Reader success story: Waived annual fee, 80k bonus on Chase Sapphire Preferred

May 18, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.


Today I wanted to share a story from TPG reader David Wong, who unlocked an incredible deal on his new Chase Sapphire Preferred Card:

“I’ve held a cash-back card exclusively for almost two years — the Capital One Savor Rewards Credit Card — but it was time for a change. Since I’ve started to travel more the past few months, I decided to look into travel credit cards. I’ve thought about applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for some time now. What eventually motivated me to apply was the new sign-up bonus, offering 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points and a $50 grocery statement credit. As if the sign-up bonus wasn’t convincing enough, I applied for the card in person at a Chase branch near me to try to get the $95 annual fee waived for the first year. I wasn’t sure if this was going to work, but to my surprise, it did! Apparently, this is a branch-only special. Some Chase employees didn’t even know about this offer and were surprised when the manager approved me for a first year fee waiver.”

David Wong

The information for the Capital One Savor Rewards card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Chase is currently offering its highest sign-up bonus ever for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. This bonus awards 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Related: Why I’m keeping my Chase Sapphire Preferred forever

TPG’s 2-cent per point valuation of Ultimate Rewards points puts the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s sign-up bonus worth up to $2,000, making its $95 annual fee seem trivial in comparison. But what if you could make the deal even sweeter — and you could potentially get your annual fee waived for the first year?

As first reported by Doctor of Credit, some readers first tried applying in a Chase banking branch in hopes of getting their annual fee waived the first year with the previous sign-up bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after hitting the spending requirement. But with the elevated sign-up bonus, this is an outstanding opportunity to try and apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred — especially since it worked in David’s favor. (Note: This is not guaranteed.)

Without a doubt, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best travel credit cards available. For a reasonable $95 annual fee (assuming yours isn’t waived the first year), you’ll enjoy a 25% points bonus for travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal, 1:1 point transfer opportunities with 10 airline and three hotel loyalty programs, no foreign transaction fees and much more.

For readers like David, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent choice for a starter travel rewards card.

Related: A decade later: Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred should still be the first rewards card in your wallet

I love this story and we want to hear more like it. In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending David a gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you.

Please email your own award travel success stories to info@thepointsguy.com; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. You can also feel free to submit your worst travel mistakes. If your story is published, we’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. Due to the volume of submissions, we can’t respond to each story individually, but we’ll be in touch if yours is selected.

Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Featured photo by Wyatt Smith for The Points Guy.

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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.