The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express are two heavy hitters in the rewards credit card game! Both cards have a solid rewards program that allows cardholders to earn rewards across a variety of spending categories.
However, keep in mind that these two cards are different – the Sapphire Preferred earns rewards points while the Blue Cash Preferred cashback rewards. It’s important to know the difference between the two because this will determine your rewards strategy.
Don’t worry, we’ll go into detail below about these two cards, from their reward structures to their bonus categories, to help you decide which card will work best for you.
Overview of Each Card.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred currently offers the following welcome bonus:
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred.
The Sapphire Preferred has a much higher welcome bonus than the Blue Cash Preferred, especially if you transfer to Chase Ultimate Rewards’ airline and hotel partners.
Earning Points / Cash Back
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.
The Blue Cash Preferred earns cash back at the following rates:
- 6% back at U.S. Supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1% back);
- 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions;
- 3% back on transit, including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more;
- 3% back at U.S. gas stations; and
- 1% back on all other eligible purchases.
Cash back is received as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred.
This one is very close. It is hard to beat the Blue Cash Preferred’s 6% back at U.S. Supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year), but the Sapphire Preferred tries to close with 3x points (approximately a 4.5% return) on online grocery store purchases.
I chose the Sapphire Preferred because 1x points with Sapphire Preferred is worth more than 1% cash back with the Blue Cash Preferred, plus the Sapphire Preferred offers 3x points on dining and 2x points on travel.
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 Blue Cash Preferred offers the following benefits and perks:
- 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening. After that, it will be a reg_apr,reg_apr_type APR. Variable APRs will not exceed 29.99%.
- Get up to $120 in statement credits annually when you pay for an Equinox+ membership at equinoxplus.com with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. That’s $10 in statement credits each month. Enrollment is required.
- $7 back as a statement credit each month (up to $84 annually) after spending $12.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription to the Disney Bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Enrollment is required.
- Secondary rental car insurance.*
- Extended warranty.*
- Purchase protection.*
- Return protection.*
* Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions, and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred.
The Sapphire Preferred offers better travel protections like trip delay insurance and primary rental car insurance (better than secondary), along with the $50 hotel credit via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
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: Blue Cash Preferred for the first year and Sapphire Preferred thereafter.
The Blue Cash Preferred wins the first year with a waived annual fee. After the first year, its close.
The Blue Cash Preferred’s annual fee can be offset with the Disney Bundle credits, purchase protections, and extra cash back. The Equinox credit won’t have any value for most people, but if you can take advantage of it, it could tip the scales.
The Sapphire Preferred’s $95 annual fee is a better value because of the $50 hotel credit, great travel protections, points bonus, and special partner benefits.
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.
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Sapphire Preferred card offers a higher redemption value, so you can get more value out of your points than the Blue Cash Preferred.
Moreover, its points are incredibly flexible, allowing you to transfer them to multiple airline and hotel partners.
With more spending categories and benefits, as well as flexible redemption options, the Sapphire Preferred offers a wider range of rewards and greater value for every dollar you spend.
So, whether you’re a frequent traveler or just looking to earn rewards, the Sapphire Preferred is a top-tier option that’s hard to beat.