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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Citi Premier® Card, from our partner Citi, are two popular travel credit cards that offer tremendous value. Both offer a generous welcome bonus, valuable bonus categories and many benefits you can use when traveling or going about your daily life. They also both have a reasonable annual fee, and their points can be transferred to airline and hotel partners (some of which overlap). 

If you’re in the market for a mid-tier travel credit card, take a look at our analysis of how the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier Card compare against each other so you can make your decision more easily.

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Citi Premier Card

Card Sign-Up Bonus Annual Fee Rewards Rate Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 1x- 5xPoints More Info

The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.

Citi Premier® Card

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)

$95 1X-10XPoints More Info

10X total ThankYou® Points per $1 spend on hotel, car rentals and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024. 3X -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels 3X -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets 1X -- Earn 1 Point on All Other Purchases

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Citi Premier Card both have a lot to offer, especially for a relatively low annual fee. Choosing the best card comes down to selecting the one that most closely aligns with your spending habits and travel goals. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with both the benefits and ways you can redeem your points. Here's a look at the details.

Sign-Up Bonus

JetBlue tails at airport
JetBlue

Winner: Tie

The two cards have historically offered comparable sign-up bonuses. For example, the Citi Premier Card is currently offering a bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months. 

The best sign-up bonus comes down to how you plan to redeem your points. We’ll dive deeper into the ways you can redeem these points, since they’re not exactly equal. In the meantime, here’s a look at the five airline transfer partners Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou® Points have in common:

  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue 
  • Emirates Skyward
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

If you want to earn more Hyatt points, for example, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the better option since you can't transfer your Citi points to World of Hyatt. 

Recommended Credit Card Bonuses

Credit Card Intro Bonus Annual Fee Rewards Rate Learn More

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

$0 1.5% - 5%Cashback More Info

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 1x- 5xPoints More Info

The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

20,000Points More Info

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value. Dollar Equivalent: $200 (20,000 Points * 0.01 base)

$0 1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

$200Cash Bonus More Info

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

$0 2%Cashback More Info

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

Rewards Rates

Winner: Tie

When you’re shopping for a credit card, it’s always best to look beyond the welcome bonus. You want a card that will generously reward you for your daily purchases and has bonus categories that match your spending habits. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Citi Premier® Card

5X on Chase travel bookings and Lyft rides through March 31, 2025

3X points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel and hotels

3X on select streaming services, dining (including eligible delivery services), online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)

1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

2X on all other travel

1X on all other purchases

Chase Sapphire Preferred Rewards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has more well-rounded bonus categories:

  • Cardholders earn 5X points on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel bookings and Lyft rides through March 31, 2025.
  • The card earns 3X points on select streaming services, dining (including eligible delivery services) and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).
  • Plus, you’ll earn 2X points on all other travel purchases and 1 point per dollar on other purchases.

These bonuses can help most people accrue a lot of points every year. If that’s not enough, you’ll get an annual bonus equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year. For example, if you spend $20,000 on your card, you’ll get 2,000 bonus points. Essentially, you’re earning a minimum of 1.1 points per dollar spent on this card.

Citi Premier Card Rewards

The Citi Premier Card offers solid value as well:

  • Cardholders earn 3X points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, air travel and hotels.
  • All other points earn 1 point per dollar spent.
  • For a limited time cardholders earn 10X points per dollar spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked using the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.

In some ways, the Citi Premier Card is a better card. The grocery bonus isn’t limited to online purchases and cardholders are rewarded more for travel portal bookings. However, the Citi Premier Card 10X points per dollar promotion excludes air travel, whereas the Chase Sapphire Preferred's comparable promotion does not.

Point Redemption Value

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
Hyatt

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Both cards let you transfer points to travel partners or redeem them through a travel portal. You’ll get the most value by transferring your points, but direct bookings are more straightforward. Plus, they provide more flexibility when award inventory is limited by airlines and hotels. This can happen quite often during peak travel dates. Being able to still redeem your points at a flat rate through a travel portal is useful in these situations.

Here’s a closer look at the point redemption value you can expect from each program.

Best Point Value for Direct Travel Bookings

If you plan to redeem points for direct travel bookings, the Sapphire Preferred is a better option. Points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Meanwhile, Citi ThankYou Points are worth 1 cent each toward Citi ThankYou travel bookings. 

Best Point Value for Transfer Partners

If you plan on redeeming points with a transfer partner, Slickdeals values Ultimate Rewards points at 2.3 cents and Citi ThankYou Points at 1.8. That’s the value you can expect when redeeming points for premium travel redemptions. There’s plenty to choose from, with both programs offering plenty of transfer partners and sweet spots.

Recommended Travel Credit Cards

Credit Card Intro Bonus Annual Fee Rewards Rate Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 1x- 5xPoints More Info

The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Companion Pass®Southwest Rapid Rewards Points More Info

Limited-time offer: earn Companion Pass® good through 2/28/25 plus 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening Dollar Equivalent:

$99 1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn 3 points for every $1 on Southwest Airlines® purchases, 2 points for every $1 on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, 2 points per $1 on local transit and commuting (including rideshare), 2 points per $1 on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming, and 1 point for every $1 on all other purchases.

United Gateway℠ Card

30,000United MileagePlus Miles More Info

Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Dollar Equivalent: $420 (30,000 United MileagePlus Miles * 0.014 base)

$0 1x - 2xPoints More Info

Earn 2X United miles per dollar on United purchases, local transit and commuting and at gas stations. You’ll earn 1X mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Citi Premier® Card

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)

$95 1X-10XPoints More Info

10X total ThankYou® Points per $1 spend on hotel, car rentals and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024. 3X -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Other Hotels 3X -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets 1X -- Earn 1 Point on All Other Purchases

Here’s a look at ways you can redeem Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points for exceptional value:

Chase Ultimate Rewards 

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 to over a dozen airline and hotel transfer partners. The most unique is probably Hyatt, which only transfers from one other program (Bilt Rewards). But other than that, there is plenty of variety and a good mix of domestic and international travel partners.

  • Aer Lingus, AerClub
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue 
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt

If you’re curious how far your points will go, here’s a look at some historical sweet spot awards:

  • British Airways: 26,000 Avios round-trip for economy class between the West Coast and Hawaii
  • Iberia: 34,000 Avios for round-trip business class between the East Coast and Europe
  • Hyatt: From 12,000 points for a free night at the all-inclusive Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana
  • Flying Blue: 43,000 miles for a round-trip economy class ticket to North Africa
  • Virgin Atlantic: 20,000 miles for a round-trip economy class ticket between the East Coast and London
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Citi ThankYou Points 

The Citi Thankyou program has more transfer partners than Chase Ultimate Rewards. It's roster is dominated largely by international partners, but these can offer tremendous value if you use them right.

  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Choice Privileges 
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Eva Air Infinity MileageLands
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Wyndham Rewards
  • Shop Your Way

Here are some of the historical sweet spot awards you can book with Citi ThankYou Points:

  • Turkish Miles&Smiles: 15,000 miles round-trip for United economy class to Hawaii
  • Etihad Guest: 88,000 miles round-trip for Royal Air Maroc business class to Morocco
  • Avianca Lifemiles: 174,000 miles round-trip for Lufthansa first class to Europe
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 30,000 miles roundtrip for economy class between the U.S. and Caribbean

Travel Perks

Winner: Tie

Both cards offer annual travel perks, which is rare for mid-tier cards:

  • The Sapphire Preferred offers up to $50 in statement credits for hotel stays booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • The Citi Premier Card has a higher $100 annual hotel savings benefit valid on bookings of $500 or more. 
  • The Sapphire Preferred’s bonus is more versatile because there’s no minimum booking amount. You can use it to knock out the cost of a $50 hotel stay or save on more expensive bookings.

Neither credit card charges foreign transaction fees, so you can use it abroad without incurring extra charges.

Other Perks

ordering food on DoorDash
DoorDash

Winner: Citi Premier Card

Both credit cards offer several useful perks for everyday life. For example, Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders receive a free DoorDash DashPass subscription through 2024.

The Citi Premier Card offers even more benefits through the Mastercard World Elite program. In addition to DashPass membership, cardholders also get a free ShopRunner membership, which includes free two-day shipping at over a hundred stores. Lastly, members receive 5% off Hello Fresh and a $5 credit for three Lyft rides taken in a month.

Citi clearly comes out ahead in this category, with a broader selection of benefits.

Travel and Purchase Protection

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

In 2019, Citi stripped its credit cards of nearly all of its insurance coverage. The only thing left intact is purchase protection, valid within 90 days of purchase and limited to $10,000 per incident—much higher than the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card’s limit of $500 per claim. Citi Premier Card’s Extended Warranty benefit is also superior to Sapphire Preferred’s. It extends the manufacturer’s warranty by 24 months (as opposed to Chase's 12) and covers losses of up to $10,000. 

The Citi Premier Card has no travel protections, which makes charging high-priced vacations to your Citi cards far less appealing. You may want to think twice about charging your trips to your Citi Premier Card unless you’re buying supplemental insurance.

On the other hand, Chase Sapphire Preferred offers the following protections:

  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: Secondary coverage that provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the car in case of theft or collision
  • Baggage delay insurance: Reimburses essential purchases for baggage delays over six hours. Up to $100 per day for up to five days.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: Provides reimbursement for meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket when travel is delayed for more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay.
  • Travel and emergency assistance services: Provides emergency assistance, legal and medical referrals.
  • Purchase protection: Covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim (up to $50,000 per account). 
  • Extended warranty protection: Extends U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year (valid on warranties of three years or less).

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is your best bet if you want peace of mind during your travels, while the Citi Premier Card offers superior protection for your most valued purchases. The Chase Sapphire Preferred’s protections can save you hundreds of dollars on insurance and thousands in case of a loss.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier Card both offer great rewards and recurring perks. So which credit card is best?

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred is best for point redemption value and travel protections.
  • The Citi Premier Card comes out ahead on non-travel perks.
  • The two cards are tied on earn rate and travel perks. 

Deciding on the the best credit card for you comes down to your personal spending habits and travel goals. If your spending habits align closer with Sapphire Preferred’s bonus categories, then go with that card. If you’re a budget traveler, the Sapphire Preferred’s $50 hotel credit might go further than the Citi Premier Card’s $100 credit, which also has a $500 booking minimum.

Regardless of which you choose, you’ll save money on travel and get a few freebies to use in the meantime. But my recommendation? Get both cards and splurge on a truly spectacular business class flight to someplace fabulous. Then evaluate your spending patterns after the first year to determine which to cancel and which to keep.

AA

Ariana Arghandewal

Ariana Arghandewal is a rewards travel expert and founder of Pointchaser, an online publication dedicated to rewards travel topics. She brings over a decade of experience writing about travel, points, miles and credit cards. Her expertise includes her roles as an editor for distinguished travel and finance publications such as NerdWallet, The Points Guy and FlyerTalk. She has also authored many articles featured in major financial news & travel channels like Forbes, U.S. News Weekly, Business Insider & Fodor’s Travel.