Credit Card Reviews

Chase Sapphire Credit Cards – Overview

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit cards offer a wide array of benefits to cardholders. Both cards offer points that can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, travel or merchandise from select partners. But it’s the travel rewards that make these cards special. This article provides an overview of both cards and delves into how to maximize your spending to earn the most points with each. Additionally, we’ll highlight and compare the benefits and perks associated with each card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is ideal for budget-conscious cardholders who are looking to rack up points quickly on everyday purchases. At $95, the annual fee isn’t onerous, and there is currently an impressive 60,000 bonus points after you are approved and spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from activation date. It’s important to note that points are worth 25% more when redeemed through Ultimate Rewards for travel vs cash back, etc. Benefits associated with this card option are as follows:

  • Earn $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit each anniversary year
  • Earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
  • Earn 2X points on all other travel purchases including airfare, trains and taxis.
  • Earn 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Wholesale clubs and Target)
  • Earn 3X points on dining, including delivery services, dining out and takeout
  • Earn 3X points on select streaming services
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 10% anniversary points boost: On your account anniversary you will earn bonus points that are equal to 10% of your total purchases made in the previous year.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Points will never expire as long as you account is active
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025, you will earn an extra 3x total points on top of the 2x points you already get on travel
  • 5X or 10X points on Peloton purchases over $150 (through 03/2025)
  • DoorDash/DoorPass Subscription (12 months free for DoorDash and Caviar if activated by 12/31/2024)
  • 6 months of complimentary Instacart+ membership if you activate by July 31, 2024.
  • Earn up to 75,000 bonus points per year by referring friends. 15,000 bonus points earned per each friend that qualifies.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card offers competitive points earned plus an array of valuable benefits to cardholders. The annual fee is currently $550, and you earn a 60,000 point bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from opening your account. It’s also important to note that points are worth 50% more when redeemed through Ultimate Rewards for travel — so that 60k points could be worth $900 in travel. Benefits included with the Sapphire Reserve are:

  • $300 in statement credits for travel purchases charged to your card each year — offsetting the sticker shock of a $550 annual fee.
  • Earn 5X points on flights when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards after you have spent the first $300 on travel purchases each year.
  • Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals booked through Chase after spending $300 on travel purchases annually.
  • Earn 3X points on all other travel after spending $300 on purchases annually.
  • Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards.
  • Earn 3X points on dining, delivery and takeout.
  • Earn 10X points on Chase dining when purchased through Ultimate Rewards.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership at 1,300 VIP import lounges worldwide. (Also offered by Amex to Platinum cardmembers)
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck or Nexus Fee credit. You will received one statement credit worth $100 every four years as reimbursement for the application fee of your choice. (Also offered by Amex to Platinum cardmembers)
  • VIP access to festivals, dining and sports events when booking through Reserved by Sapphire.
  • Earn 10X points on Lyft rides through 3-31-2025. Plus a complimentary 2 year lift Pink all access membership including exclusive pricing with 10% off all lux rides.
  • DoorDash and Instacart benefits offered with the Preferred are also included with the Reserve.
  • Earn up to 50,000 bonus points per year by referring friends. 10,000 bonus points earned per each friend that qualifies.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve credit cards are ideal for international travel, with no foreign transaction fees or blackout dates/travel restrictions. They also provide convenient payment options; cardholders can break up purchases of $100 or more into fixed monthly payments with no interest fees. This makes the cards a great way to make travel expenses more manageable and simplify your budget.

Chase lounge. The Reserve card comes with Priority Pass Select membership. – Photo courtesy of Chase

Travel Coverage

If your trip is canceled or interrupted by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for any pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels as long as they were booked using your card.

And if you’re delayed by a carrier for over six hours that requires an overnight stay, you are eligible unreimbursed expenses such as hotel and meals — up to $500 per person.

Additionally, for the Reserve card only, if you or a family member have luggage that is damaged by a carrier – checked or carry on – you are covered up to $3,000 per passenger.

Other coverage may be offered for things like purchases and medical evacuation when traveling – check the website and card offers for more information.

Airline and Hotel Partners

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cardholders can enjoy the flexibility of transferring points to a variety of airline partners as well as a couple of hotel associates on a 1:1 basis. Participating airlines/hotel partners include:

Car Rental Partners

National Car Rental, Avis, and Silvercar are car rental partners of Chase Sapphire Reserve only. When customers rent cars through these companies using their Chase Sapphire Reserve card, they can enjoy special benefits like discounts or exclusive access to premium vehicles. To take advantage of these privileges, log in to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account and go to the “Travel Benefits” page. You will find the “Special Car Rental Privileges” section under this tab, where you can explore your options. Make sure to check back regularly for exclusive offers, discounts and promotions.

But the big benefit of of these cards, in respect to rental cars, is their providing primary rental car insurance coverage.

Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad (Preferred Card)

Note that the Reserve card also provides this coverage, but only up to a limit of $75,000.

Final Thoughts

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards offer appealing benefits for credit card users. The Preferred card provides an opportunity to accumulate rewards for everyday spending, while the Reserve, despite its higher annual fee, offers more premium features such as lounge access and travel credits.

Both cards have the same Ultimate Rewards points system that allow customers to earn at rates like 5x or even 10x, with the Reserve, when booking travel. Besides being able to transfer your points to many frequent traveler programs, you can use your points to pay for bookings through the Ultimate Rewards booking portal, which allows you to fly on your airline or book with your hotel, as if you booked with cash. That means you’ll earn points or elite status qualification progress when staying or traveling with them – just like you booked with cash – in case you need to push yourself over a threshold for an elite tier or other spend related reward.

Which card is best for you depends on your spending habits. If you have a lot of everyday expenses, the Preferred card may be the better option. On the other hand, if you are an avid traveler and can take advantage of the Reserve’s travel perks, it probably worth considering ponying up the extra $400+ dollars for future rewards worth much more than that. These are two of the best credit cards that are specifically designed for travelers and their rewards reflect that.

Editorial Note: Information and opinions articulated in this article are solely those of the author’s, not those of a credit card company, bank, airline or hotel chain. This article has not been reviewed or approved by or otherwise endorsed by any of these companies or organizations.

Miles Junkie covers airline miles, hotel points and credit card earning program information and travel in general with an eye towards ethical & eco-conscious exploration.

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