Card Comparison: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. British Airways Credit Card

There’s no tip toeing around the fact that Chase has a lot of great rewards credit cards, so choosing the right Chase credit card can be downright difficult, especially for those just starting out. Is it better to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs British Airways Credit card?

Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best Sign-Up Bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months . Not bad at all. And you will receive a 5,000 point bonus if you add an authorized user. Sweetness. Adding an authorized user to your card won’t make the user in-eligible for getting their own Sapphire Preferred. 55,000 Ultimate Rewards is a nice haul and is good for $550 in statement credits or cash back (not that I would recommend using your UR points this way). Or you can get even more value by transferring your points out to travel partners. More on this later.

The British Airways Visa comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Avios miles after spending $2,000 in 3 months. I like the low minimum spending requirement. 50,000 Avios can get you 10 low level one-way tickets at the cheapest Avios booking rate of 4,500 miles, or a round-trip ticket from Boston to Dublin in business class. But more on the value of Avios later. One thing to note is that sometimes the offer will be higher on the Avios card, but will require meeting additional minimum spending requirements.

This is a tough call, but I’m going to go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred on this one, since Ultimate Rewards points are more flexible than British Airways Avios.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

 

Best Spending Benefits

The British Airways Visa earns 1x Avios on all purchases. I love earning more than 1x per $1, but 1x doesn’t get me too excited. However, you will get 3 Avios per $1 on British Airways purchases.

There is an additional spending bonus with the British Airways Visa. Every calendar year that you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa Card, you’ll earn a Travel Together Ticket, good for two years.

The Travel Together Ticket lets you bring a companion for free on an award ticket. Well, kind of free. You will still have to pay the taxes and fees on the award ticket. And we all know those can be hefty on BA, but still a great value if you’re traveling in a premium cabin.

The Sapphire Preferred earns 2x Ultimate Rewards points on dining and travel. I said it before, but man do I spend a lot on dining and travel, so it’s nice to know there’s a card with a built in perk for those purchases. You will also earn 3x on dining the first Friday of every month with your Sapphire Preferred. All other purchases will earn 1 point. In addition to the spending perks, you will earn a 7% annual retention bonus on all miles earned. So you’re actually earning 2 UR points on dining and travel.

I think the British Airways Travel Together Ticket offers some great value, but not everyone will want to spend $30,000 in a calendar year. I gotta go with the Sapphire Preferred and its 2x spending bonus on dining and travel.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best Perks

The Sapphire Preferred and British Airways Visa are both chip & signature cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees. This makes them an attractive option when you’re traveling abroad.

Also, both cards are Visa Signature cards, which I’ve written about before here.

Visa Signature benefits are additional benefits you can receive for travel, movie tickets, dining, or special occasions. You can check out the Visa Signature page here.

The Sapphire Preferred and British Airways Visa pretty much even each other out here.

Winner: Tie 

 

Best Points

The Sapphire Preferred earns uber valuable Ultimate Rewards points. Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred out to many top tier travel programs.

You can use them for international travel on United, Korean, Virgin Atlantic, and yes, British Airways. You can fly to Europe by transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to United in economy for 60,000 miles.

You can fly domestically with your UR points by transferring to Southwest, British Airways (AA), Virgin Atlantic (Virgin America) or United.  I prefer to use my Ultimate Rewards points for domestic flights through Southwest or British Airways (actually fly AA).

And there are many hotel chains that you can transfer your points, including: Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and IHG. I prefer Hyatt, but that’s because I have elite status with them.

You can even use your UR points to train since Amtrak is a transfer partner.

And of course, you can also use your UR points for statement credits or cash back, but I wouldn’t suggest using them in that way since this is a travel site, after all.

Ultimate Rewards points can be combined with household member accounts, and if you hold multiple Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards. I do. Combining and transferring Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners is easy.

The British Airways Visa earns Avios. I love Avios, and since Membership Rewards & Ultimate Reward points transfer to British Airways, it’s easy to top off your account. I love having a couple options to top off my points balance.

The British Airways loyalty program is distance based. That means the longer the distance of the flight, the more you will pay in miles and in fuel surcharges/taxes. Gross. Flying in First Class and Business Class can be worth the fees, but that’s not for everyone. However, there are definitely some gems.

For example: You can fly to Dublin from Boston in business class for 25,000 Avios one-way, or 12,500 in economy. Smoking. You can also avoid the hefty fuel surcharges by flying air Berlin. And then there’s Iberia. You can combine your British Airways Avios with Iberia Avios to book a flight. And Iberia will sometimes have fare sales like earlier in the year when you could book a one-way business class ticket to Spain for 20,000 Avios!

So you do have some options with Avios to fly long distance and avoid their fees. But don’t forget about their short-haul gems, both domestically and internationally. I’m have taken advantage of these gems many times. Domestically, you will actually be flying American Airlines and US Airways once the merger is complete with American. I always look to British Airways Avios first when I need a domestic flight.

We have also jaunted across intra-Europe with Avios. Last year, after going to Dublin, we hopped over to London for 4,500 and $30 each. That’s not bad at all. Almost felt bad about that redemption. And on our current trip, we’ve used Avios to hop to Rome, Barcelona, and Madrid.

The fact that Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to British Airways and many other programs obviously gives it the edge here. But the British Airways loyalty program is one of my favorites for its redemptions and because you can top it off with Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards points.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

 

Conclusion

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and British Airways Visa are both great card offerings from Chase bank, but if I could only choose one, I would have to go with the Sapphire Preferred. Ultimate Rewards points are just too darn flexible.

I could see the British Airways Visa being more attractive if you’re a big spender, so you can take advantage of the Travel Together Ticket, but I understand that’s probably a small market. Also, the sign-up bonus is slightly higher with the British Airways card, so if you had a specific BA redemption in mind, then it could make sense to choose it over the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Jordan and I both have had these cards, and they have actually worked quite well together. It’s hard to go wrong with these two cards. I hope this helps if you’ve been on the fence about applying for either card.

Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Related posts: 

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Barclaycard Arrival

Southwest Rapid Rewards vs. Sapphire Preferred

Geoff Whitmore

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Card Comparison: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. British Airways Credit Card
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About the Author

Geoff Whitmore
Geoff Whitmore is lead traveler/writer at noobtraveler.com, a blog dedicated to educating its readers on credit cards, reward points, and and cost-saving travel techniques. The blog particularly focuses on new travelers (or as they like to call them, “Noobs”), and it teaches its readers how to save BIG. All the while, the site maintains a humorous writing style that is both fun and informative.

101 Comments on "Card Comparison: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. British Airways Credit Card"

  1. I prefer the British Airways card. 50,000 Avios > 45,000 Ultimate Reward points.

  2. I just got the Sapphire and am happy with it so far.

  3. Sapphire Preferred!

  4. Another vote for the Sapphire…more flexible.

  5. I’m a fan of the Sapphire due to the 1:1 Hyatt transfers.

  6. I really enjoy both cards. The British Airways allows me to make multiple short distance trips and only use a small amout of Avios but i love the various options I have with my Ultimate Rewards points which allow me greater flexibility and selection during travel. The Sapphire edges out the BA card in my book barely because i have the option to transfer my UR pts to BA if needed.

  7. The Sapphire for flexibility

  8. Going with the British Airways card for the Travel Together ticket.

  9. Definitely the Sapphire for being able to transfer to multiple partners.

  10. I am gonna go with the BA card. Chip and pin puts it over the top!

  11. I’d love to have the Sapphire. I’ve only ever heard good things about it.

  12. Ultimate rewards from the Sapphire

  13. Love the sapphire as ultimate rewards are very versatile and can be transfered to Avios!

  14. I am a big fan of both cards although I recently downgraded my SP to the regular version after having it for 2 years. I still make the 2 points per dining but I just didn’t see the value of keeping the card at 95 bucks per year granted I also have the Bold INK, which I intend to keep and continue to transfer the UR points to United, BA or Amtrak (for the occasional trip to NYC from DC).

    The Chase BA Avios card comes with a $95 annual fee which is worth it for 53k miles after 2k dollars spent. I just booked my summer vacation (in late August), a round trip to Europe (PHL-LHR) (CDG-PHL) for 40k Avios and $95 in tax. Booking a US Airways flight with Avios to UK/London is a great way to avoid paying the crazy surcharges. As a matter of fact, the fees and taxes for my PHL-LHR flight were just $2.50; and of course, booking with Avios if I decide to cancel that flight I’d only lose those meager 2 bucks and have the miles reinstalled. Awesome!

  15. I love the British Airways card because it earns me Avios – which I think is the best program for redeeming miles for short distance travel in the US :)

  16. Right now I don’t have either card, but I want both. I will get the Sapphire Preferred first because I have plans that will require more UR points than I currently have. Avios sound fantastic, and I can’t wait to acquire some and start using them.

  17. I would rather have the flexibility of the sapphire… many transfer partners

  18. Sapphire Preferred for me! I’ll have to add the British Airways to my wish list!

  19. I like how the sapphire card gives 2x on dining and travel

  20. Sapphire Preferred ROCK!

  21. The sapphire is great for the flexibility it gives me.

  22. Just got the British Airways card for the 50K Avios!

  23. I like Sapphire Preferred card much better because it offers you more points in travel, and more flexibility to use your points, and the points seem worth more since British Airway always charges a high fee for free travel, and can be used mostly for BA flights….

  24. 7% annual bonus and multiple transfer partners make Chase Sapphire Preferred my favorite

  25. Ultimate Rewards points are the ultimate in flexibility

  26. I use my BA card for all kinds of stuff. Can’t wait to cash in all those awesome miles. :D

  27. I like the Chase Sapphire Preferred because the 2 x points for dining…. I eat out alot so I get lots of bonus points !

  28. I’m fan of the Sapphire Preferred for the bonus categories and the flexibility in redeeming UR points.

  29. Yay! Just got 2nd Sapphire Preferred. 40k UR points are so flexible.

  30. Sapphire preferred for the 2x dining/travel

  31. The Sapphire Preferred is my go-to card abroad. The no foreign transaction fees and 2x dining and travel make it a keeper.

  32. categories!

  33. I love the sign up bonuses

  34. I prefer the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. My go-to card. Love the flexible points currency feature it offers.

  35. I am new to Sapphire ownership so I can’t yet comment on its benefits. However we love BritAir and try to spend our points wisely. We got 2 BritAir cards last year during that 100K promo. We’ve been to Cancun and Miami Beach and have barely dented our basket of Avios.

  36. BA card-No foreign fees + bonus Avios.

  37. Love the BA Visa for the Travel Together Ticket! Using one to fly First this August!

  38. sapphire perferred, best card out!

  39. Sapphire Preferred for the 2x points in travel and dining…and 7% annual bonus.

  40. Transfer my points to United and Hyatt-still two of the best redemptions out there, even with a devalued chart-catching up to get 220k points to redeem for Lufthansa flight with oh, that awesome First Class facilities!

  41. I like the Chase BA card better because of the short-hop distance-based awards. 12,500 miles to Hawaii one-way and 9,000 RT within CA.

  42. I got both cards at the same time almost 2 years ago, and it was an awesome combo for my app party! Plus I got it back when the BA was for 100k Avios, and I’m still benefiting from that App party! Both great cards!

  43. CSP FTW!

  44. I love the BA Visa for getting great short distance-based trips using Avios. The recent super sign-up bonus for the BA Visa is the decider for me.

  45. Thanks for the great detail like always!

  46. I like the Sapphire Pref for restaurants and international travel spending. I only like the BA card for earning Avios via the bonus. SP is a better card for the price.

  47. I like the Sapphire because of the nearly immediate Ultimate Rewards points transfers to various airline & hotel partner programs

  48. The Sapphire Preferred card makes my Chase Freedom card more versatile because I can take advantage of the Freedom’s 5 points-per special earning categories and combine points from both accounts. Plus the Sapphire card is classy-looking. People always comment on how unique it is.

  49. I like the Sapphire Preferred for the ability to transfer to multiple partners!

  50. The Chase Saphire? Honest to goodness? The thing is metal – in a pinch you use it like a throwing star and take a bad guy DOWN!

  51. I love the Sapphire Preferred because it’s an easy way to get tons of United miles! I’m leaving on an African adventure in 3 weeks thanks to them!

  52. The Sapphire Preferred card renders many airline-specific credit cards obsolete by earning 2 points per dollar on all travel expenses

  53. I like the Sapphire Preferred so I can waive the fee the first year.

  54. My favorite card for dining out is the Sapphire, especially with triple miles on Friday nights!

  55. I love the 7% point bonus at the end of the year. I just got an extra 2800 points last week!

  56. 2x Ultimate Rewards points on dining and travel is the best.

  57. chains that you can transfer your points, including: Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and IHG

    You can even use your UR points to train since Amtrak is a transfer partner.

    Ultimate Rewards points can be combined with household member accounts, and if you hold multiple Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards. I do. Combining and transferring Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners is easy.

  58. Love Chase Sapphire Preferred for all the compliments I get after handing it over to the cashier :-)

  59. The flexibility to transfer to multiple partners, including BA Avios

  60. I like the Saphire Preferred card because it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

  61. I like that you have so many airline choices for transferring UR points earned with the Chase Saphire card

  62. Traveling a lot I need a card with no transaction fees and smart chip technology.

  63. I like Chase Sapphire Preferred because I can transfer my points to Hyatt and there’s no foreign transaction fees :)

  64. I like Chase Sapphire Preferred because it’s going get me 40,000 miles at Southwest Airlines…that’s a big chunk towards my companion pass.

  65. I haven’t had the British Airways Visa, but the Sapphire Preferred had been really good to me with all those points to use for Hyatt and United.

  66. I don’t have either buy i would go with the sapphire preferred as well, the points can be transfered to so many different things that it work for my noncommittal travel lifestyle. Hopefully the annual fee doesn’t go up before I can apply

  67. British Airways just once, because of BOS-DUB in Biz on Aer Lingus for 25K RT! Doing that this summer.

  68. Such a hard decision!! The chase sapphire has gotten us a free cruise while the British airways paid for round trip tickets to Hawaii this year! Overall though, I think chase sapphire pref takes the cake because of it’s flexibility.

  69. I’ve been giving the Chase Saphire many thoughts of opening, but the spending limit is huge. I think I’m going to wait a couple more Months when I have the ability to meet the requirement.

  70. I have the Sapphire, which I’ve loved. The devaluation of UA regarding premium LH cabins has made it a little less valuable to me at this point, as I’m in the Middle East and LH is the best way in and out for me. Looking to apply for the BA soon.

  71. I love the Sapphire for the swanky card. It’s great for starting the credit card/points conversation with friends.

  72. Love the Sapphire Preferred for the great flexible points!

  73. I love the “household account” feature of BA card that lets us combine miles from 2 accounts . Its great for our annual family vacation!

  74. I love the Chase Sapphire Preferred since the points are so flexible and you don’t have to worry about fuel surcharges.

  75. My spouse and I easily moved Chase Sapphire miles to British Air and with sign up bonuses from both we flew free from Minneapolis to Venice for a cruise of Dalmation Coast. Wonderful. Returned from Rome and had local stays in both Venice and Rome . To top it off we saw the Pope speak one Sunday.

  76. Even though I canceled British Air. After accruing sign-up bonuses and flying internationally I could keep the remaining points and still fly to domestic roundtrips. Huge sign-up bonuses and good retention rules as well as inexpensive domestic points requirements.

  77. I’ve been raking in the points with my Chase Sapphire Preferred… Love it!

  78. The transfer with partners and the 2x points on travel & dining.

  79. I love them both because they are getting us two trips!! :)

  80. I would probably choose the BA card for the companion ticket, we have no problem getting to $30K spend in a year.

  81. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has one of the best bonuses in the business,

  82. Chase Sapphire Preferred. Because it is heavy.

  83. Love the ability to use Ultimate Reward Points for…..just about anything I can think of!

  84. sapphire preferred for the bonus on dining and travel, plus the end of year 7% bonus, plus the no forex fees … i could go on.

  85. I love the Chase Saphire card because of all the transfer options to airlines and hotels!

  86. I definitely like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It has great bonus and flexibility. I don’t have all the time in the world to plan for the miles I earn, but CSP makes it easy to earn consistently great value with very little effort.

  87. It’s the best card cuz you can cash it out or transfer points to United, which will let you fly star alliance flight

  88. Im with you Noob. Chase Sapphire Preferred rules!

  89. I like the Sapphire because you transfer points for a variety of things

  90. I prefer the Sapphire because I use it to fly internationally to places like Capetown and the South Seas.

  91. I like the BA card – BA is pretty good when you are a family traveling together because of the family account option.

  92. Love the versatility of the Sapphire Preferred. Ability to get cash back or transfer to so many partners is hard to beat.

  93. I love the BA card for the 100,000 mile bonus we received a few years ago. Gotta love Avios for the domestic flights!

  94. I love the Sapphire Preferred because of the many travel partners. And I’ve used the Ultimate Reward points already a few times.

  95. I like the Chase Sapphire Preferred because of the sing up bonus.

  96. I like the Chase Sapphire Preferred because of the Ultimate Rewards points.

  97. The Sapphire Preferred’s customer service is first-rate, and the card is slick!

  98. The contest is over for me, but I wanted to post in support of my boy Geoff! I have loved both of these cards, well my wife and I have. I currently would lean towards the Avios being the better of the two for us. We’ve flown to France (via London), FL, CO, and friends to Louisville all via Avios pts accumulated with the sign up and bonuses we scored per the Noob’s instructions. We have traveled with the sapphire as well, just not as often and certainly not as flexible state side for us.

  99. My wife and I both have BA Avios miles, and we have a Household account. I would like to transfer some of my BA Avios miles to my Iberia Avios account. When I transfer my BA Avios miles, does BA pull miles based on the Household account, or just my account?

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