Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Review

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the most popular cards in the market because of its big sign-up bonus, high earning ability and flexible reward redemptions. It’s a favorite card among travellers because it earns double points on travel and dining purchases, and points can be transferred to travel partners.

This card is a great companion card to other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family because cardholders can transfer points to the Sapphire Preferred from the Chase Ink and Freedom cards and increase their value by 25%. This card also bears the Visa Signature logo so it comes with some of the best benefits Visa offers.

Card Summary

Credit Score: Good/Excellent
Annual Fee: $95
APR: 18.24% – 25.24%
Type of Card: Visa Signature
Issuer: Chase
Bonus: 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Chip: Yes
Foreign Transaction Fee: No

Features of Chase Sapphire Preferred

Earning

Chase offers 2x points on travel and dining and and one point per dollar on all other purchases. The bank also allows you to rack up some quick points fast through referrals. Cardholders can earn up to 75,000 additional points per year for referring others to the card. You will receive 15,000 points per approval.

Chase also allows household members to transfer and combine points. So instead of being an authorized user on your spouses or significant other”s card, you can let them get a referral bonus and get your own card and sign-up bonus, and then combine or redeem for travel.

Redeeming

There are a variety of ways you can redeem your points from cash back options such as a statement credit or direct deposit. You can also redeem your rewards by getting a gift card or even making purchases with points directly through Amazon or Chase Pay. Points redeemed for cash are worth a penny each so basically 100 points are worth one dollar.

But you’ll get more value out of your Chase Ultimate Rewards if you redeem your points for travel. Ultimate Rewards points are worth 25% more when booking through the bank’s travel portal, which turns 100 points into $1.25. This difference can add up when you are talking tens of thousands of points.

Travel Partners

You can also get outsized awards by transferring your points to one of Chase’s travel partners. Generally the best redemption values are for premium class airline seats, but you may also find yourself in a situation where you just need to top off one of your accounts to redeem points in a travel loyalty program. Below are the partners Chase works with.

Airline partners:

Aer Lingus AerClub

Air France/ KLM Flying Blue

British Airways Executive Club

Jet Blue TrueBlue

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

United MileagePlus

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Hotel partners:

IHG Rewards Club

Marriott Bonvoy

World of Hyatt

Perks

One of the best perks of this card is the ability to transfer points between other Chase UR cards (including the Ink and Freedom lines) and to its many travel partners. Chase also has one of the largest array of travel partners in the industry where points transfer at a 1:1 ratio. This can largely increase the value of points because some travel partner award values are worth much more than a penny per point.

This card also bears the Visa Signature logo so it comes with some of the best benefits Visa offers. Whether travelling or shopping, some of these benefits can add tremendous value not to mention peace of mind. This card can be vital when it comes to mishaps, which are almost inevitable in life. So whether you are booking your next vacation or purchasing a big ticket item consider these Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature benefits:

  • Primary rental car insurance: This can save you from having to use your personal insurance to file a claim for damages to a rental car which could cause a spike in your insurance rates and cost you for years to come.
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance: In the event that you must cut your trip short or cancel your trip altogether due to sickness or severe weather, you can be reimbursed for travel expenses up to $10,000 dollars per trip. This can include plane tickets and hotels, as well as tours. It will cover you and your immediate family members as long as you used the card to book your trip and you can provide appropriate documentation of the cause for cancellation.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance: If your luggage is lost for more than six hours you can be reimbursed for any essentials up to $100 per day for up to five days.
  • Purchase Protection: This benefit covers theft, loss and damage. As long as you use you Chase Sapphire Preferred card to purchase the item, it will be protected for 120 days after purchase. The item will be repaired or replaced with a value of up to $500. There are exceptions including animals, antiques, perishable and used items to name a few.
  • Extended Warranty Protection: This gives you up to an additional year of coverage on items that have a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less. As long as the item is an eligible purchase and was bought with the Sapphire Preferred card, you are covered for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Considerations for Chase Sapphire Preferred

Pros

The big sign-up bonus and a 2% return on travel and dining are strong draws. The icing on the cake is that you can combine points from other cards and/or family members and transfer Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners to further increase the value of your rewards. Or you can book through the bank’s travel portal and increase the value of points to 1.25 cents each.

Cons

If you have applied for more than five credit cards in the past 24 months, you should avoid applying for any Chase cards because of its 5/24 rule. You may also be turned down for this card if you have collected a bonus for another Sapphire card in the past 48 months or if you already have the Sapphire Reserve card. In addition, Chase will not likely approve more than two personal cards and one business card within a 30 day period. In the event that you are not approved be sure to call the reconsideration line.

Card Comparisons

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

When comparing the Chase Sapphire Preferred to the Reserve you can see that while the Reserve has a higher annual fee, the Preferred has a bigger bonus currently. The other big difference between the two cards is that points redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards portal for travel are worth 50% more with the Reserve card compared to 25% more on the Preferred.

Chase Sapphire ComparisonPreferredReserve
Annual Fee$95$450
Bonus60,000 points50,000 points
Rewards2x travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases3x on travel and dIning and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal Booking Bonus25%50%
Travel credits$0$300
TSA Precheck or Global Entry Credit$0Up to $100

The higher fee for the Reserve can easily be made back if you travel often and take advantage of the $300 travel credit and the $100 credit for the TSA pre-check. However, if you don’t travel often these credits may not be valuable to you.

Having one of these cards can easily help you increase the value of points earned on your other Chase cards, such as the Freedom and Ink line of cards since you can transfer the points and take advantage of their increased value when booking through the Chase travel portal.

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited does not have an annual fee and earns a great 1.5%. Now is a great time to apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited because the bank will double your points earned the first year which is like earning 3% on everything.

The double bonus on the Freedom Unlimited and the 60,000-point welcome bonus are comparable between the Sapphire Preferred and Freedom Unlimited because in cashback terms they both equal $600 if you take full advantage of 3% return on the Freedom Unlimited which caps at $20,000. This means you would have to spend about $1667.00 per month on the card to get the full potential of the bonus. However, if transferred to the Sapphire Preferred and redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards the combined value of the two bonuses easily becomes $1,500.

Chase Card ComparisonSapphire PreferredFreedom Unlimited
Annual Fee$95$0
Bonus60,000 points equivalent to $750 through UR travel portalDouble points (3%) first year up to $20,000
Rewards2x on dining and travel and 1% on everything else1.5% on all purchases
Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal Booking Bonus25%0%
Intro 0% APR on PurchasesNone15 months
Intro 0% APR on Balance TransfersNone15 months

Comparing these cards is like comparing apples to oranges. They both have things about them that are favorable, but you may want them at different times for different reasons. The Chase Freedom Unlimited can be more useful for everyday spending, but if you do a lot of travel and dining you will definitely want to use your Sapphire Preferred for those purchases.

It is better to think of the Freedom Unlimited as a great companion card to the Sapphire Preferred because of the transferability of the points and the increased 25% value you can achieve by redeeming them for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t apply for these cards too close together because you want to be able to maximize the the 3% earn on the Freedom Unlimited. If you already have the Freedom Unlimited, the Chase Sapphire can easily help increase the value of your UR points.

Summary

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has 60,000-point welcome bonus which is among the largest in the personal credit card market. Those points equal to $600 in cash or $750 if redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards.

If you already have any of the Chase Ink or Freedom cards, the Sapphire Preferred makes a great companion card because you can transfer your points to it to increase their value when redeeming them through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Or you can transfer points to travel partners such as another way to increase the value of the Ultimate Rewards points. Only Chase cards with an annual fee have the ability to transfer to travel partners.

Also, consider that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is branded with the Visa Signature logo which gives it some of the top-of-the-line benefits Visa offers, and the peace of mind that comes along with them. Some of the travel benefits include primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation insurance and baggage delay insurance. For shoppers, this card provides extended warranty services and purchase protection.

Apply

To be approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred you must have good or excellent credit. The annual fee of $95 is nominal for what you get in return. This includes a big bonus and the ability to increase the value of rewards.

Keep in mind that timing is everything with Chase card applications. Between the 5/24 rule and the fact that you can only get two personal Chase credit cards every 30 days. This can include co-branded cards that are issued by Chase as well. Also, you always want to make sure you can meet the required spending for a bonus before moving on to another card.

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