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

Mar 26, 2021

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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.

In This Post

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 and use the Pay Yourself Back feature for some non-travel redemptions as well.

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.

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 worldwide dining 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.

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 its highest-ever sign-up bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening, plus a $50 statement credit for grocery purchases made in the first year from account opening.

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

Featured image by John Gribben / The Points Guy. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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