 cents each to Ultimate Rewards points and assume you can get the travel credit twice in your first year with the Sapphire Reserve, then here is your first year value with either card.
- Sapphire Preferred: $750 (50K * .015)
- Sapphire Reserve: $1,650 ($1,500 – $450 + $600)
Winner: Chase Sapphire Reserve – Not even factoring in the increased benefits or earnings, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has a far better first year value than the Sapphire Preferred. Given that it also gives you things like lounge access, it is potentially worth much more.
Long Term Value
Let’s assume now that you want to keep one of these cards for the long term. Which provides the better value?
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: Annual Cost of $95
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Annual cost of $450 – $300 travel credit
Winner: Depends, but Sapphire Reserve – If you travel enough to maximize the travel credit, then you should look at the annual fees as $150 vs. $95. In that case I think the increased points value, 3X earnings, lounge access and other benefits of Sapphire Reserve clearly make it the superior choice. If you aren’t a big traveler and cannot maximize that credit, then you probably shouldn’t have either of these cards, but the Sapphire Preferred might be the best of the two.
Overall, in the comparison of the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Sapphire Reserve, the latter is a better card in just about every way. It comes with a fairly rich feature set, generous 3X earnings and an amazing travel credit which puts its true cost almost in line with the Sapphire Preferred. For years we have been searching for the product that will be the “Sapphire Preferred Killer”. I think we have found it.
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