|Rewards Rating:||4.1 / 5|
|Annual Percentage Rate:||1.8|
|Issuer Customer Experience||3.6|
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.
100,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
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
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Review: More Details
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. On top of that, the card comes with extensive travel perks and one of the most valuable sign-up bonuses available. Indeed, the current offer is the card’s highest bonus to date, making now a great time to apply.
See related: Chase Sapphire Preferred video review
Highest-ever sign-up bonus
One of the most eye-catching features of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is its sign-up bonus, just updated in June of 2021. Not only does the current bonus value rank near the top among all rewards credit cards in our card ratings database, but it’s also the highest bonus the Sapphire Preferred card has ever carried: 100,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first three months.
Since points are worth 1.25 cents when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, this comes out to a whopping $1,250 in travel purchases. That’s enough for multiple round-trip flights on its own before you even add in the rewards you’d earn on your way to spending $4,000.
As you can see, the current Sapphire Preferred bonus offers tremendous value, so now is a terrific time to apply if you’ve been on the fence about getting a travel credit card or are eager to do more traveling in 2021.
Earning Ultimate Rewards points
The rewards rate on the Chase Sapphire Preferred is designed with travelers in mind, offering 2 points per dollar on both restaurant and travel purchases; you’ll also earn 1 point per dollar on general purchases. Additionally, through June 30, 2021, earn up to 10X total points (on up to $500) when ordering takeout or making prepaid reservations through Chase Dining in Ultimate Rewards. You can also earn a total of 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022 and 5X points on Peloton bikes and treads as part of Chase’s Peloton partnership through March 2022.
If you are hoping to fast-track your way to your next trip, Chase offers even more ways to rack up Ultimate Rewards points.
One way to earn a few extra points is by taking advantage of Chase’s referral bonus policy. You can earn up to 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points per year by referring a friend for the Sapphire Preferred (15,000 points per approval).
|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. If you refer your spouse to the card, you can also collect a referral bonus.|
Shop through Chase
Chase also offers its own shopping portal, called Shop Through Chase, which allows cardholders to earn between 1 and 5 bonus points (in addition to regular rewards) just for shopping with their favorite online retailers through a special link.
What are Chase Sapphire Preferred points worth?
Probably the most lucrative feature of the Chase Sapphire Preferred cards is the 25% bonus for redeeming points for travel in the Ultimate Rewards portal. This boosts the potential value of your points to 1.25 cents. Even if you choose another redemption option, Ultimate Rewards points are still some of the most valuable card rewards around.
Redeeming Chase Sapphire Preferred points
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card rates high 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. However, the value does fluctuate depending on how you choose to redeem your points.
Chase Sapphire Preferred redemption options
|Redemption option||Point value (cents)|
|Travel redemption (in Ultimate Rewards portal)||1.25|
|Regular travel redemption||1|
|Chase Pay purchases||0.8|
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers some of the most valuable point redemption options you can find due mostly to its boost on travel redemptions. Plus, unlike many other points-based cards, you still get 1 cent per point when choosing to redeem for a statement credit.
This vastly increases the card’s flexibility. If you find a great travel deal on another site, you can still redeem points for cash back to cover the cost. Just be sure to weigh the savings against the additional point value you’d get for booking through Ultimate Rewards.
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. Through Sept. 30, 2021, Sapphire Preferred cardholders can redeem at a value of 1.25 cents per point when they redeem for purchases made at restaurants, grocery stores, and home improvement stores, as well as on select charitable donations.
Transferring Chase Sapphire Preferred points
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||Point value (cents)|
|World of Hyatt||2|
While several other rewards programs, including 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 very 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.
Chase Sapphire Preferred card benefits
The Chase Sapphire Preferred also comes with a slew of travel and purchase protections and benefits, including primary car rental coverage, that can save cardholders a lot of money if used strategically.
- No foreign transaction fees – As an added benefit for travelers, the card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. This can save you hundreds on an international vacation.
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance – If you need to cut a trip short or cancel because of an illness or severe weather, Chase will reimburse you up to $10,000 per person ($20,000 per trip) for prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver– Simply waive the rental provider’s coverage and pay in full with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to receive primary coverage up to the vehicle’s cash value for theft and collision damage both in the U.S. and abroad.
- Baggage delay insurance – If your bag is delayed more than six hours while you travel, you can be reimbursed for essentials up to $100 a day for five days.
- Purchase protection – Qualifying purchases on your card are covered for 120 days against accidental damage or theft (up to $500 per claim, $50,000 per account).
- Extended warranty protection – On warranties of three years or less, you can extend the manufacturer warranty on eligible purchases by an additional year.
- Free DashPass subscription for one year – DashPass offers free delivery on qualifying DoorDash orders (must activate by Dec. 31, 2021, usually $9.99 per month).
|Tip:The Sapphire Preferred card’s car rental coverage may save you time and hassle if you use the card to rent a car. Since the coverage is primary, it will kick in regardless of whether you have coverage through another policy, saving you from having to file a claim through your insurance.|
Chase has a fairly good customer service record, scoring an 809 on J.D. Power’s 2020 customer satisfaction survey (fourth out of major issuers). The Chase app also has good reviews, rating 4.4 out of 5 in the Google Play Store and 4.8 out of 5 in the Apple App Store. Unfortunately, Chase doesn’t include a chat feature on its website – making it a bit more difficult to get quick answers to simple questions.
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). The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers at least 1.5% cash back on 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. If you use Freedom Unlimited for general purchases, the Sapphire Preferred for dining and travel and the Freedom for the rotating bonus category, you earn more points than you would with just one card.
The Ultimate Rewards cards compose one of the most valuable card combinations of any major rewards program. If you enjoy juggling cards to maximize rewards, Ultimate Rewards may be the program for you.
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®
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
American Express® Gold Card
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
Earn 60,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 6 months
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
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. The Reserve also has a higher rewards rate on travel and dining purchases and a bigger point boost for travel redemptions. If you spend a lot on travel and dining per year (over $7,750), the Reserve could more rewarding – despite a $550 annual fee.
Rewards earned on $8,000 travel and dining spend
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|2% of $8,000 travel and dining spend + 25% redemption bonus – $95 annual fee = $105||3% of $8,000 travel and dining spend + 50% redemption bonus + $300 travel credit – $550 annual fee = $110|
|Tip:Before you sign up for the Sapphire Preferred card, you should crunch the numbers to make sure the Sapphire Reserve card isn’t the best option for you. Don’t be deterred by the card’s $550 fee. It often turns out to be a better value.|
See related: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
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 – rather than just dining and traveling. For some spenders, this can make up for the lower point value.
For example, if you spend $15,900 a year and $8,000 of that is on travel and dining, the earning rate on the Venture card can outpace the Sapphire Preferred – even with a lower point value.
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Capital One Venture|
|($8,000 x 2 points per dollar) + ($7,900 x 1 point per dollar)) x 1.25 cent point value = $299||$15,900 x 2 miles per dollar x 1 cent point value = $318|
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 up to $120 in Uber Cash per year (available as a $10 monthly credits in Uber Cash), which can be used for U.S. Uber rides and Uber Eats purchases. The card must be added to the Uber app to receive the Uber Cash benefit.
Who should apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
- Cardholders of another Chase Ultimate Rewards cards hoping to maximize points.
- Cardholders who travel and dine out frequently.
- Savvy spenders looking to stretch rewards points on a travel redemption.
- Loyalists of Chase’s travel partners who want to be able to transfer points to another program.
- Cardholders who are new to the travel rewards game and want to get their foot in the door with a great first travel card.
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 card’s highest sign-up bonus to date.
- 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 worth it?
The short answer is absolutely. If you travel frequently, the Chase 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 up to $1,250 in travel purchases. Indeed, the card is currently offering its highest sign-up bonus to date, making now a great time to apply. If you are 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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