If you’re always on the lookout for your next adventure, then a travel credit card is a must-have. But with so many options out there, it can be hard to know where to start.
Both cards pack a punch when it comes to benefits and rewards, but let’s face it, picking the right one can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to give you the nitty-gritty details on each card, from their rewards programs and annual fees to their numerous perks and more!
Overview of Each Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred currently offers the following welcome bonus:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards points and offers bonus points on spending in several categories:
- 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal;
- 5 points per dollar on Lyft purchases (through March 2025);
- 5 points per dollar on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases of $250 or more (through March 2025, with a limit of 25,000 bonus points);
- 3 points per dollar on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out;
- 3 points per dollar on online grocery store purchases (excludes Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs);
- 3 points per dollar on select streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, Spotify, Youtube TV, Pandora, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Hulu, and ESPN+;
- 2 points per dollar on all travel not booked through the Chase travel portal; and
- 1 point per dollar on all other eligible spending.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred.
This card offers more ways to earn rewards for different types of spending, with a better rewards rate. You can’t earn SkyMiles, but you can earn 2x points for travel purchases made outside of the Chase portal.
The Sapphire Preferred offers nice benefits, including:
- Receive 25% more value on points redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.
- $50 annual credit on hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards.
- 10% Points Bonus for each Cardmember anniversary.
- A complimentary one-year subscription to DashPass by DoorDash when you enroll by December 31, 2024.
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance (up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip).
- Primary car rental insurance.
- Lost luggage reimbursement (up to $3,000 per passenger)
- Baggage delay insurance (up to $100 per day for five days).
- Trip delay insurance (up to $500 per ticket for a delay longer than 12 hours or overnight).
- Extended warranty.
- 120 days purchase protection (up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per year).
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Free 6-month membership to Instacart+ (activate by July 31, 2024).
The Delta Platinum Amex offers the following benefits for its cardholders:
- First checked bag free and priority boarding for you and up to eight travel companions on your reservation when flying Delta.
- Annual Companion certificate for a round-trip flight within 48 contiguous states (terms apply).
- 20% back on inflight purchases as a statement credit.
- 15% off award redemptions for Delta flights (when paying taxes and fees with this card).
- $100 Delta Flight credit after spending $10,000 or more in a calendar year.
- No foreign transaction fees
- Secondary car rental insurance.*
- Lost luggage reimbursement.*
- Purchase protection.*
- Extended warranty.*
- Access to Amex offers.
- Complimentary ShopRunner membership (enrollment required).
Winner: It depends on how often you fly Delta Air Lines.
If you fly with Delta often, then the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card is a good choice since it offers a first free checked bag, priority boarding, and you can likely take advantage of the companion certificate.
But if you only fly Delta once or twice per year, the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s superior travel protections, hotel credit, and points bonus make it a better option for you.
Value of the Annual Fee
The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with an annual fee of $95.
While some users might be initially deterred by this cost, it’s important to consider the value and benefits that come with the card.
The rewards points, travel benefits, and purchase protections can help offset the cost of the annual fee for frequent travelers.
Winner: It depends.
This again comes down to how much you fly Delta. The Delta Platinum’s $250 annual fee could be a steal if you checked bags and travel as a family. For example, a family of four saves $240 for each round-trip flight on Delta ($30 x 4 people x 2 one-way flights).
If you aren’t going to use the free checked bags or companion ticket, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a better option.
The earns Ultimate Rewards points, one of the most flexible points currencies.
You can use your points to book flights, hotel stays, and even rent a car through Chase Travel — all at a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point. For example, 100,000 points are equivalent to $1,250 towards travel.
You can unlock even more value than 1.25 cents per point by transferring rewards to Chase airline and hotel partners.
Delta no longer publishes an award chart for its SkyMiles program. Award flights are instead priced dynamically based on many factors, including routes, travel dates, airline partners, and how far in advance you book the flight.
It is generally very difficult for people to get outsized value when using SkyMiles for business class, like many other points programs, but here’s a few of my recommended ways to redeem SkyMiles:
- Domestic economy flights starting as low as 4,500 SkyMiles.
- Booking one of Delta’s occasional flash sales.
- Flights to Canada on WestJet starting as low as 4,500 SkyMiles.
- Virgin Atlantic to London in Upper Class for 120,000 SkyMiles each way.
- Air France Business Class to Paris for 120,000 SkyMiles each way.
- LATAM Economy Class from the U.S. to South America starting at 25,000 SkyMiles each way.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Ultimate Rewards are more valuable and more flexible than Delta SkyMiles. You can use them for flights anywhere in the world or for hotels.
Choosing the right card for you ultimately depends on your individual spending habits and travel needs.
If you’re looking for a versatile travel card that’s great for general travel purchases and household expenses, the Sapphire Preferred is a great choice. With its strong rewards program for dining, travel, streaming, and groceries, it’s a solid option for individuals who want an everyday card that they can use for different purchases.
On the other hand, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card is ideal for frequent Delta flyers who take several trips a year. With its exclusive perks and benefits tailored specifically for Delta loyalists, this card is perfect for road warriors who want an upgraded travel experience.
Whichever card you choose, both the Sapphire Preferred and Delta SkyMiles Platinum offer some incredible rewards and protection benefits that can make your travel experience even better. So, take some time to assess your needs and choose the card that best fits your lifestyle.