Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card review: 60,000-point bonus for a top travel card
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card overview
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the best-known travel rewards credit cards, featuring 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal and Lyft purchases, 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs), 2 points per dollar on all other travel purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else. These valuable points can be transferred to airline and hotel partners or redeemed directly for travel at a rate of 1.25 cents per point through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½
*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
At TPG, we always get asked an important question from beginner travelers looking to plan trips: Which travel credit card should you start with?
We almost universally recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. It earns one of our favorite rewards currencies. It offers lucrative perks. It features a low annual fee. In fact, many of us started our journey into points and miles with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is designed for frequent and casual travelers. With a $95 annual fee, it’s not an expensive card, which makes it an especially good choice for beginners.
The card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Here’s what you need to know about the Chase Sapphire Preferred and why it’s one of the best cards out there.
Ready to get the card? Apply here for the Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred welcome offer
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, enough to take you just about anywhere in the world you want to go.
This haul of points is worth a minimum of $750 when redeemed for travel through the Chase portal, but if you maximize Chase’s transfer partners, TPG’s valuations peg the full value of the bonus at $1,200.
Earning points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a simple earning structure that is easy to maximize:
- 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal.
- 5 points per dollar on Lyft purchases (through March 2025).
- 5 points per dollar on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases of $250 or more (through March 2025, with a limit of 25,000 bonus points).
- 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases (excludes Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).
- 2 points per dollar on all travel not booked through the Chase travel portal.
- 1 point per dollar on everything else.
Related: Why you’ll want to pay the $95 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred
Redeeming points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred
When you’re ready to redeem the points you’ve earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll understand why the card shines.
Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
You can use your points to purchase airfare, reserve hotel rooms and even rent a car through Chase Travel — all at a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point. That means you don’t need to worry about blackout dates or finding award space; you’ll always have the option to book travel using your points. As long as there’s a seat for sale on the flight you want, or a hotel room available to reserve with cash, you can pay for it with your points.
Just note that hotel reservations booked through third-party sites (including Chase Travel) typically won’t earn points or count toward elite status qualification.
Transfer to Chase travel partners
It’s possible to receive more than 1.25 cents per point in value by transferring rewards to Chase airline and hotel partners. Some of the best Chase transfer partners include Hyatt, United, British Airways and Singapore Airlines for fancy hotels or plane seats.
Pay Yourself Back
If you want to use the points from your Sapphire Preferred at a fixed value for something other than travel, consider Chase’s Pay Yourself Back option. Cardholders can use points for a value of 1.25 cents apiece to cover donations to select charities (through Dec. 31, 2023) or a value of 1 cent per point for gas station and grocery purchases (through June 30, 2023).
Related: How to donate points and miles to help Ukraine
Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits
In addition to the sign-up bonus, there are many appealing perks on the Sapphire Preferred.
$50 annual hotel credit
You’ll receive a $50 statement credit on hotel stays purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal upon opening the card and each following cardmember anniversary. It’s automatically applied to your account each year when you make an eligible charge. Note that the $50 credit does not earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Related: How to use the new $50 hotel credit on the Chase Sapphire Preferred
10% annual points bonus
Another change Chase added to the card is a 10% anniversary points bonus. Cardholders will receive a 10% bonus based on their total spending during the account anniversary year at a rate of 1 point for each $10 spent. For example, if you spent $100,000 on your Sapphire Preferred during your cardmember year, you’ll receive 10,000 bonus points at the end of the year.
Note that this 10% is calculated on the dollars you spent rather than the points you earned. You thus don’t receive additional points by leveraging the card’s bonus categories.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred also includes at least one year of complimentary DashPass membership with DoorDash, which gives you free delivery and reduced service fees on eligible purchases (activate by December 31, 2024). There is a cost associated with using food delivery services such as DoorDash, but this can be a valuable benefit if you already use the service.
This card is an ideal choice to pay for travel bookings such as car rentals, cruises, plane tickets and hotels because of the comprehensive travel and purchase protections it affords. Among them, cardholders can expect the following:
- Primary rental car coverage.
- Trip delay insurance.
- Trip cancellation insurance.
- Baggage delay insurance.
- Lost luggage reimbursement.
- Purchase protection.
- Extended warranty protection.
You can read more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred shopping and travel benefits here.
Which cards compete with the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
Many worthwhile mid-tier travel credit cards exist, but only a few can go toe-to-toe with the Sapphire Preferred. If trying to decide, think about which one’s earning formula suits your spending habit and which one’s transfer partners you’re more likely to maximize.
- If you prefer Capital One: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is your best bet. The card offers 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, plus a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. For more information, read our full review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
- If you prefer American Express: The American Express® Green Card offers a high earning rate on travel, restaurants and transit. Annual Clear Plus and LoungeBuddy credits offset its $150 annual fee (see rates and fees). Plus, Amex has more transfer partners than Chase and offers more transfer bonuses throughout the year. For more information, read our full review of the American Express Green Card.
- If you want perks with a specific airline or hotel chain: Another option would be a cobranded card with a specific airline or hotel program. These aren’t nearly as flexible as the Sapphire Preferred. Still, those perks may be useful if you’re flying predominantly with one airline or frequently staying at properties under a specific hotel umbrella. For additional options, check out our full list of airline and hotel cards.
For additional options, check out our full list of the best starter credit cards.
Read more: Chase Sapphire showdown: Sapphire Preferred vs. Sapphire Reserve
If you’re ready to move beyond cash-back or fixed-value travel rewards credit cards, there is no better place to start than with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
After its debut a decade ago, it’s still regarded as one of the best rewards credit cards. It earns some of the most valuable points and is flexible enough to meet the travel rewards needs of practically every points and miles skill level. It also comes with a low enough price tag for many to be able to give it a try.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to represent a solid value proposition for a wide swath of the public. So long as you’re using the card frequently enough to get more than $95 in value from the rewards earned and benefits utilized, this card is definitely worth the annual cost.
Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred with an 60,000-point bonus.
For rates and fees of the Amex Green Card, please click here.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox, Chris Dong, Stella Shon, Jennifer Yellin, Joseph Hostetler and Eric Rosen.