MoneyUnder30.com
MoneyUnder30.com

Chase Sapphire® Credit Card Review


chase-sapphire-cardWithout a doubt, the credit cards you carry can either really help you or really hurt your finances. With that in mind, I periodically take a look at new credit cards on the market and how they stack up to all the available options.

Today, let’s look at the latest travel rewards cards from Chase: The Chase Sapphire Card® and the Sapphire Preferred® Card.

The Chase Sapphire® Card provides unrestricted travel rewards for no annual fee. The Sapphire® Preferred Card provides additional benefits for an $95 annual fee (the first year is free).

The Chase Sapphire® Card offers:

10,000 bonus points after you spend $500 in the first 3 months – that’s $100 toward travel rewards!

  • 2 points per dollar spent at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Points never expire and there are no limits on how many points you can earn
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, merchandise, cash back and more
  • Direct access to expert service advisors anytime
  • No Annual Fee!

In contrast, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gives you:

  • 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months- that’s $500 toward travel rewards!
  • 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Get 20% off airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Ultimate RewardsSM
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Receive a 7% Annual Points Dividend on all new points earned on purchases – even on points already redeemed
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs – that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Direct access to expert service advisors anytime
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

The Sapphire Preferred’s intro bonus is extremely attractive, and the lack of foreign currency transaction fees is a big selling point for international travelers. That said, after the first year you’ll need to spend about $1,000 a month to break even on the annual fee in rewards points, so if you’re spending is more on tune to a few hundred dollars a month, the regular Chase Sapphire® Card is a better bet.

If you fly at least a few times a year and enjoy earning credit cards rewards in the form of free airfare, travel rewards cards like Chase Sapphire® can make more sense than cash back credit cards simply because the free airfare is sometimes worth more than straight cash back. As I’ve said before, however, the less-frequently you travel, the more cash rewards credit cards seem like the better option (try Blue Cash by Amex).

If a travel rewards card is for you, the Chase Sapphire® Card is a good pick.

Most of the travel rewards cards out there right now, such as the Capital One Venture Card are comparable in their rewards—you earn one point per dollar spent and extra points on airfare. One feature that makes the Sapphire credit card stand out, however, are their 24/7 service advisors. Basically, this is a free concierge service that can help you in your travels (or even in your everyday life).

One writer pushed the limits of what this service can offer. While he couldn’t get Chase to call him with daily motivational affirmations, he was able to get help with a crossword puzzle clue and some information on space travel.

Aside from Chase’s service advisors, the differences in these cards come down to the issuing bank. Who do you want to do business with?

My personal experiences with Chase customer service (and those of close friends) has been typical of big bank call centers, although I personally feel Chase reps are a bit more knowledgeable and less pushy than some I’ve dealt with at other credit card companies.

Browse all Travel Rewards Credit Cards at our partner, Credit Karma.

 

Disclaimer: One way I’m able to support my blogging while helping you is to link to products I like and earn a referral commission if you sign up. I only link to products I trust. That said, you should know that if you click the links to these cards and ultimately apply for and are approved for that card, I may be paid for that. If you choose to support Money Under 30 in that way, thanks!

Get access to our best money hacks:

Join over 11,000 other young professionals and learn how to get out of debt by 30, increase your income this year and invest for financial freedom.




100% free! I will NOT spam you and I will NOT share your email.

About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.

Comments

  1. This sounds like a good credit card. And like you said, you are dealing with one of the biggest banks. To me that is assuring.

  2. The best card to me seems to be Charles Schwab invest first Visa. Anyway you dice it all other rewards give you only up to 2% back. With Schwab’s card you get a straight 2% back on ALL purchases in the form of cash deposited into your brokerage account which can be withdrawn as cash to your bank account. Or use it to get a start on investing. I didn’t have an account with them and opening one was easy – I already have $500 in there after about 6 months of spending. Pretty much giving me a flight to anywhere in the US already. (I switched to this from my Chase Sapphire card).

    • Unfortunately, the Charles Schwab Invest First Visa is no longer supported by Charles Schwab. They have turned operations over to FIA card services, who see their job as squeezing every possible dime out of the customer. There is not even an option of inquiring via e-mail on their website. The phone customer service is a complete misnomer. Personnel talk in circles, refuse to allow discussion with a Supervisor/Manager and essentially make your life miserable. Don’t ever make a mistake by making two payments in one month….it will result in a refusal to assist in the return of the money. In my case, it required my bank (Citibank) to get involved to have the money returned (the duplicate payment). Then FIA card services charged a $25 check return fee, when it was their mistake in taking a double payment. As soon as I find a suitable replacement card, with no transaction fees and appropriate rewards, I will cancel this account, even though it may affect our credit worthiness. I cannot stand trying to deal with an institution which is out to get me, no matter what the circumstances.