If you’ve been thinking about signing up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, now’s a better time than ever to apply – thanks to a new introductory offer.
If you’ve been thinking about signing up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, now’s a better time than ever to apply. Chase recently boosted the sign-up bonus on the Preferred card to 60,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership – the highest the card’s bonus has ever been. Chase has also eliminated the waived fee for the first year of card membership – but no worries, even with a $95 fee in the first year, the offer is still more valuable than the previous one.
How does the updated Preferred compare to other cards in its class? At first glance, the Sapphire Preferred ranks first in terms of the value of its bonus:
Comparing the Chase Sapphire preferred bonus to other premium rewards cards
|Sign-up bonus||Annual fee||Estimated value of bonus|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months||$95||$750 (including 25% bonus for travel redemptions)|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months||$95||$500|
|Citi Premier Card||60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months||$95||$750 (including 25% bonus for travel redemptions)|
|Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®||70,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in first 90 days||$89, waived first year||$735 (including 5% redemption bonus)|
While the Preferred card doesn’t offer as many points as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card, it does offer a 25 percent bonus for travel redemptions that makes its points, and hence its bonus, more valuable than the Barclaycard.
However, there’s a big caveat: of all the cards in the list above, you’ll notice that the Preferred card is the only one that doesn’t waive its annual fee in the first year. If you subtract the fee out of the Sapphire card’s bonus, that brings the value down to $655 – $80 less than the Barclaycard’s bonus.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is still the better value in the long run
Bonus aside, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a couple features that make it a better value for a long-term cardholder:
You can pair it with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards
You may have noticed that the earning rate on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus card is much higher than the Chase Sapphire Preferred card – the Barclaycard earns 2 points per dollar on every purchase and a 5 percent redemption bonus (essentially, 2.1 points per every dollar spent), whereas the Sapphire Preferred card earns 2 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases only, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
However, the Sapphire Preferred card has a major advantage over the Barclaycard: You can rotate it with other cards in the Chase Ultimate Rewards family – including the Chase Freedom card, which earns 5 percent on rotating categories that you enroll in each quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter) and the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, which offers 1.5 percent per dollar on every purchase – and transfer your points from those cards to the Preferred card to boost your earning rate.
We estimate that a cardholder who spends an average amount in each of these cards’ bonus categories can earn around 1.84 points per dollar spent. When you factor in the Sapphire Preferred card’s 25 percent travel redemption bonus, that brings your rewards value to 2.3 cents per every dollar spent – much better than the Barclaycard’s value of 2.1 cents per dollar.
You can transfer points to outside loyalty programs
Another major advantage of the Sapphire Preferred card is that you can transfer your points to 11 loyalty programs:
Ultimate Rewards travel partners
|Value of point/mile (cents)|
|World of Hyatt||2|
This option is not only convenient for loyal customers of these programs, but a boon to cardholders who want to reap more value from their rewards. As you can see from our estimated values in the chart above, it’s possible to get an even better value than 1.25 cents per point by looking for sweet spots within each airline and hotel program’s redemption chart.
While the 60,000-point bonus on the Sapphire Preferred card may not be the most valuable offer you can find, the card’s long-term value beats out most of the cards in its class. If you are looking to get started in the travel rewards game, the Sapphire Preferred card may be the best way to go.