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60,000-point bonus for a top travel card: Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card review

Jan. 19, 2023
11 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest credit card information.


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 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.


Who is the Chase Sapphire Preferred for?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is designed to work for both frequent and casual travelers. With a $95 annual fee, it’s not an expensive card, which makes it a good choice for beginners.

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THE POINTS GUY

I also recommend starting your journey into the world of loyalty points with Chase cards, because you need to strategically plan around Chase’s 5/24 rule regarding applications. The Sapphire Preferred is definitely worth considering for one of your coveted five slots for opening new cards within two years.

Related: Who should (and who shouldn’t) get the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus

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 a whopping $1,200.

SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

Main benefits and perks

In addition to the sign-up bonus, there are many appealing perks on the Sapphire Preferred.

$50 annual hotel credit

In Aug. 2021, Chase revealed a slew of exciting changes to its Sapphire cards, including the Sapphire Preferred. One of these new perks was a $50 statement credit on hotel stays purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal upon opening the card, as well as 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.

DoorDash

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. 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.

ANDREW HARRER/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY

Travel protections

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:

You can read more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred shopping and travel benefits here.

How to earn points

The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a simple earning structure that is easy to maximize. Here’s how you earn points on the Sapphire Preferred:

  • 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

How to redeem points

When you’re ready to redeem the points you’ve earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll understand why the card shines. Here are some ways you can use your Ultimate Rewards.

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’ll be able to pay for it with your points.

Just note that hotel reservations booked through third-party sites (including Chase Travel) typically won't earn points and won't count toward elite status qualification.

Transfer to Chase travel partners

It’s possible to receive much more than 1.25 cents per point in value by transferring rewards to Chase airline and hotel partners.

SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

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 March 31, 2023).

Related: How to donate points and miles to help Ukraine

Which cards compete with the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

There are many worthwhile mid-tier travel credit cards, but the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is the one that goes toe-to-toe with the Sapphire Preferred. The card currently offers the following:

*Benefits only available to accounts approved for the Visa Signature card. Terms apply.

WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

If trying to decide between these two cards, think about which one’s earning formula suits your spending habit, and which one’s transfer partners you’re more likely to maximize.

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture Card

Another alternative option would be a cobranded card with a specific airline or hotel program. These aren’t nearly as flexible as the Sapphire Preferred, but if you’re flying predominantly with one airline or staying frequently at properties under a specific hotel umbrella, those perks may come in handy.

Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred worth the annual fee?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is worth opening if:

  1. You can achieve the 60,000-point sign-up bonus.
  2. You’re looking for valuable travel protections.
  3. You currently hold the Chase Freedom Unlimited and/or Chase Freedom Flex card.

When you carry the Sapphire Preferred along with one of these cards, you can freely move points from one account to another, effectively augmenting the value of your Freedom earnings by translating them from cash-back rewards into fully transferable Ultimate Rewards points.

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.

Bottom line

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 around, and it’s 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.


Apply here for the Chase Sapphire Preferred with a 60,000-point bonus.


Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox, Chris Dong, Stella Shon, Jennifer Yellin, Joseph Hostetler and Eric Rosen.

Featured image by Getty Images/EyeEm
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.

TPG featured card

Best all-around travel rewards card
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 - 5X points
5x5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
3x3x on dining.
2x2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

Intro offer

60,000 points
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
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

We love the Chase Sapphire Preferred because it's a great introduction into the world of travel rewards. The card recently revamped its earning rates so cardholders can accrue rewards even faster. Point are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel through Chase, but can also be transferred to 11 airline and three hotel partners for even more choices, including those first-class flights and fancy suites you've been dreaming of.

Pros

  • Earn multiple points per dollar on things like travel and dining
  • The current welcome bonus on this card is quite generous. TPG values it at $1,200.
  • Premium travel protection benefits including trip cancellation insurance, primary car rental insurance and lost luggage insurance

Cons

  • The card comes with a $95 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
Best all-around travel rewards card
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

5x5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
3x3x on dining.
2x2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

    60,000 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

We love the Chase Sapphire Preferred because it's a great introduction into the world of travel rewards. The card recently revamped its earning rates so cardholders can accrue rewards even faster. Point are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel through Chase, but can also be transferred to 11 airline and three hotel partners for even more choices, including those first-class flights and fancy suites you've been dreaming of.

Pros

  • Earn multiple points per dollar on things like travel and dining
  • The current welcome bonus on this card is quite generous. TPG values it at $1,200.
  • Premium travel protection benefits including trip cancellation insurance, primary car rental insurance and lost luggage insurance

Cons

  • The card comes with a $95 annual fee
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.