5 Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits you might not know about - Android Central

5 Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits you might not know about - Android Central


5 Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits you might not know about - Android Central

Posted: 08 Oct 2020 07:30 AM PDT

Heads up! We share savvy shopping and personal finance tips to put extra cash in your wallet. Android Central may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network. Please note that the offers mentioned below are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the most popular travel rewards cards out there and comes with a number of well-known benefits, as well as a new 80,000-point bonus when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months and a $95 annual fee.

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Well-Known Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits:

These benefits are among the reasons the Chase Sapphire Preferred consistently makes TPG's list of best travel credit card offers and why it was named Best Travel Rewards Credit Card at the 2019 TPG Awards. But let's look at five lesser-known benefits.

4K TVs, Amazon Echos, Beats headphones & more are already at Prime Day pricing

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

Sapphire Preferred Benefits you may not know about:

1. Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance (up to $10,000 per person/$20,000 per trip)

If your trip is cut short or interrupted by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations (deemed so by the benefit administrator), you can be reimbursed for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses (such as plane tickets, hotels and tours) on up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. This coverage is available to you and your immediate family members traveling with you when you pay for the trip expenses with your Chased Sapphire Preferred.

Puerto Rico Jan 2019 Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card 19 CopySource: The Points Guy

I invoked this benefit for the first time when I was in Kuala Lumpur on business, staying at the Le Méridien. I had brought my wife and nine-month-old son along to see the city and enjoy the hotel while I was at work each day. From Malaysia, we had non-refundable AirAsiaX tickets from Kuala Lumpur to Busan, Korea. The day before our flight, my son awoke with a terrible cough. We decided a trip to Korea may not serve his best interests and it was time to send my wife and son back home to Japan and our doctor.

I called Chase at 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time to inquire about having the AirAsia tickets to Busan covered by the benefit. Within 10 minutes I had an email requesting the canceled plane ticket itinerary, a doctor's note and the credit card statement showing where the tickets were purchased. Soon after, I confirmed the benefit administrator had received my documentation and I was told a $625 credit would be issued back to my Sapphire Preferred card. That was pretty fantastic!

Related: Your guide to Chase's trip insurance coverage

2. Baggage Delay Insurance (up to $500 per trip)

If your checked bag is delayed by more than six hours, you can be reimbursed up to $100 per day for up to five days for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing. My mother's checked suitcase did not arrive on Air Canada's flight from Toronto to Tokyo. I immediately called Chase from Narita International Airport (NRT) to inquire about this benefit.

I was told to get a baggage delayed report from the baggage service counter and then to keep receipts for any essentials she purchased, up to $100 a day for five days or until the suitcase arrived. The suitcase was finally delivered to my Japanese address four days later. In the meantime, we took full advantage of the benefit, with my mom buying $400 worth of clothes, shoes and toiletries to get around Japan during her stay.

I sent the benefit administrator a baggage delayed report, a courier note when the bag was finally dropped off, receipts for my mom's purchases and the credit card statement showing I had paid for her ticket. Since she had flown on an award ticket, I had only paid for the fees with my Sapphire Preferred card (and not the whole fare). I was nervous this would make us ineligible for the perk, but a short time later we received a $400 check to cover the expenses.

Along these same lines, you may be eligible for up to $3,000 in lost luggage coverage. However, this benefit requires you to produce almost all of your original receipts for items over $25, making it much harder to get full value.

Baggage arrives from Delta Air Lines Inc. flights at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Friday, March 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif. © 2019 Patrick T. Fallon for The Points Guy

Source: The Points Guy

3. Trip Delay Reimbursement (up to $500 per ticket)

Have you ever been on the last flight of the day to your destination only to have it canceled? If it's due to weather or any other cause that allows the carrier to deflect blame, you might get a preferred rate from the local airport hotel or be out of luck altogether. Either way you'll likely be forced to pay out of pocket.

If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, Chase Sapphire Preferred covers you and your family for up to $500 per ticket of non-reimbursed expenses such as meals and lodging. Thankfully, I've never had to put this benefit to use, but knowing I could stay in a nice place for free would make the situation a bit more tolerable.

Summer Hull Family Travel Kids Holiday New York Shoot

Source: The Points Guy

Related: Chase paid for my $1,100-per-night hotel room thanks to built-in trip delay coverage

4. Purchase Protection (up to $500 per claim)

This benefit covers eligible personal property (purchased using your Sapphire Preferred card) in the event of theft, damage or involuntary and accidental parting with property. If something happens to an item within 120 days of purchase, it will be repaired or replaced for a value of up to $500.

There's a lengthy list of excluded items, including animals, antiques, anything with an engine, perishable items and used/pre-owned items. Still, when I bought my latest iPad, I felt a bit more at ease knowing I had 120 days of coverage in case I spilled coffee on it or left it behind while traveling.

Plenty of other cards offer similar benefits (such as Amex purchase protection), but it's good to know Chase is keeping up with the competition.

Related: The best credit cards for price protection in 2020

5. Extended Warranty Protection (up to $10,000 per claim)

This benefit can really save your bacon. Receive an additional year of coverage on eligible purchases with a manufacturer's warranty of three years of less. Boats, automobiles, aircraft, medical equipment, leased or pre-owned items and items for commercial use are ineligible.

In 2010, I purchased what was then a top-of-the-line flat-screen TV for $1,200, with a manufacturer's warranty of two years. One day in April of 2013, my wife and I were watching a football game when a loud pop occurred and a puff of smoke appeared from the back of the TV.

I called Chase, and a representative asked for a copy of the original purchase receipt and a letter from the TV manufacturer stating it was out of manufacturer's warranty. I was then instructed to get an estimate from a TV repairman (yes, they still exist) of what it would cost to fix the TV. I flipped through the yellow pages and a few days later had an estimate saying the TV was broken beyond repair. After I submitted the estimate, I got a credit back for my original purchase price of the TV from 2010, as well as a credit for the TV repairman's fee.

I then bought a TV for $800 that was better than what I had paid $1,200 for three years earlier. Chase promises reimbursement within five business days of receipt and validation of all required documents. Needless to say, I was pretty excited this benefit was on the card.

Related: Best credit cards for extended warranties

Bottom Line

Several of these benefits have provided excellent value for me and made life easier when I could have otherwise been out of luck. As always, make sure you read the fine print for benefit terms and conditions. Clearly defined and labeled documentation submitted in a logical order has made the claim processes rather painless for me.

Also note that the above five benefits are by no means the only perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Travel accident insurance, zero liability protection and travel and emergency assistant services could all make a sour situation a little bit sweeter.

Apply here for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with a 80,000-point bonus after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.

Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor

Featured photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy.

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Big price, big perks: Business Platinum Card from American Express review - Android Central

Posted: 01 Oct 2020 09:12 AM PDT

Heads up! We share savvy shopping and personal finance tips to put extra cash in your wallet. Android Central may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network. Please note that the offers mentioned below are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.

With premium credit cards becoming the norm these days, many people are getting more comfortable with the idea of paying $400+ in annual fees to hold the right credit card. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express stands out above that pack thanks to its record-setting $595 annual fee (see rates and fees), but I still jumped at the chance to apply for this card because of its sweet welcome offers. The deal has now gotten even sweeter, with the Business Platinum offering a welcome offer of 75,000 points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within the first three months of account opening.

4K TVs, Amazon Echos, Beats headphones & more are already at Prime Day pricing

Amex also added some new limited-time cardholder benefits during the coronavirus pandemic.

Just be warned — between a high minimum spending requirement and several business-focused perks, this card certainly won't be right for every business, especially ones that don't accrue major travel expenses or whose primary spending categories are more in line with the bonus categories offered by other business credit cards. So, let's consider whether the Business Platinum card is a good fit for you.

Who is this card for?

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)Source: The Points Guy

The Business Platinum Card is best suited for small business owners who charge thousands of dollars in monthly business expenses to their cards, are heavy travelers and can take advantage of the card's premium benefits. For these types of cardholders, the benefits and earnings can justify the $595 annual fee (see rates and fees).

For many cardholders, the best perk is access to the issuer's growing collection of Centurion Lounges. Centurion Lounges are some of the nicest lounges in the U.S. and cardholders of the American Express Centurion Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Business Platinum Card get access for themselves and up to two guests, regardless of their airline or class of service. While they've been closed the past few months, some will begin reopening in early October.

Amex offers access to hundreds of locations, beyond its own Centurion Lounge network. Photo by Zach Honig.

Source: The Points Guy

That being said, the lounges have tightened up access policies — so you won't get access more than three hours before departure nor upon arrival without a connecting boarding pass. But the dining and drink options will still provide value if you live near or frequently travel to the airports that currently feature these lounges. You also have access to Priority Pass and Delta Sky Clubs (on same-day travel on Delta flights), along with Airspace and Escape lounges.

Related: Which airline lounges in the U.S. are currently open?

There are several travel-related distinctions between the personal and business versions of this card that should be considered. Perhaps the most important of these distinctions is a 35% rebate available to Business Platinum members who book a business or first-class ticket — or any class flight with their selected qualifying airline — through American Express Travel using Membership Rewards points. Rebates are capped at 500,000 points a year, which may be low for companies looking to offset more of their travel expenses.

Likewise, only personal Platinum members have access to up to $200 in annual Uber credits, up to $100 in annual Saks credits and 5x earning on flights booked directly with airlines and prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.

Related: The different flavors of American Express Platinum — which one is right for you?

American Express Platinum Business American Express Platinum CREDIT CARD STILL LIFE

Source: The Points Guy

A welcome offer worth $1,500

Based on TPG's valuations, Membership Rewards points are worth 2 cents apiece. So, if you can manage the hefty $15,000 spend requirement to earn the 75,000-point offer, you'll earn points worth about $1,500.

The Business Platinum Card welcome offer is more rewarding than the welcome offer on the personal Amex Platinum card, which offers 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 within the first three months from account opening. You can also check the CardMatch Tool to see if you're targeted for a 100,000-point Platinum Card offer (offer is subject to change at any time).

But, that slight downgrade in bonus value comes with a significantly reduced spend requirement. Your typical monthly business expenses may help you determine which card is the more valuable choice. If you have a smaller business but are still interested in opening the Business Platinum card, you might want to consider prepaying as many expenses as you can afford to during your first three months to help earn your welcome offer.

Benefits and perks

After you get over the initial shock of the $595 annual fee (see rates and fees&c_issuer=American+Express&c_location=unknown&c_positionId=3&c_exitPageId=https%3A%2F%2Fthepointsguy.com%2Fguide%2Famex-business-platinum-card-review%2F)), the Amex Business Platinum really shines when it comes to travel perks. When your travels don't take you to an airport that offers a Centurion Lounge, you'll have wider access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection. It includes more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges worldwide, as well as Delta Sky Club lounges you can access when you're doing same-day flying Delta. You'll also have access to Airspace lounges, Escape lounges and American Express International Lounge locations.

While Centurion lounges are generally well-regarded for the improved experience they offer over the average Priority Pass lounge, there have been two long-standing complaints about the program: There aren't enough lounges, and the existing ones often get incredibly crowded.

Amex is actively addressing both of these concerns and is set to open three new Centurion lounge locations by the end of 2020 (including its second-ever international location at London Heathrow). In terms of the overcrowding issue, Amex has imposed limits so you can only access the lounges three hours before your flight and only on arrival if you have a connecting boarding pass.

The SkyTeam Lounge at YVR is an excellent Priority Pass lounge.

Source: The Points Guy

Any premium travel rewards card worth its fee also offers reimbursement for a Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) application fee every four to five years. The Business Platinum Card is no exception, giving you a reimbursement for your application fee once every four years for Global Entry and once every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck.

You'll earn an annual $200 airline fee credit that can be used for incidentals such as baggage fees or seat selection fees. You'll have to designate a single airline, which will be the same one you will get a 35% Pay with Points rebate for. The airline fee credit can't be used to purchase airfare, so keep that in mind.

You'll also have access to up to $200 in statement credits each year for any U.S. Dell technology purchases. This credit works like the $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit on the personal The Platinum Card® from American Express (see rates and fees) in that it's split into two different statement credits. So, you'll get a statement credit for up to $100 on U.S. Dell purchases between January and June and another credit for up to $100 off U.S. Dell purchases between July and December.

However, due to the pandemic, Amex bumped the value of this benefit and is now offering up to $100 in additional statement credits for U.S. purchases with Dell through Dec. 31, 2020. Amex is also offering up to $20 in statement credits per month on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers through December, as well as up to $20 in statement credits per month on U.S. purchases for shipping.

Related: The latest credit card benefit changes you need to know about

Amex American Express Business Platinum Credit Card

Source: The Points Guy

As for benefits that come in handy once you reach your destination, this card gives you Gold status with Hilton Honors and Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, which provides better earnings and benefits during stays with these two brands. You can get elite-type perks at other hotels through Amex's Fine Hotels & Resorts program.

When you book a stay at a Fine Hotels & Resorts property through Amex Travel, benefits include noon check-in if available, guaranteed 4:00 p.m. checkout, a room upgrade if available, daily breakfast for two and a unique amenity valued at $100 or more.

If you book a prepaid stay online, you'll earn 5x points and (sometimes) get elite benefits during your stay. Cardmembers also have access to the Hotel Collection, which offers an up to $100 on-site credit at select properties when you book a stay of two nights or longer through Amex Travel.

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Source: The Points Guy

The Amex Business Platinum Card also features extended warranty protection that matches eligible U.S. manufacturer warranties of two years or less and extended eligible U.S. manufacturer warranties of two to five years by two years. Additionally, purchases on your card are protected from accidental damage or theft for up to 120 days from the moment you purchase them.

Besides these benefits, there are also many other benefits, including the International Airline Program, Cruise Privileges Program, Premium Roadside Assistance, Upgrade with Points and access to the Auto Purchasing Program.

Related: 10 Things To Do When You Get the American Express Business Platinum Card

Earning

Rewards on most spending with the Business Platinum Card are pretty subpar at 1 point per dollar spent, a 2% return based on TPG's valuations. For businesses with significant expenses, Amex will add a slight incentive to coax you to use its card: All purchases of $5,000 or more earn 1.5x points per dollar (a 3% return), up to one million extra points per year.

Everyday office spending is not the reason to get this card, though. You'll earn 5x points when you purchase airfare and prepaid hotel rooms on AmexTravel.com (including Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts). That's the same 10% return as you'll see on the personal Platinum Card, although with the personal Amex Platinum Card you also get 5x points on airfare booked directly with airlines.

(Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt New York Sky Suite)

Source: The Points Guy

Simply put, the Business Platinum card is not going to be the one you want to use for a majority of your purchases. This card excels when it comes to travel spending and perks, but don't feel like you have to keep it at the front of your wallet just because you're paying more for it.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About American Express Membership Rewards

Redeeming

You can redeem your points for gift cards, through Amazon or other online retailers, to pay for charges on your bill or even to pay your taxi fare in New York City. However, these options all significantly devalue your rewards to 1 cent per point or less and we strongly recommend against using your points this way.

The most lucrative way to redeem points is to transfer them to one of 22 Amex partner airlines or hotels. Going this route may take a bit of sleuthing, but a little work can help increase the value of your points significantly above the TPG valuation. Regardless of whether you want to fly on Oneworld, Star Alliance or Sky Team airlines — or stay at Choice, Hilton or Marriott propertiesmany sweet spots can be unlocked with Amex Membership Rewards points.

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Source: The Points Guy

Want the easiest redemption option that still offers decent value? If you redeem your points via American Express Travel Pay with Points, they're worth about 1.54 cents per point toward first and business class flights on any airline as well as economy class flights on your selected airline because of the 35% Pay with Points rebate. That's a higher return than you'll earn booking travel on Amex with the personal Platinum card (1 cent per point) and it's about on par with what you'd get with the Chase Sapphire Reserve when using Chase Ultimate Rewards to book travel through the issuer's portal (1.5 cents per point). But, note that the 35% rebate is capped at 500,000 points per calendar year.

You'll also want to keep an eye out for transfer bonuses, which Amex runs with some regularity. In the last year, we've seen a 40% bonus for transfers to British Airways Avios and a 30% bonus for transfers to Virgin Atlantic, which can help you score dirt cheap premium cabin awards on Delta and ANA.

Is the Amex Business Platinum a good fit for your business?

The Amex Business Platinum Card offers one of the most valuable welcome offers on the market right now. As such, any business that can hit the $20,000 spending requirement should seriously consider this card. But if we dig a little deeper, we can see that when Amex redesigned this card in February 2019, they had a specific type of customer in mind.

Everything about this card screams, "loud, established businesses." For starters, a smaller and newer company might struggle to meet the $20,000 minimum spending requirement and the last thing you would ever want to do is jeopardize your company's finances in the name of travel rewards. Add in the limited bonus categories (and the fact that one of the biggest bonus-earning options comes from making large purchases of $5,000 or more) and many small businesses out there will have trouble maximizing this card.

If you feel that your business might be too small to get the full value out of the Business Platinum card, you might want to consider other options. For instance, the American Express® Business Gold Card offers similar redemption options to the Business Platinum, but at a lower annual fee of $295 (see rates and fees).

This card offers six bonus categories, one of which is airfare purchased directly from airlines. It allows you to earn 4x points per dollar on the two categories where you spend the most each month (up to $150,000 in combined purchases for these two categories per calendar year; then 1x point thereafter).

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Source: The Points Guy

Alternatively, if you like the American Express Membership Rewards ecosystem and want to keep your cost as low as possible, take a look at The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express instead. This no-annual-fee credit card (see rates & fees) earns 2x Membership Rewards points (a 4% return) on your first $50,000 of annual purchases (then 1x), with no bonus categories to worry about. You'll earn 2x points whether you're spending $1 or $1,000, whether you're booking travel or buying furniture for your office. While you won't find many perks on a free credit card, the simplicity it affords will give you more time to focus on growing your business.

Finally, if travel isn't a big part of your business, look instead to top business cards that offer great rewards in categories like office supplies, internet service or computer equipment. A solid choice here is the Ink Business Cash Credit Card.

Bottom line

The Amex Business Platinum Card is a niche card that's perfect for the big traveler. While it might not be worth the money for business owners who don't count airfare and hotel stays among their largest business expenses, its travel perks are difficult, if not impossible, to beat. Even assuming the Amex Business Platinum's travel perks won't be useful for the time being, Amex is offering a variety of limited-time perks to retain cardholder value.

Here's the link to apply for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express with up to a 75,000-point bonus.

Benji Stawski contributed to this post.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold, please click here.
****For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus card, click here.

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Sapphire showdown: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve - Android Central

Posted: 19 Sep 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Heads up! We share savvy shopping and personal finance tips to put extra cash in your wallet. Android Central may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network. Please note that the offers mentioned below are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are two of the most talked-about travel credit cards, thanks to the valuable Ultimate Rewards program, top-notch benefits and valuable travel protections.

You might assume that the Chase Sapphire Reserve — which comes with a higher annual fee and more luxury benefits — is always the better choice. It is the higher-tier card, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily the better card for you. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred offering a higher sign-up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months and travel understandably on the back burner for many cardholders, there are plenty of reasons why it could be the more attractive option for your wallet.

4K TVs, Amazon Echos, Beats headphones & more are already at Prime Day pricing

Before we get into the benefits of these two cards, note that you can't hold the CSP and the CSR at the same time, and you need to wait at least 48 months between earning the sign-up bonus on one card before you can earn it on the other. Also, make sure you don't bump up against Chase's infamous 5/24 rule.

Travel coverage and purchase protection

It's also worth comparing the coverage offered by these two cards for things like travel delays, trip cancellation and purchase protection.

An argument for the Reserve

Source: The Points Guy

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is obviously the more premium of the two cards. If you're a frequent traveler, the Reserve will likely give you more long-term value.

Premium travel benefits

If you're looking for premium perks, the Reserve is the way to go. You'll get a $300 travel credit each year with the Reserve, a $100 credit for the TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee every four years and a Priority Pass Select membership that gives you entry into airport lounges around the world. Plus, the card just added new benefits.

As part of a new partnership with food delivery service DoorDash, cardholders receive a $60 annual DoorDash credit to use on food delivery each year in 2020 and 2021 and a one-year complimentary subscription to DashPass (which waives the delivery fee at eligible restaurants and discounts service fees on orders of more than $12). Cardholders will also get a free one-year Lyft Pink membership, which includes a 15% discount on all rides and free bike and scooter rentals each month.

While some of these perks can't be used right now, if you take advantage of these perks later on in 2020 and into 2021, you'll more than offset the cost of the Sapphire Reserve's $550 annual fee each year.

Higher earning rates

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a higher earning rate than the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Those who spend a lot on Lyft, travel and dining will find the added points per dollar on those purchases rewarding. For example, if you know you'll spend $50 per month on Lyft and $1,000 a month on travel and dining

You can see that there is potentially a huge difference in earnings over the course of a year. Even though TPG values all Ultimate Rewards (no matter which card earns them) at 2 cents each, the Reserve provides $300 more in annual rewards value in the above example. The more you plan to spend in those bonus categories, the bigger the difference in rewards. Let's say you spend $2,000 a month on travel and dining and the same $50 on Lyft. That would bring your Reserve earnings up to 78,000 points annually ($1,560 in value) versus 51,000 points with the Preferred ($1,020).

Keep in mind, though, that you won't earn 3x on travel until you have used up your $300 travel credit.

Both cards have received temporary benefits from Chase to help cardholders maximize their cards while travel may not be in everyone's 2020 plans, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve has understandably gotten higher temporary earning rates as well — 10x on select streaming services (on up to $1,500), 5x at gas stations (on up to $1,500) and 5x on Instacart (up to $3,000) through Sept. 30, 2020.

50% redemption bonus

In addition to a higher earning rate, the Reserve also comes with a higher redemption rate when you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. The Chase Sapphire Reserve allows you to redeem each point at 1.5 cents each, compared to 1.25 cents each with the Preferred.

I don't typically suggest booking hotels through a third-party portal unless you find a great deal, because you typically won't earn hotel points, elite credits or have your elite status recognized (though that isn't always the case). But if you are regularly booking airfare through the portal, it's worth having the Reserve for the higher redemption rate. A $600 plane ticket will cost you 48,000 points with the Preferred but only 40,000 points with the Reserve.

Through Sept. 30, this 50% redemption bonus also extends to grocery stores, home improvement stores and dining establishment purchases that can be erased through Chase's new Pay Yourself Back feature.

Better trip insurance coverage

With more cards cutting trip insurance, premium coverage is harder to come by. Both the Preferred and the Reserve offer a great selection of travel insurance benefits but you get better coverage with the Reserve — almost double the coverage amount on some benefits like travel accident insurance and purchase protection. On its own, this may not be a reason to choose the Reserve over the Preferred, but when combined with the other additional benefits the Reserve offers, it could be a deciding factor.

An argument for choosing the Preferred

(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)

Source: The Points Guy

The Chase Sapphire Preferred can't compete with the Reserve when it comes to perks such as the annual travel credit and the return on bonus-category spending, but this card still could make more sense for you.

Lower annual fee

The first advantage of the Sapphire Preferred is the most obvious: a significantly lower annual fee. The Sapphire Reserve costs $550 per year while the Preferred costs only $95. Of course, it's worth keeping in mind that the Sapphire Reserve offers a $300 annual travel credit, which effectively lowers the cost to just $250 per year — a $155 premium over the Sapphire Preferred.

If you'll be spending at least $300 on travel in a year anyway, it could be worth paying more for the Reserve. If that fee doesn't seem manageable, the Sapphire Preferred Card is a very worthwhile alternative. In fact, I've held off on upgrading my own Chase Sapphire Preferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic and my limited travel spending in 2020.

The Preferred's elevated sign-up bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred currently wins out over the Chase Sapphire Reserve by offering a higher sign-up bonus. Right now, you'll earn 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, meaning this bonus is worth up to $1,600. By comparison, the Reserve is offering 50,000 points after you hit $4,000 in spend within the first three months, which is worth only $1,000.

Here's the caveat: you can only receive one bonus from a Chase Sapphire card within 48 months, which means you need to choose carefully. The additional $600 in value you'll get with the Preferred's sign-up bonus is a compelling reason to apply for it over the Reserve. If you decide that you would get more value with the Reserve card's features, you can always request an upgrade later down the line.

Same access to Ultimate Rewards transfer partners

Even though it doesn't offer all the same premium benefits, the Sapphire Preferred Card offers identical transfer benefits to the Reserve card. No matter which card you choose, you'll be able to move your Ultimate Rewards points (earned both through the sign-up bonus and through spending) to the program's airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio. Chase's airline partners give you access to all three of the top alliances (Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam), so you'll have a strong variety of options for putting your points to use.

Park Hyatt NYC Suite

Source: The Points Guy

The two cards do, however, differ when it comes to redeeming points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. With the Preferred, you'll get 1.25 cents in value per point, while with the Reserve you'll get a higher value of 1.5 cents per point.

Check out our guide on maximizing Chase's transfer partners

You still get primary rental car insurance

Long before Chase introduced the Sapphire Reserve, award travelers sang the praises of the Sapphire Preferred card's auto collision damage waiver (CDW) benefit. This perk provides reimbursement for damage as a result of collision or theft for rentals of 31 days or less when you decline the rental agency's CDW. If you're eligible, you'll be reimbursed up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles.

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the terms and conditions actually cap reimbursement at $75,000. (It's unlikely you'd need more reimbursement from either card, since most rental cars are worth far less.) It's worth noting that the Preferred's coverage excludes "expensive, exotic and antique automobiles."

No authorized user fee

There are various reasons to consider an authorized user. You could be looking to help someone build up his or her credit history; you might want to provide employees with cards for a business account or maybe you're looking to earn bonus rewards for adding additional users. With the Preferred, there's no cost to add additional users. With the Reserve card, on the other hand, it costs $75 per year for each authorized user (most likely because each gets his or her own Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounge access).

Easier to get approved

A final reason to consider the Sapphire Preferred Card over the Sapphire Reserve Card is that it could be easier to be approved for the Preferred. As an ultra-premium card, the Reserve requires a top-notch credit score. You'll still need a solid score for the Sapphire Preferred (typically somewhere in the high 600s to the 700s), but you might have an easier time getting approved for that card if your score is on the low end of the optimal range.

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has long been a TPG favorite. When the Reserve launched, however, it quickly became a go-to for luxury perks such as a Priority Pass Select membership and the annual $300 travel credit. You really can't go wrong with either card; each has a lot to offer both beginners and veterans in the points-and-miles game.

If you're looking at applying for one or the other right now, it's important to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred's elevated sign-up bonus. It's worth hundreds of dollars more without the Reserve's $550 annual fee. You can always request an upgrade later on if you decide the Reserve will better serve your travel needs.

Apply here for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with a 80,000-point sign-up bonus.

Featured photo John Gribben for The Points Guy.

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