Select’s editorial team works independently to review financial products and write articles we think our readers will find useful. We may receive a commission when you click on links for products from our affiliate partners.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card made headlines with the announcement of its best-ever welcome bonus released just ahead of the summer travel season: New cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months from account opening.
With a 1:1 redemption rate (1 cent per point), the 100,000 Chase Rewards points are equal to $1,000 cash back — but you can get even more out of the bonus depending on how you redeem the rewards. (Business class flight to Europe, anyone?)
While this may be all the incentive you need to sign up, the Sapphire Preferred offers a whole slew of additional perks that make this card worth the $95 annual fee. There’s a reason why it’s one of our top-rated travel credit cards and best credit cards with annual fees under $100.
On top of its massive sign-up bonus and rewards program that offers 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining worldwide, plus 1X points on all other eligible purchases, the Sapphire Preferred also offers some less obvious benefits that you may not know about.
5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining worldwide, 1X points on all other purchases
Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
15.99% to 22.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Balance transfer fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction fee
Your Chase Rewards Points are worth a whole lot more when you have a Sapphire Preferred card.
When you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal, points are worth 25% more. This means that those 100,000 points you earned from the welcome bonus can be worth up to $1,250 when you spend them on hotel stays, airfare, rental cars, cruises and more.
Points are also worth 25% more when you use the Chase Pay Yourself Back tool, which allows you to redeem rewards points to cover eligible grocery, dining and home improvement purchases. So your 100,000 points from the welcome bonus can cover up to $1,250 of eligible purchases.
If you have another Chase credit card that also earns Ultimate Rewards, such as the Chase Freedom Flex℠ or the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you can transfer your points to your Sapphire Preferred card so you can get more value from your points.
You earn a higher redemption rate from your points with the Sapphire Preferred than with the Freedom cash-back cards (1.25:1 compared to 1:1), so transferring from one card to another is a smart and easy way to optimize your redemptions.
Sapphire Preferred cardholders can transfer their points to one of Chase’s 13 airline or hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio. These partners include United, Southwest, British Airways, JetBlue, Emirates, Marriott and Hyatt.
Redeeming points through a Chase travel partner can be a very good deal. For example, you can book luxurious hotels, like the Park Hyatt Maldives or Park Hyatt Sydney, for as little as 25,000 points a night. These hotels can often cost more than $1,000 a night.
Sapphire Preferred cardholders get unlimited food deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service (valued at more than $100).
DoorDash claims that DashPass members save an average of $5 per order compared to non-subscribers. Depending on how often you order takeout, that can add to a big annual savings.
You must activate your DashPass membership by Dec. 31, 2021.
Sign up for an eligible Peloton digital ($12.99 per month) or all-access membership ($39.99 per month) through Dec. 31, 2021, and get up to $60 back. Peloton’s workout library includes everything from cardio and running, to strength training, yoga and more.
Through March 2022, Sapphire Preferred members also earn 5X total points on each Peloton Bike, Tread and accessory purchase over $1,800, with a maximum earn of 25,000 points.
Cardholders get access to exclusive shopping discounts at select retailers via Chase Offers. These offers typically give you a set dollar amount of cash back as a statement credit, applied to your account within 14 business days.
Be sure to check out the Chase online shopping portal to earn extra points on purchases you make using your Sapphire Preferred through a special link the portal provides.
The purchases you make with your Sapphire Preferred are eligible for purchase protection and extended warranty protection in case something goes wrong. Purchase protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. The extended warranty protection tacks on an additional year for eligible warranties of three years or less.
For any trip that gets canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels. (You must book the travel on your Sapphire Preferred card to qualify for this insurance.)
You should decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your Sapphire Preferred, in order to receive primary coverage and reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
Lost luggage and trip delays are par for the course when traveling these days. Your Sapphire Preferred card relieves some of the cost that comes with these hassles with the baggage-delay insurance and trip-delay reimbursement.
Cardholders can get reimbursed for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier, up to $100 a day for 5 days. And if you’re delayed more than 12 hours or require an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.
While traveling, you can always call the Chase Benefit Administrator for travel and emergency assistance, legal and medical referrals.
Plus, benefit from no foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S., which saves you the typical 3% fee other cards may charge.
Taking advantage of the Sapphire Preferred’s generous welcome bonus is a no-brainer, but the additional perks — from travel insurance to shopping benefits — makes this card an essential for anyone who loves to travel, shop and dine out.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.