It can be tough to choose the right credit card with all the offers out there. In today’s post, I will be reviewing the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Thank You Premier rewards credit cards.
In the past, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has easily stood head & shoulders above most personal rewards credit cards, but many cards have been increasing their bonuses and benefits, which makes choosing just a little bit harder. One of those cards that has increased in value recently is the Citi Thank You Premier card.
Alright, let’s review these two top travel rewards cards.
If you want to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card you can here:
Best Sign-Up Bonus
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. There’s a $95 annual fee on the CSP that is waived for the first year.
You’re eligible for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and its sign-up bonus as long as you don’t currently hold the card and it’s been 24 months since you last received a bonus on the card.
For a limited time, the Citi Thank You Premier earns 50,000 bonus Thank You points after spending $3,000 in 3 months. The $95 annual fee on the Citi Thank You Premier is waived for the first year.
Taking advantage of limited time offers is a big strategy of mine, and while I think Ultimate Rewards are more valuable (more on that later), the Citi Thank You Premier card currently has a better offer of 50,000 points, as well as a lower minimum spending requirement.
Winner: Citi Thank You Premier
Perks & Benefits
These two travel cards have a lot of great benefits, which is great for us!
The Citi Thank You Premier gives you 3x points on travel and gas purchases. Plus, 2x points on dining and entertainment. All other purchases will earn 1x. There’s no foreign transaction fees, and the card comes with chip technology and travel protection benefits like lost baggage, car rental insurance, trip accident insurance, and travel emergency assistance. The Thank You Premier is also a World Mastercard and card holders are entitled to additional benefits.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rewards you with 2x earning on travel and dining purchases, and 1x on all other purchases. It’s also great for international travel, since there are no foreign transaction fees and it has chip & signature technology. The Sapphire Preferred is a Visa Signature card, which offers additional benefits like free wine tastings, bogo movies, and more. It’s also worth noting that the Ultimate Rewards site has a shopping portal which can be very useful in earning multiple dollars for shopping online.
The Citi Thank You Premier’s category bonuses are actually a little better than the Sapphire Preferred since you earn 3 points per $1 on travel and gas purchases.
Winner: Citi Thank You Premier
Reward Points System
The Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards points, which are my favorite points to earn. P e r i o d. They are just so darn flexible. You can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for travel through their website and receive a 20% bonus per redemption. That means that 50,000 UR points is worth $625 in travel through the UR website. You can book any flight, hotel, or car rental available too. You can always redeem your UR points for gift cards, merchandise, and statement credits, but that’s obviously not my style.
The REAL value with Ultimate Rewards points is found in their transfer partners. You can transfer UR points out to 11 top travel partners. They are: United, Southwest, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Korean Skypass, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, Ritz-Carlton, and Amtrak.
That’s a lot of options! I prefer to transfer my Ultimate Rewards points out to Singapore Airlines, United, Southwest, British Airways, or Hyatt. Here’s a couple of examples of what you can do with UR points.
You can fly round-trip to Europe on United in economy for 60,000 miles. That’s easily worth over $1,100 in value.
50,000 Ultimate Rewards points could also be transferred out to Hyatt and get you 2 nights at the Andaz 5th Avenue in New York city.
Citi Thank You Points can also be redeemed through their website for travel, and you will get a 25% bonus on a redemption. 50,000 TY points is worth $625 in travel when you redeem through the site. You can also redeem your Thank You points for gift cards and merchandise. Gotta say it.
However, Citi Thank You points can also be transferred out to travel partners! Victory. The Citi Thank You transfer partners are: Hilton, Singapore Airlines, Asia Miles, EVA, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, Garuda, Qatar, Etihad, Thai, Air France, and Malaysia.
In my opinion, the best Citi TY transfer partner is Singapore Airlines, which is also a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. Flying Singapore premium products is a treat, especially their high end Suites Class. We recently flew from Tokyo to LA in Singapore Suites, and it was awesome. The ticket would’ve cost $15,000 out of pocket, but we were able to book it with miles & points. Here’s my primer on booking Singapore Krisflyer award tickets online.
I love that both the Ultimate Rewards program and Thank You programs earn transferable points. Transferable points will give you the most flexibility. thus the opportunity to get the most of out your points. It’s worth mentioning too that once you have miles in a certain airline’s loyalty program, you can fly any airline that is a partner with them. Crazy value!
In this category, I will have to pick the Sapphire Preferred because the Ultimate Rewards program has better transfer partners.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Sapphire Preferred and Thank You Premier are both solid travel card options, and each has its advantages. The Thank You Premier has better category bonuses, but the Sapphire Preferred has better transfer partners.
Both cards have very competitive sign-up bonuses, but at the end of the day I would rather earn Ultimate Rewards points than Citi Thank You points.
Eventually, you may want to have both of these travel rewards cards since they compliment each other well. And that’s possible since they are issued from different banks. Basically, you can’t go wrong with either card, but hopefully this review helps you make your decision.
Related Card Comparison Posts:
- Capital One Venture vs. Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Freedom or Chase Sapphire Preferred
- American Express SPG vs. Chase CSP Rewards Card
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.