For a while, the Chase Sapphire Preferred was the darling of the miles and points blog universe. It earned valuable Ultimate Rewards points with bonus points for spending on travel and dining expenses. Those points could then be transferred to partners like Hyatt and United. What happened that forced the Sapphire Preferred into the back seat? The introduction of the Sapphire Reserve, that’s what happened. With a big brother that gave a larger bonus for spending in the same categories and more perks, the Sapphire Preferred fell into obscurity. Is it still worth it to carry the Preferred in your wallet? Lets find out…
You can sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred by using my referral link. I would appreciate it because I receive 10,000 bonus points for everyone who gets the card. Thanks!
Annual Fee – $95 per year (fee waived for the first year)
Sign Up Benefits – This card currently has a 50,000 point bonus if you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Spending Bonus Categories – The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2X points on travel – from airfare and hotels to taxis and trains. It also earns 2x points on dining worldwide (as long as the establishment is coded as dining). The card earns one point per dollar for all other spending. Unlike the American Express Platinum card, the travel expenses do not have to be directly from the airline. Chase rewards 2x points from any travel provider.
No Foreign Transaction Fees – As you would hope a card that’s marketed to travelers would, the Chase Sapphire Preferred does not charge any foreign transaction fees.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver – One of the best features of this card is that it acts as primary coverage when you rent a car. In normal terms, if you get in an accident in your rental car, you can use the coverage from Chase before filing a claim with your own insurance. Most other companies offer secondary coverage (where you need to file a claim with your auto insurance first). Having previously worked in an auto insurance claims office, I’ve kept this card solely because of this benefit, just in case I ever had to file a claim.
Visa Signature Hotels – The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a VISA Signature card. That gets you access to the Visa Signature hotel program. Here are the benefits if you book through the Visa Signature website:
We used this program to a the great discount on our room at the Waldorf=Astoria in Manhattan.
Customer Service – Chase has marketed this card as a way to avoid the phone tree. If you call the number on the back of your card, you will be connected to a human, immediately.
Points are worth 1.25 cents each when using the Chase portal – If you book travel through the Chase portal, your Ultimate Rewards are worth 1.25 cents each. This isn’t the best value for your points but is better than the 1 cent that you’ll get redeeming them for a statement credit.
Chase Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to other programs at a 1:1 value – Several programs partner with Chase allowing you to transfer points to other programs. This allows you to take advantage of the values in multiple programs without being locked into any particular one. Here are the partners of Chase Ultimate Rewards:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- 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.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a solid card both for its sign up bonus and to keep for the benefits and bonus categories. If you rent cars often, the ability to use this card for primary collision coverage might be worth the annual fee. If you’re starting out with collecting miles and points, this card is a good entry point. It gives you a free year to see how you can get points and redeem them for flights or hotel room nights. If you’re able to make some redemptions like this, you might become a points and miles junkie like me.
We transferred Ultimate Rewards to United Airlines to book a flight on Aer Lingus business class in a lie-flat bed.
We also transferred them to Hyatt to stay at the Andaz West Hollywood.
After using your points to reach your travel goals, It’s hard not to get hooked.
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