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The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the cards that gets a lot of people started in the miles and points world, and when you consider the card’s relatively low annual fee together with the benefits that it offers and the power that the card has to make other cards even better, that isn’t particularly surprising. This is a card to be reckoned with.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a mid-tier card that offers access to Chase’s highly regarded Ultimate Rewards program from where cardholders can transfer their hard-earned points to a variety of airline and hotel loyalty programs in a 1:1 ratio.
With bonus points offered for spending on travel and on dining and with benefits that include excellent rental car protection, no foreign transaction fees, and good trip insurances, this is a card that works very well in the wallets of those who love to travel.
Here’s what you need to know about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card:
Cost of Authorized User Cards:
Current Welcome Bonus:
- 60,000 Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months (find out more).
- Get up to $50 in statement credits for grocery purchases
Cardholders can use Ultimate Rewards points to book travel at a redemption rate of 1.25 cents per point so that makes the current welcome bonus worth an impressive $750.
Note: You can only apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card if you don’t already hold one of the Sapphire Cards and you’ll only be eligible for the welcome bonus if you haven’t received a welcome bonus on a Sapphire Card in the past 48 months.
- 5 points/dollar on Lyft rides through 22 March 2022
- 2 points/dollar for spending at grocery stores (on up to $1,000/month through 30 April 2021)
- 2 points/dollar for spending on travel*
- 2 points/dollar for spending on dining worldwide
- 1 point/dollar for spending in all other categories
*Chase’s “travel” category is very broad so you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on everything from airfare, rental cars, and hotel bookings through to car parking, tolls, and ride-sharing services.
Other Key Benefits:
- Redeem points at 1.25 cents each when booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- Primary auto rental cover
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- Baggage delay insurance
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty protection
- DoorDash DashPass membership (minimum 1 year)
- No foreign transaction fees
Why This Is A Great Card
Ultimate Rewards Partners
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2 Ultimate Rewards points/dollar on all travel and on dining worldwide (which can include everything from Michelin-starred restaurants to a coffee booth on a station platform) and these points convert over to loyalty programs like United’s MileagePlus, Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer and the World of Hyatt in a 1:1 ratio (more details here).
There is no cost to transfer points so when you’re spending on travel or dining with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you are essentially earning 2 points/dollar in any of the loyalty programs that Chase partners with. That’s an incredible amount of flexibility for a credit card to offer.
There’s no deadline by which you have to transfer over your points, so you can hold all the points you earn as an Ultimate Rewards balance until you know what program you’d like to use them in and then, when the timing is right for you, you simply transfer them across.
When you earn points in a single loyalty program (e.g. United MileagePlus) you’re limited to using those points through that one program only and, to make things worse, you’re also at the mercy of that one program (when it devalues your balance devalues too). By holding your points as a transferable currency like Ultimate Rewards, you limit your exposure to single program devaluations and give yourself considerably more flexibility when it comes to how those points can be used.
Ultimate Rewards Bookings
Chase Sapphire Preferred Cardholders can use their points to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal with each point worth 1.25 cents towards whatever travel is booked.
The beauty of booking travel in this way is that a cardholder hands over points in exchange for a travel booking that Chase then books with cash, so there’s no need to search for award availability – all the airfares and hotels that are booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal are seen by the airline or hotel as cash bookings.
As an added bonus, the airlines and hotel chains do not view bookings made through the Ultimate Rewards portal as 3rd party bookings and so all bookings will earn airline/hotel loyalty points, credits towards elite status, and, specific to hotel bookings, guests get all of their elite status benefits honored.
Booking travel in this way is one of the few ways you can use points to book trips that will earn you more points in return.
Primary Rental Car Cover
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card gives cardholders primary rental car cover when they decline the rental company’s collision insurance and pay for the whole of their rental using their card.
As coverage is primary, there’s no need for a cardholder to get their own car insurance company involved in the case of an incident and they can feel safe in the knowledge that the card’s coverage provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision.
Importantly, this protection covers most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
Trip Protections & Insurances
For a card that comes with an annual fee of just $95, the travel protections that the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers are pretty good…
Pairing The Chase Sapphire Preferred With Other Cards
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card can be seen as a “king-maker” card because it turns a number of other good credit cards into truly fantastic, must-have cards.
- The fantastic Chase Freedom Flex Card comes with no annual fee and, on its own, will earn a cardholder 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 in spending) and on travel purchased through Chase as well as 3% cash back on dining and on drugstore spending. If a Freedom Flex cardholder also holds the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, all of that cash back can be converted to valuable Ultimate Rewards Points at a rate of 1% to 1 point.
- Like the Flex Card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card also doesn’t charge an annual fee and, on its own, earns 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% cash back on dining and on drugstore spending, and an impressive 1.5% cashback on spending in all other categories. If a Freedom Unlimited cardholder also holds the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, that cash back can be converted to valuable Ultimate Rewards Points at a rate of 1% to 1 point.
- The Chase Ink Business Cash Card comes with no annual fee and, on its own, earns a hugely impressive 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet/cable/phone services. It also earns 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and at restaurants. When paired with a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card all that cashback can be converted to Ultimate Rewards Points (1% = 1 Point) making this one of the most valuable cards on the market.
In summary, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card can be paired with a number of no-annual-fee credit cards to offer great all-around earnings for the cardholder (read this review of the Chase Ink Business Cash Card to see how combined with a Sapphire Card, it can earn 5 points/dollar on spending at more places than you may realize.)
Other Reasons To Like The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- Anecdotally, it’s an easier card to get approved for than the more expensive Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.
- The fact that the card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees means that it can be used globally without costing the cardholder anything extra.
- The card earns 5 points/dollar with Lyft (through 22 March 2022) and, although this is a niche benefit, this is an earning rate that isn’t matched or beaten by any card costing less than $550/year.
- The DoorDash membership (1 year) that comes with the Chase Sapphire Prefered card means that the delivery service will not charge cardholders a delivery fee and will reduce the service as long as the order being placed is for $12 or more.
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card now comes as a contactless card so, if you prefer not to use a mobile wallet, you can still use the card to pay without swiping and signing. This becomes extra useful in areas of the world where cards are expected to have a pin when not paying via contactless technology (most US-issued cards still do not have chip and pin technology).
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers good earnings on travel and at restaurants worldwide, it comes with a low annual fee, it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, it offers cardholders valuable benefits, it grants access to the wonderful world of Ultimate Rewards, and has the power to make other credit cards truly amazing. At just $95/year, this is one of the best value cards around.