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Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred worth it?

At $95 a year, it is a solid card for both globe-trotters and would-be travelers

Summary

While the Chase Sapphire Preferred does come with an annual fee of $95, it’s a great card for frequent flyers, globe-trotters and hotel enthusiasts. It’s also a great card if you’re just starting out on your travel journey.

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the most popular rewards credit cards in the current market. It’s an excellent card for those beginning their journey in the world of travel credit cards, thanks to the incredible value and versatility of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

However, the card comes with a $95 annual fee, which may make those used to no-annual-fee credit cards anxious. While that’s not as high as fees charged by cards like the The Platinum Card® from American Express (now $695 per year) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s premium sister card – the Chase Sapphire Reserve® ($550 per year) – it’s still important to consider whether the Preferred is worth the annual fee for you.

When is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card worth it?

If you go on vacation often or are planning a trip soon, you should consider this card. Starting off, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a welcome bonus of 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. Previously, the Sapphire Preferred had offered a whopping 100,000 points with the same spend requirement.

Nevertheless, the current bonus is still solid, worth $750 in travel rewards booked through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal – and potentially more if you transfer the points to Chase’s airline or hotel partners. The bonus alone allows the card to more than pay for itself in the first year, not to mention the card’s other rewards that bring value as well.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a traveler, the card offers plenty of rewards on categories outside of travel such 3X points on restaurant, streaming service and online grocery purchases (excludes Target and Walmart) and 1X point per dollar on everything else. If you like to shop online, you can also go through the Chase portal and use your points towards Amazon, Apple or gift card purchases.

Great rewards and value for frequent travelers

The Sapphire Preferred is a travel card after all, and as such it does give you generous rewards for travel purchases. Cardholders can earn 5X points on travel booked in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal (excluding purchases covered by hotel credit), 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022 and 2X points on general travel purchases.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are one of the most valuable credit card rewards currencies. We value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.26 cents per point on average, but the value varies greatly depending on the redemption option. While most redemptions options are worth 1 cent per point, you can get more than 2 cents per point if you transfer to one of Chase’s transfer partners.

Probably the most exciting feature of the card is the 25% bonus for redeeming rewards for travel through Chase’s portal. This brings the value of such travel redemptions to 1.25 cents per point.

As you can see, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers outstanding value to cardholders regularly spending on dining and travel. We estimate its yearly rewards value to be around $339 (with $15,900 annual spend). And that’s after you pay the annual fee.

Additional benefits

The Sapphire Preferred doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, making it a great companion for international trips. Regardless, whether you use the card abroad or at home, it boasts these useful perks:

Pairing the Chase Sapphire Preferred with another Chase card

If you already have a Chase credit card, pairing it with the Preferred card would be worth it, especially if your current card also earns Ultimate Rewards points. You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points between cards, so you can take advantage of the Preferred’s 25% bonus value.

One example is the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which is a solid cash back credit card that gives you 1.5% cash back on general purchases, 3% cash back on dining, 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022), 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and 1.5% back on all other purchases.

You could also combine the Preferred with the Chase Freedom Flex℠, which offers 5% cash back on rotating categories, from restaurants to gas stations and streaming services, on up to $1,500 in combined purchases every quarter following activation, then 1%.

The Freedom Flex also offers 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022), 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Both cards charge no annual fee, and either would work wonderfully when combined with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. While the Freedom cards are marketed as cash back cards, the cash back rewards are redeemable as Ultimate Rewards points, which are also transferrable to other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. You can use a Freedom card for bonus category spending and pool points into your Chase Sapphire Preferred, then redeem them with the 25% boost.

When is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card not worth it?

If you don’t identify as a frequent traveler or plan on staying close to home for the foreseeable future, then the Sapphire Preferred isn’t the card for you. Much of the card’s benefits are geared towards vacationing, whether it be the no foreign transaction fee its option to transfer points to Chase’s travel partners. Its points accrual on non-travel categories are also good enough that you’d more than make up for the Sapphire Preferred’s annual fee if you use the card regularly. However, if you don’t plan on using it often, then the card would not be worth it.

Should you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a solid, midrange travel rewards card that is best for people who travel and go out to restaurants – and who like cashing in rewards to cover flights and other travel expenses.

It’s also an excellent first travel card, thanks to its sign-up bonus, valuable rewards and flexible redemption options, all without a triple-digit annual fee.

The bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is worth it, for most cardholders, if you use the card for travel, dining or even regular shopping. The annual fee is low enough that you can make up for it in rewards earned throughout the year, and there are plenty of non-travel benefits, such as a free DashPass subscription for one year, to reap the benefits of this card.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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