Courtesy of Citi & Chase; Illustration by CreditCards.com

Citi Premier Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Both cards charge a $95 annual fee and reward you on travel

Summary

If you’re traveling as frequently as once a month or as infrequently as just a few times a year, both of these cards are a good fit.

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Want to earn rewards on travel and save up for your next big trip? There are plenty of options for you, including two of the best mid-tier travel credit cards: the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Citi Premier® Card.

Both cards are valuable for the average traveler; someone who flies often, but not in excess. In other words, if you’re staying in a hotel every week, neither of these cards is the one you’re looking for.

But if you’re traveling as frequently as once a month or as infrequently as just a few times a year, both of these cards are a good fit. To start, here’s a closer look at each card’s details:

Card details

CardCiti Premier® Card

Citi Premier Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Rewards rate
  • 3X points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations and on air travel and hotels
  • 1X points on everything else
  • 5X points on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel
  • 3X points at restaurants, on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 2X points all other travel purchases
  • 1X points on general purchases
Annual fee$95$95
Welcome bonus80,000 ThankYou points when you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months
Regular APR19.74%-27.74% variable18.99%-25.99% variable

Citi Premier Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

How do the Citi Premier and Chase Sapphire cards stack up against each other? Here’s a look at their key features and how they compare.

Welcome offer

Citi PremierChase Sapphire Preferred
80,000 ThankYou points when you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months

The winner: Citi Premier

Both cards come with solid welcome offers, but the Citi Premier’s current welcome bonus gives you 20,000 more points for spending the same amount of money in the same time period.

Rewards

Citi PremierChase Sapphire Preferred
  • 3X points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations and on air travel and hotels
  • 1X points on everything else
  • 5X points on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel
  • 3X points at restaurants, on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 2X points all other travel purchases
  • 1X points on general purchases

The winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Again, both cards offer great ongoing rewards, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes out ahead due to the (technically) wider variety of rewards it offers and higher rates on travel via the Chase portal.

Also, you’ll get a boost when you redeem points earned with the Sapphire Preferred through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for travel, making them worth 1.25 cents apiece.

Both Citi and Chase offer hotel and airline transfer partners, but the Sapphire Preferred’s points are worth slightly more toward transfer partner travel (2 cents apiece) compared to the Premier Card (1.9 cents apiece), according to Bankrate valuations.

Annual fee

Citi PremierChase Sapphire Preferred
$95$95

The winner: Tie

This is an easy one. Both the Citi Premier and Chase Sapphire charge identical annual fees. Further, both cards offer rewards programs that are generous enough to help you easily earn enough rewards to offset the fee.

Additional perks

Citi PremierChase Sapphire Preferred
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit
  • World Elite Mastercard perks
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $50 annual hotel stay credit
  • 10% anniversary points bonus
  • 25% points-value boost for Chase travel
  • Travel insurances, like trip cancellation/interruption insurance and baggage delay insurance
  • Free year of DoorDash DashPass

The winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier both offer a hotel benefit each year: Citi’s $100 annual hotel savings benefit and Chase’s $50 in annual credits.

But Chase also rewards account holders with bonus points equal to 10 percent of their yearly spending on each anniversary of their account date. Those extra bonus points can add up: If you spent $30,000 during the year, you’ll earn 3,000 bonus points on your anniversary.

Chase also offers fantastic travel insurance perks, which you can read about in our best credit cards for travel insurance guide.

Foreign transaction fees

Citi PremierChase Sapphire Preferred
NoneNone

The winner: Tie

Neither the Citi Premier nor the Chase Sapphire Preferred charge foreign transactions fees. Both of these cards, then, are good choices for frequent travelers who don’t want to be hit with extra fees when traveling the globe.

Which card should you get?

Which card is best for you, the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Citi Premier? As with most credit card decisions, it comes down to your spending habits and preferences.

  • If you like taking long road trips: Go with the Citi Premier. The 3X points at gas stations will ease some of the pain of higher gas prices, and the 3X points you earn for every dollar charged at hotels can boost your road trip savings, too.
  • If you prefer to travel by air: You’ll earn the most rewards by booking your flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal with the Sapphire Preferred. Buying air travel in this way will give you a solid 5X points for every dollar spent.
  • If you have several other Chase credit cards: If your wallet already holds several Chase credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a smart choice; the issuer allows you to move rewards between cards, of course. If you happen to have the Chase Freedom Flex℠, for instance, you can pool your rewards in your Sapphire Preferred account and book travel through the portal for a 25 percent boost.
  • If you frequently fly with specific airlines or stay at certain hotels: Consider both lists of Citi transfer partners and Chase transfer partners before you apply for either card, as transferring your points can glean the most value.

Bottom line

These cards are popular for a reason. Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Premier Card offer solid rewards and perks without charging too high of an annual fee. Consider your own spending habits before choosing one, but also consult our list of the best travel credit cards of 2022, should another option catch your eye.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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