How to Choose Between Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase offers two of the most popular travel credit cards that are available on the market: Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve.

If you’re thinking about a new travel rewards card, you’re probably considering one of them.

The most common of credit card questions:

Should you go with Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve?

One has a $95 annual fee while the other has a whopping $450 annual fee. Furthermore, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has a longer list of perks that makes it more difficult for you to make a decision.

The truth is:

Both are amazing travel credit cards and you really can’t go wrong with either. It’s a matter of picking the one that provides the most value for what you’re paying.

Follow this guide to help you come to the conclusion as to which Chase travel credit card is the best match for you.

To be clear: We aim to help you identify the better choice from a long-term perspective. So, we’re not going to place emphasis on any sign-up bonuses during the decision process, especially when the bonus offers change regularly without prior notice.

1. Do You Spend $300 Annually on Travel?

Chase Sapphire Reserve offers up to $300 per year in statement credits toward travel purchases on your card. To many people, this benefit turns the $450 annual fee into an effective $150 annual cost to simply have the card.

That’s why it is so important that you actually spend $300 per year on travel purchases.

If you’re wondering, Chase considers the following merchants under the “travel” category:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels and motels
  • Timeshares
  • Car rental agencies
  • Cruise lines
  • Travel agencies
  • Discount travel sites
  • Campgrounds
  • Operators of passenger trains
  • Buses
  • Taxies
  • Limousines
  • Ferries
  • Tolls bridges and highways
  • Parking lots and garages

There are folks who simply don’t spend that much on travel in a typical year.

Or, they have other people who handle the booking of travel arrangements -- meaning they don’t actually use their own credit cards to pay for travel.

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