The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is my favorite travel rewards card

Select’s editorial staff works independently to review financial products and write articles that we think our readers will find useful. We earn a commission from affiliate partners on many offers, but not all offers on Select are from affiliate partners.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great travel rewards credit card for many reasons, but a few notable benefits include its valuable and transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards® points and comprehensive travel insurance benefits – not only that, there are no foreign transaction fees and you only have to pay one annually fee of $ 95.

And while it may not have as many flashy perks as some of the other premium travel rewards credit cards, out of the more than 70 credit cards I’ve had in my life, I have found it to be one of the best.

If you’re looking for a new travel rewards credit card, Chase Sapphire Preferred is currently offering a huge bonus of 80,000 points as its welcome offer to new cardholders, available after spending $ 4,000 within the first three months of card membership and worth $ 1,000 in flights, hotels and / or car rentals when redeemed through Ultimate Rewards (and potentially even more if you transfer to partners).

Here’s a look at some of the reasons I & # 39; ve enjoyed using Chase Sapphire Preferred over the last six months, and why it’s still a top-of-the-wallet credit card for me.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Rewards

    $ 50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases and 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $ 4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $ 1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Ordinary ÅOP

    16.24% – 23.24% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $ 5 or 5% of the amount for each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit required

Advantage

  • Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Transfer points to leading frequent flyer programs at a 1: 1 speed, including: IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy ™ and World of Hyatt®
  • Travel protection includes: exemption from collision damage from car rental, baggage delay insurance and reimbursement of travel delay
  • No fee is charged for purchases made outside of the United States

Disadvantages

  • $ 95 annual fee
  • No initial 0% APR
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $ 1,506
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $ 2,528

Total rewards include points earned from the welcome bonus

Sign up for the Select!

Our best selection in your inbox. Shopping recommendations that help upgrade your life, delivered weekly. Sign up here.

My experience with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

For several years, I was unable to obtain the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card due to the Chase 5/24 rule, which excludes applicants who have been approved for more than five credit cards within the last 24 months. Because I was always on the lookout for the next valuable welcome offer, I continued to exceed the five card limit.

Eventually, I found myself within the 5/24 rule, applied for the card and was approved in October 2021. Shortly thereafter, I earned the welcome bonus after meeting the $ 4,000 minimum spend requirement within the first three months of the account. opening, and the 80,000 points I received gave a value of $ 1,000 in planes and hotels when redeemed via Ultimate Rewards.

Here’s why I’ve found this credit card to be so valuable.

Travel insurance is a great included benefit

When you book travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you are immediately covered by the following travel insurances:

  • Cancellation and travel cancellation insurance
  • Reimbursement of travel delay
  • Car rental collision damage exemption (primary rental car insurance)
  • Baggage delay insurance

These benefits have been extremely valuable to me as I have had several occasions where my travel plans have gone awry. Most recently, when I flew from California to Florida during the holidays, my flight was canceled due to bad weather and I was forced to stay overnight. Luckily, my travel delay insurance came in and covered my overnight hotel and meal costs, which came to around $ 250. By saving my receipts and submitting a claim, I was able to receive a direct deposit for the related expenses back into my checking account a few months later.

Ultimate Rewards points are valuable and easy to use

The Ultimate Rewards points I have earned continue to give me excellent value. Specifically, my partner and I appreciate the ability to transfer them to Southwest Rapid Rewards points in the 1: 1 ratio. Having recently earned the Southwest Companion Pass with the welcome bonus from the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card, I can now take the points I earn by using the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and transfer them to Southwest. And with my Companion Pass perk, I can book almost free flights for myself and my travel companion, as I can book myself with Southwest points, and my partner flies for free (we just have to pay taxes and fees).

I have also been able to transfer my Ultimate Rewards points to both the IHG Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programs to book free hotel stays during my travels.

Best of all, I’m always guaranteed a value of 1.25 cents per. points by using my points in the Chase Travel Portal, although in most cases I can usually find a better value by transferring them directly to one of Chase’s 14 hotel or airline partners, including the following loyalty programs:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air Canada Airplane
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Flying Blue (KLM and Air France)
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines fast rewards
  • United Airlines MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt

For example, with the current welcome offer of 80,000 points, you can:

  • Transfer 50,000 points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club to book a business class one-way flight on Delta Air Lines from the US to Europe (retail price: $ 2,800 +). You will still have 30,000 points left.
  • Transfer 80,000 points to the World of Hyatt and book four nights at the Hyatt Andaz West Hollywood (retail price: up to $ 2,100 including taxes)
  • Transfer 78,000 points to British Airways Executive Club and book three return flights from West Coast cities to Hawaii on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines (retail price: $ 1,350)

What to consider if you are interested in this card

While the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is an excellent option for people who enjoy traveling, in the end it may not be the best choice if you have other needs. Here is what else you should consider before applying for the card:

Possibilities for transferring rewards

Although you can always collect your reward points via the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, to get the greatest value for money, you are almost certainly better off transferring them to one of the partners mentioned above. However, you should also consider who these partners are – and how often you travel with them – before applying, as another travel rewards card may offer different options.

Personally, I enjoy being able to transfer mine to Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (so I can fly with Delta Air Lines), British Airways (so I can fly with American Airlines or Alaska Airlines), JetBlue, IHG and Marriott. Check and see if Chase’s available transfer partners fit your travel needs – if they do not, American Express and Capital One each offer travel rewards credit cards with transferable rewards to different partners that may work better for you.

Consider “doubling” on Ultimate Rewards

The next step up from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which offers even more travel benefits, including lounge access and fee credits for accelerated airport security programs, among others. Although you may not have both cards in your possession at the same time, you can always decide to upgrade to Chase Sapphire Reserve later.

If you are a business owner, you also have the option of applying for a business credit card, such as the Chase Ink Business Preferred® credit card. The card currently offers a great welcome bonus of 100,000 bonus points after you spend $ 15,000 within the first three months of opening your account.

Finally, you can add the no annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited® or Chase Freedom Flex℠ to earn bonus points in other categories, such as pharmacies, and then combine points earned from these cards with your Sapphire cards to make them more valuable.

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card continues to be a staple in many travelers’ wallets due to its great value and network of transferable points, among other valuable perks. Its 80,000-point welcome offer also offers a great opportunity to offset rising travel costs, as it’s worth the $ 1,000 travel booked through the Chase portal, all for a modest $ 95 annual fee.

Even if you only fly or stay in hotels a few times a year, this card has the potential to pay dividends quickly by saving you money on your travels, while allowing you to earn reward points. And since the travel landscape remains unpredictable, using this card to book your travels can end up saving you hundreds if your plans go wrong.

Editorial note: Opinions, analyzes, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are solely those of the Select editorial staff and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.