Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred Point Calculator

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred


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The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the top travel cards on the market while the Chase Sapphire Preferred is usually deemed as one of the best 'starter' cards for those looking to dive into the reward point world. For anyone that travels even a few times a year, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is usually going to be the better card, but for those who either don't travel or don't plan on using their points toward travel, there are times in which the Sapphire Preferred will be the better card.

Ultimate Rewards Points

Ultimate Rewards Points are worth an easy 1.25 to 1.5 cents each based on which Chase point earning card you have. Points can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners for a higher value or redeemed for gift cards, statement credits, and more for a value of 1 cents and lower. You can slide over the the Ultimate Rewards Points Calculators to calculate the cash value of your Chase Points based on redemption, calculate the transfer of points to Chase transfer partners, and to learn more about the program.

Bonus Categories

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred both feature dining and travel as bonus categories. There's no limit to the amount of points you can earn spending in these categories and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with both cards in general.

Restaurant/Dining

Restaurant/Dining Earnings
Chase Sapphire Reserve Chase Sapphire Preferred
3x Ultimate Rewards Points 2x Ultimate Rewards Points

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card earns 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 spent while the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 spent. While this may seem like a small difference, that one point can add up over the course of a year. For those looking to redeem their points toward travel, you're looking at an easy minimum return of 4.5% with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and 2.5% with the Chase Sapphire Preferred when points are redeemed through the Chase Travel Portal. If you're a traveler and you're trying to decide between the two, anyone spending a combined $640 per month or more between dining and travel the first year will want to consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve (this doesn't take into account the $100 Global Entry / TSA PreCheck credit). Once the second year rolls around and the Sapphire Preferred's $95 annual fee kicks in, the Chase Sapphire Reserve would be the winner with only $350 in monthly spend (though you would barely be breaking even with spend that low). This is if you value Ultimate Rewards Points at 1.25 cents and 1.5 cents based on the point boost for each card for Chase Travel Portal redemptions.

If you don't plan on transferring Ultimate Rewards Points to partners and/or don't plan on redeeming points through the Chase Travel Portal, your Ultimate Reward Points will be worth 1 cent each or less. This means you will have to spend at $1,300 per month or more between dining and travel to consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve. With that much spend, you're looking at around a 2% return in which you could pick up the Citi Double Cash or PayPal Cashback Mastercard and earn the same return. If you're not looking to use your points for travel and plan on redeeming your rewards for gift cards, statement credits, or something of that nature, you're better off finding another reward point program such as Bank of America Travel Rewards or Capital One Venture Rewards.

Travel

Travel Earnings
Chase Sapphire Reserve Chase Sapphire Preferred
3x Ultimate Rewards Points 2x Ultimate Rewards Points

The Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 spent on travel and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 spend on travel. Chase considers the following to be travel:

  • Airlines
  • Hotels, Motels, Timeshares
  • Car Rental Agencies, Taxis, Buses, Trains, Limousines
  • Cruise Lines
  • Travel Agencies, Travel Sites
  • Ferries, Toll Bridges, Highways
  • Parking Lots, Garages
  • Anything else related to travel

As you can see, Chase's definition of travel is very generous. This alone is why Ultimate Rewards Points is great for those who travel frequently. As mentioned under the dining category, a combined $640 per month or more between dining and travel will push you towards picking up the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Those who don't plan on using their rewards for travel will want to divert their attention to another bank rewards program or cash back credit card.

Non-Category

Non-Category Earnings
Chase Sapphire Reserve Chase Sapphire Preferred
1x Ultimate Rewards Points 1x Ultimate Rewards Points

Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 1 Ultimate Rewards Point per $1 spent on non-category purchases. While this is still an easy 1.25% or 1.5% return for Chase Travel Portal redemptions, you can do better by picking up the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Ink Business Unlimited. Both cards offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases. For those who hold an Ultimate Rewards Point earning card, cash back earned with Chase can be converted to Ultimate Reward Points at a rate of 1 cent for 1 Ultimate Rewards Point. This means you can earn 1.5 Ultimate Reward Points per $1 spent which will give you a better return of 1.875% and 2.25% on Chase Travel Portal redemptions. Even if you don't plan on redeeming your points for travel, you will still want to maximize your point earnings by sweeping up one of these cards.

Perks and Benefits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with a lot of useful benefits to those who find themselves traveling frequently. The Chase Sapphire Preferred on the other hand doesn't have any card specific perks or benefits that's not obtainable on other Chase credit cards.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will receive a 50% boost to point value when Ultimate Rewards Points are redeemed on the Chase Travel Portal. This is equal to a 4.5% return when spending in the 3x dining and travel categories on the card and is one of the reasons why the Chase Sapphire Reserve is such a great travel card. Being able to get that high of a return per $1 spent at the same consistent rate is a great deal.

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will receive up to a $300 in travel credit annually. This applies to any of the same charges that Chase considers to be travel making this credit extremely easy to use. For most travelers, this credit will be gone before the first month or two. If you find yourself struggling to use this easy credit, it's an indication that this card is probably not for you.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with up to $100 towards the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. This is a common benefit found on most (if not just about all) luxury travel cards. TSA PreCheck costs $85 and Global Entry (which includes TSA PreCheck) costs $100. I'd recommend going for Global Entry just so that you can take advantage of both, but it really comes down to how you travel. If you already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you can also gift it to someone else by using the Chase Sapphire Reserve to pay for their application fee and thus triggering the credit.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers Priority Pass Select. This is another benefit that's seen on my travel cards. Priority Pass is great for anyone looking to relax in a lounge before or between flights. It becomes extremely useful for anyone flying internationally as lounge access may not be granted with the selected airline if you're not flying first class or don't hold elite status with a specific airline.

Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders will have access to booking hotels through The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection. Booking made through this channel will grant special benefits such as complimentary room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits

Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders will receive a 25% boost to point value when Ultimate Rewards Points are redeemed on the Chase Travel Portal. This will give cardholders an easy point value of 1.25 cents per point which is a 2.5% return when spending in the 2x dining and travel categories. This benefit is also offered on the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card. While this return isn't too shabby, you can still transfer your Ultimate Rewards Points to partners and get just as good or better return.

Sapphire Cards Shared Benefits

The only benefit that these cards share is that they are both Chase credit cards. This means you will be showered in great travel and purchase coverage as long as you use either Sapphire card to pay for the travel. These benefits include, but is not limited to:

  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement
  • Return Protection (Sapphire Reserve Only)
  • Emergency Evacuation & Transportation (Sapphire Reserve Only)

Sign Up Bonus

The standard sign up bonus for the Chase Sapphire Reserve is 50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points after spending $4,000 within the first three months. This is has an easy value of $750 when redeemed towards travel in the Chase Travel Portal but could be worth over $1,000 when transferred to partners or $500 (and lower) when redeemed outside the portal for things such as gift cards or statement credits.

The standard sign up bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred is 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Points after spending $4,000 within the first three months. Those choosing to redeemed the points though the Chase Travel Portal will get the same value of $750, but those who choose to transfer their points to partners can get up to $1,200+ in value due to earning 10,000 additional points. Redemptions for things outside of travel will give a value of $600 and lower.

Credit Card Fees

Fees At A Glance - -
Annual Fee - -
Authorized User Fee - -
Foreign Transaction Fee - -

Annual Fee

The annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is $450 annually. When you take into account the $300 annual travel credit, great 3x earning categories, travel and purchase coverage, and the 50% boost to points, this card can easily be worth the hefty fee.

The annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is $0 the first year, then $95. This makes the Sapphire Preferred a superb card it's first year, but once the second year rolls around the fee drags the value of the card down heavily. You'll have to juggle the numbers and make sure the spend you're running through the card is worth it.

Authorized User Fee

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card does not have charge a fee for adding additional authorized users, but adding users to the Chase Sapphire Reserve will cost you $75 each. At a value of 1.5 cents per point, users would have to spend $5,000 per year (~$417 per month) to make up for that fee. Do note that authorizes users also receive Priority Pass and the same great travel/purchase coverage, which could be worth it if they travel.

Foreign Transaction Fee

Both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred has a 0% foreign transaction fee. That makes both cards great for international travelers and spenders alike that don't want to incur extra fees for charges outside of the United States.

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Rewards and Card Value Calculator

You can use this rewards calculator to calculate how many points, miles, or cash back you can earn based on your spend per category for both cards. This calculator will also give you the dollar value of the cards based on rewards earned and how much each benefit is worth to you minus the fees.

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Page Last Updated: 2019-07-29

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