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Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire credit cards have new welcome offers — here's why they're still worth considering

The Chase Sapphire cards have lowered their welcome offers, but they still provide great value.

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® both have new welcome offers. Last year, the Sapphire Preferred was offering a record 100,000 point sign-up bonus.

The last year and a half has had credit card issuers attempt to keep up with shifting consumer demand and spending patterns. In recent months, Chase added new rewards categories for both the Sapphire Preferred and Reserve to meet cardholders where they are spending, including streaming services and online grocery purchases.

As consumer spending levels return to normal, and actually exceeding levels prior to the pandemic, it makes sense that card issuers are starting to pull back their large welcome offers. However, that doesn't mean that either of these cards are no longer worth applying for.

Both the Chase Sapphire credit card products still deliver excellent value, and the valuable points you earn can help you fund your next vacation

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve welcome offers

Starting today, the welcome offers for both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve are the following:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

The Preferred bonus is worth $750 and the Reserve bonus is worth $900 if you redeem your points through the Chase Travel portal. That's because Preferred cardholder's points are worth 25% more and Reserve cardholder's points are worth 50% more when used this way.

However, your points can be worth even more if you transfer and redeem them with one of Chase's travel partners. Nonetheless, each bonus provides a solid rate of return on your initial $4,000 spending threshold if you redeem your points through the travel portal.

The annual fees of both cards will remain the same: $95 for the Preferred and $550 for the Reserve. So with these factors taken into account, what card is right for you?

I recently chose the Chase Sapphire Preferred as it was a better fit for my budget and needs, but there are plenty of reasons to choose one over the other.

Here are the detailed benefits of each card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a popular travel credit card known for its broad spending categories, modest annual fee and solid benefits. With this card, you will receive:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase’s secure site
  • Rewards

    $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    18.24% - 25.24% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

 

Spending categories:

  • 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 anniversary hotel credit.
  • 3X points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out,
  • 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart® and wholesale clubs)
  • 3X points on select streaming services.
  • 2X points on other travel purchases.
  • 1X point on all other purchases.

Cardholder benefits:

  • 25% more redemption value when you redeem your Ultimate Rewards through the Chase travel portal.
  • Ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards to 11 airline partners and three hotel partners, all at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Earn up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • DoorDash: Unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Cardholders must use by Dec. 31, 2024.
  • Travel insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees

Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a step up from the Preferred in benefits and annual fee. However, the $550 annual fee can quickly be made back if you maximize the card's features.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases plus, 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $550

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    19.24% - 26.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

Terms apply.

 

Spending categories:

  • 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually, and on Chase dining purchases with Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 5X total points on flights when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.
  • 3X points on other travel worldwide after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.
  • 1X on all other purchases.

Cardholder benefits:

  • $300 annual travel credit - Automatically receive up to $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee credit
  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership
  • 50% more redemption value when you redeem your Ultimate Rewards through the Chase travel portal.
  • Ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards to 11 airline partners and three hotel partners, all at a 1:1 ratio.
  • The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection benefits, including early check-in and late check-out
  • DoorDash: Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service through December 31st, 2024
  • Lyft: Earn 10X points on Lyft rides through March 31st, 2025. And, you will be given one year complimentary membership to Lyft Pink. This membership gives you 15% off all rides, plus priority pickup at airports and a relaxed cancellation policy.
  • Travel insurance coverage
  • No foreign transaction fees

What to consider if you're deciding between the two

If you are stuck on whether you should choose the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, unfortunately, you must choose just one. The terms and conditions state that one person cannot have both Sapphire products at the same time.

However, here's what you should consider when deciding:

  • Annual fee: Between both cards, there is a stark difference in annual fees. The $95 is modest for the Sapphire Preferred, but the Reserve $550 annual fee is a tough pill to swallow (although the $300 travel credit can quickly bring the effective cost down). Be sure to know which card fits your budget the best.
  • Travel frequency: Many travel credit cards with excellent benefits revolve around one key factor — regular travel. I would define this as at least once per quarter, or more than 5 times per year. The more you travel, the more you can justify the higher annual fee.
  • The 'hassle' factor: Using these benefits to justify the annual fee is one more thing on your mind. The worst feeling is when the annual fee comes around, and you realize you haven't used the card to its fullest potential. For me, I like to keep track of all the benefits of each card I have in an Excel spreadsheet, and check them off as I use them.

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Sapphire Reserve are both excellent travel credit cards. Between their benefits and earning potential, they are worth considering for your wallet.

While you may have missed out on the 100,000-point welcome offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, there is still excellent value to be extracted from either of the cards. But before applying, be sure to check your credit score and ensure you are above the pesky Chase 5/24 rule to ensure you are eligible to be approved for either card.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
Plenty of rewards and benefits including 4X points per dollar for dining at restaurants worldwide