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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card has been one of the most popular travel rewards cards for over a decade and counting. It’s easy to see why: Between a generous welcome bonus, lucrative category bonuses, and top-notch rewards program, this is a go-to card for many travel enthusiasts (as well as beginners). While the card is worthy of praise, it’s not the only valuable card in its category.

Several rewards cards offer perks similar to the Sapphire Preferred. A few even provide better benefits and a lower annual fee. If you’re in the market for a credit card similar to the Sapphire Preferred (after maxing out the 5/24 rule or because you already have one), there are plenty of excellent options. Here’s a look at competing cards that might be better alternatives to the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Citi Premier® Card

In terms of benefits, the Citi Premier® Card, from our partner Citi, is probably most similar to the Sapphire Preferred. The Premier sports a $95 annual fee, along with no foreign transaction fees, generous category bonuses, and annual hotel credit.

The Premier’s perks are arguably better than the Sapphire Preferred’s because they’re broader and apply to more overall shopping locations. Plus, the $100 hotel credit (valid on bookings of $500 or more) is higher than the Sapphire Preferred’s $50 credit. 

Citi Premier® Card

This product is currently not available via Slickdeals.

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 Read the review
  • APR20.24% – 28.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$95
  • 60,000 60,000Citi ThankYou Points More Info

    Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points after making $4,000 worth of purchases during the first three months of account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,080 (60,000 Citi ThankYou Points * 0.018 base)

If you’re looking for a versatile rewards credit card with a generous sign-up bonus and accelerated points earning in diverse spending categories, then you should know about the Citi Premier® Card, from our partner Citi.

Overview

This credit card offers its members a range of incentives, such as bonus points, gift cards and 1:1 point transfers with airline partners. One of the more unique features of the Citi Premier® Card from our partner Citi is that it offers 3x ThankPoints for every dollar spent at supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants and travel purchases. Plus, new cardholders can earn 60,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 during the first three months of account opening.

Perks

  • Earn 3x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on travel, grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations
  • Annual $100 hotel savings benefit. Just book a hotel stay of $500 or more through thankyou.com or 1-800-THANKYOU to earn the discount.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Easily transfer your points to Citi’s airline partners

Pros

  • High reward rate on common categories of consumer spending
  • Points are easily transferable to airlines and hotel partners
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Points never expire

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No standout rewards category

Currently, the Citi Premier card also has a similar welcome bonus than the Chase Sapphire Preferred: 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first three months of account opening. 

Of Citi’s airline and hotel partners, five overlap with Chase Ultimate Rewards: Emirates Skywards, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Krisflyer, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Citi’s most notable partners are Etihad Guest (great for American Airlines awards) and Turkish Miles&Smiles (for cheap flights to Hawaii). 

It’s worth noting that the Citi Premier lacks the travel protections of the Sapphire Preferred. So if you want your paid trips covered against cancellation and delays, the Citi Premier isn’t the best choice.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is an excellent alternative to the Sapphire Preferred for those who want an elevated earn rate on all spending. The card earns 2X miles on every dollar spent and 5X on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. It’s a great choice if you want a card for everyday spending without tracking category bonuses. 

The Venture card currently offers 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. That’s significantly higher than the Sapphire Preferred’s bonus. But how do the redemptions compare? Capital One has an impressive lineup of airline and hotel partners, six of which overlap with Chase Ultimate Rewards:

  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Red

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Secure application on issuer’s website

Rates & Fees
  • Our Rating 4.5/5 Read the review
  • APR20.24% – 28.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$95
  • 75,000 75,000Capital One Rewards Miles More Info

    You can earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,350 (75,000 Capital One Rewards Miles * 0.018 base)

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a lot of value to beginner and expert travelers alike. This travel rewards credit card’s big upfront sign-up bonus and high ongoing rewards rate aren’t easy to beat, making it a solid option for a large audience.

Overview

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a lot of value to beginner and expert travelers alike. The card’s big upfront bonus and high ongoing rewards rate aren’t easy to beat, making it a solid option for a large audience. Where it really shines, though, is with the redemption process. When it comes to travel credit cards, it can be really challenging to find a way to use your rewards in the way you want.

With hotel and airline credit cards, for instance, you’re basically stuck redeeming your points or miles with the co-branded hotel or airline partner. And with some general rewards programs, you might get less value if you use your points or miles to book a flight versus a rental car or hotel.

With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, though, you’ll get a lot of flexibility. Here are some of the top redemption options that are available: redeem miles to cover past travel expenses, book travel through Capital One or transfer miles to any of Capital One’s multiple airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Perks

  • Receive an application fee credit for TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry every four years
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 24-Hour travel assistance services
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Access to premier culinary events, must-see music events and major sporting events

Pros

  • Simple rewards and earning structure
  • Ability to earn transferable points to use with travel partners
  • Relatively modest $95 annual fee
  • Application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry

Cons

  • Other travel cards offer higher rewards rates on certain spending categories

The Venture carries a $95 annual fee, and offers a few more travel perks than the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Cardholders receive two complimentary lounge visits per year, Hertz Five Star status, and a $100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit every four years.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is perhaps not the obvious alternative to the Sapphire Preferred, but if you’re looking for a no-annual-fee card with a generous reward structure it’s worth considering. The card offers a bonus of an extra 1.5% cash back on all purchases up to $20,000 spent in the first year (valued at up to $300).

The Freedom Unlimited also offers the same 3X rewards on dining and 5X on Ultimate Rewards Travel bookings. The 3X rewards on drugstore purchases are a nice added bonus, while the 1.5X rate on all other purchases lets you maximize everyday spending. It’s a great card for everyday purchases, enhanced by its zero annual fee. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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  • Our Rating 4.5/5 Read the review
  • APR19.24% – 27.99% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • 1.5% 1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

    Earn 1.5% bonus cash back (up to $20,000 in purchases) during your first year. Worth up to $300 in cash back.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card has been one of the top cash-back credit cards since it first came on the scene, with an easy 1.5x return on almost everything. It’s especially useful since it earns versatile Ultimate Rewards points.

Overview

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is unique for a couple of important reasons. First, it comes with purchase protection and extended warranty protection you don’t see with some other no-fee cash-back cards. Second, you earn cash back in the form of points (Chase Ultimate Rewards) when paired with another annual-fee earning Chase product, you can get even more value if you love to travel by transferring to partners.

That’s because while the Freedom cards are marketed as cash-back credit cards, they actually offer points. You can use those points to book travel through Chase at a rate of 1 cent per point. But if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you’ll get 25% and 50% more value on those travel redemptions, respectively. (Plus, the ability to transfer your points, too.)

 

Pros

  • No category bonuses to remember; earn at least 1.5% back on everything
  • No annual fee
  • Generous travel and purchase protection benefits

Cons

  • Can’t transfer Chase points unless paired with another annual-fee Chase product

Bilt World Elite Mastercard®

Bilt Mastercard
Slickdeals/Bilt

Bilt seems to be on a mission to dethrone the Ultimate Rewards program with similar transfer partners and a competing credit card. The Bilt World Elite Mastercard is a solid no-annual-fee alternative to the Sapphire Preferred. While the card doesn’t exactly match the Sapphire Preferred’s category bonuses, it does earn 3X points on dining, 2X on travel, and 1X on fee-free rent payments (up to 50,000 per calendar year) and 1x on all other purchases). It’s worth noting that you must make at least five transactions each statement period to earn points with your Bilt card. 

Bilt is unique in offering points on rent payments and its lineup of transfer partners. Bilt is the only loyalty program, other than Ultimate Rewards, that offers World of Hyatt as a transfer partner. Bilt is also the only loyalty program offering 1:1 transfers to American AAdvantage, which can be valuable for domestic and international transfers. 

Another reason the Bilt MasterCard is a good alternative: Out of Bilt’s transfer partners, 10 overlap with Chase:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub 
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France / KLM Flying Blue
  • British Airways Executive Club 
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Iberia Plus 
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • World of Hyatt

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent travel rewards card, but it’s got plenty of competition if you’re looking for something cheaper or better. Hopefully, this list gives you an idea of leveraging competing credit cards to better suit your travel needs. And if you’re already a loyal Sapphire Preferred cardholder, you can expand your wallet with a card that’s equally (or more) rewarding.

AA

Ariana Arghandewal

Ariana Arghandewal is a rewards travel expert and founder of Pointchaser. She has covered all things points, miles and credit cards for over a decade and served as an editor at The Points Guy, NerdWallet, and FlyerTalk. Her work has also appeared in Forbes, Fodor's Travel, and U.S. News Weekly.