Chase Sapphire Preferred is preferable for most people. But Chase Sapphire Reserve® has a clear edge for frequent travelers and high spenders. The two cards are similar in many respects, however, including their identical interest rates.
Chase Sapphire Preferred is more accessible for the average person because of its $95 annual fee. On the other hand, Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $550 annual fee, which is a lot of money to part with just to have a credit card. If you use your cards often enough, these fees will be more than paid for by the value of the rewards you receive, but the fact still remains that you have to pay the fees upfront.
Chase Sapphire Reserve does win on the rewards front so long as you travel on a regular basis.
Here's how the two cards compare:
Initial Bonuses: Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, while Chase Sapphire Preferred packs 80,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
Points per dollar: Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3 points per $1 spent on travel (after earning your $300 travel credit) and on dining, and 1 point on all other purchases. And Chase Sapphire Preferred earns you 2 points per $1 spent on dining and travel, and 1 point on all other purchases.
Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption bonus: When redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, points are worth 50% more for Chase Sapphire Reserve, 25% for Chase Sapphire Preferred
Extra perks: $300 annual travel credit as statement credit reimbursement for select travel purchases and airport lounge access for Chase Sapphire Reserve. Added versatility with 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel programs for both cards.
But you should also keep in mind that there are other perks beyond rewards. Both cards offer extensive travel insurance, covering trip and baggage delays, auto rental collisions, eligible travel accidents and more. Chase Sapphire Reserve will insure you for much more money for travel accidents, though.
In conclusion, if you're a more casual traveler who doesn't want a high annual fee, Chase Sapphire Preferred is right for you. If you travel a lot and know you'll spend enough to take advantage of Chase Sapphire Reserve's extensive rewards, then that one will serve you better. Feel free to take a look at a comprehensive review of Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred and pick the card that suits your individual needs best.