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? Since the Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee is $550, the Sapphire Preferred is a strong contender for people who don’t want to pay that much. The Sapphire Preferred has just undergone an update, adding additional bonus categories which make it even more appealing to all but the most hardcore users.
If you sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred by using our referral link, we’d appreciate it because we receive bonus Ultimate Rewards 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.
Per Chase’s rules, this product is only available if you do not have any Sapphire card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 48 months. Applicants must also be under Chase’s 5/24 requirement.
Spending Bonus Categories
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns bonus points for the following categories.
- 5x points on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards, including airline tickets, hotel accommodations, car rentals, activities and cruises.
- 3x points on dining at restaurants worldwide
- 3x points on groceries purchased online, such as pickup or delivery from grocery store chains and meal kit delivery services (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).
- 3x points from select streaming services.
- 2x points on travel – from airfare and hotels to taxis and trains.
- 1x point for all other purchases.
This is a great improvement from when the card’s bonus categories maxed out at 2x for travel and dining. This puts it close to what you’ll earn with the AMEX Gold Card, its closest competitor.
10% Anniversary Point Boost
Every year on your account anniversary, you get an annual point bonus worth 10% of your total purchases for the year. So, if you spend $25,000, you’ll get 2,500 bonus points. This was a previous benefit that was eliminated so it’s nice to see it make a comeback.
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.
$50 Annual Hotel Credit
Earn up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards. This benefit has limited usefulness as you will not be able to earn any loyalty points in a hotel program or take advantage of your perks when booking through Chase. However, I’d use this benefit if you’re ever staying at a hotel with no loyalty program, as long as it’s the same price as booking direct.
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 provides 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 (Avios)
- Air Canada Aeroplan
- British Airways Executive Club (Avios)
- Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
- Emirates Skywards
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Iberia Plus (Avios)
- 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 several stays, including one 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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