Flexible Rewards & Low Fees
There’s no doubt that travel reward cards have an inherent appeal. They’ve become increasingly popular, with many people now using their credit cards on everyday purchases to earn award travel. The question is, what’s the best card for doing that?
Traditionally, consumers have used credit cards co-branded with an airline to earn frequent flyer miles. Generally, with these cards you receive just one mile per dollar on the majority of your purchases. You earn bigger bonuses only when you buy airfare. Also, with these cards you can redeem your airline miles only on flights on that carrier and its partners.
But there’s a growing number of programs now that offer even more valuable travel rewards without any airline branding. And you can transfer your points to miles with multiple frequent flyer programs or even convert them to hotel points.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great example of how valuable a travel rewards card can be, even if it isn’t co-branded with an airline.
What Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of Chase’s premium rewards cards. However, it’s not to be confused with the ultra-premium Sapphire Reserve® card, which requires a $450 annual fee and includes several benefits not offered to Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders.
Nevertheless, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes with a generous signup bonus and offers increased rewards for travel and dining purchases. Reward points can be redeemed for a variety of awards, including cash back, merchandise and travel reservations. Alternatively, rewards can be transferred to airline miles or hotel points. The card also comes with a wide variety of travel insurance and purchase protection benefits.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Features
60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Rewards for Spending
2x Ultimate Rewards points on travel and diningOne point per dollar spent elsewhere
Foreign Transaction Fees
Trip cancellation/interruption insuranceAuto rental collision damage waiverBaggage delay insuranceTrip delay reimbursementTravel and emergency assistance services
Purchase protectionExtended warranty protection
Mobile Wallet Compatibility
Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
Contactless Payment Compatibility
Live Chat, Phone: 24/7
Who Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Good For?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great credit card pick for people who like to travel and earn rewards without paying huge annual fees. The ability to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer miles is a handy feature, especially because you can earn extra bonuses for travel and dining expenses. However, if you’re not likely to take advantage of these rewards, you might be better off finding a no-fee credit card to use.
How Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Compare?
If there’s a credit card that’s as popular as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, it’s probably the Capital One® Venture® Rewards card, which we’ve reviewed here. Both cards offer big bonuses upon signup, $95 annual fees and a variety of options for transferring your points for travel. However, on all points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes in just a little bit better. The bonuses are just a little bit bigger, and your reward transfers go just a bit farther. It’s nearly neck and neck with these two, but we’ll have to go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card as the winner by a hair.
How to Earn the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Bonuses and Benefits
New card applicants receive 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. You can also earn double points on all travel and dining purchases. The dining category includes eat-in establishments from fast food to fine dining restaurants. Travel purchases include those from airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.
Points are worth about 1 cent each toward rewards like cash back and gift cards, and you receive 25% more value when you redeem points for reservations booked through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Travel Center. This online travel agent, which is powered by Expedia, offers flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and activities. This card also offers numerous travel insurance policies including trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, and travel and emergency assistance services.
Signing Up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is offered to applicants with excellent credit. You can sign up online for this card at Chase’s website, or you can apply at any Chase retail banking branch.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Mobile Apps
Chase’s mobile app is available for Apple and Android devices. You can use it to view your account activity and make payments. You can also view payment activity, see statements and redeem rewards directly through the app.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Pros and Cons
Valuable Welcome Bonus — New applicants can earn 60,000 points, worth $750 in travel reservations.
Bonuses for Travel and Dining — Earning 2x points for travel and dining expenses allows you to accumulate rewards faster.
Robust Travel Insurance and Shopping Protection Benefits — This card comes with strong benefits that can help you when travel plans go awry or when there’s a problem with one of your purchases.
No Foreign Transaction Fees — Unlike many cards, there’s no fee on transactions processed outside the United States.
Annual Fee — This card’s $95 annual fee is competitive with similar premium travel rewards cards, but many credit card users still prefer to use no-fee cards that don’t offer as many features, benefits and rewards.
Interest Rates — Like nearly all rewards cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® will have a higher interest rate than similar cards that don’t offer rewards. The current rate is 18.24%–25.24% APR, and there’s no introductory financing offer.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has been tremendously popular and for good reason. There are many cardholders who prefer the flexibility that the Ultimate Rewards program offers. But with the growth of ultra-premium cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, it’s now possible to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to be a middle-tier card situated between cards with no annual fee and those that cost hundreds of dollars a year.
Nevertheless, you still get access to the same Ultimate Rewards program offered to Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders. By understanding the features, benefits and rewards of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you can choose the best travel rewards card for your needs.