Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Review
There’s a reason why the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card is still around and loved by travel rewards enthusiasts–it has some of the most flexibility out there in terms of how you can earn and redeem points. And if you’re a newbie to the world of credit cards that offer travel rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a pretty low annual fee and a nice sign-up bonus.
With everything this card has going for it, is the Chase Sapphire Preferred the right one for you?
Let’s find out.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Rewards Credit Card Earning Potential
What’s so great about this credit card is their recently modified sign-up bonus–get 60,000 bonus points once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. This is the equivalent of $750 if you book travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase’s booking portal.
Aside from that, you earn two points for every dollar you spend on dining and travel. These categories are pretty broad–you’d be surprised at what counts towards both these categories. For example, fast food joints, food delivery services and even some bars count towards dining, whereas you can earn 2x points if you use travel-related services like Uber and highway tolls.
For all other purchases, you’ll earn one point for every dollar purchased.
While this doesn’t seem like a lot–after all, there are other rewards programs that offer many perks–the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers other benefits:
- Trip delay and cancellation insurance: You can get up to $10,000 in trip cancellation insurance and $500 per ticket for trip delay insurance. You’ll also be covered up to $3,000 per person for lost luggage reimbursement and baggage delay insurance for $100 per day in coverage, up to five days.
- Primary rental car coverage: This perk is pretty rare among credit cards since most of them offer secondary car insurance. In other words, you need to make a claim with another type of primary coverage like your personal auto insurance before the credit card will cover any losses. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can make a claim directly and without using your own auto insurance policy.
- Purchase and extended warranty protection: You can get extended warranty protection that gives you an additional year of coverage on qualifying purchases if you have a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less. There’s also purchase protection of up to $50,000 per account and $500 per claim.
- Flexibility in redemption options: You can redeem rewards for travel (more on this later), cash back or gift cards, though you typically get the best bang for your buck if using points towards travel through the Chase travel portal.
Travel Rewards Program
One of the best perks with the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the value you get when redeeming travel rewards. If you redeem points for travel–cruises, car rentals, airfare and hotels–through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, you get 25% more value, basically 1.5 cents per point. The good news is that you don’t need to worry about finding award space or blackout dates if you redeem points this way–as long as it’s available, you can use your points.
You can also earn rewards with other loyalty programs. For example, if you book a United Airlines flight through Chase’s booking portal, you can earn points on your MileagePlus account. You can also earn points with rental car reservations loyalty programs, but not all hotel programs will offer rewards.
You can transfer points to frequent travel programs at a one to one value. Currently, there are 13 airline and hotel partners:
- Aer Lingus, AerClub
- British Airways Executive Club
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
- United MileagePlus®
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG® Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy™
- World of Hyatt®
Transferring to these airline and hotel partners may be better because you can typically get more value for your Ultimate Rewards points. A word of warning though: you’ll need to be prepared to do some digging to figure out which partners are best for certain trips.
Chase Sapphire Preferred APR and Fees
The sad news is that you won’t get a 0% APR with the Chase Sapphire Preferred–both the balance and purchase APR is 17.49% to 24.49%.
Here are some other fees to watch out for:
- $95 annual fee
- Up to $39 late payment fee
- The cash advance APR is 26.49% and you’ll also pay a fee of 5% of the amount withdrawn or $10, whichever is higher
One of the reasons this is a great card for travelers is that there are no foreign transaction fees. This is a fee some issuers charge when you use your credit card in a foreign country because it has to convert U.S. currency to whatever the local currency is where you’re traveling. Other cards typically charge 3% for the privilege, whereas you won’t have to with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Should You Open A Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card?
You can’t go wrong with this credit card if you’re looking to earn travel rewards and flexibility in rewards redemption options. It’s one of the most popular credit cards for a reason–a huge sign-up bonus, flexible enough for travel enthusiasts and the potential for valuable points redemptions.
It’s also great for those who have excellent credit and spend enough to make up for the $95 annual fee. If you’re just beginning your journey into travel rewards, this is a great card to get your feet wet as you don’t need to worry about more complicated tactics such as signing up for rotating categories. Plus, booking through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal is pretty easy to do and there are no blackout dates.
All this to say, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card to keep in your arsenal.