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How my Chase Sapphire Preferred paid for itself last year

April 05, 2021
4 min read
Chase Sapphire Preferred
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I admit I’ve been tough on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lately and even tougher on the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. I’ve had my card for almost a decade now and with every passing year, as benefits change, transfer partners get dropped and new cards enter the market, I question whether to keep this card.

At the end of the day, I won’t pay a credit card annual fee unless the card is demonstrating value in some way. The only way to do that is to add up all the benefits and compare them against the Sapphire Preferred's $95 annual fee.

While I rarely use my Sapphire Preferred card anymore, I'm surprised at how useful the card ended up being last year. Here’s a look at how much value I got out of my Sapphire Preferred Card.

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Value of points earned: $681

My parents made some big renovations last year and I was able to put some of that spending on my credit cards. In total, I earned 34,055 Ultimate Rewards points with my Chase Sapphire Preferred. TPG values these points at $681, which far exceeds the $95 annual fee.

Dining = $333.40 x 2 points = 667 points

Travel = $279.85 x 2 points = 560 points

Other = $32,828 x 1 point = 32,828 points

Total = 34,055 points

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If I had put that $32,828 on the Chase Freedom Unlimited, I would have earned 50% more points. I looked through my statement for a clue as to why I didn’t do that. My only guess is that some of the expenses were quite large and my Freedom Unlimited’s credit line wasn’t large enough to accommodate those purchases.

It's worth pointing out that I made most of the dining purchases through DoorDash. I normally put dining spend on my Citi Prestige® Card for 5x points, or my Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card since it earns 7x and now includes a monthly $20 dining credit (To qualify, you must have been a cardholder as of Jan. 1, 2021, and enrollment is required through Amex Offers). Once the DashPass membership gets discontinued, my dining spending will be even less. The information for the Citi Prestige and Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

That brings me to my next point ...

Related: Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred needs a revamp

DashPass membership: $119.88

The complimentary DashPass membership was by far the most valuable perk offered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred last year*. Before the pandemic, I hardly ever used DoorDash. But on days when things got busy at work and I didn’t have time to make lunch, it was super convenient to order something and have it dropped off at my door 30 minutes later.

DashPass became a godsend. Normally, membership costs $9.99 per month, so I saved almost $120 through my Sapphire Preferred. But even if I didn’t get a DashPass membership and resorted to paying a $3.99 delivery fee once every two weeks, that still would have cost me around $96 in fees last year.

*Must activate by March 31, 2022

Related: How I got more than $1,300 in value from the Hilton Aspire Card — despite the pandemic

Bottom line

In total, I got over $800 in value out of my Sapphire Preferred last year, which far exceeded its $95 annual fee. It’s good to know that my doubts about keeping this card were largely alleviated. However, I don’t know yet if the card will continue to be useful in the coming years. The annual fee is due in March 2022, so I have plenty of time to ponder that question.

What I will say is that I likely won’t be putting much dining spend on the card after the DashPass membership is discontinued. Since I’m picking up The Platinum Card® from American Express and dropping my Citi Prestige, I also won’t be putting any more travel purchases on my Sapphire Preferred. The travel and purchase protections of the Platinum Card are superior to the ones issued by Chase, and Citi eliminated theirs two years ago.

Featured image by (Photo by John Gribben/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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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023