The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is my favorite travel rewards card


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the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great travel rewards credit card for many reasons, but a few standout perks include its valuable, transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards® points and comprehensive travel insurance benefits – on top of that, there’s no foreign transaction fees and you will only have to pay an annual fee of $95.

And while it might not offer as many flashy perks as some of the other travel reward credit cards, out of the 70+ credit cards I’ve had in my life, I’ve found that it was one of the best.

If you’re looking for a new travel rewards credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is currently offering a whopping 80,000 point bonus as a welcome offer for new cardholders, available after spending $4,000 at during the first three months of card membership and worth $1,000 in flights, hotels and/or car rentals when redeemed through Ultimate Rewards (and potentially even more if you transfer to partners).

Here’s a look at some of the reasons I’ve enjoyed using the Chase Sapphire Preferred over the past six months, and why it continues to be a premium credit card for me.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Awards

    $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, 2X points on all other travel purchases and 1X points on all other purchases

  • welcome bonus

    Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. It’s $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Annual subscription

  • Introduction AVR

  • Regular APR

    16.24% – 23.24% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance Transfer Fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Advantages

  • Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Transfer points to major frequent traveler programs at a 1:1 rate, including: IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy™ and World of Hyatt®
  • Travel coverages include: Collision Damage Waiver for Rental Vehicles, Baggage Delay Insurance and Trip Delay Reimbursement
  • No fees charged on purchases made outside the United States

The inconvenients

  • $95 annual fee
  • No Intro 0% APR
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $1,506
  • Estimated awards earned after 5 years: $2,528

Total rewards include points earned from welcome bonus

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My experience with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

For several years I couldn’t get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card because of Chase’s 5/24 rule, which excludes applicants who have been approved for more than five credit cards in the past 24 months. Because I was always on the lookout for the next great welcome offer, I kept breaking that five-card limit consistently.

Eventually I found myself within the 5/24 rule, applied for the card and was approved in October 2021. Shortly after, I earned the welcome bonus after reaching the minimum spending requirement of $4,000 in the first three months of account opening and the 80,000 points I received provided $1,000 worth of flights and hotels when redeemed through Ultimate Rewards.

Here’s why I found this credit card so valuable.

Travel insurance is a major benefit included

When you book travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you are immediately covered by the following travel insurance policies:

  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • Travel delay reimbursement
  • Collision Damage Waiver for Rental Car (Primary Rental Car Insurance)
  • Baggage delay insurance

These benefits have been extremely valuable to me as I have had many occasions where my travel plans have gone wrong. More recently, while flying from California to Florida over the holidays, my flight was canceled due to bad weather and I was forced to stay the night. Luckily, my trip delay insurance kicked in and covered my overnight hotel and meal expenses, which were about $250. By saving my receipts and submitting a claim, I was able to receive a direct deposit for related expenses into my checking account a few months later.

Ultimate Rewards points are valuable and easy to use

The Ultimate Rewards points I’ve earned continue to give me great value. Specifically, my partner and I appreciate the ability to transfer them into Southwest Rapid Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio. After recently earning the Southwest Companion Pass with the Welcome Bonus from Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, I can now take the points I earn with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and transfer them to Southwest. And with my Companion Pass benefit, I can book almost free flights for me and my travel companion, because I can book myself with Southwest points and my partner flies free (we only have to pay taxes and fees ).

I was also able to transfer my Ultimate Rewards points to IHG Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programs to book free hotel stays during my travels.

Best of all, I’m always guaranteed 1.25 cents per point worth when using my points in the Chase Travel Portal, although in most cases I can usually find better value by transferring them directly to one of Chase’s 14 hotel or airline partners. , including the following loyalty programs:

  • Aer Lingus Aer Club
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Flying Blue (KLM and Air France)
  • Iberia More
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Quick Rewards
  • United Airlines MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Aeroclub
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • The world of Hyatt

For example, with the current welcome offer of 80,000 points, you could:

  • Transfer 50,000 points to the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club to book a one-way business class flight on Delta Air Lines from the United States to Europe (retail price: $2,800+). You will still have 30,000 points left.
  • Transfer 80,000 points to World of Hyatt and book four nights at the Hyatt Andaz West Hollywood (public price: up to $2,100 taxes and fees included)
  • Transfer 78,000 points to the British Airways Executive Club and book three round-trip flights from West Coast cities to Hawaii on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines (retail price: $1,350)

What to consider if you are interested in this card

While the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a great option for people who love to travel, ultimately it might not be the best choice if you have other needs. Here’s what else you should consider before applying for the card:

Rewards transfer options

While you can always redeem your rewards points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, to get the most bang for your buck, you’d definitely be better off transferring them to one of the partners listed above. However, you should also consider who these partners are – and how often you travel with them – before applying, as another travel rewards card might offer different options.

Personally, I appreciate being able to transfer mine to Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (so I can fly Delta Air Lines), British Airways (so I can fly American Airlines or Alaska Airlines), JetBlue, IHG, and Marriott. Check and see if Chase’s available transfer partners meet your travel needs – if not, American Express and Capital One each offer travel rewards credit cards with transferable rewards to different partners that may work better for you.

Consider “doubling up” on Ultimate Rewards

The next step in the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which offers even more travel perks, including lounge access and fee credits for expedited airport security programs, among others. Although you are not allowed to have both cards in your possession at the same time, you can always decide to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve later.

If you are a business owner, you also have the option of applying for a business credit card such as the Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. The card currently offers a significant welcome offer of 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 within the first three months of opening your account.

Finally, you can add the absence of annual fees Hunt Unlimited Freedom® or Chase Freedom Flex℠ to earn bonus points in other categories, like pharmacies, then combine the points earned with these cards with your Sapphire cards to make them more valuable.

At the end of the line

the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card continues to be a staple in the wallets of many travelers for its great value and transferable points network, among other valuable perks. Its welcome offer of 80,000 points also offers a great opportunity to offset rising travel costs since it’s worth $1,000 worth of travel booked through the Chase portal, all for a modest annual fee of $95.

Even if you only travel or stay in hotels a few times a year, this card has the potential to quickly pay dividends by saving you money on your travels while earning reward points. reward. And as the travel landscape continues to be unpredictable, simply using this card to book your trips could save you hundreds of dollars in case your plans go wrong.

Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of Select’s editorial staff only and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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