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 travelers because it earns 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.
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Features of Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Chase Sapphire Preferred® is one of the best cards in the travel category with 60,000 points early spend bonus (which translates to $750 when you redeem it for travel on the Ultimate Rewards® portal), and there’s up to 5x points you can earn on travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards® portal.
To obtain the early spend bonus you must spend $4000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
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.
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.
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.
Aer Lingus AerClub
Air France/ KLM Flying Blue
British Airways Executive Club
Jet Blue TrueBlue
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
IHG Rewards Club
World of Hyatt
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®
The big sign-up bonus and up to 5x points on travel and 3x points on 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.
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.
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 Comparison||Preferred®||Reserve®|
|Bonus||60,000 points||50,000 points|
|Rewards||up to 5x on travel, 3x on dining, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases||up to 10x on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases|
|Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal Booking Bonus||25%||50%|
|TSA Precheck or Global Entry Credit||$0||Up 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% cashback on every purchase. Now is a great time to apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® because you can earn a $200 early spend bonus if you make purchases for $500 within the first three months of opening your account. Making purchases for $167 each month in the first three months is easy to reach
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred® has a greater welcome bonus the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has a decent cashback percentage, no annual fee, and an attractive intro APR offer.
|Chase Card Comparison||Sapphire Preferred®||Freedom Unlimited®|
|Bonus||60,000 points equivalent to $750 through UR travel portal||$200 Intro bonus when spending requirement is met.|
|Rewards||up to 5x on travel, 3x on dining, and 1x on everything else||1.5% on all purchases|
|Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal Booking Bonus||25%||0%|
|Intro 0% APR on Purchases||None||15 months|
|Intro 0% APR on Balance Transfers||None||15 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 1.5% earn on the Freedom Unlimited®. If you already have the Freedom Unlimited®, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® can easily help increase the value of your UR points.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has a 50,000-point welcome bonus which is among the largest in the personal credit card market. Those points equal to $500 in cash or $750 if redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards®.
If you already have any of the Chase Ink cards or Freedom cards, the Sapphire Preferred® makes a great companion card because you can transfer or combine 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.
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.