Why You Should Keep Your Sapphire Preferred Card

The $95 annual fee was due for Sharon’s Chase Sapphire Preferred card. That’s the time each year when I think about the card’s benefits vs. the cost and if I should keep, downgrade or cancel it. After giving it some thought, I decided that we’d keep the card but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t try to get a retention offer from Chase.

I had Sharon call (she hates these calls so I try to not to make her do them often) and she was told by a representative that there were no offers available for us right now. As per the notes I gave Sharon, she thanked them for looking and said that we could keep the card for now.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Sapphire Preferred is a good card for $95 but we hardly use it anymore now that I have the Sapphire Reserve. I was updating the annual fee spreadsheet and gave one more look at deciding if I wanted to keep the card or not.

Chase allows you to transfer Ultimate Rewards points between family members living in the same household so we wouldn’t lose the points if I cancelled the card or downgraded it to the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited.

The Chase Freedom cards earn cash back, not transferable Ultimate Rewards points but as long as one of us still had a premium Chase card, it would be possible to transfer the points earned with a Chase cash back card to airlines or hotel programs. It’s not complicated but Million Mile Secrets has a wonderful page describing the whole process (with charts and everything!).

I was almost ready to transfer Sharon’s points from the Sapphire Preferred to her Ink Cash card and then close her Sapphire card. I’m glad that I didn’t because I remembered one small point that might make a big difference down the road.

idea

I’m a authorized user on the Sapphire Preferred card. 

And yeah, I know I’ve written that I don’t like adding authorized users to cards anymore. However, we’ve had this card since before I came to that conclusion. It was also a nice card for both of us to have, at the time, because it gave bonuses on dining and travel. There are times when we might not be at the same place and it helps for each of us to have a card for the account.

Why is it important that I am an authorized user on the account?

Chase has some rules about transfers. There are two major rules to remember.

  • You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points, but only to another Chase card with Ultimate Rewards belonging to you, or one member of your household. (Chase business cards also allow you to transfer points to a joint business holder if they are an authorized user on the account)
  • You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to other loyalty program accounts that are your own and for one additional household member who is listed as an authorized user on your card account. For Business Card accounts, you may only transfer points to yourself or an owner of the company who is listed as an authorized user on your card account.

So I NEED to be an authorized user on the account if I want to transfer points from Sharon’s Ultimate Rewards account to any of my other loyalty accounts. Here’s a list of the programs into which you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards.

  • British Airways Avios
  • Air France Flying Blue
  • Singapore KrisFlyer
  • United MileagePlus Miles
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Korean Air Skypass
  • Iberia Plus Avios
  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Ritz Carlton Rewards

Here’s what would happen if I cancelled or downgraded Sharon’s Sapphire Preferred card:

  • Sharon wouldn’t have a premium Chase card, so to transfer her points to other loyalty programs she’d have to transfer the points to my account (which is allowed).
  • I could then transfer the points to any of Chase partners, but only to external accounts in my name since Sharon is not an authorized user on my Sapphire Reserve account.

I could add Sharon as an authorized used to the Sapphire Reserve but that would cost $75 a year and count against Chase 5/24 rule for new applications.  Since there’s no charge for an authorized user on the Sapphire Preferred, it’s the next least expensive way for us to keep the flexibility of transferring points from Chase to either of our loyalty accounts.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m glad I went back and forth with myself over the benefits of the card and whether we should keep it. That helped me remember that it’s not the actual benefits of the card but the flexibility of points transfers that makes it a decent value to keep it for another year. I’ll still leave it on my spreadsheet to evaluate again next year.

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