Chase Sapphire vs Chase Sapphire Preferred

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Versus

Jun 02, 2014 | Updated May 12, 2016

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UPDATE 1/6/2015: The Chase Sapphire Card (the version with no annual fee) is no longer offered. Take a look at our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card instead.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a traveler-friendly version of the original Chase Sapphire® credit card.  The cards are similar in many ways, but, like other travel cards, the Preferred card has a fee and reward system that will only be worthwhile to people who travel fairly often.  Take a look at our review of the two cards to figure out which might be right for you.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $95 - Waived first year
  • Interest Rate: 16.24% - 23.24% *Variable
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value - that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Premium Travel and Purchase Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Purchase Protection and more
  • 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

The information for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected independently by Credit Card Insider. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.


The original Sapphire card has no annual fee; the Sapphire Preferred card has a $95 annual fee.

Other than that, the rates for these two cards are almost identical.

They both have a purchase and balance transfer APR of 15.99%* Variable, and a cash/overdraft advance APR of 19.24%.

Both cards have a penalty APR of up to 29.99%.

This penalty rate may apply if you fail to make a minimum payment by the due date, or make a returned payment.

If the penalty rate is applied, it may last indefinitely.

The cards also have similar fee structures.

They each carry balance transfer fees of $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater, as well as cash advance fees of either $10 or 5% of the transaction.

One difference here is the foreign transaction fee – the original Sapphire card charges 3% of every transaction, while the Sapphire Preferred card does not charge for foreign transactions.

For both cards, the fee for a late payment depends on the account balance.

Up to $15 is charged for balances of less than $100; up to $25 for balances from $100 to $249; and up to $35 for a balance of at least $250. Returned payments also cost up to $35.

The original card does not charge for returned checks, while the Preferred card has a $35 fee.

The Verdict

You won’t enjoy better rates with the Preferred card, so you’ll have to make sure the benefits that come with it are worth the $95 annual fee.

And the foreign transaction fee is definitely a point to consider if you make many purchases in other countries.


These cards have somewhat similar benefits, but the Preferred card is aimed towards travelers.

The original Chase Sapphire card awards 2 points for every dollar spent on dining at restaurants, with 1 point awarded for all other purchases.

10,000 bonus points are awarded if you spend $500 in the first 3 months after you open your account, with another 2,500 granted if you add an additional authorized user to your account and also make a purchase in the first 3 months.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card awards 2 points for every dollar spent at restaurants as well as on travel expenses, with 1 point for other purchases.

A 20% discount is also applied to your purchases when you redeem points for hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, and airfare through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

5,000 bonus points are awarded if you make a purchase within the first 3 months of opening the account and add an authorized user.

You can also transfer your points 1:1 to a number of other travel programs, including Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, British Airways Executive Club, United MileagePlus®, and Korean Air SKYPASS.

The Preferred card is also Chip & Signature enabled, giving you access to more merchants when traveling outside the U.S.

The Verdict

If you travel frequently, you’ll definitely want the Preferred card for its benefits and chip technology, as long as you don’t mind the annual fee.

The rewards, discount, and point transfer ability make this a clear choice.

If you don’t travel much, the annual fee makes the Preferred card too expensive, as you won’t use the travel benefits enough to offset the cost.

Other Features

Both cards offer the same, small set of extra features.

You’ll be able to call a customer service specialist 24/7, without needing to go through an automated phone menu.

You can use your points to book any flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards without blackout dates or restrictions.

The Verdict

It’s a tie – nothing to distinguish the cards here.

They both have a relatively meager collection of additional benefits, compared to other credit cards.

This review was not endorsed or approved by Chase or its affiliates.

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