Citi Double Cash vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

Jan 14, 2017 by

Citi Double Cash vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

You have no doubt heard about the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card and its amazing sign-up bonus.  Plus with its benefits, it sounds like the perfect credit card.  But is it really?  This article will compare the Chase Sapphire Reserve with the industry leading cash back card, the Citi Double Cash.

Chase Sapphire Reserve



  • Unlimited 3% rewards on restaurants and travel. 1% on all other purchases.
  • No blackout dates on reward redemption, and points never expire.
  • Redeem points for gift cards, travel, merchandise and cash back
  • Purchase travel from outside sites and redeem for statement credits
  • Pay for travel with partial points
  • 1:1 point transfer to frequent flier partners
  • 50% bonus on travel rewards redeemed through Chase website
  • $300 Annual travel credit
  • $450 Annual Fee

Citi Double Cash



  • Unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases.  (1% earned when buying and 1% earned when paying)
  • No Annual Fee


Comparing the two cars:

In order to justify getting the Sapphire Reserve card with its $150 annual fee, we need to take a look to see how much we would need to spend for the card to pay for itself.
When it comes to all spending other than restaurants and travel, the Citi Double Cash card out performs the Chase card.  If the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is be a better choice, then it will have to come from spending on travel and eating out.

Based on the reward structure of both credit cards, you would have to spend $6,000 on travel/restaurants each year for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card to earn an equal amount of benefit as the Citi Double Cash. Because of the $150 annual fee, you have to spend a significant amount of money to make the card worth it.


The Chase Sapphire Reserve has (for now), an unbeatable sign-up bonus.  However, only those who spend significant amounts of money on travel and restaurants (>$6,000 annually) would benefit from this card.  For all others I would recommend sticking with the no fee cash back card.

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