Looking for a new card? 6 reasons the Chase Sapphire Preferred should be your next credit card
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years, you’ll know that the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has long been crowned as the best travel credit card on the market — even winning the TPG Awards in 2020.
If you don’t already carry this prized card, there’s currently a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points — worth $1,200 by TPG’s valuations.
Here are the top six reasons the Chase Sapphire Preferred should be your first — or next — rewards credit card.
$1,200 in sign-up bonus value
Again, the Chase Sapphire Preferred currently sports a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
When redeeming for travel at a fixed value (1.25 cents each), those 60,000 flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $750 through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. This site is powered by Expedia, offering flights, hotels, rental cars, and other travel booking options.
However, TPG values these points at $1,200 — or even greater — if you redeem your points via Chase’s 11 airline and three hotel partners that allow you to transfer the points to their respective loyalty programs on a 1:1 basis. When used in that way, 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points could turn into 60,000 United miles, 60,000 Hyatt points or 60,000 British Airways Avios. The list goes on.
New and improved rewards rates
Since its launch, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has offered 2 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases, covering everything from Uber rides and parking fees to food delivery services.
In August, Chase added even more bonus categories and benefits that make the Sapphire Preferred more competitive than ever before:
- 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Ultimate Rewards anniversary hotel credit)
- 3 points per dollar on dining (up from 2x).
- 3 points per dollar on select streaming services.
- 3 points per dollar on online groceries (excludes Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs).
- 2 points per dollar on all other travel purchases.
- 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
Now, at the end of your account anniversary, you’ll also accrue 10% of your total card spend in the form of points. Each point represents $1 spent on the card, so if you spent $10,000 on the card in one year, you’d receive 1,000 points back.
The addition of these categories and this new benefit allow cardholders to earn bonus points on all travel-related purchases and everyday purchases beyond just the welcome offer.
Redeem your points for maximum value
There are ways to use your Ultimate Rewards points no matter what type of card user you are, from Amazon purchases to Apple products to gift cards. While these redemption options will yield you 1 cent per point value, there are much better ways to stretch your points when using them for travel.
Your first option is to book travel directly through the Chase travel portal, where points are worth a flat 1.25 cents each. For example, a $200 flight equates to 16,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
If you’re looking to take it to the next level, transfer your points to one of Chase’s 11 airline and three hotel partners. Typically, you’ll get the most out of your points when you transfer them to partners like Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, and World of Hyatt. In some cases, TPG’s valuation of 2 cents apiece can easily be exceeded.
Unmatched travel benefits and protections
The value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t stop at earning and redeeming points. When you pay for your trip expenses with your card, you’ll be armed with complimentary travel protections and benefits that could potentially save you hundreds (or thousands) of dollars if you run into a problem:
- Annual $50 hotel statement credit: When booking a hotel reservation through the Ultimate Rewards portal, you’ll get a $50 statement credit once per year.
- Primary car rental insurance: This covers the entire loss, damage or theft of your car rental without reporting it to your insurance company, a benefit that can save you big-time in the long term.
- No foreign transaction fees: The Sapphire Preferred waives foreign transaction fees, which will typically save you 2.7%-3% on every purchase abroad.
- Trip delay reimbursement: If your flight, train or other common carrier is delayed more than 12 hours or you require an overnight stay as a result of a delay, you’re covered for unreimbursed expenses such as meals and lodging up to $500 per ticket. (And yes, we’ve tested this perk out and it really works.)
- Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance: If your trip is cut short or interrupted by sickness, severe weather or other covered situations, you can recoup up to $10,000 per person and up to $20,000 per trip for prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses such as plane tickets, hotels, and tours.
- Baggage delay insurance: Up to $100 per day for essentials for up to five days when your checked baggage is delayed by more than six hours.
Other lifestyle perks worth using
Chase has several unique partnerships that go beyond the travel realm.
First, Sapphire Preferred cardholders have complimentary access to one year of DoorDash DashPass, which normally costs $9.99 per month. You’ll get lower service fees and free delivery on all orders of over $12. You’ll need to register for the offer by Dec. 31, 2021.
Chase has also partnered with Lyft, offering 5 points per dollar on Lyft rides on the Sapphire Preferred until March 2022.
Finally, Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders can receive up to $60 back on all eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access memberships through Dec. 31, 2022. Sapphire Preferred cardholders also earn 5 points per dollar on Peloton Bike, Tread, and accessory purchases over $1,800, with a maximum earning potential of 25,000 points.
You may not qualify for the Sapphire Preferred later
If you’re not convinced quite yet, here’s another primary reason you may want to start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred: The infamous Chase 5/24 rule.
If you’ve opened five or more new personal credit cards in the past 24 months across all banks — not just with Chase — it’s very possible you may not be approved for the Sapphire Preferred. As a result, if you want to take advantage of the sign-up bonus and the other perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, it’s a good idea to add it to your wallet before moving on to other cards.
On a similar note, if you’ve received a sign-up bonus from the Chase Sapphire Reserve in the last 48 months and/or still have a Sapphire Reserve open, you will not be eligible for the Sapphire Preferred’s sign-up bonus.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred blows other cards out of the water for value and affordability. With a $95 annual fee, there are many ways to justify this cost, whether it’s the sign-up bonus value alone or the complimentary trip protections that ensure peace of mind on your travels.
Official application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with a 60,000-point bonus.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon and Benét J. Wilson.
Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
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