Sapphire and Sapphire Preferred are rewards credit cards from Chase, but only the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is available to new applicants. The original Chase Sapphire Card was discontinued in 2015. So if you have neither Sapphire card to start with, the biggest difference between the two is that you actually have a shot at getting the Preferred version, assuming you have excellent credit.
Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t just win by default, though. It’s great terms do the heavy lifting. Sapphire Preferred offers an initial bonus worth $750 in travel, and it gives 2 points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining. The original Sapphire card’s double points bonus included only dining purchases. You’ll get 1 point per $1 on all other purchases with either card.
Other than that, the most important difference is that the original Chase Sapphire card had no annual fee, whereas the Preferred card comes with an annual fee of $95. These things are important to note because even though you can’t apply for the Chase Sapphire Card anymore, it didn’t just vanish. If you got it before, you can still use it. And if you’re in that boat, knowing how Sapphire and Sapphire Preferred compare is critical to determining whether you need to make a switch.
Lastly, it’s worth pointing out that the duo of Chase Sapphire cards is actually a trio. The Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card joined the family in 2016, making a big stir with an initial bonus worth well over $1,000 in travel. Its value has since been reduced to $750, but there’s still a lot to like about the offer. That does not include Reserve’s high $450 annual fee, however. It’s one of the highest on the market right now. But you also get $300 in free travel every year, so whether the card is worth it or not depends on the individual and their spending and travel habits.