Chase Sapphire Preferred vs The Citi Thankyou Premier Card

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Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Citi Thankyou Premier Card are two cards that offer pretty exceptional opportunities for earning and burning points toward travel. In this article, I  am going to compare the two against each other by looking at things like travel partners, sign-up bonuses, bonus categories, retention offers, and so on.

While I compare the two cards to each other, don’t think of this as necessarily a “one or the other” decision if you’re thinking about applying for them, as these cards can most definitely be used together to earn points toward a variety of travel partners.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

1. Transfer Partners

The first consideration for any credit card comparison is always what can the points be used for? After all, even the biggest sign-up bonus can turn out to be a headache if you don’t have any practical way to redeem them once you earn them. The good news is that both of these cards allow you great flexibility when redeeming your points.

If you’re not familiar, the Sapphire Preferred earns “Ultimate Rewards” (URs) and the Citi Thankyou Premier earns “Thankyou Points” (TYPs). These are just like American Express’s Membership Rewards, which all allow you to earn points and then transfer them to travel partners as you desire.

So here’s a rundown of the travel  partners available for URs and TYPs:

Chase Ultimate Rewards



  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club


  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.

Citi Thankyou Points



  • Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific)
  • EVA Air
  • Eithad Guest
  • Flying Blue (Air France, KLM)
  • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Virgin America Elevate (Get 500 Elevate points for 1,000 pts)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club


  • Hilton HHonors (Get 1,500 HHonors Bonus Points for 1,000 pts)

Both programs have a lot to choose from but for me, I tend to value the Chase partners a little more. The reason is that I live next to a United and Southwest hub and so I have quick and easy access to their routes from Houston airports. Also, I like using British Airways Avios and URs offer a 1:1 transfer ratio to British Airways.

Citi, on the other hand, has more airlines to choose from and has some of the best airlines out there, like KLM, Air France, Etihad, Qatar, etc… While these are some of the best airlines in the world, I only tend to book with many of the Citi partners on special occasions, like when I’m planning a real extravagant trip. For the majority of my trips I’m headed out of Houston on United, Southwest, or American Airlines. Thus, Citi partners are less of a “go-to” option for me.

However, depending on your travel goals and plans, Thankyou points might be a better fit for you. And that’s what you should really consider. Think about the destinations you’re interested in visiting for your next few trips. Think about what airline hubs are close to you. Think about whether you’re interested in splurging on extravagant first class suites or keeping it simple in economy. All of these considerations will help you narrow down which transfer partners are a better fit for you.

2. Sign-up Bonus


Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • 40K to 50K (currently 60K) when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • An additional 5K for adding an authorized user.
Citi Thankyou Premier

Citi Thankyou Premier

  • 40K to 50K (currently 40K) when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.

Both bonuses are pretty close to each other, depending on when you catch them. Now, just about everyone in the “points scene” values URs a little more than Thankyou points so 50K in Thankyou Points may not necessarily be more valuable than 45K-50K in URs. Generally, it seems that  URs are valued close to 2 cents per point, while Thankyou Points tend to trail while being valued at about 1.5 to 1.8 cents per mile.

The valuation methods of these points can be debated over and over but I believe that the exact valuation of these points you go by isn’t as important  as how much you value the transfer partners when valuing the points. Don’t get me wrong, these valuations can be good guide posts to make sure you’re not redeeming points at a ridiculous low rate but for me, the intended purpose and need for the points is what I generally focus on.

So with that in mind, I’d say that both cards offer strong bonuses (especially when at the 50K mark) and you should consider how those bonuses will fit into your intended travel plans more than simply how one bonus edges out the other by a few points.

Restrictions for applying for these cards

Just as a reminder, here are a couple of rules to consider when applying for these cards.  

The Chase 5/24 Rule

If you have more than 5 new credit card accounts opened up in the last 24 months, you’ll almost always be rejected for this card. Thus, you may want to apply for the CSP before this rule kicks in and that should be a factor in your decision to apply.

The Citi 8/65 Rule

This rule states that you can’t apply for more than 1 Citi card in 7 days (8 to be safe) and no more than 2 Citi cards (including business cards) in 60 days (65 to be safe). Make sure you abide by these rules because in my experience Citi does not depart from these rules very often, if it all.

3. Bonus category earning potential

Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • 2X on Travel (This covers a broad range of expenses from tolls, parking, bus fairs, train tickets, and of course, air line tickets. Also, 3X points can be earned via the Ultimate Rewards Travel partner)
  • 2X on Dining

Citi Thankyou Premier

  • 3x on Travel (this also covers an extremely broad range of expenses like the CSP but is even a little bit broader!).
  • 3x on Gas
  • 2x on Entertainment (This includes movie theaters, some sport events, museums, tourist attractions, amusement parks, and more)
  • 2x on Dining
Citi Premier Bonus Categories

It’s pretty clear that the Premier offers more opportunities for earning points in bonus category spending and so it really wins out in this category. (But see the below about utilizing the “Chase Trifecta.”)

Redeeming points for travel

When you redeem your URs for travel purchases, such as airfare, hotel stays, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards you get 20% off. When you redeem your Thankyou Premier points for travel purchases you get 20% off, as well. This seems like a wash but using Thankyou Points for flight redemptions can actually become more lucrative .

If you also have the Citi Prestige card you can transfer your Premier points to the Prestige and redeem those points toward American Airlines miles at a rate of 1.6 cents and 1.33 cents for any other airline.

The Citi Prestige Card

This is a pretty decent rate of redemption but it also requires the use of an additional card to take advantage of the benefits. And if we want to include other cards into the discussion, I really think the CSP blows away the Premier due to the earning  potential in bonus category spending with the “Chase Trifecta,” essentially turning the CSP into a card that earns 5x phone bills, television, office supply stores, internet, and on rotating categories like groceries and dining.

Chase Ink+ Freedom Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Trifecta

4. Annual Fees

The annual fees on both of these cards are identical, $95 waived the first year. Another thing that you can do with these cards is downgrade them to annual fee free cards. You’ll just have to make sure that you still have a card like the Citi Prestige or the Chase Ink+, if you still want to take advantage of the travel partners.

5. No Foreign Transaction Fees

Both cards boast no foreign transaction fees.

6. Retention Offers

Retention offers can definitely be hit-or-miss, but here are some of the common retention offers that users can get for each card:

  • Citi Premier: Spend $1,000 in 6 months and get 5K TYP.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: $95 statement credit (Chase can be a bit stingy on offering this)

7. Downgrading

One thing often overlooked when comparing credit cards is your ability to downgrade the credit to an annual fee-free card once you feel like you’ve gotten what you wanted from the card. This helps increase your average age of accounts and saves you a little bit of $ each year. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred can be downgraded to an annual fee-free Sapphire (non-preferred) or even a Chase Freedom. The downside is that you lose out on the ability to transfer your URs to travel partners, unless you also have the Chase Ink+.

The Citi Premier can be downgraded to the annual fee-free Citi Preferred. However, you’ll need the Prestige or Chairman if you still want to transfer to any travel partners. 


Citi Premier Chase Sapphire Preferred

Overall, I really see these cards as complimentary cards. I have both and use both to earn miles on airlines for different purposes. The Sapphire Preferred is my “daily driver,” and the card I use most often with everyday expenses, but the Citi Premier comes in handy when I want to load up on TPs with gas and entertainment expenses and when I’m trying to book an exotic first class experience on certain airlines. 

As stated already, think about your personal travel goals and plans and you’ll be able to see which card is right for you and don’t be afraid to go with both!

Which American Express Card is best for you?

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There’s a ton of Amex cards out there to choose from and it can be a little daunting trying to choose which one of the bunch is the best for you. Here’s a look at which card or cards may be best for your wallet.

Because there are many co-branded Amex cards and other cash back cards, I’m only looking at the following cards because: 1) they tend to be the travel cards that I hear about a lot of people applying for and 2) because some of these are the Amex cards with the best earning potential. After reviewing this article you should have a good idea of what Amex card can serve you the best, but keep in mind that there are other Amex cards out there to choose from.

What to know about Amex


Charge Cards vs Credit Cards

When you’re looking at applying for a certain card be sure to check whether you are applying for a charge card or a credit card.

A charge card must be paid off in full each month or else you face a hefty monthly fee. Sometimes, after you’ve used a charge card for about a year, Amex will then allow you the option of carrying a balance (this usually comes with a MR bonus as well). However, you can not initially carry a balance on a charge card like you can a credit card.

So when reviewing these cards, think about whether you’re the type of consumer who pays your balance off every month or if you like to carry a balance.

AMEX combines hard pulls

Amex, who usually pull from Experian for my applications, combines hard pulls so it’s often in your best interest to apply for more than one card at the same time to minimize the hard pulls on your credit score.

If you don’t like annual fees…

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

If you don’t like paying anything for your credit cards then you can look at the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay

The EDP breakdown:

  • No Annual Fee
  • Sign-up Bonus: 15,000  (targeted offer of 25,000 sometimes available)
  • Credit Card

Bonus Categories: 

  • 2x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases(then 1x)
  • 1x points on other purchases.
  • If you use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period you get 20% more points on those purchases.

The Amex EveryDay earns 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases and then 1x on all purchases after that. One of the best perks is that when you use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 20% more points on those purchases. This can definitely add up to make the ED card a decent option for earning MRs, although it doesn’t compare to the EDP or the PRG (seen below). Still, for no annual fee this is one of the better options out there.

Tip: This card is also a great option for those folks who aren’t sure if they want to pay a high annual fee on another card (PRG, Platinum, etc.) but want to make sure that they have an option for retaining their MR once they cancel their other card with the annual fee.

If you don’t mind paying a small annual fee

American Express® Green Card

Amex Green Card

The Green Card breakdown:

  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
  • Sign-up Bonus: (25,000 MR offered on occasion)
  • Charge Card

Bonus Categories: 

  • No reward categories but you can earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on each dollar of eligible purchases made when you book on the American Express Travel website

Some people are tempted to go with the American Express Green Card, as it offers you a fee waived for the first year and then $95 each year after. This card is honestly one of the last choices I would go with if I wanted to earn MR while paying a marginal fee. The reason is that you don’t earn any bonus category points with this card, except for spending you do through the Amex travel portal, which doesn’t necessarily always have the best deals on travel.

Outside of that, it’s simply 1x earning on all purchases, which is pretty much worthless, considering what the Amex EveryDay and EveryDay Preferred cards can earn you more with a smaller annual fee. Thus, unless you are 1) adamant about needing a charge card; 2) adamant about not paying any more than $100 for an annual fee for said charge card; and 3) not interested in taking advantage of bonus categories and other travel benefits, then this card is probably not for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an opportunity to earn a quick 25K MR and you catch the promo (whenever it comes), then that’s not a bad way to build up your MR balance.

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Amex EveryDay Preferred

Now, if you want to go with a card with a low annual fee then go with the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card (EDP). The EDP, in my humble opinion, is one of the most underrated credit cards out there, as many seem to overlook it for the PRG or other cards like the Sapphire Preferred or Citi Thank You Premier.

The EDP breakdown:

  • Annual Fee of $75 (not waived the first year)
  • Sign-up Bonus: 15,000 (targeted offer of 30,000 sometimes available)
  • Credit Card

Bonus Categories: 

  • 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x)
  • 2x points at US gas stations
  • 1x points on other purchases.
  • If you use your card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period you get 50% more points on those purchases.

That earning potential on the bonus categories is decent, although it’s limited for supermarkets to $6K per year. However, that additional 50% bonus at the end of each month can absolutely earn you a killing. In fact, over at the Points Guy, they ran an analysis of the earning potential of this card versus the PRG and Platinum and the EDP outperformed them in every scenario in terms of earning MR!

Now, Im pretty sure those calculations (from 2014) did not factor in the new bonus category of 2x on dining on the PRG and I don’t think they factored in the potential for 4x on airfare, so it’s quite possible that the PRG could outdo the EDP or at least make the comparison a lot closer. But still, the EDP is absolutely one of the best all-around daily spending credit cards out there right now and is likely the best for earning MRs for your average consumer.

Gold Card from American Express

Do not confuse this card with the much superior Premier Rewards Gold Card!!! They are completely different cards and to be honest, I think this card is just better to be avoided.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 8.21.54 AM

The Gold Card breakdown:

  • Annual Fee of $160 (waived the first year)
  • Sign-up Bonus: (25,000 MR offered on occasion)
  • Charge Card

Bonus Categories: 

  • 2X points for flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2X points at US restaurants.

This card can earn you a little on dining and airfare but why not just pay around $30 more a year to get more earning potential on flights, supermarkets, and gas with the PRG. Also, the PRG offers an annual airline credit of $100 offsetting its annual fee to $95 per year and making this card seem all the more useless.

Like the Green card above, this card can be a decent way to get an extra 25K MRs when you can catch the promotion.

If your primary goal is earning a lot of points and having some travel benefits…

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card is a great option for earning points with its bonus categories on supermarkets and gas and the exceptional 50% bonus. However, there’s another card from Amex that can earn you a lot of MRs but also grant you more in terms of travel benefits and protection.

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (PRG)

This card is definitely one of the best travel reward cards out there on the market right now, in my opinion.

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 8.22.49 AM

The PRG breakdown:

  • Annual Fee: $195 (waived the first year)
  • Sign-up Bonus:
    • 25,000: Standard public offer
    • 50,000: Targeted offer you often get (try Incognito mode)
    • 75,000: Highest offer (not sure how often offered)
  • Charge Card

Bonus Categories: 

  • 3x on airfare purchased directly with airlines (4x if purchased through the portal)
  • 2x on supermarkets
  • 2x on dining
  • 2x on gas stations


  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual airline credit of $100

If you regularly purchase airline tickets, especially if you get reimbursed for air travel via your place of employment, this can be an exceptional point earner. Do you dine out all the time? Well, 2x on all meals can add up pretty quickly as well. Also, there’s no $6,000 annual cap on the supermarket spending so that 2x can add up over a year’s time.

Still, in the end, the EDP likely edges out the PRG in terms of straight earning potential based on most consumers’ spending habits (that 50% bonus is killer).

However, if you value no foreign transaction fees, and plan on spending a lot on airfare, supermarkets, gas stations, and on dining, then the PRG may be your best bet.

Another thing that can definitely set the PRG apart from the EveryDay® Preferred is the sign-up bonus. There’s often a targeted sign-up bonus for the PRG where you earn 50,000 MRs for only $1,000 worth of spending in three months! That’s a tremendous bonus, although sometimes there’s even a 75,000 MR bonus that comes around (not sure how often)!

The standard offer for the EDP is 15,000 and the best offer for the EDP is 30,000 (both $1K spending requirements), so you’re clearly going to get a lot more from PRG from sign-up bonuses.

If you travel often and/or value comfort and convenience…

Platinum Card® from American Express

Amex Platinum Card

This card is all about the benefits versus the earning potential on purchases (but see below on sign-up bonuses).

The Platinum breakdown

  • Annual Fee of $450 (NOT waived the first year)
  • Sign-up Bonus: 40,000 to 100,000
  • Charge Card

Bonus Categories

  • None – it’s all about the benefits (See below)

The annual fee is $450 on the Platinum but to many, including myself, it’s absolutely worth every cent.


Here’s a breakdown of my favorite benefits of the Platinum, but in a nutshell this card confers a host of benefits to you making it worth it including:

  • Priority Pass airport lounge access (worth $400 per year)
  • Centurion Lounge Access
  • $200 annual airline credit (essentially reducing the annual fee to $250)
  • $100 statement credit for Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check (a Godsend good for 5 years!)
  • Gold status with Hilton and Starwood
  • Free Boingo Wifi subscription (worth $120 per year)
  • Rental car benefits like express check-in,  free upgrades, and discounts.

There’s several other benefits as well but these are just my favorite.

What I think really makes the Amex Platinum worth it, in addition to the above benefits, is the targeted sign-up bonus of 100,000 MR! Some get this offer in the mail and a few months ago there was an Incognito method for obtaining the offer but it’s not clear when/if that will return. Still, 100,000 points is a lot and can land you some sweet tickets like a first class Singapore Suites experience or something similar.  The standard 40,000 offer is so-so but still worth it if you value the travel benefits in my opinion.

Top Benefits of the American Express Platinum Card 2017

The American Express Platinum card is an ideal travel card for those travelers interested in travel benefits and perks. These are people who typically fly at least a handful of times a year and value comfort and convenience when waiting around in airport lounges, going through security/customs, connecting to wifi, booking rental cars, hotels, etc. The Platinum is not really the card you want if you’re solely interested in racking up points with bonus category spending (although now it comes with 5X on airfare and hotels booked through the Amex travel portal). So with that in mind, here are my favorite benefits of the American Express Platinum card and why it might be worth it for you.

Priority Pass


The Priority Pass benefit for the Amex Platinum card is the #1 benefit in my opinion. With the Platinum, you get “Prestige” level lounge access which would otherwise cost you $400 per year. This pass grants you access to over 900 airport lounges where you can often indulge in complimentary drinks, food, wifi, and magazines all while relaxing in a comfortable work or sitting area. See my write up on the Priority Pass here.

With the Platinum’s Priority Pass, you can also bring a guest each time for an additional $27.

Update: The Platinum Card now allows you to bring two guests for free.

Centurion Lounge and Delta Lounge Access

The Centurion Lounges are Amex’s new product that have been rolling out all across the country the past few years. They are often considered to be some of the best lounges in the U.S. and with a new lounge coming to IAH in the very near future, this puts this perk high on the list for me. One good thing about the Centurion Lounge is that you can bring up to two guests per visit for free, although this had led to some crowding issues in some of these lounges.

The Platinum Card also offers access to Delta’s SkyClub lounges when you’ve booked your flight with Delta.

IAH Centurion Lounge.

$200 Airline Credit

Many travel cards are now offering $100-$300 in airline credits. The Amex airline credit is a bit more limited compared to some of these cards like the Citi Prestige in terms of what is covered by it, but it still offsets almost 50% of the annual fee for this card (per primary cardholder).

$200 Uber credit

The Platinum Card is now offering $15 a month in Uber credits ($35 offered for the month of December) which comes out to a total of $200 a year. This credit is offered in addition to the annual $200 travel credit, meaning that it effectively knocks down the annual fee to $150 for people like myself who regularly use Uber/Uber Eats.

Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check Credit

IMG_0498 - Version 2

You can choose to use this credit for either Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check. TSA Pre-Check allows you to breeze through the security lines in US airports and Global Entry allows you to breeze though customs upon your arrival to the US (in addition to granting you TSA Pre-Check).

I think you should definitely go with Global Entry, since that program includes TSA Pre-Check. Global Entry is $100 compared to TSA Pre-Check at $85, but since Amex offers up to a $100 statement credit for this benefit then why not take advantage of the better more inclusive program (assuming you can pass the more “demanding” background check?)

Gold Status with HHonors


Gold status with Hilton Honors offers several benefits:

  • With Gold elite status, you automatically receive a 25% bonus on all the HHonors Base Points you earn
  • Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members will receive every 5th night free on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more.
  • Digital Check-In: choose your room, and customize your stay from your mobile device up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Complimentary in-room and lobby Standard Internet access during stays at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Canopy™ by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™
  • Quick reservations and check-ins based on your room preferences
  • Late check-out (another one of my favorite benefits)
  • Express check-out
  • 2nd Guest stays free
  • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay

Gold Status with SPG (and Marriott)


The benefits for Gold SPG status with the Amex Platinum aren’t too shabby, either.

  • Earn three Starpoints® for every U.S. dollar spent on eligible stays — a 50% bonus over Preferred.
  • 4 p.m. late checkout, subject to availability at resort and conference center hotels.
  • An upgrade to an enhanced room at check-in — corner room, higher floor, or better view.
  • Your choice of welcome gift upon arrival – choose from bonus Starpoints, complimentary premium in-room internet or a beverage on us.
  • Complimentary in-room, premium Internet access when you book on SPG digital channels. This is in addition to your welcome gift.

What’s fantastic is that now you can link your SPG account to your Marriott account so that your status transfers, too. This means that the Platinum Card also provides you with Marriott Gold and Ritz-Carlton Gold! 

Rental Car Benefits

Once you’ve enrolled, you’re eligible to receive benefits with car rental companies like Avis, Hertz, and National Car Rental. These benefits usually include express lines, eligibility for free upgrades, and special discounts on rentals.

Here are some examples of those benefits.

Avis Preferred®

  • When arriving at Avis, you can skip the line and paperwork and go straight to your car at over 1,400 locations.

Hertz Gold Plus Rewards®

  • Provides fast and easy car rentals.
  • Enjoy fee-waived enrollment and a one-car-class upgrade at Gold locations when you rent a Intermediate through Full-Size car, based on availability.

National Car Rental® Emerald Club Executive

  • Platinum Card® Members receive complimentary Emerald Club Executive membership and up to 20% off on rentals. Executive members are able to choose their own car from the Executive SelectionSM area, guaranteed upgrades a fullsize through luxury car is reserved, and an accelerated earning schedule toward a free rental day, or opt to receive airline miles or hotel points from one of National’s partners.

Boingo Wifi

The Platinum offers you a free Boingo Wifi subscription ($120 value per year). There are over 1,000,000 hotspots around the country and you can search here to see if any of these destinations will be located near you anytime soon.

Authorized Users

This is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of the Platinum card as well. You can add up to 3 authorized users for only $175 per year. Each of these cardholders will receive all of the above benefits, too! The only exception being that the primary cardholder and all authorized users are cumulatively allocated only one $200 airline statement credit. But still, getting Priority Pass, Global Entry, status at Hilton/SPG and the number of additional benefits are definitely worth $175 per year for three additional people!

That’s $1,200 worth of lounge of access each year for only $175! If you factor in the Global Entry credit x 3 that’s $300 worth of credit, which means that together you and/or your authorized users are getting a steal if they are interested in these benefits!


As mentioned, the American Express Platinum card is not really the card you want if you’re looking to earn points or miles with spending on bonus categories like restaurants, gas, etc. If that’s your goal, then look into the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Amex PRG.

However, if you’re interested in these benefits and perks that make life a lot easier and more comfortable when traveling, then I think the American Express Platinum is definitely a card that you want to consider.

Tips for Getting Approved for the Chase Ink

[This article contains expired offers]

Disclaimer: Take this advice with a grain of salt – I don’t work for Chase nor do I have an “inside” connection to the credit card application process for business cards. I can only tell you what worked for me and what my own personal research suggests.

The Chase Ink is a great business card that can really enhance your travel points stash, especially if you value United, British Airways, or any of the other travel partners from the Ultimate Rewards transfer portfolio that all offer 1:1 transfer ratios. The Ink+ is great because it usually comes with a hefty sign-up bonus of 50K to 60K (and even sometimes 70K in branch) points and also has great bonus earning categories of 5X up to $50,000 per year for internet, cable, phones, and office supply stores. With those categories, plus 2X on hotels and gas, your points can quickly start to add up.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 5.33.41 PM

However, the Ink+ is notoriously unpredictable when it comes to getting approved. Do some research on data points for Ink+ approvals and you’ll see legitimate business owners with $50K in annual revenue and a 10-year business history getting denied while others with an imaginary or “pseudo-imaginary” business with a reported $1 in profit and one year history being approved. It all seems so random and at times unfair but you know that at the end of the day Chase isn’t going to randomly issue credit to credit-seekers and has to have a method to its apparent madness.

So here are some pointers if you are planning on going for the Ink+ in the near-future. Note: these tips assume you’re applying with good to excellent credit (credit score at least above 700). If you’re credit score is average or below average, you may want to focus on building up your score with other cards first.

Consider opening a Chase business checking account

Business checking accounts help legitimize your status as a business owner with real banking needs.

When I applied for my Chase Ink+, I had a business checking account for a few months before putting in my application. This was done primarily to aid in segregating funds between my personal checking and what I use for my side-business but it was also done after taking the advice of a banker at Chase. A close friend of mine had gone for the Ink+ and after being denied, he had been told that one of the factors the bank considers is whether you have a business checking account. Presumably, this helps the bank see that you 1) actually have a business and 2) perhaps get an idea of the kind of revenue running through your books.

With that in mind, I opened up the most basic business checking account available. It has a $10 monthly fee but it’s waived if your daily balance averages to at least $1,500 per month. To open up an account you’ll need to have some documentation with you and set up an appointment with a business banker in-branch. I had already filed a d/b/a in my local county for about $12 so all I had to do was bring in the certificate and filing receipt from that and I was good to go.

A lot of people ask if an EIN is needed to apply for the Chase Ink+. There is a field for an EIN on the application and a lot of people think that Chase will consider your business more legitimate if you provide one rather than your personal social security number. I know of several others who were approved for the Ink+ after providing just a social security number, but I would honestly rather just use an EIN. For one, applying for an EIN is free and only takes a few seconds but you would think that obtaining one could do nothing but help your cause so why not try it? For my application that I was approved for, I used the EIN I had obtained a few months earlier. (Of course, the actual credit score that Chase will use will be linked to your personal social security so there’s no room for getting around a poor credit report with EIN.)

Timing is Huge

I think timing is a very important factor when applying for the Ink+. Timing relates to a few things but the common theme is to show Chase you will be a responsible credit card holder who uses their cards frequently and is not over-pursuing credit too aggressively. In other words, don’t apply for the Ink+ if it’s going to be your first Chase card and you’ve just opened up 8 new credit cards in the past 60 days.

Previous history with Chase

One common reason for denial seems to come from those who don’t have any history with Chase Bank. This could be a lack of banking history or credit card history. Either way, Chase is one of those banks that seems to really value pre-existing credit history even when applying for their “easier” cards to obtain like the Freedom. So the first thing you want to do it make sure you have a decent credit history with any bank and then work on establishing history specifically with Chase Bank.

The Freedom card can be a great way to establish credit with Chase.

What this means in practical terms is that you probably don’t want your first credit card application with Chase to be the Ink+. It’s probably better to go with an application for the Freedom or if you have great credit then just go straight for the CSP. From there, you can use the card for at least three months to show Chase your spending habits and payment habits as well. This is yet another tip that came directly from a Chase banker who recommended that my friend show spending habits on a co-branded airline card for a while before applying for the Ink+.

The 5/24 Rule

Another thing to consider is the 5/24 rule. This rule is a new rule that Chase usually enforces and what it means is that if you have more than 5 new credit card accounts from any banks in the past 24 months you will be denied for a Chase card (this doesn’t usually apply to co-branded Chase cards like the Southwest, Marriott, etc. yet). There is some debate about whether or not this rule is enforced for business cards like the Ink+. It’s clear that it sometimes is and sometimes is not, however. In cases where it’s not applied, it often involved someone going in-branch to apply so if you’ve opened up a lot of cards in the past two years then consider going in-branch to apply.

Update: It’s now apparent that Chase 5/24 rule does apply to Chase Ink cards, although the Chase Ink card may not count towards 5/24 for purposes of calculating the number of cards you’ve opened. 

Tip: If you’ve already opened up a business checking account and have built up a relationship with your personal business banker over the past couple of months you might have someone there who can help advocate on your behalf.

The next thing to try to do is time your application for the Ink+ with a decent gap from the time of your last credit card, especially if your last card is from Chase. I generally recommend 60 days but 30 days can be sufficient time as well. Whatever you do, don’t try more than two cards within 30 days as that almost always results in automatic denials from Chase.

Should you call Chase for the Ink?

Once you actually do apply, most applications receive a message that their application is getting processed and they will receive notification with 7-10 days/30 days, or they receive a message to call immediately and are provided a reference number. (If you happen to get instantly approved for the Ink then consider yourself very lucky!) If you get the message with a reference number and a request to call, you are probably on the right track to acceptance, though a denial may still be in your future.  The general consensus is that if you get the below message you should not call if told to do so. This is reallllllly hard not to do but the logic makes sense.

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 10.06.09 AM

Basically, people think that if you don’t call, your application is processed through the automatic computer decision making route but if you call, your application goes under manual review. Now, sometimes, Chase will tell you to call and all they want to do is happily verify your identity and several people have called in only to be asked verification questions. However, other times Chase wants to grill you on your business. If you don’t do well under such pressure then it’s probably a no-brainer for you just to sit back and await the outcome of your application.

However, if you do respond well under pressure and know the ins-and-outs of your business then you might be tempted to call because you know (or think you know) that you will perform well, but consider this: even if you do perform well, the banker may still decide that your business is too young, has too little revenue, etc. and deny you. In other words, you’ve just potentially circumvented an auto-approval by a computer and put your decision into the hands of a human!

Thus, my advice is to NOT call but to wait it out. In the event you are denied, then you can call and plead your case but my point is that if you can avoid a manual review — where discretion could result in a rejection —  then do it and rely on the computers to grant you your approval.

After you get the message to call, you’ll probably hear something via email in a few days one way or the other (some people have to wait a couple of weeks). There’s a status line (1-800-436-7927) you can call where you can receive an automatic message on the status of your application. In my experience, this is updated before any emails go out but not always.

Now, what if you don’t get the message to call Chase after you apply for the Ink? In my experience, the “you’ll be notified within 30 days” message means you will usually be rejected but not always. There are several accounts of some people not being told to call immediately, getting the 7-10 message, or even the 30 day message, and then getting approved in a few days or weeks later. You see, the Ink+, is a real black box and at the end of the day, I don’t think anybody really can figure out how this process works.


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Chase Ink+ Reconsideration call

If you are denied for the Ink+ your best bet is to call the reconsideration line (you should always try this line if you’re denied for any credit card) at 1-800-453-9719. Typically, this will involve some questions about your business, such as your history of ownership, revenues, profits,  and expenses from the past three years, expected profits for the next year, an explanation of what your business does, number of employees, etc. It’s very important that you are prepared to answer these questions confidently.

People have had very mixed success with recon but if the reason you are being denied is too little revenue, business is too young, etc., you are probably out of luck based on my own experiences and research but it’s still worth it to give it a shot. If they tell you you have reached your credit limit then plead with them to transfer a balance from another Chase card if you have one. Some bankers may tell you that they can’t transfer credit from personal to business but they are either dodging you or don’t know it’s possible, because I know 100% for a fact that this can be done.

If you’re not successful then hang up and try back again the next hour, day, night, etc. Try at least a few times because you never know whether a different representative may come to a different decision. Know that they do track your conversations and notate the substance of your prior conversations so when they pick up they’ll likely know that you’ve called several times before. If you are ultimately denied, try to be friendly to the banker and just take the “L” and maybe try again in 6 months or so.

That’s it for the Ink+. It’s a great card but definitely one of the least predictable ones out there in terms of approval odds so proceed with patience and cross your fingers for a little bit of luck and you might find yourself a new owner of the Chase Ink!

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Chase Freedom Card

For traveling, the Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) is easily a superior card to the Chase Freedom but the two cards offer different perks that, depending on your goals, might make one or the other better suited for you. Also, these two cards compliment each other very well and are one of the best duos currently out there for travel rewards when used together. Here is a comparison of the two cards with a focus on how the two cards can help you achieve more when traveling.

1. Transfer Partners

The biggest difference between the Freedom and the CSP is that you can’t transfer the Ultimate Rewards (UR) earned with your freedom to any of the UR travel partners. It’s a little confusing but the UR points earned on the CSP (or the Ink+) are considered premier and can be transferred 1:1 to any travel partner. However, UR points earned on cards like the Freedom or Ink Cash can only be redeemed for cashback. This is a very important difference if you’re wanting to take advantage of travel perks because it essentially renders the Freedom useless as a travel card in terms of transfer ability.

However, you can transfer UR points earned on your Freedom card to your CSP UR account. Thus, the Freedom is a great companion to have with the CSP, especially when you consider the bonus point potential as shown below.

2. Sign-up Bonus

The standard bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred is around 40K to 50K, with an additional 5K for adding an authorized user. In order to qualify for the bonus, you have to spend between $3K-$4K within the first three months of getting your card, depending on the offer you get.

Tip: sometimes if you apply in-branch, the spending requirement is lower than the requirement found online.

The Freedom bonus is a lot less lucrative. The best offer that you could ever find is a 30K + 5K offer but it seems that the bonuses seem to normally be around 10-20K for about $500 spend in the first 3 months. Keep in mind these Freedom offers are advertised in dollars since the points can only be redeemed as cash back without CSP or the Ink+.

Tip: if you sign up for a Chase card and earn a sign-up bonus that later increases within 90 days, simply call Chase or send them a secure message and request the additional bonus points as a courtesy. In my experience, they will almost always honor your request.

3. Bonus spending

Both cards earn 1X points on all spending outside of bonus categories but they have very different bonus earning rates.

Freedom: 5X Rotating Bonus Categories

If you don’t know what 5X means, it means that you get 5X the points per dollar spent (i.e, 5% cash back) on certain categories each quarter up to a maximum number of dollars spent ($1,500). The categories usually rotate are:

  • Dining
  • Movies, Groceries
  • Kohls, Gas Stations,
  • Amazon

Thus, each quarter you can earn up to 7,500 points based purely on bonus categories. Here’s one thing that some people find annoying about Freedom — you have to manually activate the bonus categories each quarter… it is a bit of a “first world” problem but it would be nice if Chase didn’t make you do so.

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To activate your bonus categories all you have to do is go to this Chase page and enter in your card information and zip code and you should be able to activate your bonus category about two weeks prior to the category kicking in. You can also sign up to get SMS reminders here. In the end, it’s really not a big deal to have to activate your bonus categories but it is something to be mindful about.


The CSP doesn’t boast the 5x bonus earning categories but it does earn the following:

  • 2X on Travel: This covers a broad range of travel expenses (probably the broadest out of any credit card) from tolls, parking, bus fairs, train tickets, air line tickets, and even campgrounds. Also, 3X points can be earned via the Ultimate Rewards Travel partner. Unfortunately, gas is not one of the 2x travel categories.
  • 2X on Dining

Obviously, the bonus categories on the cards differ but again, I have to reiterate that getting both of these cards is ideal. The way I look at it is that the CSP with the Freedom (which has no annual fee) acts like one single card that offers 2X dining, 2X travel (3X in UR travel portal), and 5X in rotating categories of gas, dining, Amazon, etc. That’s a pretty awesome combination and it can get even better with the Ink+!

4. Annual Fee

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 8.04.31 PMFreedom

  • Free!
  • In addition, the Freedom boasts a 0% Intro APR for the first 15 months!


  • Usually waived first year, $95 after.

I love free cards, and it can be tough to find rewards cards with no annual fee, especially cards that are really worth applying for. The Freedom is definitely one of the fee-free cards that I intend on keeping open forever.

Tip: if you’re not a fan of paying any annual fees at all, keep in mind that you can apply for the CSP and within a year cancel your card or downgrade the CSP to the standard Chase Sapphire or even the Freedom. However, when you downgrade, you will lose the ability to transfer your UR to valuable travel partners.

5. Purchase and Travel Protection

I’m always surprised at the number of cardholders who aren’t aware of the protections that come when purchasing items with their cards, especially when cards have some great benefits like both the Freedom and the CSP. The Freedom — especially the Visa Signature Freedom — actually has some pretty solid protections that compare to the CSP. You’ll notice that key differences are no primary car rental insurance and that many of the totals for policy limits are cut in half for the Freedom when compared to the CSP. Note: these below lists are NOT exhaustive.


  • Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.
  • Coverage is provided for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S., coverage is secondary to your personal insurance you already have.
  • VISA SIGNATURE VERSION: If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels.
  • VISA SIGNATURE VERSION:If you or your immediate family members’ checked or carry-on bags are damaged or lost by the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
  • VISA SIGNATURE VERSIONWhen you pay for your air, bus, train or cruise transportation with your card, you are eligible to receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000.


  • Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.
  • If a card purchase you made in the U.S. is advertised for less in print or online within 90 days, you can be reimbursed the difference up to $500 per item, $2,500 per year.
  • You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year.
  • Car rental coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
  • When you pay for your air, bus, train or cruise transportation with your card, you are eligible to receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000.
  • If you or your immediate family members’ checked or carry-on bags are damaged or lost by the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
  • If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels.
  • If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.

7. Foreign Transaction Fees

The CSP has no foreign transaction fees which although is becoming more standard in rewards cards, it still really nice to have and can add up in savings over time. The Freedom,  on the other hand, has a 3% foreign transaction fee.

8. Customer Service

One of the best perks of the CSP is that when you call the number on the back of your card, you’re almost always greeted within seconds by a live representative. The Freedom has the customer service that’s standard with Chase and while in my experience it’s not horrible, it’s not the same as the CSP.

9. Appearance

The Chase Freedom card isn’t an ugly card at all — it’s just not really anything special. One thing I do like about the card is that it has a lime green outline on the outside rim of the card. This makes it easy to quickly identify the card when it’s in your wallet. 




And of course, the CSP is on a level on its own with its metal material and sophisticated look and appeal. It’s always fun to get remarks about your credit card and something just feels good about paying with metal. I really think that in terms of appearance the CSP is one of the best-looking/feeling cards available to the masses.

Until you start getting into Centurion card territory or other ultra-elite cards, the CSP is probably one of the best looking cards out there. Because the CSP card is metal, however, I’ve noticed that it can collect streaks or scratches that are a bit more noticeable than what typically occur on a plastic card. This is yet another reason why having both the CSP and the Freedom can come in handy. You can elect to use your Freedom in non-bonus spending like your everyday trips to walmart or CVS. You can still transfer the UR points to your Sapphire and in the meantime you can preserve your CSP so it remains as pristine as possible.

10. Getting Approved

I don’t like giving too much advice about getting approved for cards because there are simply too many variables that go into a credit card application approval decision. I can give a few basic pointers, though.

For the CSP you’re going to need good credit, usually over a 700 and even better if 720 or higher. It really helps if you have established some history with Chase, whether through banking or another credit card, although history with Chase by no means necessary. Because the CSP only comes as a Visa Signature, the minimum credit line for the card is $5,000.

For the Freedom, you can be in the 600s and still have a decent shot at getting approved. Again, your approval odds will depend on other things like utilization, payment history, average age of accounts, etc. so it’s hard to really give any kind of prediction. You can also try the pre-approval feature on Chase’s website to see where you stand but remember being “pre-approved” does not mean you are guaranteed approval.

It is possible to apply and get approved for both of these cards at the same time. However, if you don’t have established credit or a great credit score, most people would probably recommended applying for the Freedom first and then using that card for at least 3 months to establish some history and spending habits with Chase and then going for the CSP — this is especially true if you have no previous history with Chase.

One important thing to know is that Chase will combine hard pulls to credit bureaus so if you apply for two cards at the same time you only get dinged for one pull.

Don’t apply for more than 2 Chase cards in 30 days

One word of caution: applying for more than 2 Chase cards in 30 days almost always results in denials. There are ways to state your case in a reconsideration call to get credit shifted over from other cards but you’re still taking a chance that Chase may not budge on granting your request.

5 accounts in the past 24 months (5/24 Rule)

If there’s one bit of advice I can give it’s that you need to have fewer than five new credit card accounts opened in the last two years to stand a good chance at getting these cards. It is possible to get them with more than five new cards but those approvals tend to be the outliers based on my research. It’s generally recommended for you to apply in branch if you have more than five new accounts in the past 24 months. And remember, it’s credit card accounts that matter. Car loans, mortgages, etc. shouldn’t factor into that decision.


Chase Sapphire Preferred vs AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card: The Best Travel Card?

Two of the best travel rewards credit cards out available right now have to be the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card. I’ve got both of them and figured I’d give my own personal take on these cards.

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Transfer Partners

Membership Rewards

The Premier Rewards Gold Card will earn you Membership Rewards that can be transferred to a variety of travel partners listed below: 


Membership Rewards Airline Partners
Membership Rewards Airline Partners
Membership Rewards Airline Partners
Membership Rewards Airline Partners

These partners do not have all have the same transfer ratios as you can see below:

  • Delta Skymiles
  • Club Premier AeroMexico
  • Aeroplan Air Canada
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • MilleMigilia Club Alitalia
  • ANA
  • Asia Miles
  • Avios British Airways (250 points = 200 Avios)
  • Emirates Skyrewards
  • Hawaiin Airlines
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue
  • KrisFlyer Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin America (200 points = 100 Elevate points)
  • Virgin Atlantic


Membership Rewards Hotels

  • Best Western Rewards
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton HHonors (1,000 points = 1,500 HHonors points)
  • SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) (1,000 points = 333 Starpoints)

There are a few things to keep in mind about Membership Rewards:

  • Bonus transfers are occasionally offered allowing you to transfer your points to partners for higher ratios. Check this thread for a history of these transfer bonuses.
  • Your Membership Rewards cannot be freely transferred between you and any friend or family members but you can transfer them to authorizes users’ rewards accounts. 
  • They don’t expire as long as you remain a cardholder

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Sapphire Preferred earns “Ultimate Rewards” that can all be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to a variety of travel partners listed below.


  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club


  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Which reward program is better? 

Both programs have their strengths and weaknesses and lots could be written in a comparison between the two but here’s a brief look at some of the key highlights of the travel partners.

Membership Rewards

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards

Two partners overlap each program:

A lot of people seem to favor Ultimate Rewards over Membership Rewards and value them a little higher. Aside from hotel partners, though, I’d put Membership Rewards right up there with Ultimate Rewards and argue that the winner would just depend on one’s personal circumstances. 

Sign-up Bonus

Example of a targeted offer.

The standard sign up bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred ranges from 40K to 50K, with an additional 5K for adding an authorized user. The sign-up bonus for the Premier Rewards Gold Card can range from 25K to 75K. The spend requirement for the Sapphire Preferred is typically higher at $4,000 while the Premier Rewards Gold Card’s spend requirement can fluctuate from $1,000 to $3,000. 

I think I’d give the nod to the Sapphire Preferred since it seems like the standard offer is usually higher than the standard offer from the Premier Rewards Gold Card (the offers above 25K are usually targeted and the 75K offer is a highly targeted offer that is very rare).

Bonus category earning potential 

Which card earns better bonus category earnings will obviously depend on your personal spending habits.

The cards earn the following rates: 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • 2X on Travel (This covers a broad range of expenses from tolls, parking, bus fairs, train tickets, and of course, air line tickets)
  • 2X on Dining worldwide

Premier Rewards Gold

  • 3X on Airline Tickets (4X through the Amex Portal)
  • 2X on Dining (at US restaurants), Groceries, and Gas
  • $100 Airline credit for incidentals

If you spend a lot on airfare, groceries, and gas, it’s possible that the Premier Rewards Gold Card will be the better earner for you. However, the travel category on the Sapphire Preferred is very broad so it all depends on how you spend most of your money. 

Bonus Point Potential with Additional Chase Cards

One of the major reasons I prefer the Sapphire Preferred over the Premier Rewards Gold Card is that you can supplement your earning with great no annual fee cards. 

  • The Chase Freedom has no annual fee and rotating 5X bonus categories for things like gas, restaurants, Amazon, and other stores.
  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited has no annual fee and it earns 1.5X on every single purchase. 
  • The Chase Ink+ (which can be downgraded to the Ink Cash with no annual fee) has 5X bonus categories on things like phone lines, cable, internet, and office supplies. The Ink+ also has 2X on gas and hotels.

Thus, the bonus earning potential with the combo of the Sapphire, the Freedoms, and the Ink cards  are truly tremendous and if you go with the Ink Cash, it essentially transforms the Sapphire Preferred into a super card with a $95 annual fee that blows the Premier Rewards Gold Card out of the water from a bonus points standpoint.

You can combine the Premier Rewards Gold Card with the no fee Amex EveryDay and earn 2X at supermarkets up to $6K per year (in addition to a 20% monthly bonus), but you can’t put together the same type of no annual fee combination like you can with Chase cards. 

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

No Foreign Transaction Fees

Both cards have no foreign transaction fees which is really nice if you have travel abroad a lot because those foreign transaction fees can add up pretty quickly.

Purchase Protection

The purchase protection on both are pretty similar but the Premier Rewards Gold Card definitely edges out the Sapphire Preferred with its purchase protection up to $10,000! Here’s a breakdown of some of the highlights of the purchase protection plans of the cards. (Note: the list below is not comprehensive, to read up on all of the benefits, check the links below.)

Sapphire Preferred

  • Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.
  • If a card purchase you made in the U.S. is advertised for less in print or online within 90 days, you can be reimbursed the difference up to $500 per item, $2,500 per year.
  • You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year.

Premier Rewards Gold

  • Covers your new purchases for 90 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of five years or less.
  • You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $300 per item, $1,000 per year.

Travel Protection

Again, there are many similarities in the benefits for travel protection between these cards but I think I’d give the nod to Sapphire Preferred for the reason they offer primary rental car insurance and seem to offer better coverage for lost luggage and delays in travel. The below list is once again not comprehensive and only includes more info on CSP as Chase has a much more convenient way to access the terms of its protections.

Sapphire Preferred

  • Car rental coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
  • When you pay for your air, bus, train or cruise transportation with your card, you are eligible to receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000.
  • If you or your immediate family members’ checked or carry-on bags are damaged or lost by the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
  • If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels.
  • If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.

Premier Rewards Gold

  • Car rental coverage is excess
  • Travel accident insurance of no more than $250,000 (death, dismemberment, etc.)
  • Will pay a benefit for the Replacement Cost, up to $500, for each Covered Person on a Covered Trip for Loss of checked Baggage.

Annual Fee

The annual fee for the Sapphire Preferred is $95 while the annual fee for the Premier Rewards Gold Card is $195, both are waived for the first year.

Obviously paying an extra $95 sounds like less of a bargain but remember that the Premier Rewards Gold Card has the annual $100 airline statement credit, which essentially reduces the fee to $95. And actually, the statement resets after the beginning of the year so if you time it right, you can actually get $200 in airline credit before your annual fee hits. 

Customer Service

Amex has great customer service but the customer service for the Chase Sapphire Preferred is pretty outstanding as well. For example, when you call in for the Premier Rewards Gold Card you have enter in your credit card info and go through the motions to speak with someone but for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, a live representative picks up the phone almost always immediately when you call. As for receiving your card or a replacement, both providers will overnight your cards so that’s always nice. I’m not sure one beats out the other for customer service, but I do really like both in this regard.


It’s a little silly to value a credit card based on how it looks but I don’t think there’s anything wrong in taking a little pride in how your cards look. The Premier Rewards Gold Card is a sparkly gold card with the signature American Express signage. It look prestigious and it’s one of my favorite to pull out of my wallet. However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is on another level in my opinion. The card is made of metal and has a heavy feel to it that other instantly recognize and often comment on. The card even reads on the back, “Contains Metal DO NOT SHRED.”

It has a pretty dark blue design with embossed numbers on the back. There’s also no indication of Visa on the front of the card, which sometimes results in a couple of seconds of confusion/intrigue for cashiers when you hand them your card. So while the PRG is nice and sparkly, the Sapphire wins out on prestige appearance due to its metal composition and sleek design.

The Verdict

I think that for me the better card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. However, if I didn’t have the Ink and the Freedom cards, then it wouldn’t be so clear. Still, I value Membership Rewards a lot so I think there’s plenty of value in the Premier Rewards Gold Card and that’s why I hold both of these cards. 

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