It's no wonder that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the most popular rewards cards available, with its amazing sign up bonus, many ways to earn points, and seemingly endless options for redemption through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This is a card ideal for frequent travelers, though its rewards are comprehensive enough that there's something for everyone. Here are the basics:
|Sign up bonus
||40,000 Bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
- 2x points per $1 spent on travel
- 2x points per $1 spent on dining
- 1 point per $1 spend on all other purchases
||15.99% purchase APR (variable)
||$0 first year, $95 per year thereafter
||$5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Chase Ultimate Rewards program is a thorough, monster of a rewards program that goes above and beyond in providing its customers with plenty to choose from. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of only a handful of Chase products with full, unrestricted access to all the benefits of the Ultimate Rewards portal.
- Earn as many points as you would like—there are no caps on the points you can accumulate (though some bonus or promotional offers may have caps as they occur) and points never expire
- There are no blackout dates or restrictions when you redeem travel through the Ultimate Rewards program
- Additional bonus rewards points are available in the form of:
- 3x points on airfare and hotel booked through Ultimate Rewards from now through 2015. Good thing they have over 60,000 hotels and resorts around the world to choose from, as well as multiple airline carriers to purchase airfare with
- 2x~10x points per dollar or more on purchases made through the Shop through Chase® program, which includes over 200+ popular online retailers.
- 3x points on the First Friday of every month for dining in on restaurants through 2015.
- Points may be redeemed by:
- Spending through the Chase Ultimate Reward program, which includes a plethora of rewards to enjoy, including: discounts on travel, discounts on gift cards, receiving cash back, attending exclusive Sapphire events/experiences, auctions, and more
- Converting them into miles for leading travel programs. Points may be redeemed at full 1:1 points to miles value for 11 popular frequent travel programs including United Mileage Plus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
- Getting 20% off travel when using Chase Ultimate Rewards to book travel with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card, points, or a combination of both. This discount enables your points to be redeemed at a ratio of 1:1.25 points to cents.
- Referral program allows you to earn an extra 5,000 bonus points for adding an authorized user and making your first purchase within the first 3 months of opening your account.
- Sapphire Preferred cardholders get "direct access" to Chase customer service, including Global Lifeline, available at anytime. This means no automated system making you want to smash your phone to bits and emergency service assistance (card replacement, cash access) available to travelers.
- Cardholders enjoy other benefits, including:
- travel protection: trip insurance, primary insurance coverage on most car rentals, travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement up to $3,000 per passenger if bags are lost by carrier, trip delay reimbursement up to $500 per ticket, baggage delay reimbursement
- purchase protection: coverage against damage or theft up to $50,000 per account, extended warranty protection, price protection for items purchased within 90 days up to $500 per item, return protection regardless of whether or not the store will take it back within 90 days of purchase up to $500 per item
- management tools: access to Chase Blueprint, an advanced budgeting tool, and a year-end summary to help cardholders track spending and file taxes easily
Areas of Limitation:
- If cash back is your thing, you'll want to note that cash back is available in lieu of rewards for those with Chase bank accounts only. However, with so many deals available through the rewards programs (including the chance to potentially increase your points value), cash back would be one of the less value-conscious ways to redeem your points.
- While not exactly confusing, there are so many different ways to use and redeem rewards in the Ultimate Rewards program that it's easy to get lost. Yes, it's great that you're able to spend your points on hotel, airfare, special events, even share points, etc., but depending upon actual hotel and airfare costs during your travel dates, fees for transferring points, etc., you might not be maximizing your points-potential. Be smart, do some research, and make sure you're getting the very most bang for your reward bucks.
The Final Word:
As both a travel and a rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is incredibly useful and provides many benefits. Not only will your trips and purchases be protected in numerous ways, you will also be able to receive great discounts on travel through a rewards program that also allows you to earn 2 to 10 points to the dollar or more. This is definitely a card for those who love travel and rewards.