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

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Updated February 28, 2024

There are so many travel rewards credit cards that it can be challenging to pick the right one for you. card_name and Citi Premier® Card 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 card_name 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.

card_name
Citi Premier® Card
Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
bonus_miles
Foreign transaction fees
foreign_transaction_fee
foreign_transaction_fee

Welcome bonus

Both cards feature a welcome bonus when you make $4,000 in purchases in the first three months. Both the card_name and the Citi Premier only offers a bonus of 60,000 points.

Every point earned is normally worth 1 cent for both Citi Premier® Card and card_name. With Citi Premier® Card, 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 $750 instead of $600 on your welcome bonus points.

Welcome bonus winner: card_name

Rewards

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® Card 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 $95 (Rates & Fees) for bonus_miles_full).

Annual fee winner:tie

APR

The APR ranges from reg_apr,reg_apr_type on card_name and reg_apr,reg_apr_type on Citi Premier® Card. 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 Citi Premier® Card, 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
card_name
1,950
1,950
1,950
1,300
1,300
650
9,050
Citi Premier® Card
650
1,950
650
1,950
650
1,950
7,800

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

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 Citi Premier® Card

If you don’t travel often and prefer not to keep tabs on spending categories, the Citi Premier® Card 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 Citi Premier® Card 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 Citi Premier® Card hard to get?

You’ll generally need good or excellent credit to qualify for Citi Premier® Card. 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 Citi Premier® Card.

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.

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