Depends on what you're planning on using it for. Is it just a rod for trout/bass/panfish? Or are you fishing salmon/steelhead/saltwater? What two options did you come up with so far?
Look at the components too. And really look deep at the components... Not just what they advertise, but what those components are made of.
If thinking it will ever see saltwater, at bare minimum, it needs to have stainless steel bearings (which is bare minimum for me personally for any reel). Many cheap reels try to use bearing count as some sort of sales technique and never mention the materials used. If bad quality bearings, having more is just more bearings to fail and make your reel feel like a grinder.
Sealed bearings even better, but likely not finding in the cheap range. Ceramic bearings, not even remotely in the cheap range. Most cheaper reels will have chrome plated steel bearings. Most reels that go bad, at least on me, have been the bearings. Likely a bit of my fault for accidentally dunking them, but accidents happen.
Make sure you learn how to properly clean. I used to soak in water, which I have ruined a reel or two that way before realizing it was part of the problem... You spray with either a fine mist or run under your faucet without pressure, or else you are forcing the dirt/salt into the reel. Then wipe clean. Oil components every so often. You can grease the gears every so often too, but be careful the insides don't go flying out. Some say a light spray of WD40 on the OUTSIDE will help protect or spray a rag then wipe. Don't use WD40 as lube, it is much more of a cleaner solvent, although short term lubricant, it will dry out over time. You can clean bearings and gears with it, but make sure to oil and grease after.
I have also had other things go bad, like the auto bail mechanism. I have stopped using the auto function and manually flip the bail back after casting, which will help lengthen the life. I have had parts of the reel body break as well (again from accidents, not taking care and age). I doubt that happens much with older reels made of metal, unless you really beat the thing. But you are not finding a metal reel in the cheap section... If you can, it is likely on clearance and a good find.
Carbon fiber disk drag or better.
Probably some other components that I am not thinking of.
Penn offers all of the above in that "next tier up, not so cheap, but not too expensive" range. You can find good deals on prior year models at times. Their entry model is suspect (never owned) as are most brands. Okuma, Pfleuger, Diawa, all of them make good reels, many that might be better than Penn for what you use it for, but all make some questionable ones. Usually they charge more for a reason. Best to compare components and get a few models that are relatively similar and see which you can get the best deal on. Don't just go off of "on sale for 80% off" too. Check out other places and see if it really is on sale or if there is a reason that it is on sale... The internet has so many reviews and other good stuff, if you spend a few hours researching, you will be happy that you did.
My answer to the spare reel is, buy yourself a nice one, and your old ones become the spares...