Remember when the Chase Sapphire Preferred was the darling of the miles and points universe. It earned valuable Ultimate Rewards points with bonus points for spending on travel and dining expenses. What happened to force the Sapphire Preferred into the back seat? The introduction of the Sapphire Reserve, that’s what happened. With a big brother offering a larger bonus for spending in the same categories and more perks, the Sapphire Preferred fell into obscurity. Since Chase doesn’t let you carry both cards at the same time, which one should you get? The Sapphire Preferred is still a pretty strong contender for people newly entering the world of points and miles and it’s really a Your Mileage May Vary call on what the better card might be for you.
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!
$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.
Chase markets this as a card which lets you avoid the automated 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:
- AerLingus AerClub
- British Airways Executive Club
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Iberia Plus
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
- United MileagePlus®
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG® Rewards Club
- Marriott 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 just starting out collecting miles and points, this is a great entry level card. 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, 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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