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Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred worth it even with the annual fee?

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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Dear Cashing In,

I know that Chase has a lot of different rewards cards. I’ve heard good things about the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but I don’t know if I want to spend $95 a year on a credit card. Is it worth it? – Casey

Dear Casey,

You’re right – Chase does have a lot of travel cards, and each one is going to appeal to a different type of customer.

Check out all the answers from our credit card experts.

Ask Tony a question.

See related: Chase Sapphire Reserve: Is it worth it?

What the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers

On the high end, you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which has a $550 annual fee and perks such as airport lounge access, a $300 annual travel credit and Global Entry credits. On the lower end, you have Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited, which have no annual fee.

And right in the middle, at $95 a year, is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. It has been a mainstay of Chase’s rewards card offerings for years, before the recent debut of the pricier Reserve card.

It won’t appeal to everybody, but it does have some appealing features, including:

  • Modest annual fee. $95 a year is close to the standard rate for travel rewards cards, and it is much cheaper than premium cards.
  • Sign-up bonus. The current bonus on Chase Sapphire Preferred is 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. That’s worth $750 in travel rewards booked through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal – and potentially more if you transfer the points to airline or hotel partners.
  • Earning rewards. You earn double points on travel and dining purchases. There’s also no foreign transaction fee, no travel blackout dates, you can pay for travel with partial points and can transfer rewards on a one-to-one basis to a variety of other travel loyalty programs.

This card will appeal most to people who travel or who want to travel. The primary benefit, at least initially, is the hefty 60,000-point sign-up bonus. It is valuable and far outweighs the $95 fee you will pay for the first year.

What type of cardholder are you?

While it might be tempting to give the card the boot before the end of your first year, many cardholders find that the Chase Sapphire Preferred has ongoing benefits.

The double points on travel and dining are solid – and they provide the best value to people who, not surprisingly, frequently travel and go out to restaurants. If that doesn’t describe you, then you might not want to sign up for the card.

In addition, it can make sense to pair the Chase Sapphire Preferred with another card. You could use the Preferred card for travel and a different card for general purchases.

One example is the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which is a solid cash back card that gives you 1.5 percent back on all purchases.

You could also combine the Preferred with Chase Freedom, which offers 5 percent 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.

Chase points are most valuable when redeemed for travel, so that makes a difference, too. If you don’t like to use rewards for travel, you might want to look for another card. Chase points can be used for other rewards, too, but they’re just not as valuable. (If you redeem for cash back, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are each worth one cent.)

In sum: 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.

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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