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Chase recently introduced a new rule on Chase Sapphire cards that limits you from being able to get more than one Chase Sapphire card. Basically, you won’t be eligible for any Chase Sapphire card if you earned the sign-up bonus on a Chase Sapphire card in the past 48 months. While you previously could get both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve, now you have to make a decision. The sign-up bonus on both cards is 50,000 points, so the decision comes down to your reasons for opening the card and what you plan on getting out of it. Here are some tips on deciding whether the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve is the card for you.
The annual fee is a good starting point. Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year while the Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $450 annual fee. When you take into account the $300 travel credit benefit with the CSR, the fee is effectively $150. If you plan on opening the card just for a year, and mainly for the bonus, then Chase Sapphire Preferred is the clear winner.
Sign Up Bonus
Both cards offer 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. You’d think that this would make the cards equal, but CSP has a slight advantage over CSR. Adding an authorized user on the CSR will cost you $75 per card, but on the CSP, adding an authorized user is free AND you will get a bonus 5,000 points if you do so in the first 3 months.
CSR is the clear favorite when it comes to benefits. If you plan on getting a card because you travel a lot, you’ll probably want to pick up the CSR over CSP. I already mentioned the $300 travel credit, but you’ll also get a Global Entry statement credit, Priority Pass Lounge access, and amazing travel protection benefits. CSP also has decent travel protection, but not quite as good as CSR.
- Auto collision damage waiver covers up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage on rental cars including exotic cars for Chase Sapphire Reserve. Chase Sapphire Preferred covers up to the actual cash value of the car and excludes certain cars.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement covers expenses like meals and lodging up to $500 per ticket if your travel is delayed more than 6 hours with Chase Sapphire Reserve. This kicks in after 12 hours with Chase Sapphire Preferred.
- Travel Accident Insurance covers up to $1,000,000 for accidental death or dismemberment if you pay for air, bus, train, or cruise transportation with your Chase Sapphire Reserve. Coverage is up to $500,000 with Chase Sapphire Preferred.
- Emergency Medical and Dental covers up to $2,500 for medical expenses if you or your family member becomes sick while 100 or more miles away from home with Chase Sapphire Reserve. There is no coverage with Chase Sapphire Preferred.
- Purchase Protection covers purchases for 120 days against theft or damage up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year with Chase Sapphire Reserve. With Chase Sapphire Preferred, each claim can only be up to $500.
Earning and Redemptions
CSR is also a clear winner when it comes to redemptions. You can transfer to select airlines and hotels with both cards, but if you’re redeeming on Chase’s travel site, CSR points are worth 1.5x while CSP are worth only 1.25x. CSR also earns 3x points for dining and travel, while CSP only earns 2x. This post breaks down how much you need to spend on these categories to make the CSR worth the annual fee.
So Which Do I Pick?
While this post is intended to point out the good and the bad parts of each card, your motivation for opening the card should be the deciding factor. If you want it just for the points, you should 100% go with CSP since you will have no annual fee for the first year and have a chance to get 55,000 points instead of just 50,000. If you’re thinking you may get a lot out of the CSR’s travel benefits, that may be the card for you. If you can justify spending slightly more on the annual fee (the $450 annual fee is more like $150 because of the travel credit so the difference in the two cards is effectively $45), then the CSR can provide a lot more than CSP.
Which Chase Sapphire card will you choose?