The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the most valuable travel rewards credit cards available today. It offers a signup bonus worth up to $750, 2x points on travel and dining purchases, and a 25% bonus when points are used to book travel through Chase. In this review we’ll dive into the details of this card, compare it to alternatives, and explore how to maximize the benefits of the card.
Table of contents
- Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases with the card in the first months. These points are worth $750 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants
- 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Get 25% point bonus when you redeem points for travel through Chase
- $0 foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value
- $95 Annual Fee
As regular readers know, I save and invest all of my credit card rewards. I’ve been doing this for about two years, and my Credit Card Financial Freedom Fund as I like to call it is up to $15,089.28.
My strategy includes a few of the best cash back credit cards as well as the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. That card comes with a hefty annual fee of $550. For those who want a great travel card without a monster annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is this answer.
Here’s what you need to know.
The rewards program includes both bonus points and points earned on everyday purchases.
The card gets a lot of attention for its 60,000 bonus points. Here’s how it works. If you spend $4,000 within your first 3 months of opening your account, Chase will give you 60,000 rewards points.
Normally these points would be worth $600 (1 cent per point). If you use the points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, however, you get a 25% bonus. This effectively increases the value of the 60,000 points to $. This is one of the largest signup bonuses available on any credit card.
Now to the Fine Print. This bonus is not available to those who have received a bonus from a Sapphire card in the past 48 months. Here’s the fine print from Chase:
This product is available to you if you do not have any Sapphire card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 48 months.
In addition to the bonus points, you’ll earn 2x points for every dollar charged to the card on dining at restaurants and on travel. You’ll earn 1 point per dollar on everything else. There are no reward caps.
New Grocery Store Credit: Receive up to a $50 statement credit toward grocery store purchases.
While there are many ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points, there are only two “good” ways to redeem them:
- Booking travel through Chase
- Transferring points to travel partners
Booking Travel Through Chase
You can of course redeem points for travel purchased with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card . As noted above, travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards qualifies for 25%, thus extending the value of the points.
Here’s how Chase describes this discount:
Each point you redeem for travel booked through Ultimate Rewards is worth $.0125 (one and a quarter cents), which means that 100 points is worth $1.25 in redemption value. This is like getting a 25% discount on travel you get with points when compared to the cash price. For example, a $500 airline ticket will only cost you 40,000 points. You would need 50,000 points to get $500 in cash through Ultimate Rewards and 40,000 points is 25% less than 50,000. The cost of travel and comparison of the points price and cash price is based on the rates and fares available through the Ultimate Rewards website and travel center, and may not reflect all rates and fares that are available through other sales channels.
Pay Yourself Back
Until April 30, 2021, you can earn 25% bonus points when you redeem rewards for more than just travel. Chase calls it Pay Yourself Back. It was designed to address the reality that most people aren’t traveling right now. Under PYB, you get the 25% bonus when you redeem rewards for purchases in the following categories:
- Home Improvement Stores
- Some charitable contributions.
In addition, you can use points to pay for these purchases for up to 90 days after they are charged to your card.
A big bonus comes in the form of transfers. You can transfer your points at full value to any of these Chase airline or hotel partners:
- Airline Partners
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- Iberia Plus
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United Airlines MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Hotel Partners
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy (including Ritz-Carlton)
- World of Hyatt
The offers several additional benefits:
- Chip-Enabled Security: Enjoy enhanced security and wider acceptance with your chip-enabled card when used at a chip card reader
- $0 Foreign Transaction Fees: Pay no foreign transaction fees when you use your card on purchases made outside of the United States
- 1:1 Point Transfer: Transfer points to participating frequent travel programs at full value. For example, 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
- Exclusive Events & Experiences: Access special travel opportunities and exclusive events available to cardmembers. Explore VIP packages to major culinary, entertainment and sporting events.
Pros & Cons
What we like about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- 60,000 bonus rewards points for new customers
- 2X points on dining and travel
- $0 Foreign Transaction Fees
- 25% travel redemption bonus
What could be better
- $95 Annual Fee
- Requires Excellent Credit
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Reserve
|Sapphire Preferred||Sapphire Reserve|
|Signup Bonus Value*||$750||$750|
|Max Reward Rate||2x on dining and travel||3x on dining and travel|
|Annual Travel Credit||$0||$300|