|Rewards Rating:||4.6 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||4.0|
|Issuer Customer Experience||4.0|
In a Nutshell:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers valuable rewards for frequent travelers, as well as the potential for savvy rewards card users to glean some extra value out of their rewards.
80,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
Chase Customer Service Ratings
Other Notable Features: No foreign transaction fee, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, trip delay insurance, roadside dispatch, lost luggage reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance, travel accident insurance, VIP events and experiences, free DashPass subscription for one year (activate by Dec. 31, 2024)
If you are a frequent traveler, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best travel credit cards of its class. A flashy metal card design combined with a lucrative rewards rate and flexible redemption options makes it easy to see its long-term value. And while the card recently dropped its eye-popping sign-up bonus to a more “business as usual” level, it still offers terrific value if you redeem for travel with Chase.
Why you might want the Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best travel credit cards out there. It offers an outstanding sign-up bonus, decent perks and rewards for ongoing spending, and earns valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider signing up for the Sapphire Preferred card.
Terrific sign-up bonus
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is currently offering 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first three months as a new cardholder–a 20,000-point increase to the card’s previous bonus for the same spend requirement. And it falls short of the the 100,000-point sign-up bonus that came with the card’s highest sign-up bonus ever, the current Sapphire Preferred bonus is still quite valuable. Indeed, this bonus ranks near the top among all the rewards cards in our database.
Since points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, 80,000 points comes out to $1,000 in travel purchases, which should be enough for at least a couple of reasonably priced round-trip flights, before you even add in the rewards you’d earn on your way to spending $4,000.
Along with this one-time sign up bonus, cardholders also enjoy an ongoing annual bonus of a $50 credit on hotels booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which on its own covers over half the card’s cost. You’ll also get a 10% annual bonus based on your total spend each account anniversary year. This means if you spent $50,000 on your Sapphire Preferred during your anniversary year, you’d receive 5,000 bonus points at the end of the year. While this isn’t a huge amount of extra rewards, it could definitely add up for heavy spenders.
Tip: Since Chase allows cardholders within the same household to transfer points to one another’s accounts, you and your spouse can both sign up for the Sapphire Preferred card, collect the sign-up bonuses and combine them.
Earning valuable Ultimate Rewards points
The rewards rate on the Chase Sapphire Preferred is designed with travelers and foodies in mind, offering 5 points per dollar on all travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit), 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery shopping, 2 points per dollar on other travel purchases and 1 point per dollar on general purchases. Given Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most valuable card rewards around, that’s a terrific amount of rewards variety and includes a great mix of practical everyday categories.
Best of all, the points you earn are worth more than those of the average rewards card. While competing cards from the likes of Chase and Capital One allow you to redeem points or miles for travel through their issuer portal at a value of 1 cent each, the Sapphire Preferred gives you a 25% bonus on points redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards portal, making each point worth 1.25 cents. Though it may seem like a small difference, this increase point value can really add up. For example, while 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards points are worth $500 when redeemed with American Express Travel, 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points redeemed for travel through the Chase portal with the Sapphire Preferred are worth $625.
Tip: Another valuable way to earn a few extra points is by taking advantage of Chase’s referral bonus policy. You can earn up to 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points per year by referring a friend for the Sapphire Preferred (20,000 points per approval).
Great mix of redemption options
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card rates well on the flexibility of redeeming rewards. Redeeming points on your Chase Sapphire Preferred account is easy, and you have several different options. On the Ultimate Rewards portal, you can see your current account balance and all the different ways to use your points.
Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for anything from travel purchases to gift cards, and while the value does fluctuate depending on how you choose to redeem your points, this is one of the few travel rewards cards that gets you a minimum of 1 cent per point back on non-travel redemptions like cash back. Many competing travel cards only offer a full 1-cent-per-point value on travel redemptions, limiting point value for cash back, merchandise and gift cards to 0.8 cents per point or less.
You can also use the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature to redeem points to pay for some or all of your purchases in select categories and get paid back with a statement credit. You’ll still earn points on these purchases and your points may be worth more when you redeem in certain categories.
Valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners
Adding to the Sapphire Preferred card’s flexibility, Chase allows cardholders to transfer their points to several travel partners at a 1:1 ratio. Since many airline and hotel points are worth more than 1 cent per point, you can use this option to stretch your rewards even further.
|Transfer partner||Estimated point value (cents)|
|World of Hyatt||2|
While several other rewards programs, including those from American Express and Capital One, also offer the ability to transfer points, we think that Chase offers the best list of partners, including three major U.S. airlines and some valuable airline partners abroad. If you are a frequent flyer of Singapore Airlines, Iberia, JetBlue or United, transferring your points to the airline program makes them more valuable than if you book through Ultimate Rewards. With several major airlines on this list, you can stretch your points further for travel to all sorts of destinations.
Pairing the Chase Sapphire Preferred with other Ultimate Rewards cards
Another major advantage of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is that Chase offers a suite of Ultimate Rewards cards that you can pair with it to boost your rewards earnings.
For example, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories that you activate each quarter (up to $1,500 per quarter) and the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers at least 1.5% cash back on all purchases. All of the rewards that you earn with these cards, including their sign-up bonuses, can be transferred as points to the Sapphire Preferred card to be redeemed for travel with Chase at a 25% higher point value. If you use Freedom Unlimited for general purchases, the Sapphire Preferred for dining, online grocery shopping and travel, and the Freedom Flex for rotating bonus categories, you can easily cover a wide swath of your everyday and special occasion spending.
These Ultimate Rewards cards create one of the most valuable card combinations of any major rewards program, so if you enjoy juggling cards to maximize rewards, Ultimate Rewards may be the program for you.
Why you might want a different card
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred is an outstanding credit card, it may not be perfect for everyone. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider other cards.
More luxurious perks
The Chase Sapphire Preferred does a good job of balancing valuable rewards, benefits and perks with a modest $95 annual fee, but there’s no denying that there are cards that offer more higher-end and luxurious perks. Cards like the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offer substantially more benefits, albeit at an annual fee that’s hundreds of dollars more.
No TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
The Chase Sapphire Preferred does not offer a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. And it’s not only luxury credit cards that offer such a credit – there are a few cards with annual fees under $100 that offer this credit, including the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card, United Explorer Card and IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card, all of which carry similar annual fees as the Sapphire Preferred. If that’s a benefit you’re looking for, you might want to consider one of those cards.
How does the Sapphire Preferred compare to other travel cards?
If you are a frequent traveler trying to maximize your travel rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best options. However, there are a few other travel cards that compete.
Chase Sapphire Reserve card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
American Express® Gold Card
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
50,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first three months
Earn 75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months
60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first six months
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a more luxurious version of the Sapphire Preferred, offering a generous $300 travel credit that can be used to cover anything from airfare to baggage fees. If you spend a lot on travel and value luxury perks the Reserve could more rewarding – despite a $550 annual fee.
See related: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture card
With the Venture card, your miles are only worth 1 cent each when redeemed for travel, which means they won’t take you as far as Sapphire Preferred points. However, the Venture offers a competitive 2 miles per dollar on every purchase. Depending on your spending habits, this can make up for the lower point value.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. American Express Gold Card
The American Express Gold Card offers one of the best rewards rates you can find on U.S. supermarket and restaurant purchases, making it a valuable choice for foodies looking to earn travel rewards. It also offers up to a $120 dining credit ($10 credits per month, enrollment required) for select restaurants and other valuable food-centric perks that easily justify its annual fee.
How to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred:
- Use your card for all travel and dining purchases to boost points earning.
- Spend at least $4,000 in the first three months to secure the sign-up bonus of 80,000 points.
- Redeem your points for travel – you will get the best rewards rate for Ultimate Rewards portal travel redemptions and transfer partners.
- Pair with another Ultimate Rewards card with bonuses in different categories of spending to maximize rewards.
- Use the card when you rent a car to take advantage of its primary car rental coverage.
Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card right for you?
If you’re looking to supercharge your rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a great card to get. If you travel frequently, the Sapphire Preferred has a lot of potential value – especially in the first year. Rewards are easy to earn and redeem, and though the annual fee is not waived the first year, the introductory offer alone is worth $1,000 in travel purchased through the Chase portal (80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months). If you’re looking for a great entry point into the world of travel rewards, the Sapphire Preferred may be the card for you.
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