SPG Amex or Sapphire Preferred for Rental Cars?
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
We've seen some significant changes to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card's benefits in the last few weeks, prompting me to answer a question from TPG Reader Victor:
"@thepointsguy Which credit card is better for rental cars - Starwood Preferred American Express or Chase Sapphire Preferred?"
Quite frankly, I admit that I also chose this question because the answer is easy: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is clearly the better choice.
Sapphire Preferred is one of my top all-around travel cards; it earns you 2 points for every dollar you spend on travel - including rental cars. Plus, if you grandfather in the recently eliminated 7% annual point dividend, you're actually getting 2.14 Ultimate Rewards per dollar spent on rentals, a much better rate of return than the 1 Starpoint per dollar you'd get for a rental car spend (as a non-Starwood purchase) on the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express. Even though I value Starpoints highly, I'll always take 2.14 Chase Ultimate Rewards points over 1 Starpoint.
Unlike the SPG Amex, the Chase Sapphire Preferred also incurs no foreign transaction fees, and as part of its recent wave of benefit changes, the card now offers primary auto insurance coverage in the event of collision or damage to your rental car.
Sorry, SPG Amex, but you'll have to come up with some pretty good perks to beat Chase Sapphire Preferred in the car rental department! Hopefully, we'll see some benefit improvements from this card in the coming months.