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How To Upgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve

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Stephen Au
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Stephen Au

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Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

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Among the most popular credit cards in the U.S. are the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Most of us who are interested in earning travel rewards hold one of these cards in our wallets.

But what if you’ve already opened the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and think that the Chase Sapphire Reserve card might be the best option for your situation?

In this guide, we’ll go through the A to Z of comparing both cards and outlining the customers who are best suited to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

We’ll also show you how you can upgrade your card with ease!

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Chase Sapphire Reserve card have similar names. Indeed, most travelers actually refer to these cards interchangeably as the “Chase Sapphire” when that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here are some of the key benefits associated with each card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Benefits

POPULAR FIRST CARD
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
60,000 points
$1,200
$95
21.49%-28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros

  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
  • 3x points on dining purchases, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • 2x points on all other travel worldwide
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through the Chase Travel portal
  • 6 months of complimentary Instacart+ (activate by July 31, 2024), plus up to $15 in statement credits each quarter through July 2024
  • Excellent travel and car rental insurance
  • 10% annual bonus points
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs like United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • 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.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers its cardholders a variety of ways to earn bonus rewards and redeem them for maximum value. Best of all, this card is jam-packed with value without needing to shell out a huge annual fee.

Here are the spending categories where you can earn bonus Ultimate Rewards points:

  • 5x points on Lyft purchases through March 31, 2025
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $250 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points spent on travel booked through Chase Travel
  • 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services and takeout
  • 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
  • 3x points on select streaming services
  • 2x points on other travel purchases

Other purchases will earn 1 point per dollar spent.

Also, you’ll enjoy these additional benefits:

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Benefits

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel.
60,000 points
$1,200
$550
22.49%-29.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

Pros

  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
  • 5x points on airfare booked through Chase TravelSM
  • 3x points on all other travel and dining purchases; 1x point on all other purchases
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access
  • TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS credit
  • Access to Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection
  • Rental car elite status with National and Avis

Cons

  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Travel℠. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 22.49%-29.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The ultra-premium Chase Sapphire Reserve card is packed with a ton of value for its considerable price tag. It offers much more in the way of luxury travel benefits than the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

To start off, here are the card’s bonus categories:

  • 10x points on Lyft purchases through March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on select Peloton purchases over $250 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 10x points on hotels, car rentals, and Chase Dining purchased through Chase Travel
  • 5x points on flights booked through Chase Travel
  • 3x points on other dining and travel purchases

All other purchases will earn 1 Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent.

With this card, you can get:

Benefits Comparison

Bar seating at restaurant
Image Credit: Lightscape via Unsplash

Now that we’ve outlined the highlights of both the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, let’s compare these cards head-to-head!

SCROLL FOR MORE
BenefitChase Sapphire Preferred CardChase Sapphire Reserve Card
Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)5x10x
Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $2505x10x
Travel purchases (not booked through Chase Travel)2x3x
Hotels, car rentals, and Chase Dining booked through Chase Travel5x10x
Flights booked through Chase Travel5x5x
Dining purchases3x3x
Online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target, and warehouse clubs)3x 1x
Select streaming services3x1x
Chase Travel portal redemption bonus25% (1.25 cents per point)50% (1.5 cents per point)
Pay Yourself Back redemption bonus25% (1.25 cents per point)50% (1.5 cents per point)
Complimentary Priority Pass Select membershipX
TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS application fee creditX
Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort CollectionX
$50 Annual Hotel CreditX
$300 Annual Travel CreditX
DoorDash benefitsComplimentary DashPass membership (activate by December 31, 2024)Complimentary DashPass membership (activate by December 31, 2024) and $5 in monthly DoorDash credit
Primary rental car insuranceOffered, excluding “high value” and “exotic” carsOffered, covers up to $75,000 of coverage 
Roadside assistanceBasic ($59.95 per service call)Premium roadside assistance (complimentary service up to $50 per service call, up to 4 service calls per year)
Trip cancellation and interruption insuranceUp to $10,000 per person (up to $20,000 per trip)
Trip delay coverageUp to $500 per ticket for delays of at least 12 hours (or requiring an overnight stay)Up to $500 per ticket for delays of more than 6 hours (or requiring an overnight stay)
Lost luggage reimbursementUp to $3,000 per person
Emergency evacuation and transportationUp to $100,000 in coverage
Travel accident insuranceUp to $500,000 in coverageUp to $1,000,000 in coverage
Purchase protectionUp to $500 per claim (up to $50,000 in claims per year)Up to $10,000 per claim (up to $50,000 in claims per year)
Extended warrantyXX
Return protectionX
No foreign transaction feesXX
Fee for authorized users$0$75 per authorized user
Annual fee$95$550

One of the biggest selling points of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the seemingly unbelievable rewards structure from a card with a sub-$100 annual fee. In fact, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card outperforms its ultra-premium counterpart in a few categories!

Meanwhile, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a series of other game-changing benefits, such as the ability to earn 3x points on other travel purchases including hotel stays booked directly through the hotel, tour packages, and so much more.

Also, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card boasts airport lounge access, thanks to the complimentary Priority Pass Select membership offered. Furthermore, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card will help you get outsized value from your redemptions through its 50% bonus on Chase Travel portal bookings and Pay Yourself Back.

Hot Tip: Need a comprehensive look at the cards’ merits? Check out our detailed comparison of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card vs. the Chase Sapphire Reserve card to determine which card is best for you!

How To Upgrade Your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The process for upgrading your Chase Sapphire Preferred card is super easy!

Just call the number on the back of your Chase Sapphire Preferred card and explain to a live agent that you’d like to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Keep in mind that the Chase Sapphire Reserve card has a minimum credit limit of $10,000 by virtue of being a Visa Infinite card.

So if your current Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a lower credit limit than $10,000, part of the upgrade process will involve a request for a credit limit increase, also known as a CLI.

When a credit limit increase is requested, Chase may be required to perform a hard inquiry to increase your credit limit to the necessary amount for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Who Should Upgrade Their Card?

Server holding tray with cocktail
Image Credit: alevision.co via Unsplash

With all that said, the question is: is the upgrade worth it? 

Should you upgrade your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card? Here are a few profiles in which it might make sense to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

You Spend a Lot on Travel

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card generally offers better rewards on travel. To reiterate, you’ll earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points on travel not booked through Chase Travel, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers 2x Ultimate Rewards points.

If you’re the type of person who tends to book hotels, tour packages, or flights directly with the provider, or if you just tend to stray away from booking directly with Chase Travel, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card could be worth it for you.

You Don’t Spend Much on Dining

Arguably, the biggest value proposition of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the ability to earn 3x points on dining. It’s exceedingly rare to find a credit card with a sub-$100 annual fee that offers a return on spend of 6.6% for dining!

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers 3x points on dining, but it doesn’t offer the 10% anniversary rewards bonus that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card does.

So if you spend a ton of money on dining every month, it’s probably worth keeping your Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

You Don’t Spend Much on Online Groceries

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns 3x points on online groceries, excluding Target, Walmart, and warehouse clubs.

One of the best use cases of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is on Instacart purchases. Remember that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card only earns bonus points on online groceries; so if you don’t spend much on online groceries every year, the value proposition of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card may weaken a bit.

You Want Better Travel Benefits

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers significantly upgraded travel benefits over the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Sure, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card also comes with a higher annual fee, but the increased benefits deflect the cost almost entirely.

For example, with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll get a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which enables you to access more than 1,400 airport lounges around the world for yourself and up to 2 guests! This benefit alone is worth at least $469 every year.

Plus, you’ll also enjoy an annual travel credit of up to $300 from the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which is one of the easiest benefits to use.

That’s not even considering the ability to get more perks at hotels through the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, better travel insurance protections, and the Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS application fee credit every 4 years!

In short, if you want better travel benefits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s value proposition is enormous.

You Want Better Redemption Value on Chase Travel Portal Bookings

One of the most-discussed benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is the 50% redemption bonus on travel booked through Chase Travel. In comparison, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a smaller 25% redemption bonus.

If you are constantly redeeming points through the Chase Travel portal, you could come out way ahead in the long run by holding the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

For example, if you book 4 round-trip economy tickets to Hawaii, each costing $500, you’d normally have to pay $2,000 or spend 200,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

By redeeming points through the Chase Travel portal using your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you could redeem 160,000 Ultimate Rewards points for that same trip. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you could redeem just 133,333 points. And that’s just for 1 trip!

You’ll get some fantastic value with fewer points using the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, and the savings will add up over the years.

You Applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Less Than 4 Years Ago

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and applied less than 4 years ago, your only option to get your hands on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card would be to upgrade.

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and applied more than 4 years ago, you can follow these steps to qualify for a new bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card:

  1. Downgrade your existing Chase Sapphire Preferred card to a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the Chase Freedom Flex℠
  2. Wait a week or so for Chase’s internal systems to refresh
  3. Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card

By applying for a new card altogether, you should qualify for a new welcome bonus, as long as it’s been at least 4 years since you received a bonus on a Sapphire card. Keep in mind that this process will almost certainly result in a hard inquiry, as it is a new card application.

Final Thoughts

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Chase Sapphire Reserve card are 2 of the most impressive credit cards available. Thanks to industry-leading rewards categories and thoughtfully-designed card benefits, these 2 cards remain some of the most popular credit cards to this day.

If you’re looking for enhanced travel benefits, better bonus rewards on travel not booked through the Chase Travel portal, and don’t spend that much on dining, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card be a fantastic choice for you.

Either way, you can’t go wrong!

The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you have to wait to upgrade from Chase Sapphire Preferred card to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card?

Your Chase Sapphire Preferred card must be open for at least 1 year before you upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. This is due to legislation known as the CARD Act of 2009.

Can I get the Chase Sapphire Reserve card if I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

In general, you can only have 1 Sapphire-branded product. Therefore, you can only hold either the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. However, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and want to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can call the number on the back of your card to process this request.

How do I upgrade my Chase card?

It’s easy! Just call the number on the back of your card to upgrade your Chase card.

Can I get Chase Sapphire Reserve card bonus if I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

In general, you cannot get another bonus if you upgrade your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. You generally also can’t apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card if you already have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. But if it’s been 4 years since you earned your bonus, you could downgrade your Chase Sapphire Preferred card and apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card to earn a new bonus.

Is the Chase Sapphire Reserve card better than the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

In general, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers better benefits and rewards for travel. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers slightly better rewards on dining and online groceries. It’s ultimately a personal decision, but both cards are great products.

Will upgrading a credit card hurt my score?

In general, upgrading your credit card will not hurt your score. The exception is if the bank performs a hard inquiry to increase your credit limit. For example, if your Chase Sapphire Preferred card only has a $5,000 credit limit and you wish to upgrade your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll need to also submit a credit limit increase request since the minimum credit limit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is $10,000. The credit limit increase request may result in a hard inquiry.

Can I have 2 Sapphire cards?

In general, no. You can only have 1 Sapphire card, whether it’s the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Chase Sapphire Reserve card. However, you may be able to be a primary cardholder on one card and an authorized user on the other.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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