Update: This article contains mentions of Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom® whose terms have expired and are in the process of being updated. All other offers reflect accurate offer terms. Learn more about the current offers here.
Reader Adi_T asked the following question in the Ask Lucky forum:
I have the Sapphire Preferred card (have had it since 2013). My partner just got the Sapphire Reserve and added me as an authorized user. We intend to both use, and share the benefits of the card going forward.
I’m thus wondering if when the time for the next annual fee on my Chase Preferred arrives, whether it’s worth keeping the card.
Anyone have any thoughts? Unless I’m missing some perk or hidden advantage, it seems silly to pay a second annual fee for a card when another card provides everything and then some.
The other options are to cancel it or downgrade to a non-fee card. If the former, my credit may take a hit, but then I could reapply at a later time. If I downgrade, which card would they offer I wonder?
I imagine many people are in similar situations. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been around for years, and is one of the most well rounded credit cards out there. Meanwhile the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card was introduced a bit over a year ago, and it’s a card that many people have picked up and found useful.
With that in mind, what’s the best thing for a couple to do in a situation like this?
There’s no reason to have both the Sapphire Preferred & Sapphire Reserve
Both of these cards have fantastic benefits, but they overlap:
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2x points on dining and travel, great travel protection, and car rental coverage
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card offers 3x points on dining and travel, great travel protection, car rental coverage, a Priority Pass membership, a $300 annual travel credit, and much more
Since Adi_T has been added as an authorized user on the Reserve Card (the cost per authorized user is $75, and is a great value), there’s no reason to have the Sapphire Preferred in addition to the Sapphire Reserve, assuming your intent is to pool points.
Should you cancel or downgrade the Sapphire Preferred?
Obviously the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card could be outright canceled to avoid having to pay the annual fee, though personally my strategy in the above situation would be to downgrade the card. There are two best no annual fee options here:
- You could downgrade to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which offers 1.5x pints on everyday purchases
- You could downgrade to the Chase Freedom® Card, which offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, on up to $1,500 of spend per quarter
I’m not sure if Adi_T has either of these cards, though personally I think the best option is to downgrade to one of them:
- My first choice would be to downgrade to the Freedom Unlimited, since it’s a great supplement to the Sapphire Reserve, as it offers 50% more points on non-bonused spend (you could even get an authorized user card for your spouse, and then you can each earn 1.5x points on your non-bonused spend)
- My second choice would be to downgrade to the Freedom, since the 5x points in rotating quarterly categories can quickly add up
Then since your spouse has the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card you could transfer all your points to that account, and then the points could be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase, or transferred to any of the Ultimate Rewards airline or hotel partners.