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Having a travel credit that also works when you aren’t able to travel can be one of the best ways to earn more travel rewards. But, with so many options available and card issuers adding more perks, it can be difficult to narrow down the best options. Two cards that get mentioned often include the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Citi Premier® Card, which we’ll be reviewing and comparing today.
Both cards earn added new rewards, earn on travel and dining, have several perks, and have a low $95 annual fee (with no foreign transaction fees).
They also have the highest bonus credit card offers we’ve ever seen on each card making these cards even more enticing.
100,000 Bonus Offer: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 Point Bonus: Citi Premier® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Citi Premier Review
The Chase Sapphire Preferred perks have easily stood head & shoulders above most personal rewards credit cards in the past. But many cards have been increasing their bonuses and benefits, which makes choosing just a little bit harder. One of those cards that have increased in value recently is the Citi Premier Card.
Let’s start with the fun stuff.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $1250 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This is the highest bonus offer ever for the Chase Sapphire Preferred!
Just be aware of the Chase 5/24 rule. This unwritten rule basically says that Chase will not approve your application if you’ve opened more than 5 cards in the last 24 months.
You can learn more in our post about eligibility for the Chase Sapphire Preferred 100k bonus.
Citi Premier Card
New Citi Premier® Card cardmembers can earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. The 80k bonus points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com. You will need good to excellent credit for the Citi Premier Card.
Bonus ThankYou Points are not available if you received a new cardmember bonus for the following cards:
- Citi Rewards+® Card
- Citi ThankYou® Preferred
- Citi ThankYou® Premier/Citi Premier® Card
- Citi Prestige® Card
The bonus also isn’t available if you have closed any of the accounts listed above in the past 24 months. This is one of the best Citi credit cards.
Even though both bonuses are similar regarding spending requirements, I think Ultimate Rewards are more valuable (more on that later).
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Perks & Benefits
These two travel cards have a lot of great benefits, which is excellent for us!
Citi Premier Card
The Citi Premier® Card gives you unlimited 3x points per $1 spent on:
- Gas Stations
- Air travel
You’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
The card comes with contactless chip-enabled technology and travel protection benefits like lost baggage, car rental insurance, trip accident insurance, and travel emergency assistance. In addition, cardholders can transfer their points to popular airline loyalty programs like TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. There is no fee to transfer points, but the minimum transfer is 1,000 points.
Cardholders can also get a $100 annual hotel benefit after purchasing a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) through thankyou.com. It can be one of the best hotel credit cards if you can use this flexibility annually.
You can also use your card to Shop with Points at participating online merchants such as Amazon.com and BestBuy.com.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, one of the best Chase credit cards for a reason.
There are new Chase Sapphire reward categories. The Sapphire Preferred earns unlimited:
- 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit)
- 5x points on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
- 3x points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)
- 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart®, and wholesale clubs)
- Also 3x points on select streaming services
- 2x points on all other travel purchases
- 1x point per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases
Additional Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits include unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DoorDash DashPass subscription. Activate your card by December 31, 2021.
Cardholders can earn up to $60 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021. In addition, points are worth 25% more now through Sept. 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature. Points are also worth 25% more when redeemed through the new Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through Sept. 30, 2021.
It’s also great for international travel since it has chip & signature technology. The Sapphire Preferred is a Visa Signature card, which offers additional benefits like complimentary wine tastings, BOGO movies, and more. It’s also worth noting that the Ultimate Rewards site has a shopping portal that can be very useful in earning multiple dollars for shopping online.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card also comes with a statement credit that will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for hotel accommodation purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards program, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $50.
Both cards come with lots of benefits to take advantage of. But, depending on your spending and lifestyle, one card might be speaking to you more.
Reward Points System
The Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards (UR) 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 25% bonus per redemption with the Sapphire Preferred.
Plus, new Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $1250 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
That means that 100,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points are worth $1250 in award travel through the UR website. You can book any flight, hotel, or car rental available too. If travel isn’t for you at the moment, you can always redeem your UR points for gift cards, merchandise, and statement credits.
The REAL value with Ultimate Rewards points is found in their transfer partners. You can transfer UR points out to top Chase travel partners. They are JetBlue, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Emirates, United, Southwest, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Air France/KLM, Aeroplan, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, and Marriott.
That’s a lot of options! Here’s a couple of examples of what you can do with UR points:
- Fly round-trip to Europe on United in economy class for 60,000 miles (easily worth over $1,100 in value)
- Transfer 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt and get 2 nights at the Andaz 5th Avenue in NYC
Plus, on each account anniversary, you’ll earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year. That means if you spend $25,000 on purchases, you’ll get 2,500 bonus points.
Here’s a guide on how to try for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
This Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Citi Premier review wouldn’t be complete without comparing rewards systems. Citi ThankYou Points can also be redeemed through their website for travel. You can also redeem your Thank You points for gift cards and merchandise.
However, Citi ThankYou points can also be transferred out to travel partners! Victory. The Citi ThankYou transfer partners include Singapore Airlines, AeroMexico, Asia Miles, Avianca, Emirates, EVA Air, Qantas, JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, Turkish, Qatar, Etihad, Thai, Intermiles, KLM, 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. In the past, we’ve flown 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 is the credit score you’ll need for the Citi Premier.
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 out of 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!
I will have to pick the Sapphire Preferred in this category because the Ultimate Rewards program has better transfer partners.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
There’s a $95 annual fee but no foreign transaction fee with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
The Citi Premier Card also has a $95 annual fee but no foreign transaction fees.
Both are great for international travel.
Hopefully, this Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Citi Premier review has exemplified just how solid both cards are and why each has its advantages. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Citi Premier® Card are both good choices if you want some flexibility while traveling. The Citi Premier Card 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 ThankYou points.
Eventually, you may want to have both of these travel rewards cards since they complement each other well. And that’s possible since they are issued from different banks. You can’t go wrong with either card, but hopefully, this review helps you decide.
Related Card Comparison Posts:
- Capital One Venture vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Freedom or Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Citi Premier vs Capital One Venture Rewards
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
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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.