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The Chase Sapphire
Preferred Card is one of the best credit cards available
today with an annual fee around $100 or less.
The sign-up bonus alone is worth at least six years’
worth of annual fees not taking into account other points you
earn and other benefits.
On a personal note, I’ve had this card since March 2012
and have only considered getting rid of it to upgrade to
its beefier, premium-geared
, the Chase Sapphire
. But for now, this one is
still a staple in my wallet.
With so many great travel rewards
credit cards out there, picking the right one can be tough! The
Preferred is a longtime favorite of travelers looking to
earn valuable rewards points redeemable for plane tickets, hotel
nights, cruises, trains, and other travel adventures.
This card offers cardholders 2x
points per dollar spend on travel and dining purchases and 1x
point everywhere else. The card currently offers a 50,000-point
sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases within three
months of opening a new account. While the card carries a $95
annual fee, waived the first year, it is easy to earn that back
and more in rewards and benefits.
Let’s take a deep dive look at
the Chase Sapphire
Preferred so you can decide if it makes sense for your
purchase and travel needs.
Quickly earn rewards with 2x points in bonus
Right out of the gate, you’ll
earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three
months after opening a new account. When redeemed for travel
through the Chase Ultimate Rewards
portal, that’s worth $625 in free travel to get you
From the first dollar you spend,
you’ll earn 2x points per dollar on purchases from travel and
dining merchants. That includes airlines, hotels, discount travel
sites, cruise companies, fancy restaurants, fast food, and most
bars. Hello 2x points at happy hour! You’ll earn 1 point for
every dollar you spend everywhere else.
This is less than you get from
ultra-premium Chase Sapphire
, the upgraded
version of this card that offers 3x points on travel and dining
along with other premium benefits. However, Chase Sapphire
Reserve has a higher $450 annual fee.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points,
the rewards currency from Chase Sapphire cards, are worth 1 cent
each by default when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards
portal. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you get 25% more
value, or 1.25 cents each.
Transferring points for bigger value
You can redeem points for travel
at the 1.25 cent rate with no limits or blackout dates. The
redemption system searches many airline and hotel brands with a
similar feel to major discount travel websites.
If you want to get even more
value per point, however, you can transfer to a list of transfer
partners at a 1:1 ratio. Airlines include United, Southwest,
JetBlue, British Airways, Air France/KLM, Singapore, Iberia,
Virgin Atlantic, and Aer Lingus. Hotel partners include Marriot,
IHG, Ritz-Carlton, and World of Hyatt.
You generally get the best value
per point transferring to airlines and booking premium travel.
Also keep in mind that many transfer partner airlines are members
of alliances that give you additional partner airline
When you get a good deal, you can
book a domestic round-trip flight for 25,000-points. With British
Airways, you can book many short-haul flights on partner American
Airlines for even fewer points. Southwest also offers many great
deals with no checked baggage fees for your first two
Depending on your travel
preferences, you may be able to get quite a bit of value from
each point. You typically get the worst value using points for
purchases. Gift cards and cash back also offer sub-par value
compared to using points for travel.
If you earn the 50,000-point
bonus, you may be able to find a reward flight for a free
round-trip to Europe.
Chase Sapphire Preferred gives
you more benefits than points. This premium card includes many
additional features that come in handy when traveling and
shopping at home, online, or anywhere your travels take
When traveling outside of the
United States, Chase Sapphire Preferred does not charge any
foreign transaction fees. This commonly costs 3% to 5% outside of
the premium travel card category.
The card also includes rental car
damage insurance, trip insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip
delay reimbursement, and travel assistance. For purchases, new
buys are covered for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500
per incident. The card also automatically extends manufacturer’s
warranties by up to one year.
Costs and fees
It is easy to see how you can get
$100 or more in value from this card every year, but it isn’t
free. After the first year, the card charges a $95 annual fee.
This fee is waived the first year.
Chase Sapphire Preferred charges
variable rate interest. The card currently charges 17.74% APR to
24.74% APR based on your credit history and market rates. Rates
can change at any time.
Less common, balance transfers
charge the same interest rates as purchases plus a 5% fee ($5
minimum) per occurrence. Cash advances charge a higher 26.74% APR
plus 5% ($10 minimum) per occurrence. Late and returned payments
cost up to $38 each.
The bottom line
Preferred is one of the best cards available today with an
annual fee around $100 or less. The sign-up bonus alone is worth
at least six years’ worth of annual fees not taking into account
other points you earn and other benefits.
On a personal note, I’ve had this
card since March 2012 and have only considered getting rid of it
to upgrade to the Sapphire
Reserve. But for now, this one is still a staple in my
If you pay off your credit card
in full every month, you won’t pay interest. If you can keep the
card paid off and value travel, this card is a great choice. It
offers a good balance of cost and benefits that makes it a very
popular choice. Depending on your spending and travel habits,
this card may be perfect for you.
Click here to
learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred from Insider Picks’
partner: The Points Guy.
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