Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Review: The Travel Rewards Credit Card that Changed the Game


Rating as of Oct. 1, 2018 based on a review of services June 21, 2022.

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  • Excellent
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850
Our Bottom Line:

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card sets the standard for travel rewards by offering an excellent 5x points on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x points on dining and 2x points on all other travel purchases. And points are worth 25% more when you redeem travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® – That means the killer 60,000 point sign-up bonus is worth $750 towards travel.

Intro APR Purchases N/A
Intro Term Purchases 0
Intro APR Balance Transfers N/A
Intro Term Balance Transfers 0
Regular APR 18.99% - 25.99% Variable
Annual Fee $95
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an excellent travel rewards credit card for earning points on every purchase that can be redeemed for travel on any airline or at any hotel. Learn more in our Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review.

Despite increasing competition in the travel rewards sector, we believe the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is still one of the best premium travel rewards credit cards on the market. Here’s our full Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review:

Overview

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a premium travel rewards credit card (it’s made of metal, not plastic!) that earns 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

The card carries a $95 annual fee.

Money Under 30 recommends the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to consumers who want to maximize the value of their credit card rewards by booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or transferring points to airline and hotel partners. Anyone who can take advantage of the generous sign-up bonus should also consider this card. New cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening – that’s worth $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® or $600 in cash – your choice!

Other benefits of carrying the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card include global access to a 24/7 concierge line and no foreign transaction fees—a must if you’ll take card abroad.

Earning Rewards

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

From shopping to restaurants to hotel stays to your morning Starbucks, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will give you double points. The official list of travel purchases that will earn double points includes:

Airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, campgrounds, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, passengers trains, buses, taxis, limos, ferries, tolls, bridges, highways, and parking lots/garages.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a good pick for sophisticated travelers because of what you can do with your rewards and because the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns Chase Ultimate Reward Points. Although you can redeem these points many different ways, you have the option of transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. This cuts down on the number of cards you need to carry to get rewards on every purchase that can be used toward your preferred travel award.

Redeeming Rewards

Chase Ultimate Rewards is Chase’s premium rewards program. In addition to exchanging points for gift cards and cash, you make your points go further by booking travel directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards or exchanging points for miles or points with partner airlines and hotel chains.

If you’re just looking to redeem credit card rewards for cash or gift cards, a no-annual-fee cash-back credit card is a better bet. If you know what you’re doing, however, your credit card points will go further with a travel rewards card like Chase Sapphire Preferred®.

If, for example, 25,000 points earns you $250 in rewards on a cash back card—a value of one penny per point—the same 25,000 points might get you a plane ticket or hotel stay worth much more when you use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed 1:1 for airline and hotel partners including:

  • British Airways
  • Hyatt
  • IHG
  • Korean Air
  • Marriott
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Ritz-Carlton
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

Even if you don’t transfer points to partners, you can get 25 percent more value when you redeem points for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel (or $600 in cash). Booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards is just like reserving through Expedia or another booking site. And, unlike using frequent flyer miles earned with a specific airline, there are no blackout dates or travel restrictions when booking through Chase—as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

If you’re serious about maxing out your credit card points, consider using another Chase card along with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card together. Points earned can be transferred to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card account (and later to airline/hotel partners).

Sign-up Bonus

New cardmembers can earn up to $750 (when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®) in free travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

You will earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, possibly more if you take advantage of transferring the points to partners.

Among the top credit card sign-up bonuses, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is easily one of the most generous. The only downside is that $4,000 is a lot to spend in the first three months if you don’t regularly spend that much or weren’t already planning on a large purchase.

Rates and Fees

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Highlights - Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

- 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Annual Fee$95
Intro APR - PurchasesN/A
Intro APR - Balance TransfersN/A
Balance Transfer FeeEither $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Regular APR18.99% - 25.99% Variable
Cash Advance APR27.99% Variable
Foreign Transaction Fee N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Valuable Rewards on All Purchases — 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases, 1x point per dollar spent on everything else.
  • Great Sign-up Bonus — Receive a 60,000 point signup bonus after spending $4,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening.
  • Earn Flexible Rewards — Reward points can be redeemed for travel reservations or transferred to airlines and hotels.

Cons

  • High Annual Fee — There's a $95 annual fee for this card.
  • Fewer Travel Options — The Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Center no longer offers tickets on several discount airlines.

Review Summary

If you fly at least a few times a year and enjoy earning credit cards rewards in the form of free travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great card to increase the value of your points from one cent per point to up to five cents per point.

That said, with a $95 annual fee, the Sapphire Preferred® Card may not be for everyone. If you’re looking for a simpler, more straightforward rewards system—or you want a card without an annual fee—look for a cash-back card without an annual fee.

And remember, if you’re new to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s $750 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, Or, if you prefer cash, that’s $600 in cash back.

Learn more or apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card now.

About the author

David Weliver
Total Articles: 285
David Weliver is the founder of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues he faced during his first two decades as an adult. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.