Chase Sapphire Reserve Vs Preferred: A Comparison

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Credit cards are a gray area. You will find some people hell-bent on not using one and the other half will not be able to live without one. It has been a very dividing invention and the reason is simple, one is that people have not truly learned about credit cards and the other is that it comes with many benefits. Today, there are many wonderful cards available. Two such cards are Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred. But which one should you pick? In this article, we will do a detailed comparison of Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred including Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits and Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits.

About Chase Sapphire

Chase website
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We all know the financial supergiant JPMorgan. The world leaders when it comes to assisting companies or even governments when it comes to money-related decisions. JPMorgan owns/merged with a lot of banks and one of them is The Chase Manhattan Bank. This led to the formation of JPMorgan Chase bank or just the Chase Bank that we know today.

The bank was formed in the 1800s and is still going strong. They offer financial services since they are a bank and one of their products is giving out credit cards. Now each banking company or financial institution that comes out with a credit card either partners up with someone or launches a credit card under some brand. With Chase, you have quite a few credit cards that they have come out with, be it in collaboration with a brand or to create their brand. One such line of credit cards that they have created is the Chase Sapphire credit card. Under Chase Sapphire, they have two credit cards, the Reserve credit card, and the Preferred credit card.

The Sapphire line of credit cards was introduced to change the perspective of people toward credit cards. To do this first the Preferred credit card was launched in 2009. Later when the company felt that they now needed to make credit cards that target a younger audience and bring them into the picture as well, they went ahead and launched the Reserve credit card in 2016.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Vs Preferred: A Comparison 

Starting the Chase Reserve vs Preferred debate the first and most evident difference is in their annual fees. While for the reserve card, you pay 550 dollars the preferred credit card comes in very cheap below, 100 dollars at just, 95 dollars. If we go one step further and ask about the charges to add a user then the reserve card would require you to shell out another 75 dollars per person, whereas, for the preferred credit card there is no such charge in place.

To the new members, credit cards often give out welcome bonuses which is the next point of contention. With the reserve credit card, you get 80,000 points as opposed to the 60,000 points that you get for the preferred variant. Not only are the points being compared but when you convert these points to cash you realize that you only get up to 750 dollars as a welcome bonus on the preferred credit card while you get up to 1,200 dollars on the reserve credit card as a welcome bonus.

However, in both cases, you have to spend 4,000 dollars in the first three months of obtaining either card to be eligible to get the welcome bonus. So for now the reserve credit card has the upper hand.

The other shared feature of both cards is their 0% fee on any foreign transaction. When making purchases the annual percentage rate charged to you when using the reserve credit card can come between 19.99% and 26.99% while for the preferred credit card, it comes between 18.99% and 25.99%. When we look at balance transfers again the percentages for the respective credit cards are the same as those for the purchases which means that here the preferred credit card comes in as better than the reserve credit card.

Now we look at the points system on both cards. First up, the preferred credit card gives you 50 dollars in statement credit for every account anniversary year which you can spend on hotel stays via chase ultimate rewards. While the reserve credit card gives you 10× points on hotels and car rentals that you book using chase ultimate rewards. However, you first need to have spent 300 dollars a year on travel that is given to you by the company. You also get 10× points on dining purchases made through ultimate rewards.

Next up you get 5× points on both cards. To get them on your reserve credit card you need to book flights through chase ultimate rewards after having spent 300 dollars in a year on travel. While to get these points on your preferred credit card you need to make a travel purchase excluding hotel purchases through chase ultimate rewards.

To get 3× points on your preferred credit card you need to spend money on dining at eligible places, online grocery shopping, or select stream services. While for the reserve credit card, 3× points are available for worldwide travel bookings after you have spent the first 300 dollars on travel in a year. Also, you get 3× points for spending money at select restaurants. You also get 2× points on other travel purchases made through the preferred credit card. Both cards also give 1× point per dollar spent on other qualifying purchases. This is an area that can be called a tie.

When it comes to using rewards you get 25% more value when you spend money on travel using chase ultimate rewards on your preferred credit card. This goes up to 50% when using the reserve credit card again giving the lead to the reserve credit card in the Chase Sapphire Reserve Vs Preferred battle.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Chase Sapphire Preferred
Annual Fee 550 dollars 75 dollars
Annual Percentage Rate (Purchases) 19.99% and 26.99% 18.99% and 25.99%
Welcome bonus 80,000 points on spending 4,000 dollars in 3 months 60,000 points on spending 3,000 dollars in 3 months
Point based rewards 10×, 5×, 3× and 1× 5×, 3×, 2× and 1×

The additional benefits that come with the preferred credit card are the points transfer happens in a 1:1 ratio, you get coverage for travel and purchase, access to customer service specialists 24/7. On the hand, with the reserve card you get, a travel credit of 300 dollars every year, a complimentary priority pass select membership at more than 1,300 VIP airport lounges across the world, global entry of up to 100 dollars/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS free credit, added benefits when staying with the Luxury hotel and resort collection, no blackout dates or travel restrictions on flight bookings that you make through chase ultimate rewards.

In addition to all this, you also get the three benefits that you get with the preferred credit card which means that the reserve card wins this segment and also ultimately wins the Chase Sapphire Reserve Vs Preferred comparison.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits

Chase Sapphire Reserve website | Chase Sapphire Reserve Vs Preferred
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Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card deserves to be called a premium credit card for all that it offers. Starting right from its annual fee the card has a premium feel about it which is why it also has premium benefits to offer to users. Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits include stuff like a big signing bonus which you can count as 80,000 points or up to 1,200 dollars to spend, no matter which way you look at it this is a huge deal.

Other than that the card offers you 10×, 5×, 3× and 1× points for spending money on various things like hotel booking, travel, etc. Also, the points redeemed through chase ultimate rewards are worth 50% more when done through the reserve credit card which means that each point that was worth 1 cent now becomes worth 1.5 cents. If you use your points earned at certain airlines or hotel loyalty programs then they might see your point value go above 1.5 cents as well.

This card also returns you 300 dollars each year in travel expenses which means the card cost comes down to 250 dollars indirectly. You also get credit up to 100 dollars for application fees of NEXUS, TSA PreCheck, or Global Entry. You get 10 points on each dollar spent on Lyft rides till March 2025. Free DoorDash membership for a year also awaits you with this credit card. Also, this card does not charge you extra fees for foreign transactions.

Some Other Benefits 

You get access to more than 1,300 VIP airport lounges across the world. While the previous benefits were mentioned before in the chase sapphire reserve vs preferred section the added benefits you get are mentioned ahead. You get to avail yourself of multiple benefits when you stay at one of the high-end properties of Chase’s luxury hotel and resort collection. Also, a dedicated 24/7 helpline is available for you in times of need. When you use this card to buy something it is covered for theft and damage for up to 120 days, 10,000 per item, and 50,000 dollars a year.

Also in case of return if the store does not take back an item purchased using the card then you might be able to reimburse it through Chase as they cover you for up to 90 days after purchase, 500 dollars per item and 1,000 dollars a year. The card also gets you an extended warranty on products that come with one-year or three-year warranties. The card also gets you coverage of up to 75,000 dollars against collision or theft of a rental car and this does not include your insurance or the agency’s insurance.

You also get reimbursed up to 10,000 dollars per person and 20,000 dollars per trip if it’s cut short because of you getting sick, a change in weather, or other mentioned conditions. If you make a travel booking and your plane, train, etc. is delayed by more than 6 hours or needs you to stay overnight then the card company pays you 500 dollars for each ticket. You and your immediate family members also get coverage of 3,000 dollars per person in case your luggage is misplaced or damaged by the airlines. Lastly, a medical emergency that occurs during a trip and leaves you needing an evaluation can get you covered for 1,00,000 dollars in transportation and medical costs.

Also Read: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Amex Platinum: A Guide

Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits

Chase Sapphire Preferred website
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Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is more of a regular entry-level card that might offer quite a few exciting benefits. The annual fee of this credit card itself is too good and on that, you also get Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits like a signing bonus which you can count as 60,000 points or up to 750 dollars to spend. Using this card you also get 5×, 3×, 2× and 1× points for spending money on various things like dining, online grocery purchase, etc.

The card also gets you bonus points, that is, you get 10% of your total spending in a year as bonus points. The points redeemed through chase ultimate rewards are worth 25% more when done through the preferred credit card which means that each point that was worth 1 cent now becomes worth 1.25 cents. If you home this card then you can also receive 50 dollars as hotel credits each year for reservations made through chase ultimate rewards. You also can transfer points to other cards or from other cards to this card if they support the chase ultimate reward system. This can help you earn more points than usual.

Using this card you can transfer your points to partner hotels or airlines and get added benefits. Also, this card charges no foreign transaction fees.

Some Other Benefits 

While the previous benefits were mentioned before in the chase sapphire reserve vs preferred section the added benefits you get are mentioned ahead. You also get reimbursed up to 10,000 dollars per person and 20,000 dollars per trip if it’s a prepaid and nonrefundable expense that is cut short because of sickness, a change in weather, or other mentioned conditions.

If you make a travel booking and your plane, train, etc. is delayed by more than 12 hours or needs you to stay overnight then the card company pays you up to 500 dollars for each ticket so that you can use it to pay towards meals and stay charges. If your luggage gets delayed by 6 hours or more then you get up to 100 dollars a day for 5 days to help you pay for stuff like toilet supplies and other necessary items.

Using this card you get primary insurance coverage in case of collision or theft of a rental card provided that you decline the agency’s insurance. You get access to legal and medical referrals in case of emergencies that occur during travel. Any new purchase of yours using the card is covered for 120 days, 500 dollars per claim and 50,000 dollars per account. The card also adds a year of warranty to purchases that have a 3-year warranty or less. You also have a dedicated customer service team to help you with any problems that you may face with the card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Lounge Access

My chase plan section | Chase Sapphire Reserve Vs Preferred
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By this point, we know that there is no such thing as the Chase sapphire preferred lounge access, though the reserve credit card comes with lounge access. However, that does not mean that you can’t get lounge access using the preferred card. There is no complimentary access but as they say, money can get you anything, it can also get you lounge access using the preferred credit card.

To get lounge access using the preferred card all you need to do is pay 99 dollars for the airport lounge membership. This is separate from the 95 dollars that you pay as an annual fee. Paying this charge should get you access to airport lounges just like the reserve credit card does for free. You also have to pay a 32-dollar charge per person for each visit or you could pay 429 dollars per year and get free visits for a whole year.

Upgrade Chase Sapphire Preferred To Reserve

When we saw Chase Sapphire reserve win the chase sapphire reserve vs preferred comparison we knew that there would be questions as to how to upgrade Chase Sapphire preferred to reserve. So here is how you can get going about it. You contact the customer service person via phone call or by messaging them through the support channel. You then apply for an upgrade which might go through or not but mostly gets done. However to better your chances be sure that your credit score is good and in the necessary range. Also, your preferred account needs to be at least 13 months old for you to be eligible for this upgrade.

However, upgrading the card means you don’t qualify for the welcome bonus on the reserve credit card but there is another way that you can use to get that as well. First, you cancel your preferred card and then you apply for a reserve card. At this point, 24 months should have passed since you got the welcome bonus on your preferred credit card to make you eligible for the same on the reserve credit card. While doing this process make sure you are checking the necessary stuff so that you don’t end up harming your credit score or shortening your credit history which might come back to bite you.

Also Read: Does Costco take Mastercard? All Payment Methods

Downgrade Chase Sapphire Reserve

Not everyone sees themselves enjoying a premium credit card forever and might want to downgrade to a more entry-level card or decently priced card. This is where we help tell you how you can downgrade chase sapphire reserve credit card to get another card. First of all, you need to know that you can only qualify for a card of the same type. You can’t switch from a business card to a personal card or vice versa. The product family also remains unchanged as does the card, that is, a credit card can’t be changed to a charge card and vice versa.

Make sure to use your 300-dollar credit and also use all your chase ultimate reward points before applying for the downgrade. The card needs to be more than 12 months old when downgrading and also to get a refund on the annual fee the process should be done within 40 days from the payment of the annual fee. Call on the number given behind the card or log in to your Chase account and send a message to the customer service team and let them know about your intention to downgrade and the change should be made as soon as possible.

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