Okay let’s talk about the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (aka the most talked about credit card of the year). There are a lot informative posts giving an overview of this card so in this post I will focus on answering these two questions:
- Should you get the Chase Sapphire Reserve (referenced as “CSR”) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (“CSP”)? Quick Answer: CSR.
- If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, should you switch to Chase Sapphire Reserve? Quick Answer: yes, the sign-on bonus should be enough to convince you
2a. The real question is which card should you keep? Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred? Answer: Depends on how much you spend and what % is on travel and dinning (see more details in post).
1. Should You Get Chase Sapphire Reserve (“CSR”) or Chase Sapphire Preferred (“CSP”)?
If you don’t have either cards and you are contemplating opening one, then you should definitely apply for the CSR simply due to the higher sign-on bonus. Both cards require the same $4K spending in 3 months to receive the sign-on bonus but you get twice amount of points with the CSR compared to the CSP (100,000 points vs 50,000 points).
In the sample calculation below, you can see if you spend $10K a year of which 30% is on travel and dinning then your CSR points will be worth $1,590 and your CSP points will be worth $788. The dollar equivalents are net of fees ($150 for CSR and $0 for CSP for the first year); they also assume you use the points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards which will make your CSR points worth 50% more and your CSP points worth 25% more. (If you don’t book through Chase Ultimate Rewards, CSR will give you $1,160 and CSP will give you $630.)
Chase Sapphire Reserve is the clear winner out of the two cards; if you spend $10K and 30% is on travel & dinning then CSR will give you $803 more than CSP. In fact, based on the table below, the only time when CSP wins over CSR is if you can’t meet the $4K spending requirement within 3 months and don’t get the sign-on bonus. In that case, you are better off with CSP. See how to read a data table above here.
2 & 2a. If You have Chase Sapphire Preferred, Should You Switch to Chase Sapphire Reserve?
Question 1 was not hard to answer and neither is question 2. If you currently have CSP, you should definitely get the CSR just to get the sign-on bonus. The real question is should you eventually keep Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred? The answer for this question depends on how much you spend annually and what % is on travel and dinning.