If you already have the Sapphire Preferred or know about its benefits, you can skip this post. However, if you’re looking to get in on one of the best all-around travel rewards credit cards then feel free to read on.
If you’ve read this blog for any period of time, you know that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of my go-to credit cards for points. The points accrue into a central Ultimate Rewards balance that can be transferred to nine travel partners: United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean Air, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Priority Club and Amtrak. I mostly transfer to United or Hyatt and they’ve given me the opportunity to fly first or business class on a minute’s notice, for a small cash outlay.
On top of flexible, transferrable points, it offers two points per dollar on all travel and dining, which is basically all I do. The travel bonus category includes airfare and hotels, but also rental cars, public transportation (think NYC subway, buses, rail, etc), taxis and even parking. Dining is all encompassing as well – from fast food to three-star Michelin restaurants, you get double points – plus there’s no foreign transaction fees, so I always use it when traveling abroad. I even pay for my Starwood hotels abroad using the Sapphire Preferred, because I’d rather get 2x base points vs 2x Starwood with a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Another great perk of the card is that you get a 7% annual dividend on all the points you accrue during the year (excluding the sign-up bonus, but including all regular 2x bonus points). The 7% dividend posts with your February statement, so mine just closed last week and I noticed a nice bonus of 22,940 Ultimate Rewards points. I value my UR points at just about 2 cents a pop, so this 7% bonus is worth about $459 to me – more than making up for the $95 annual fee (which is waived the first year).
To check your annual dividend, login to ultimaterewards.com -> Rewards Activity -> Statement Summaries and it should show as an itemized lined on your February statement
Granted, I spent a lot on my card and I’m a master of paying for big dining bills and trips and then getting friends and family to reimburse me so my annual dividend is probably larger than what the average person accrues, but it is still one of the reasons why I will keep my Sapphire Preferred around for years to come.
Have you seen your annual dividend post to your account?