I’m not in love with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but here’s why it stays in my wallet
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It’s not love, but I do like my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card…at least enough to not cut ties with it.
I’ve had the Sapphire Preferred for several years now, and I’ve gotten some great benefits from it. With its incredible, best-ever 100,000 sign-up offer, I thought I’d share my thoughts on a card that’s been in my wallet for years now, even though it’s not my favorite card for everyday spending.
I’ve written extensively about my love for The Platinum Card® from American Express, and so I’m comparing the Sapphire Preferred to a clear favorite of mine. It doesn’t always stack up, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still worth keeping for me.
Despite my ambivalence about the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you should sign-up for it right now if you don’t have the card. I’ve been recommending friends and family get it because the card’s value proposition is too good to pass up with the current sign-bonus offer. Plus, the card remains a top pick, especially for those new to the award travel game.
Application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred available with an all-time high offer of 100,000 bonus points.
New cardholders will earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. (In fact, I’m a little jealous that I’m not eligible as I also missed out on a similar offer on the Chase Sapphire Reserve). That bonus is worth $2,000 according to TPG valuations.
Still, I’ve had to find value for the card by other means. Read on for details of why I’m keeping the Chase Sapphire Preferred despite not being totally in love with it.
Ultimate Rewards points
I’ve only redeemed my Chase Ultimate Rewards points a few times in the past five years that I’ve been a cardholder. That means, despite not putting much spend on it, I’ve socked away some 117,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You get 2x points on all travel and dining purchases, which does add up.
Over the years, I have used my Ultimate Rewards points a few times. One of my best-ever redemptions was transferring points from my Chase Sapphire Preferred account to Hyatt to enjoy a few nights at the fabulous Park Hyatt Sydney. You can transfer those points to a slew of partners and get some pretty incredible redemptions — that’s my favorite thing about Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
I also opened a Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card back in 2019 on the advice of colleagues at TPG, and I’ve got another hundred thousand points there. My plan is to combine the two balances at some points for a mega redemption, either for a Park Hyatt adventure or a first class trip somewhere in Asia.
In fact, I think Chase Ultimate Rewards points are just as good as American Express Membership Rewards points, so that’s a big win for the Chase card since the annual fee is a minuscule $95 compared to the $550 (see rates and fees) you’ll pay on the American Express Platinum Card.
Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred card review
I’ve done pretty well with Chase offers, getting almost $90 bucks back in statement credits over the years.
Still, that pales compared to what I’ve been able to get as statement credits from my The Platinum Card® from American Express. As you can see below, my Amex Platinum has saved me more than $500 via Amex Offers. Enrollment required.
The other problem with Chase’s offers is that they don’t offer nearly the same number of vendors as American Express does. In fact, there are just 11 currently available offers on my Sapphire Preferred card. My Amex Platinum card has more than 100 offers available right now, including valuable hotel credits.
American Express is the clear winner here.
New benefit coming?
Another reason I’m keeping the Sapphire Preferred card is the intriguing report that Chase will open its first airport lounge in the next few years. I assume I will get lounge access with my Chase Sapphire card, and if they open lounges nationwide, it will make holding the card even more valuable.
Marianne Lake, co-CEO of Chase, told TPG the Sapphire Lounges would “bring a fresh approach to the lounge experience with locations to be announced in select markets over time.”
I’ve really enjoyed the occasional offers for extra points on some spending categories. The card earns 2 points per dollar on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Chase has a very generous definition of what counts as travel.
Here’s how “travel” is defined, according to Chase’s website
Merchants in the travel category include airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.
While dining is a relatively straightforward category — all restaurants (and even some bars that don’t serve food) should earn bonus points, as should delivery services such as DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats. There’s also an ongoing bonus for ride share company Lyft, where you earn 5 points per dollar on rides through March 2022.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred also gives you some travel and purchase protections, including trip cancellation and interruption coverage and primary rental car insurance. It also waives foreign transaction fees.
I also enrolled in a free DoorDash DashPass membership, though I haven’t used it once since I left New York. It does include free delivery and reduced service fees on purchases of $12, so it could come in handy if I’m ever inclined to use it.
There’s also a Peloton benefit. It’s pretty useless for me, but some of my fitness fanatic friends would no doubt love it.
It’s not exactly fair to compare the mid-tier Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to the ultra-premium Platinum Card from American Express. Still, anytime you have to pay an annual fee you, should know what you’re getting in return. I don’t get nearly the same value on my spend with the Sapphire Preferred as I do from my other American Express cards, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth keeping in my wallet.
With a modest $95 annual fee, I can justify keeping the Chase Sapphire Preferred open for when I’m ready to redeem points for stays with top-tier Hyatt hotels or sweet spot redemptions on one of Chase’s airline transfers partners. Still, I’d love to see them add a few more benefits and enhance card updates by taking a page from American Express.
If you’re considering the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, there has never been a better time to apply as it’s currently sporting an all-time high 100,000 sign-up bonus, worth at least $2,000 (based on TPG valuations). You don’t have to keep it forever as I’ve done, but you can try it out and see if you love or like me, just like it.
Application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred available with the best-ever sign-up bonus of 100,000 bonus points.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.
Featured photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 100,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $2,000
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.
- Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 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, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 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.