Chase Sapphire Preferred Review: One of the Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards Ever
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the most valuable travel rewards credit cards on the market. In addition to earning 2X points on dining and travel and 1X points on everything else, the card includes terrific travel and purchase protections. Those alone could be worth hundreds dollars if you need them. While the card does have an annual fee, that’s typically waived for the first year. And if you earn enough rewards to cover a single free flight every year, that more than makes up for the fee. If you qualify, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is tough to beat.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Highlights
Here are the highlights of the Chase Sapphire Preferred:
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95
APR: 17.99% to 24.99%
Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 points
Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits:
- 2X points on travel and dining purchases
- 1X points on everything else
- Book travel when and how you want
- 1:1 point transfer to dozens of travel partner programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- No foreign transaction fees
- Travel and rental car insurance
- Purchase and extended warranty protection
Chase Sapphire Preferred Fees:
- Balance transfer fee of $5 or 5%, whichever is greater
- Cash advance fee of $10 or 5%, whichever is greater
- Up to $38 late payment fee
- Up to $38 returned payment fee
Why Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred
Here are a few reasons to consider adding the Chase Sapphire Preferred to your wallet:
You get rewarded for travel and dining
The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you 2X points per dollar on all dining and travel-related purchases with no caps on how many points you can earn. You’ll also earn 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases. If you travel often and make this your go-to credit card, you’ll rack up points quickly. In addition, you’ll earn 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 or more within the first three months of account opening. That’s worth as much as $625 in travel.
You can redeem points when and how you want
Chase partners with nine airline frequent flyer programs and four hotel travel rewards programs to offer 1:1 point transfers to those who want to take advantage of special perks and discounts offered by these programs. For those who aren’t attached to a particular airline or hotel chain, Chase Ultimate Rewards is the way to go. You’ll get 25% more value when you redeem your points here and you’ll be able to choose from a variety of different travel providers, rather than being limited to just one.
It automatically protects trips and purchases
The Chase Sapphire Preferred includes trip cancellation/interruption coverage, rental car coverage and baggage delay coverage on every trip you pay for with the card. The card also includes theft protection of up to $500 per claim on all purchases made in the last 120 days. It even offers one-year extended warranty protection on all qualifying purchases. You may never use any of these perks, but if you do, they’ll save you a ton of money.
Chase Sapphire Preferred: Drawbacks and Downsides
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has tons of appealing features, but you should also be aware of its drawbacks before you apply:
You’ll miss out on high-end travel perks
The Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you redeem points with a variety of airlines and hotel chains. But this means you miss out on fringe benefits that come with brand loyalty, like a free checked bag or priority boarding. If you’re loyal to a single airline or hotel chain, consider getting its credit card instead.
It’s expensive for balance transfers
The Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t offer a 0% introductory APR for balance transfers and its balance transfer fee is higher than average. It charges the greater of $5 or 5% of the balance transferred, whereas many cards cap the fee at 3%. If you need to transfer a balance, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Alternatives
Here are some options worth considering if the Chase Sapphire Preferred isn’t right for you:
Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard
The Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard offers one of the highest standard rewards-earning rates of any credit card with an impressive 2X miles per dollar on all purchases. It also comes with a sign-up bonus of 70,000 miles if you spend at least $5,000 or more within the first three months of account opening. That’s equal to $700 in travel. Much like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard has an annual fee of $0 the first year, then $89.
As an edge over the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard has an introductory 0% APR for balance transfers. That makes it a better choice if you’re trying to pay down credit card debt. It also offers flexible redemption options, allowing you to choose from travel credits, cash back or gift cards. The only downside is that the card doesn’t include the travel protections like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and many other travel rewards cards.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card
The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5X points per dollar on every purchase. This could be a better deal for you than the Chase Sapphire Preferred if you don’t spend a lot on dining or travel. You can also receive a sign-up bonus of 25,000 points if you spend $1,000 or more within the first three months of account opening. And like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card lets you redeem your points for travel statement credits with no restrictions or blackout dates.
Bank of America customers should give this card a closer look, as they’ll automatically receive a 10% points bonus on every purchase. Preferred cardholders—customers with an average balance of $20,000 or more in their Bank of America accounts—see that bonus increase to 25%. And customers with at least $100,000 in their accounts get a 75% bonus. That makes its average earning rate even higher than the some of the best cash-back cards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred FAQs
Here are some answers to the most common questions people have about the Chase Sapphire Preferred:
Do Chase Sapphire Preferred points expire?
No, your points will not expire as long as your account remains active and in good standing.
How much are 50,000 Chase points worth?
That all depends on how you redeem them. Redeeming your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards adds a 25% bonus. Your 50,000 points are worth $625 travel, or $0.0125 per point. But you can extract even more value if you transfer to Chase’s airline partners, where redemptions can be worth much more.
What’s the highest credit limit for the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred bases your credit limit on your income and credit score. The highest available credit limit is $100,000.
Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is great for the frequent traveler who isn’t tied to a single airline or hotel chain. Its travel protections are excellent, and considering that the annual fee is $0 the first year, then $95, that’s a lot of perks for a little coin. The card’s flexible redemption options mean you won’t have to worry about limitations or blackout dates restricting your travel. If you’re looking for a well-rounded card with great perks and a reasonable fee, look no further.