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I hardly use my Chase Sapphire Preferred — here’s why I still keep it

March 26, 2021
6 min read
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When travel credit card beginners ask me what card they should get, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is generally at the top of my recommendation list. I got the card back in 2018 when I was first jumping into travel rewards, and it’s remained a staple in my wallet ever since.

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But between adding new cards to my wallet and shifting spending habits this past year, I rarely use it anymore. I now use my Chase Freedom Unlimited for non-bonus spending, my American Express® Gold Card is my go-to for dining and groceries and I haven’t been traveling enough to offset the $95 annual fee on its own.

So why not downgrade or cancel? Even though I don’t earn enough points with my Chase Sapphire Preferred to offset its $95 annual fee, I still get enough overall value from the card to warrant keeping it long-term.

Access to the Ultimate Rewards portal

At the top of the list of reasons why I’m hanging onto my Chase Sapphire Preferred is the fact that it gives me access to the Ultimate Rewards travel portal and its transfer partners.

With my Sapphire Preferred, I can book travel through the portal at a 25% bonus, transfer to 10 airlines and three hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio.

Though I’m not earning a ton of points these days with the Sapphire Preferred, I am earning a considerable amount with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. It’s what I use on all of my non-bonus spending, such as online shopping, home improvement projects, buying books and more. I can then transfer those points over to my Chase Sapphire Preferred account and use them as full-fledged Ultimate Rewards points.

This advantage alone is enough to make me hold onto the card.

Because I still have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, I can transfer points to partners such as Hyatt. (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

Travel protections when I book with my card

I may not be going anywhere internationally right now, but I do have a few domestic getaways on my list for when I get vaccinated (including a trip back to Arkansas to see family). But whether I’m traveling closer to home or to far-flung places, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best cards out there for travel protections.

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When I book a trip with my Chase Sapphire Preferred, I get the following coverage:

That’s better coverage than you get with some ultra-premium cards that charge $500 or more in annual fees.

Of course, the hope is that I never have to use any of these benefits. But things happen when you’re on the road, and as a young woman who frequently travels solo, the peace of mind I get by booking with my Chase Sapphire Preferred is worth the cost.

Related: How to make a Chase trip delay or cancellation claim

General travel expenses

When I do get back to traveling regularly, I’ll likely start using the card more frequently. While I’ll still use my Amex Gold for dining at restaurants and flights, my Chase Sapphire Preferred will be the default card for things such as Lyft, Airbnb rentals and more.

Chase defines travel broadly, which means I can earn bonus points on a lot more than just standard flights and hotels with the card. Since I typically stay in Airbnbs when I travel, my other cards won’t earn rewards on this purchase.

I'm big on Airbnbs when I travel, so earning 2x on a broader category is a nice benefit. (Image courtesy of Airbnb)

Free delivery and lower fees with DashPass

Finally, I am an avid DoorDash customer. I cook most nights, but at least once a week, I’ll end up ordering takeout. And on those nights, the DashPass benefit I get through my Chase Sapphire Preferred saves me money with free delivery and reduced fees on eligible orders.

I live in an area where most of my favorite restaurants are available on DoorDash — sushi from Mr. Tokyo, ribs from City Barbeque, burgers from Bad Daddy’s and more.

And while the Chase Freedom Unlimited also offers DashPass benefits, the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s complimentary membership lasts longer. Ultimately, I’ll use the full benefit on both cards, but at least one full year of complimentary DashPass has been just another reason to keep the Chase Sapphire Preferred in my wallet. (Must activate DashPass subscription by March 31, 2022.)

Bottom line

All in all, the Chase Sapphire Preferred still gives me far more than $95 in value each year, even if it’s not in the form of earned points. And for that reason, it’ll continue to hold a top slot even if I don’t put a ton of purchases on it these days.

For those of you who would also get a lot of value from the card, now is an excellent time to apply. The card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Related: Who’s eligible for the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus?

Featured image by (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
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Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees