Way back in time, 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. Seemingly overnight, it was forced to the back seat because of the introduction of the Sapphire Reserve. With a big brother offering a larger bonus for spending in the same categories and additional 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? Now that Chase has raised the Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee to $550, the Sapphire Preferred is still a strong contender for people who don’t want to pay that much. It’s 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 15,000 bonus points for everyone who gets the card. Thanks!
$95 per year
Sign Up Benefits
This card currently has a 60,000 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 common 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 get a great discount on our room at the Waldorf=Astoria in Manhattan.
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 move points to other programs. This will enable 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
- Emirates Skywards®
- 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 Bonvoy™
- World of Hyatt®
Some of the ways we’ve used Ultimate rewards were transferring points to United Airlines and booking a flight on Aer Lingus business class featuring a lie-flat bed.
We also transferred points to Hyatt for a stay at the Andaz West Hollywood.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a valuable sign up bonus and is worth keeping for the benefits and bonus categories. If you rent cars often, the ability to use this card for primary collision coverage might alone be worth the annual fee. If you’re just starting out, this is a great entry-level card. You can get started redeeming points for flights or hotel room nights. Once you’re able to make some redemptions, you might become a full-fledged points and miles junkie.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary