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Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Citi Premier: Why The Preferred Is More Cost-Effective


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Updated June 5, 2023

There are so many travel rewards credit cards that it can be challenging to pick the right one for you. Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier are two cards that offer generous rewards on travel and everyday spending. Both cards come with welcome bonus points and a $95 annual fee, but Chase Sapphire Preferred is likely to be the more cost-effective choice. 

How the cards stack up

Here’s a glance at what these beginner travel rewards cards offer and how they vary.

FeatureChase Sapphire Preferred® Cardcard_name
Welcome bonus
Earn 5x points on:
  • Travel arrangements made through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Lyft rides
Earn 3x points on:
  • Online grocery purchases
  • Takeout, delivery, and restaurants
  • Qualifying streaming services
Earn 2x points on other travel purchases

Earn one point per dollar on all other purchases
Qualifying cardholders can earn 10x points on:
  • Hotel and car rental expenses paid for through Citi Travel℠ until June 30, 2024
Earn 3x points on:
  • Lodging and airfare
  • Supermarket purchases
  • Restaurant purchases
  • Gas station purchases
Earn one point per dollar on all other purchases
Annual fee
APR (or regular APR)
Foreign transaction fee
Other benefits (or additional perks)
$50 yearly hotel statement credit
    Earn annual bonus points on 10% of the total you spend each year  
      1:1 point transfer to select airline and hotel travel loyalty programs
        Earn statement credits and get free premium subscriptions for select food delivery services 
          Purchase and travel protections
          Yearly $100 hotel savings benefit on a hotel stay that costs $500 or more
            Access to Citi Entertainment, which includes special access to presale tickets
              Point transfers to select airline loyalty programs

              Welcome bonus

              Both cards feature a welcome bonus when you make $4,000 in purchases in the first three months. However, card_name offers a bonus of 80,000 points, while Citi Premier only offers a bonus of 75,000 points. 

              Every point earned is normally worth 1 cent for both Citi Premier and card_name. With Citi Premier, points can be redeemed for $600 in gift cards.

              card_name also lets you earn up to 25% more when you redeem the points for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards. So, you’ll earn a travel credit of $1,000 instead of $800 on your welcome bonus points.

              Welcome bonus winner: card_name


              card_name gives you five points per dollar spent on travel arrangements made through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You’ll also get the following: 

              • 3 points per dollar spent on dining purchases, online grocery store orders, and streaming service subscriptions
              • 2 points per dollar spent on all other travel purchases
              • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases 

              Here’s what Citi Premier offers: 

              • 3 points for every dollar spent on hotels, flights, and purchases made at supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations
              • 1 point for every dollar spent on all other purchases

              The verdict: card_name provides more flexibility with its reward categories. Plus, you can maximize your earnings by using points for travel. 

              Rewards winner: card_name

              Annual fee

              The annual fee is identical for both cards (annual_fees for card_name and annual_fees for card_name). 

              Annual fee winner:tie


              The APR ranges from reg_apr,reg_apr_type on card_name and reg_apr,reg_apr_type on card_name. So, the card_name has a slight edge since the maximum APR is one percentage point lower. 

              APR winner: card_name

              Foreign transaction fee

              Both cards allow you to make purchases abroad without incurring foreign transaction fees. 

              Foreign transaction fee winner: tie

              Additional perks

              Both cards include their fair share of perks, but card_name has a competitive edge as it offers: 

              • A $50 yearly hotel statement credit
              • An annual bonus equal to 10% of your spending 
              • 1:1 point transfers to airline and hotel travel loyalty programs
              • Food delivery service perks 
              • Purchase and travel protections 

              With card_name, you can take advantage of: 

              • An annual $100 hotel savings benefit on a hotel stay of at least $500 
              • Access to Citi Entertainment 
              • Point transfers to select airline loyalty programs

              Additional perks winner: card_name

              Which card earns the most

              If you spent $650 in each category, here’s how many points you’d earn:

              Online grocery purchasesDining outStreaming service subscriptionsLodging and airfareRental carsGas station purchasesTotal points
              Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

              However, you’d earn more with the card_name on lodging and airfare booked independently. card_name offers 2 points per dollar spent on purchases made outside of Chase Rewards, but card_name offers 3 points per dollar spent. In this case, you’d earn more with card_name

              Our recommendations

              Why we recommend card_name

              card_name is the better pick for travel rewards. Points are worth 25% more when used for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and you’ll get an annual $50 hotel statement credit. Cardholders who dine out or order groceries online can benefit tremendously. You’ll also get built-in travel coverages and purchase protections, which makes this card even more attractive. 

              Why you would still opt for card_name

              If you don’t travel often and prefer not to keep tabs on spending categories, the card_name could be the better choice. Earnings on everyday expenses are rather generous. And, like the card_name, you can transfer points and receive an annual hotel savings benefit.

              The bottom line 

              card_name and card_name are affordable starter travel cards. Both come with the same annual fee of $95, and you can transfer points to other loyalty programs. That said, the right card for you will vary depending on how you spend your money and which perks are the most important to you. 

              Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

              Is card_name hard to get?

              You’ll generally need good or excellent credit to qualify for card_name. A credit score of at least 670 (or higher) is ideal. 

              Which has better rewards—Chase or American Express?

              card_name offers the most significant earning potential. However, you can rack up more points for independently booked travel with card_name

              What alternative cards are there for earning rewards?

              The card_name is another other low-cost option worth considering.

              The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.