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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Citi Strata 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 Strata Premier℠ Card compare against each other so you can make your decision more easily.

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

Card Sign-Up Bonus Annual Fee Rewards Rate Learn More
75,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. Dollar Equivalent: $1,725 (75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 1x- 5xPoints More Info

Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.

Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

70,000Citi ThankYou® Points More Info

Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $700 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com. Dollar Equivalent: $1,260 (70,000 Citi ThankYou® Points * 0.018 base)

$95 1X-10XPoints More Info

10x on Hotels, Car Rentals, and Attractions booked through CitiTravel.com 3x -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on Air Travel and Other Hotel Purchases 3x -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on Restaurants 3x -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on Supermarkets 3x -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on Gas and EV Charging Stations 1x -- Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on All Other Purchases

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Citi Strata 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 Strata Premier℠ Card is currently offering a bonus of 70,000 points after you spend $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 75,000 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.

75,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. Dollar Equivalent: $1,725 (75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 1x- 5xPoints More Info

Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.

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 Strata 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 Travel℠ 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 Strata Premier℠ Card Rewards

The Citi Strata 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.

In some ways, the Citi Strata 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 Strata 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 Chase Travel℠ 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
75,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. Dollar Equivalent: $1,725 (75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

$95 1x- 5xPoints More Info

Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

85,000Southwest Rapid Rewards Points More Info

Earn 85,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,190 (85,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points * 0.014 base)

$69 1x - 2xPoints More Info

Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

$200Cash Bonus More Info

Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

$0 1% - 5%Cashback More Info

Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Special Travel Offer: Earn an additional 4% cash back on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked on Citi Travel℠ portal through 6/30/2025.

Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

70,000Citi ThankYou® Points More Info

Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $700 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com. Dollar Equivalent: $1,260 (70,000 Citi ThankYou® Points * 0.018 base)

$95 1X-10XPoints More Info

10x on Hotels, Car Rentals, and Attractions booked through CitiTravel.com 3x -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on Air Travel and Other Hotel Purchases 3x -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on Restaurants 3x -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on Supermarkets 3x -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on Gas and EV Charging Stations 1x -- Earn 1 Point per $1 spent 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 a $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit for stays booked through Chase Travel℠.
  • The Citi Strata 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 Strata 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 Strata 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.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Strata 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.
  • The Citi Strata 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 Strata 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.