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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card review

Published: October 29, 2018

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Published: October 29, 2018

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Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
4.1 rating
4.1 rating
4.1 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.3
Rewards Flexibility: 4.9
Features: 3.0

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.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 2:1 travel and restaurants
  • 1:1 general purchases

Sign-up Bonus
50,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$95, $0 in first year

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$391

APR
17.99-24.99% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros

  • No blackout dates
  • No expiration dates
  • No point limits
  • Redeem points for $.01 cash
  • 1:1 point transfer to frequent flier partner
  • Pay for travel with partial points
  • 25% bonus on travel rewards
  • Combine points from other Chase cards

Cons

  • Lower rewards value for merchandise

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

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is designed to make an impression. First off, there’s the physical design of the card: The Sapphire Preferred was one of the first cards to defy the plastic conventions of the industry with its sleek, blue metal surface. The distinctive “plink” that it produces when you plop it into the tray to pay for dinner is sure to generate some remarks from your friends.

But the value of this card runs deeper than its flashy exterior. The Sapphire card is an amalgam of great travel perks, valuable rewards and exceptionally flexible redemption options that an avid rewards card user can leverage to gain some extra value.

High sign-up bonus

Right off the bat, Chase offers a sign-up bonus that matches the best of the cards in the rewards category: 50,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first three months. This amount to $625 in airfare when you redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal to score the 25-percent redemption bonus.

High rewards for frequent travelers and diners

On the downside, the rewards rate is not the highest the industry has to offer. While some of our top-rated cards offer double bonus points on all categories of spending, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card only offers double points on travel and dining. This makes it a valuable card for users who spend a lot of money in these categories, especially cardholders who know how to juggle points to maximize their rewards rate. We’ll explain how in a minute.

Highly flexible rewards redemption

Chase’s rewards program is likely the most flexible one in existence, with options to redeem your points for travel, merchandise and cash back. You’ll get a higher rewards rate by redeeming your points for travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards website, which offers a 25-percent discount on points spent there. But you can also purchase travel on sites outside of Chase and use the cash-back option to cover the costs with statement credits. And the value of points for cash back is high: at $.01 per point, you’ll get just as high a rate as other cards that allow you to redeem points for travel on outside sites.

You can transfer points at a high rate

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card also lets you transfer points to a variety of frequent-flier programs at a one-point-per-dollar rate. On top of that, you can transfer points from other Chase cards into your Chase Sapphire Preferred account.  This is where a discerning rewards card user gains the advantage. For instance, if you also own a Chase Freedom card, you can use that card to get 5 points per dollar in the bonus categories, transfer them onto your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and then transfer all of those points to your frequent-flier card to take advantage of a special price on a flight.

Not for the casual card user

On the other hand, if you don’t want to juggle cards or dedicate all your points to travel rewards, or if you don’t spend enough to justify the hefty annual fee of $95 per year (waived the first year), this might not be the card for you. There are other cards out there that offer a higher general rewards rate with smaller fees.

In addition to the rewards program, the card includes a large number of travel perks, including an EMV chip and no foreign transaction fees. Altogether, this makes it a great card for frequent travelers who are looking to get the most value possible out of a rewards card.

Why get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?

  • You own another Chase rewards card.
  • You spend a substantial amount on travel or eating out.
  • You’re a frequent traveler, who can get the most out of the bonus points and travel perks.
  • You’re a savvy rewards card user who wants to squeeze some extra value out of your rewards.
  • You’re a frequent customer of Chase’s partners, including United, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt and Marriott.

How to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card:

  • Stick to redeeming your points for travel – you’ll get the highest reward rates through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site and by transferring to one of Chase’s travel partners.
  • Use it in tandem with Chase’s Freedom card to maximize your rewards – you can rack up extra points through their five-points-per-dollar bonus categories and then transfer them to your Sapphire account.
  • If you prefer to book your travel with an outside travel site, you can use a statement credit to cover your purchases at $ .01 per point.

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