Updated with new offer, perk details. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a premium rewards credit card, now with an upped sign-up bonus to new cardholders that is the best publicly-available bonus in years. Bonus highlights:
- Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn an additional 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
- Annual fee is waived for the first year, $95 in future years.
Note the following text:
This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.
The short version is 50,000 points can be redeemed for $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards™. Using it is flexible as well, as you can buy a more expensive ticket (or tickets) and simply pay the difference. You can also transfer the points to various airline mileage programs as well and redeem miles for even better value. This card has a lot of other small features that other cards don’t offer. Full review below.
Rewards Program Summary
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants. Earn 1 point for every dollar in other purchases. Travel includes airfare, car rental, hotels, and more. Restaurants include both table-service dining and fast food. There are no earning caps or expiration dates. The Ultimate Rewards points that you earn offer great flexibility:
- Simple cash rewards. Cash redemptions are easy – you can redeem in $1 increments as long as above $20, so you could cash out $27 or $253 without anything left over. 100 points = $1.
- Simple travel rewards. Points redeemed towards travel are worth 25% more, and you can apply them to any hotel or flight available on their travel portal. Redemptions can also be maximized because you can book wherever you want and simply pay the difference. For example, 25,000 points can be used for any ticket up to $312.50, but if say you wanted a $325 ticket you could just pay the $12.50 difference. You’re able to use every last point on this program, and you don’t have to worry about room or flight availability.
- Flexible transfers to airline miles. If you prefer, you can also transfer to United Airlines, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Southwest, Hyatt Hotels, IHG Hotels, and Marriott Hotels. 1 Sapphire point = 1 mile/hotel point for these transfers. Miles redemption continue to offer great value for savvy travelers, especially for last-minute travel and business class seats. If you collect miles, this is really lucrative as I don’t know of any other card that gives 2 miles/dollar spent on travel and dining.
- Sharing points. Ultimate Rewards points are instantly transferable to other accounts like family members, as long as they have their own card as a (free) authorized user. This way, you can pool points together for transfers and redemptions if you like.
Just nice-to-have perks:
- Premium, dedicated customer service line with a live person, 24/7. I tested this out and it works. A real person picks up after a couple rings, no phone trees or typing those darn 16 digits over and over. You can use this feature to redeem cash rewards over the phone for free, although booking rewards tickets over the phone costs $20 (doing so online is free).
- No foreign transaction fees. Also comes with smart chip. Current cardholders can request a new chip-enabled card (free) by either calling in (remember, no phone trees with Sapphire…) or using the secure message feature of the Chase website. They’ll even send a prepaid mailer to return back your old card, since it is metal and thus hard to shred.
- Primary car rental collision damage waiver insurance. Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad. Most other cards only offer secondary insurance, which means it only kicks in if your personal auto insurance does not cover an accident (which can trigger an increase to your premiums).
- Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels.
- Trip delay reimbursement. If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.
- Lost luggage reimbursement. If you or your immediate family members’ checked or carry-on bags are damaged or lost by the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
- Baggage delay insurance. Reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over six hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for five days.
Retail shopping and purchase-related perks:
- Extended Warranty Protection. Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.
- Purchase Protection. Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Return Protection. You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year.
- Price protection. If a card purchase you made in the U.S. is advertised for less in print or online within 90 days, you can be reimbursed the difference up to $500 per item, $2,500 per year.
I share the opinion with many others that this is a strong bonus backed by a solid rewards card for the savvy traveler. I say “savvy” because if you can wrangle 2 cents per mile of value out of a frequent flier program (quite possible), then this card is great value. During your first year, you should see if you can get enough value to justify the $95 annual fee. For someone who charges very little on their credit card and/or does not travel much, it is likely not a good rewards card for that situation.
For me, I keep this card around after looking at the whole picture. I have accumulated nearly 300,000 Ultimate Rewards points from this card and other sources including the Ultimate Rewards cashback portal and the Chase Freedom card, but I need to keep this card open to retain the flexible transfer options as I like to keep these UR points around to transfer over to specific partners as needed. I try to specifically put travel and dining out on this card, as I prefer 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar over 2% cash back. This works out because the travel protections on this card are stronger than most and only apply if you actually charge your travel on this card. Primary car rental CDW insurance is pretty valuable on its own.
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