I hardly use my Chase Sapphire Preferred — here’s why I still keep it
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.
Access to the Ultimate Rewards portal
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.
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:
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Baggage delay insurance
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Roadside dispatch
- Primary auto rental collision damage waiver
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.
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 dining at restaurants 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.
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.
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 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Featured image by John Gribben / The Points Guy.
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