Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. Citi Premier

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Deciding which travel rewards credit card is best for you can be daunting. There are so many variables to consider — how does the card earn rewards? How can you redeem them? What is the annual fee, and can you offset it with benefits?  

For most people who travel a few times each year but aren’t necessarily frequent flyers, a mid-tier travel rewards card can make a great fit. These cards typically charge around $100 for the annual fee, offer rewards on both travel and everyday spending, and offer a few added benefits for when you do travel. 

Of these, our favorite travel credit card under $100 is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. But among its direct competitors is another great option with similar rewards and the same annual price: the Citi Premier® Card. Here’s a closer look at how these cards stack up:

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier at a Glance

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Citi Premier card are beginner- to mid-level travel rewards credit cards. They both come with $95 annual fees, but differ in terms of perks and benefits.

Chase Sapphire PreferredCiti Premier 
Annual Fee$95$95
Welcome Offer60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months60,000 Citi ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening
Bonus Points5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3X points on dining, select streaming services, and online groceries; and 2X points on all other travel purchases3x on travel (airfare and hotels), dining, supermarkets and gas stations
CreditsComplimentary 12-month DoorDash DashPass membership (otherwise $9.99 per month). Must be activated by March 31, 2022$100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit toward a single stay booked through Citi of $500 or more

Bonuses Comparison

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is currently offering 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. That’s worth $750 when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. 

By comparison, the Citi Premier Card is offering 60,000 Citi ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. Travel redemption values can vary for ThankYou points, but considering a standard 1 cent per point, that’s an $600 value, meaning the Preferred edges out the Citi Premier in this category.

Rewards Comparison

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns  5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on travel booked with Chase; 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery), select streaming services, and online grocery purchases, 2x points on travel not booked with Chase, and 1x points on everything else.

The Citi Premier, on the other hand, earns 3 Citi ThankYou points per dollar on airfare and hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations, then 1x points on everything else.

These cards are relatively well-matched in terms of rewards, but your individual budget and spending may make one a better offer over the other, with category differences like 3x on streaming with the Sapphire Preferred versus 3x at gas stations with the Citi Premier. 

Your preferences for how you spend can make a difference too. For instance, if you prefer booking travel directly with the airline or hotel and not through a portal like Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll get more points with the Citi Premier, since it offers 3x rewards on airfare and hotels, compared to the Preferred’s 2x on non-Chase travel. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    15.99%-22.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site
Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

Editor’s Score: (3.6/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    60,000 miles
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site

APRs

As with all credit cards, not just those that offer travel rewards, it’s important to pay your bills on time and in full. Otherwise, you could negate the value of any rewards that you do earn, because you would be paying a high interest on your balance.

That said, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a variable APR rate of 15.99 – 25.99% and the Citi Premier has a variable APR rate of 15.99% – 23.99%.

Travel Protections

The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with notable travel protections such as trip cancellation, trip delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, and auto rental collision damage waiver.

The Citi Premier card does not have any travel protections, so the Sapphire Preferred wins hands down in this category.

Fees

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Citi Premier card have $95 annual fees. Additionally, neither card charges foreign transaction fees, so both are great picks to take with you on any future international trips.

Deciding Between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier Card

Both of these cards offer solid perks and benefits, but we still think the Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes out on top.

The Preferred’s 60,000-point bonus is the same as the Citi Premier’s 60,000-point bonus with the same minimum spending requirements as well. But when redeemed for travel, 60,000 points is still worth $750, according to Chase.

If you are an avid Peloton and/or DoorDash user, you’ll also get added value from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, thanks to the complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership (activate by 03/31/22), which would cost you otherwise $9.99 per month, so this benefit could offset the annual fee by itself.

On the other hand, the Citi Premier card does offer a $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit toward a single stay booked through Citi of $500 or more. That could also offset the cost of the $95 annual fee, but the conditions for using that bonus are narrow. You can’t apply the $100 bonus to stays booked directly with hotels or on third-party travel sites, which often have cheaper deals than the Citi travel portal for the same hotels. And you have to spend at least $500 on a single hotel stay, which may exclude many casual or budget-minded travelers.       

While the Citi Premier card does offer a higher bonus earning rate on some travel — 3 points per dollar on airfare and hotels — the Sapphire Preferred’s 2x rate on non-Chase travel is much more broad, and you can get a boosted 5x rate on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Especially as people begin traveling again, this card can unlock a ton of value and put you one step closer to a free flight or hotel stay.