The Best Alternatives to Chase Sapphire Reserve

You can get similar benefits on other cards, without the steep annual price tag.

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Has the $550 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® got you down? Perhaps you're tryin to re-evaluate your travel rewards strategy or you've heard that there are new options out there. Whether you're a Chase Ultimate Rewards® loyalist or you're ready to try other programs, there are plenty of other travel cards that can help you get similar benefits.

Here are the best alternatives to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® you may want to consider.

Cards to consider instead of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®

These three options are worth a closer look if you're ready to swap your card for something else or are considering getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve® for the first time.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
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This new card in the premium travel card market is making waves because of its $395 annual fee, which is lower than the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, but has similar perks.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has a $300 annual travel credit (for bookings made through Capital One Travel), an anniversary bonus of 10,000 miles, no foreign transaction fees, access to more than a dozen transfer partners and Hertz rental car elite status. The Priority Pass membership that comes with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card goes even further than the Chase Sapphire Reserve® because it allows unlimited complimentary visits for you and a guest and includes the Priority Pass restaurants discount. In addition, cardholders will receive access to more than 100 Plaza Premium lounges (including select Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses) and the new Capital One lounges opening around the U.S., which were designed to compete with American Express' Centurion lounges.

The current sign-up bonus is: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

One of the main drawbacks of this card is the bonus rewards categories are more narrow than the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. While the Chase Sapphire Reserve® will earn 3x points if you buy anything that qualifies under its broad definition of travel, people with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card have to book through the Capital One Travel portal to get the huge bonus earnings on travel (10x on hotels and rental cars, 5x on flights). If they book directly with an airline or hotel, for example, they'll only get 2x miles, which is the same as all other purchases.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
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For a long time, people opted for the Chase Sapphire Reserve® over the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card because of the travel perks and higher bonus on travel and dining. A main justification for getting the Chase Sapphire Reserve® was the $300 travel credit, which brought the effective annual fee difference between the two cards to $55.

With Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders getting 0.25 cent more value per point on Chase Ultimate Rewards® Travel redemptions, the difference in annual fees became even more negligible.

However, now that both cards earn the same bonus on travel and dining and not everyone has a use for the added credits, the differences between these two cards have been amplified further.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great alternative to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® because it has a much more reasonable $95 annual fee but still earns generous rewards: 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x points on dining and 2x points on all other travel expenses.

Though you would lose out on the Priority Pass lounge membership, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck and NEXUS card fee credits, you’ll also save on the card’s annual fee. However, many other travel rewards credit cards offer Priority Pass lounge benefits and TSA/Global Entry.

American Express® Green Card

The American Express® Green Card offers several of the same benefits as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, but with a significantly lower annual fee of $150. Terms apply.

Both cards earn 3x points on travel and restaurants worldwide. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with a $100 TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit every four years, while the American Express® Green Card comes with a $100 Clear fee credit every year. Terms apply. Even without airline elite status, you can purchase a Clear membership for as low as $119 through United or Delta, so the $100 credit can bring down the cost of Clear to only $19.

Cardholders of the American Express® Green Card also receive a $100 LoungeBuddy credit to cover visits to airport lounges worldwide. The American Express® Green Card also comes with ShopRunner membership, which is valued at $79. Terms apply.

In total, the American Express® Green Card not only has similar benefits as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® at a lower annual fee, but the perks are also more practical. Some would argue that shipping fee savings could be more significant than credits toward food deliveries, depending on their spending patterns.

While the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry benefits are tough to argue against, many participants in these programs have noticed longer lines because of how prevalent these credits have become.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express Platinum Credit Card
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The Platinum Card® from American Express is probably the closest competitor to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. You may be wondering why anyone would bother trading in a Chase Sapphire Reserve® for this card's much higher annual fee. That’s because The Platinum Card® from American Express offers a few more bells and whistles that help justify the annual fee. Terms apply.

Cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express get access to money-saving programs like AmEx Offers and Fine Hotels & Resorts. FHR bookings include elite-type benefits like free breakfast, space-available room upgrades, resort credits and complimentary nights. Terms apply.

The Platinum Card® from American Express’ annual $200 Uber fee credit might also be more practical than Chase Sapphire Reserve®’s DoorDash credit. Terms apply. The fact that the Uber credits are issued in monthly installments may not be appealing to everyone, but it works out well for frequent Uber or Uber Eats users.

The automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold and Hilton Honors Gold elite status upgrades are also an advantage that the Chase Sapphire Reserve® does not offer. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

Another notable difference? The Chase Sapphire Reserve® charges $75 for each authorized user. The Platinum Card® from American Express allows you to issue an American Express® Gold Card to authorized users free of charge. Terms apply. While that may be a different card, this is a nice feature if you’re just trying to earn points from the spending other people do without paying for the privilege.

Consider alternatives to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®

While the Chase Sapphire Reserve® annual fee may not feel ideal, the card can still be worth it for those who max out the benefits.

For everyone else, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is for those who want to continue earning Ultimate Rewards® points with a lower annual fee. The Platinum Card® from American Express is a good alternative for those who don’t mind a high-annual-fee card that’s packed with premium benefits.

However, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers overall the best value as an alternative to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. It offers practical travel benefits and its annual fee is just $395. With the Capital One's vastly improved transfer partnerships, you’ll find plenty of ways to put your points to good use.

All information about the American Express® Green Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The American Express® Green Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

partner programs

IHG® One Rewards
Get exclusive benefits and earn points faster
World of Hyatt
Enjoy free nights, member rates and more
Alaska Mileage Plan
Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
IHG® Rewards Program

IHG® One Rewards

Wherever you go, however you stay, IHG One Rewards offers rewards for every one.

on IHG One Rewards’ website

Highlights:
  1. Cheers to new tiers: New tiers allow members to earn points faster.
  2. Piling on the perks: New members benefits that enhance every stay
  3. Milestone Rewards: Allows members to choose their rewards.
Highlights
  1. Cheers to new tiers: New tiers allow members to earn points faster.
  2. Piling on the perks: New members benefits that enhance every stay
  3. Milestone Rewards: Allows members to choose their rewards.

on IHG One Rewards’ website

World of Hyatt

World of Hyatt

With the World of Hyatt loyalty program, enjoy a world of rewards designed to revolve around you.

on Hyatt's website

Highlights:
  1. Earn points for things you already enjoy with Hyatt
  2. Use your points for free nights at more than 1,100 hotels around the world
  3. Three elite tiers to unlock exceptional benefits - room upgrades and more.
Highlights
  1. Earn points for things you already enjoy with Hyatt
  2. Use your points for free nights at more than 1,100 hotels around the world
  3. Three elite tiers to unlock exceptional benefits - room upgrades and more.

on Hyatt's website

logo image

Alaska Mileage Plan

Mileage Plan is Alaska's loyalty program for anyone who loves to travel and is free to join!

on Alaska's website

Highlights:
  1. Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
  2. Our members earn 30% more miles on average than other airlines
  3. You earn based on how far you fly, not how much you spend
Highlights
  1. Join Mileage Plan and Save $25 on your next flight
  2. Our members earn 30% more miles on average than other airlines
  3. You earn based on how far you fly, not how much you spend

on Alaska's website

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