Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Citi Premier

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Deciding what travel rewards credit card to get can be daunting. There are so many variables to consider — for example, how does the card earn rewards? How can you redeem them? What is the annual fee, if any?  

Right now, though, there is a clear winner among cards with a relatively low annual fee: the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It’s currently offering a bonus of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in your first three months of account opening. You can use those 100,000 points to redeem for free travel, including airfare and hotel stays, paying just taxes and fees. That huge bonus is among the reasons that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is our pick for the best credit card with an annual fee under $100.

But how does one of its direct competitors, the Citi Premier® Card, measure up? We’re taking a closer look at that today.

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier at a Glance

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Citi Premier card are beginner- to mid-level travel rewards credit cards. They both come with $95 annual fees, but differ in terms of perks and benefits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Citi Premier 
Annual Fee $95 $95
Welcome Offer 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months 80,000 Citi ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening
Bonus Points 2x on dining and travel 3x on travel (airfare and hotels), dining, supermarkets and gas stations
Credits $60 towards eligible Peloton memberships and a complimentary 12-month DoorDash DashPass membership (otherwise $9.99 per month). $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit toward a single stay booked through Citi of $500 or more

Bonuses Comparison

As we mentioned earlier, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is currently offering one of the highest bonuses on the market: 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening.

By comparison, the Citi Premier Card is offering 80,000 Citi ThankYou points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.

Pro Tip

Now is the best time to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred, as it’s currently offering a 100,000-point bonus after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.

While the two cards have identical spending thresholds, you’ll earn 20,000 more points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s bonus offer than you would with the Citi Premier card.

The 100,000-point Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus may be ending soon, so if you’re considering signing up for the card, you may want to do it sooner rather than fghlater.

Rewards Comparison

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns 2 Ultimate Rewards points on dining and travel, including airfare, hotels, trains, taxis, and rideshare services. It earns 1 point per dollar on everything else.

The Citi Premier, on the other hand, earns 3 Citi ThankYou points per dollar on airfare and hotels, dining, supermarkets, and gas stations.

This is one area where the Citi Premier has the Chase Sapphire Preferred card beat, as it earns more rewards on dining and travel (the latter only including airfare and hotels.) Additionally, it earns 3x points at supermarkets and gas stations, while the Sapphire Preferred card earns just 1 point per dollar spent there. When it comes to pure points-earning potential, the Citi Premier is the winner.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)

  • Intro bonus:
  • Annual fee:

    $95

  • Regular APR:

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

  • Learn moreexterna link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card

Editor’s Score: (3.6/5)

  • Intro bonus:
  • Annual fee:

    $95

  • Regular APR:

    15.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

  • Learn moreexterna link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)

  • Intro bonus:
  • Annual fee:

    $95

  • Regular APR:

    17.24% – 24.49% (Variable)

  • Recommended credit:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

  • Learn moreexterna link icon at our partner’s secure site.

APRs

As with all credit cards, not just those that offer travel rewards, it’s important to pay your bills on time and in full. Otherwise, you could negate the value of any rewards that you do earn, because you would be paying a high interest on your balance.

That said, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a variable APR rate of 15.99 – 25.99% and the Citi Premier has a variable APR rate of 15.99% – 23.99%.

Travel Protections

The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with notable travel protections such as trip cancellation, trip delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, and auto rental collision damage waiver.

The Citi Premier card does not have any travel protections, so the Sapphire Preferred wins hands down in this category.

Fees

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Citi Premier card have $95 annual fees. Additionally, neither card charges foreign transaction fees, so both are great picks to take with you on any future international trips.

Deciding Between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier Card

Both of these cards offer solid perks and benefits, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes out on top.

It’s offering a valuable 100,000-point sign-up bonus — worth up to $1,250 when redeemed for travel, according to Chase. The Citi Premier is offering a 80,000-point bonus with the same minimum spending requirements, so you’re certainly getting a better deal with the Sapphire Preferred card there.

If you are an avid Peloton and/or DoorDash user, you might be better off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, thanks to the $60 in Peloton membership credits and a DoorDash Dash Pass membership (which would cost you otherwise $9.99 per month, so this benefit could offset the annual fee by itself.)

On the other hand, the Citi Premier card offers a $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit toward a single stay booked through Citi of $500 or more. That could also offset the cost of the $95 annual fee, but the conditions for using that bonus are narrow. You can’t apply the $100 bonus to stays booked directly with hotels or on third-party travel sites, which often have cheaper deals than the Citi travel portal for the same hotels. And you have to spend at least $500 on a single hotel stay, which may exclude many casual or budget-minded travelers.       

While the Citi Premier card does offer a higher bonus earning rate on travel and dining — 3 points per dollar compared to the Sapphire Preferred’s 2x rate on those categories — and triple the earning rate of the Chase Sapphire Preferred on supermarkets and gas stations, the 100,000-point bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is too hard to overlook. Especially as people begin traveling again, this card can unlock a ton of value and put you one step closer to your next, virtually free flight or hotel stay.

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