Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Best Travel Rewards Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

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Why people love it
  • Ability to transfer rewards to airline miles or hotel points.
  • Earn double points on all travel and dining expenses.
  • Earn $625 towards travel (50,000) points when you spend $4,000 within 3 months.
Drawbacks, not dealbreakers

If you love to travel, this is the number one credit card you should be using to help fund your hobby. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers high rewards rates on travel and dining. And when it comes to actually redeeming these rewards, you'll be excited to find out that there are no blackout dates or travel restrictions when you redeem your miles through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

You earn double points for all dining, and travel purchases to receive awards credit includes a wide scope: mass transportation, car rentals, parking, tolls and more. The rewards are earned in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which is considered by many to be one of the best credit card rewards programs.

Unfortunately, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card comes with an annual fee of $95. To offset this fee, you'd need to use the card to spend between $3,800-$7,600 during the year. So it's not a great choice for those who know their credit card spending will be way less than $10,000 per year.

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. 
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions. As long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Application Process: An easy peasy online application. While browsing the finer details, you'll be able to compare this card's features with its closest competitor: The American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card.

Fees: $0 for the first year, with a $95 fee to use the card each year after. Luckily, because it's a travel credit card, there are no foreign transaction fees!

APR: No introductory offers: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card starts with a variable APR between 17.24% to 24.24%.

Rewards: Redemption options are flexible. When you redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards, points are worth 25% more, meaning each point will actually be worth $1.25.

When redeeming travel rewards, you'll do so through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel center, where you can book your flights or hotels. You'll also be able to transfer your points to different airlines and hotels at a 1:1 ratio, meaning that you won't lose points in the process. Partner airlines include major airlines like Air France/KLM, British Airways, Korean Air, United, and Virgin Atlantic - and major hotel chains like Marriott, Hyatt, and Ritz-Carlton.

Statement credits and cash back can also be redeemed, but at a 1 cent to 1 point ratio.

Bonus Offers: Earn 50,000 rewards points for every $4,000 spent within the first three months of account opening. These points translate to $625 towards travel when redeemed using the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

But that's not all! If you add an authorized user who makes a purchase within the first 3 months, you’ll earn an additional 5,000 points. Note: In order to redeem this deal, you can't have received a bonus from this Chase card or another Chase card over the past 24 months.

Card attributes
  • Variable APR
    17.24% - 24.24%
  • Cash Advance APR
  • Bonus Offers
    Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Rewards Rate
    1 point per dollar
  • Annual Fee
    $0 for the first year, then $95
  • Intro APR
Featured in
Faveable Review

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is one of the best travel credit cards on the market, offering an enormous sign-up bonus, plus an opportunity to maximize your rewards in a way that’s hard to match.

So, whether you have an incurable case of wanderlust or you just want to take a nice vacation every year or two, this card is worth considering.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® review - Chase Sapphire Preferred® highlights

The card’s biggest claim to fame is its sign-up bonus. You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases in the first three months. That’s $500 in cash back or $625 in free travel if you book through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

You’ll also get a 5,000 bonus if you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the same three-month period. That’s almost $700 in free travel between the two bonuses.

But you could get even more value out of those points, depending on how savvy you are. That’s because the card has a list of airline and hotel transfer partners. Depending on which one you transfer your points to, you could get more value out of them.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® rewards and perks

On top of the card’s sign-up bonus, you’ll earn 2X points on travel and restaurant purchases, and 1X points on everything else. But with the 25% points boost when you book travel through Chase, those rewards rates effectively increase to 2.5% and 1.25%, respectively.

But as we mentioned, getting cash back and booking travel through Chase aren’t your only options. You can also get gift cards or transfer your points to one of the following travel partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards®
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®
  • World of Hyatt

If you’re loyal to any of these airlines or hotel chains, or you just want an opportunity to maximize your rewards, you can move points to any of them at a 1:1 transfer rate.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® benefits

While the card excels in the rewards space, it also has some other travel benefits that make it worth holding onto once you’ve used up the sign-up bonus.

For example, you’ll get primary rental car insurance every time you travel. Most credit cards offer secondary insurance, which means that you have to tap your personal insurance company first to cover the damages. Doing so could increase your insurance premiums, so primary rental car insurance is a valuable addition.

You’ll also pay no foreign transaction fees when you’re overseas (most cards charge 3% on every purchase) and you’ll get the following travel insurance protections:

  • Trip cancellation or interruption insurance, in case your trip is canceled or cut short due to sickness, weather, or other covered situation.s
  • Baggage delay insurance, if your bags get delayed by more than six hours.
  • Trip delay reimbursement, in case your flight or other common carrier itinerary gets delayed more than 12 hours or overnight.

You’ll also get travel and emergency assistance to get medical and legal referrals if you’re away from home and need that kind of help.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® costs and fees

A card this valuable isn’t going to be free. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® charges a $95 annual fee, which isn’t waived the first year. Keep in mind, though, that a $625 sign-up bonus covers that fee for roughly six years.

And as we mentioned previously, you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees when you’re overseas, so this is a great traveling companion.

You likely won’t want to carry a balance on the card, though. Its APR ranges from 17.24% to 24.24%, depending on your creditworthiness. With an average interest rate of 14.99%, according to the Federal Reserve, even the lowest rate the card offers is above-average.

Also, interest eats into the value of the card’s rewards and perks, so be sure to pay off your balance on time and in full every month.

Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred® make sense for me?

There’s no best credit card out there for everyone, but this one is pretty special. The only weakness is its rewards rate on non-travel and dining purchases.

For example, compare it to the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, which earns 2X rewards on every purchase. That’s not to say one is better than the other, just that it’s important to consider what’s important to you (remember, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card’s sign-up bonus is higher and also has several travel partners).

To make sure the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is right for, take a look at your spending and consider how you like to travel. Also, compare it to other top travel credit cards to see which one best fits your needs.

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