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The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. Citi Strata Premier Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card beat in redemption flexibility and perks.

CNET'S PICK
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

9/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
75,000 bonus points 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℠.
Annual fee
$95
APR
21.49% - 28.49% Variable
Rewards rate
1x - 5x 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.
Rewards
Welcome offer
Card perks
5x
5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠.
3x
3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries.
2x
2x on all other travel purchases.
1x
1x on all other purchases.
Best for
Rewards
Welcome offer
Card perks
Citi Strata Premier℠ Card
Apply Now

Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

7.2/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Apply Now
On Citi's secure website
Intro Offer
70,000 bonus points 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
Annual fee
$95
APR
21.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
Rewards rate
1x - 10x Earn 10 points per $1 spent on Hotels, Car Rentals, and Attractions booked on CitiTravel.com.; Earn 3 points per $1 on Air Travel and Other Hotel Purchases, at Restaurants, Supermarkets, Gas and EV Charging Stations.; Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Simplicity
Welcome offer
10x
Earn 10 points per $1 spent on Hotels, Car Rentals, and Attractions booked on CitiTravel.com.
3x
Earn 3 points per $1 on Air Travel and Other Hotel Purchases, at Restaurants, Supermarkets, Gas and EV Charging Stations.
1x
Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Best for
Simplicity
Welcome offer

At a glance

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card packs more rewards and perks on travel and everyday spending -- for the same annual fee as the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card.

Citi is an advertising partner.

Travel season is upon us, which means now is the perfect time to add a travel credit card to your wallet if there’s a space for it. If you’re OK with a $95 annual fee in exchange for perks and rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Citi Strata Premier℠ Card present two of the best picks.

Both cards offer lucrative welcome bonuses, and you can maximize your rewards when booking travel. And both cards pack a punch beyond travel categories -- they’re good for everyday use, especially when dining out.

While both rewards credit cards have their merits, the best card to choose is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It’s more rewarding thanks to its slightly better redemption methods beyond travel -- including Apple purchases and Chase Experiences.

But the Citi Strata Premier is still a good option. It provides rewards for everyday expenses, and depending on your spending habits may be the better fit for your wallet. But when compared side-by-side, the Citi Strata Premier can’t quite compete with the Chase Sapphire Preferred in the other categories.

Comparing rewards

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

WINNER
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • 5x points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining
  • 3x on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 3x points on select streaming services
  • 2x on all other travel purchases
  • 1x point for all other purchases
Citi Strata Premier℠ Card
  • 10x points per dollar spent on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked through CitiTravel.com
  • 3x points per dollar spent at restaurants and supermarkets
  • 3x points at gas and EV charging stations, air travel and other hotels
  • 1x point for all other purchases

While both cards have competitive reward rates, the Citi Strata Premier is better suited for everyday spending thanks to its supermarket, restaurant,gas station and EV charging categories.

If you need an everyday card and want to turn your rewards into future trips, the Citi Strata Premier could be the better option. It also earns an impressive 10x points for hotels and car rentals booked through CitiTravel.com – double what the Sapphire Preferred offers.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred still shines thanks to its flexible and lucrative redemption options.

Rewards redemptions

Both credit cards have a per-point value of 1 cent when redeemed by normal means – statement credits. However, you could earn more with the Chase Sapphire Preferred because it features a 25% redemption bonus for using your points to book travel through Chase Travel, increasing its point value to 1.25 cent per point. The Chase Sapphire Preferred also has a 1:1 point transfer rate to Chase’s travel partners. Point transfers take a little extra work, but transferring your points could increase how much they’re worth well beyond 1 or 1.25 cents. Other redemption options include cash back, gift cards, statement credits and select charities.

The Citi card also features point transfers, but its partners are better suited to international travelers. There’s a 1-to-1 point transfer when booking with Citi’s airline partners. Citi also has a rewards portal -- Citi ThankYou® Rewards where you can redeem rewards via the Citi mobile app or Citi online. But unlike Chase, you won’t earn a boosted rate when redeeming rewards for travel through the portal.

Welcome bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • 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℠.
Citi Strata Premier℠ Card
  • 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

Both cards offer generous bonuses for the same amount of spending, but there are some factors to consider. The Chase Sapphire Preferred has better point transfer capabilities that could push the value you could get from the bonus ahead of the Citi Strata Premier’s offer -- particularly if you redeem for travel through Chase’s Travel portal. 

Additional card perks

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred

WINNER
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Up to $50 annual Chase Travel hotel credit
  • 10% bonus points each account anniversary for the total purchases made the previous year. If you spend $25,000, you’ll get 2,500 bonus points.
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • 1:1 transfer rate to Chase’s travel partners
Citi Strata Premier℠ Card
  • $100 Annual Hotel Benefit toward a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when booked through CitiTravel.com 
  • Travel insurance protection
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption (common carrier)
  • Trip delay protection 
  • Lost or damaged luggage insurance
  • MasterRental coverage (car rental)

For mid-tier travel credit cards, both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Strata Premier feature useful travel perks. However, the Chase Sapphire Preferred features a greater collection of travel protections and redemption capabilities. The Citi Strata Premier does provide an annual travel credit but it comes with some caveats.

The Citi card could include other perks, but they aren’t advertised. Check your Guide to Benefits that comes with the card to see definitively what perks your card has. But as it stands, the offering compared to the Chase Sapphire Preferred is underwhelming.

Card fees

Winner: Tie

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • $95
Citi Strata Premier℠ Card
  • $95

Both credit cards charge the standard mid-tier card fee, which is $95. Neither charge foreign transaction fees, meaning you can use them overseas without incurring an additional charge for purchases. Both charge balance transfer and cash advance fees – not that you should use them for either. 

Both cards charge a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% of the amount transferred -- whichever is greater. And both have a cash advance fee of $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance -- whichever is greater.

How the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Strata Premier compare to other credit cards

CNET’S PICK
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

9/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
75,000 bonus points 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℠.
Annual fee
$95
APR
21.49% – 28.49% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Rewards rate
1x – 5x 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.
Citi Strata Premier℠ Card
Apply Now

Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

7.2/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
70,000 bonus points 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
Annual fee
$95
APR
21.24% – 29.24% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Rewards rate
1x – 10x Earn 10 points per $1 spent on Hotels, Car Rentals, and Attractions booked on CitiTravel.com.; Earn 3 points per $1 on Air Travel and Other Hotel Purchases, at Restaurants, Supermarkets, Gas and EV Charging Stations.; Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Apply Now
On Citi’s secure website
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Learn More

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

7.5/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
75,000 miles Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
Annual fee
$95
APR
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Rewards rate
2x – 5x Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options; Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.

*All information about the Capital One Venture Credit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The bottom line

While both credit cards have attractive features -- the Chase Sapphire Preferred stands out for its redemption flexibility and perks. But if you want to earn more rewards on everyday spending categories, the Citi Strata Premier is a suitable choice. 

 

As an all-around pick for most, the better card will likely be the Chase Sapphire Preferred to earn and redeem rewards thanks to its redemption bonus and a greater number of domestic travel partners.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Evan Zimmer has been writing about finance for years. After graduating with a journalism degree from SUNY Oswego, he wrote credit card content for Credit Card Insider (now Money Tips) before moving to ZDNET Finance to cover credit card, banking and blockchain news. He currently works with CNET Money to bring readers the most accurate and up-to-date financial information. Otherwise, you can find him reading, rock climbing, snowboarding and enjoying the outdoors.