Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
One of the most well-rounded and popular travel rewards credit cards is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. This card was introduced by Chase several years back as the launch card for their extremely popular Ultimate Rewards program, and it is still highly sought after today.
A few reasons for the card’s popularity are the generous sign-up bonus and the great return on the popular spending categories of travel and dining. After meeting the minimum spend threshold, Chase awards a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points, and the card earns 2X on practically all travel and dining purchases (which ranges from fine dining to fast food and bars).
Although other cards have been introduced with higher category spending bonuses, the Sapphire Preferred’s mid-range annual fee makes it a viable card for the average traveler. Additionally, because of Chase’s unofficial and notorious 5/24 rule (explained later on), this card is particularly appealing if you’re just starting out in the credit card game.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers and the value of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® points you earn.
One of the best reasons to get a new credit card is the sign-up bonus, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred does not disappoint. By spending 4,000 within the first 3 months, you’ll earn 50,000 Ultimate Reward points. This sum is worth at least $500 in cash, $625 toward travel booked through Chase, and potentially much more when taking advantage of the Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.
If you add an authorized user, you can earn an additional 5,000 points after that user’s first purchase within 3 months of opening the card. Plus, if you refer a friend through Chase’s online refer-a- friend program and that friend is approved for the card, you’ll earn another 5,000 points. The card also comes with great travel benefits, which are covered below.
What You Get
- Earn 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Add an authorized user within three months and get 5,000 points
- Refer a friend and recieve 5,000 if they become a cardholder
Chase makes it easy to keep your Ultimate Rewards points active. As long as you have an Ultimate Rewards card, your points will never expire. Further, there’s no minimum amount of activity needed as long as you hold any of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards cards (another reason why this suite of cards is so popular).
What is the value of the Ultimate Rewards® Points?
Redeeming your Chase points is very easy as the Ultimate Rewards website is extremely user friendly. At minimum, your points are worth 1 cent each as cash back, toward gift card purchases or for merchandise. But if you book travel through Chase’s travel website, a point is worth 1.25 cents each. Further, if you also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, those points are now worth 1.5 cents each toward travel when booked through Chase. But the greatest potential value is when you transfer points to one of Chase’s partners and book travel, particularly for long-haul business or first class flights.
What is CPM and How Is It Calculated?
Cents Per Mile (CPM) is a way to measure the value of miles. It tells you how many cents you get for each mile you redeem by dividing the cash price of the airline ticket (minus taxes and fees charged for an award ticket) by the number of miles the award flight costs. This is a somewhat subjective calculation because the price of the flight in both cash and miles fluctuates by season and availability.
How we calculate CPM:
The Best Ways to Redeem Ultimate Rewards Points
As mentioned above, the best way to redeem Ultimate Rewards points is by transferring them to Chase’s travel partners. Like the American Express Membership Rewards program and the Citi ThankYou program, Chase has some unique transfer partners. But unlike fixed-value points cards, like the Discover It card or Barclays Arrival Plus card, or co-branded airline cards, Ultimate Reward points are flexible and more valuable since you are protected from hotel and airline devaluations.
For example, if United decides to increase the number of miles needed to book award tickets, you can transfer to one of Chase’s other partners instead. If you solely collected United miles, you’re stuck with them, but by keeping points in your ltimate Rewards account, you don’t need to transfer them to a partner until you’re ready to use them.
Atlanta–Fort LauderdaleEconomy classMiles price11,760points+$0 feeDollars price$147
Washington–Los AngelesEconomy classMiles price20,000points+$26 feeDollars price$337
Washington–HonoluluEconomy classMiles price25,000points+$20 feeDollars price$994
Miami–LimaEconomy classMiles price25,000points+$68 feeDollars price$527
San Francisco–SeoulEconomy classMiles price70,000points+$359 feeDollars price$1,211
Las Vegas–San JoseEconomy classMiles price27,680points+$0 feeDollars price$346
Los Angeles–HonoluluBusiness classMiles price45,000points+$10 feeDollars price$854
Miami–HoustonBusiness classMiles price30,000points+$13 feeDollars price$551
Pittsburgh–WashingtonBusiness classMiles price32,880points+$0 feeDollars price$411
Washington–ParisBusiness classMiles price80,000points+$646 feeDollars price$3,214
New York–MoscowBusiness classMiles price140,000points+$136 feeDollars price$2,982
New York–Punta CanaBusiness classMiles price30,000points+$47 feeDollars price$886
Other ways you can redeem points
Hotel Stays4 partners4 part.
In addition to booking award flights, you can also book free hotel nights by transferring points to IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and World of Hyatt.
While you can’t transfer your Ultimate Rewards to car rental loyalty programs, you could use your points through Chase’s travel website to book car rentals through the major car rental agencies.
Although not the best use of points, you can also buy gift cards from several popular retailers, like Amazon, Starbucks and Marriott.
While not recommended, it is possible to redeem points for cash in the form of statement credits or as a direct deposit into your Chase bank account. This can be done in any denomination through Chase’s website at a value of 1 cent per point.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred was the first credit card to offer consistent double points on dining and a wide variety of travel purchases. Additionally, all other purchases earn one point per dollar. But since the travel category goes beyond basic hotel or airline purchases, everyday activities like taking a taxi, paying tolls and using public transportation also earn double points. Because Ultimate Rewards points are so valuable, using this card for even non-bonus spending can be a good idea.
- Car Rental
- All Other Purchases
Diving deeper, the double points earned on dining and travel is very wide-ranging. Dining includes any type of restaurant from upscale to casual, plus bars, even if they don’t sell food. Travel includes the obvious purchases of hotel stays and airfare, as well as motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, online travel agents and campgrounds, plus operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, tolls, parking lots and garages. This also includes services like Uber and Lyft. As long as the merchant category code is classified as dining or travel, you should earn double points, but of course, exceptions do apply.
No Foreign Transaction Fee
No fees for using the Sapphire Preferred for non-U.S. dollar purchases abroad or online.
No matter the time of day, Chase promises that a representative will answer your call to answer questions about your card or to assist with travel arrangements, dining reservations, show tickets and more.
Earn Elite Status Fast
Since the Chase Sapphire Preferred is not a co-branded airline card, spend placed on this card does not fast-track elite status with any airline or hotel. Further, this card does not include any automatic elite status as some premium cards do.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
An excellent feature of the Preferred card is that the annual fee is waived the first year. For the second year of card membership, the fee is $95, but not a lot of spending is needed to offset the fee. Since Ultimate Reward points are worth at least 1.8 cents each, you would only need to spend $5,278 over the course of a year to offset the fee. If you spend about $2,000 per month on the card, you’ll pay it off in about three months. Conversely, you could put about $440 on the card each month of the year to cover this fee.
Some cardholders like to weigh the amount of the sign-up bonus to the cost of the annual fee over several years. If you used the sign-up bonus as cash back, the 50,000 points (equal to 900) would cover the annual fee for six years (first year waived plus five years). But, if you’re getting at least 0 in value per point, the 2 points sign-up bonus is worth $900 , covering the annual fee for ten years (first year waived plus nine years).
- Annual Fee
- $0 Intro fee for the first year. After that, $95
- Balance Transfer Fee
- Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee
- Late Payment Fee
- Up to $15 Variable ±
See What It Takes to Cover an Annual Fee:
We strongly recommend to spend not less than $1,760 per months to cover the annual fee in three months.
We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings you’ll get with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Is the card worth getting, and should you keep it after you get the sign-up bonus? Let’s find out.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Top 5 Benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Whether you’re new to the credit card game or a seasoned pro, if you don’t have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, this is definitely a card to get. The great sign-up bonus and waived annual fee for the first year make the card a no-brainer for practically everyone.
Here are the top five benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred:
- Great Earning Potential: You’ll earn two points for every dollar spent on all travel and dining purchases, and one point per dollar for everything else.
- Big Sign-Up Bonus: This card offers a lucrative 50,000 points sign-up bonus, as well as an extra 5,000 points for adding an authorized user.
- No Annual Fee the First Year: Chase waives the $95 annual fee the first year, but the card’s great benefits make it worth keeping well beyond that.
- Transfer Partners: The Ultimate Rewards program offers several great airline and hotel transfer partners. Popular airline options include United Airlines and Air France, and great hotel chains include Hyatt and Marriott.
- Primary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Not many personal credit cards offer this great travel benefit when you pay for your rental car with the card.
Should You Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for just about everybody. Whether you’re just getting started with travel rewards cards or you’re a frequent business traveler, this card offers many great benefits including a big sign-up bonus, a great earning rate on spending and a host of other travel benefits.
On top of that, since Chase picks up the annual fee the first year, you don’t pay anything out of pocket to get the card, and 2 bonus points are a great way to pad your Ultimate Rewards balance or to get you started. And because you always earn double points on travel and dining purchases, the mid- range $95 annual fee makes this a great card to keep beyond the first year and to also keep at the top of your wallet.
With the complimentary auto rental insurance, trip cancelation/interruption coverage, trip delay reimbursement and baggage delay insurance, this card is great to travel with as it adds peace of mind whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure. Whether you hit the road every week or take one family vacation each year, this is a card to keep.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
Like many Chase cards, the Sapphire Preferred is also subject to their unofficial 5/24 rule. How does this rule work? In short, if you’ve opened five or more personal cards with any bank in the last 24 months, your application will likely be denied with little room for workaround or reconsideration.
Because Chase has so many great cards, it’s worth knowing where you stand in terms of the number of cards you’ve gotten in the last two years to know if you fall under this unique rule. If you are under five new cards in this timespan, it’s likely worth getting this card before others from American Express, Citibank, Discover, etc., that don’t have a similar requirement. If you’re over the 5/24 threshold, you’ll need to examine the cards you already have and the cards you are considering in the future to determine if it’s worth it to wait to apply for other cards in order to increase your chances of approval for this one.
WAbsolutely! Although the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ shares many of the same features and benefits as the Sapphire Preferred, Chase allows customers to have both cards. So even though the Reserve offers 3X points on dining and travel compared to the Preferred’s 2X, if approved, you’ll be eligible for the hefty sign-up bonus. Additionally, you’ll be able to combine your Preferred points and Reserve points in order for those points to be worth more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel tool.
If you already have the Sapphire Reserve and are considering the Sapphire Preferred, be sure to consider how many other cards you’ve opened in the last 24 months to get a better idea if you’ll be approved for this additional account. Also, bear in mind that if you have high limits on your other Chase cards, you may need to shift around credit lines in order to get approved for an additional card. And lastly, while business credit cards with other banks generally don’t count towards 5/24, Chase can obviously see what other business cards you may have with them.
Generally yes, as long as it’s not a co-branded card. When it comes to doing a product change with any credit card, the terms and conditions of the current card can impact whether or not you can switch and when.
When might you want to change cards? Let’s say you have the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited, and you’re looking to earn a higher consistent rate on your dining and travel purchases, upgrading one of those cards could make sense. Alternatively, if you currently have the Sapphire Reserve and the $450 annual fee is too high for you, changing the card to the Sapphire Preferred would allow you to pay a lower annual fee and still earn a competitive return on your spending.
The only downside to switching cards is that you won’t be eligible for the sign-up bonus. For all credit cards, the sign-up bonus is only eligible for new cardholders. Unlike its competitors, Chase doesn’t offer an incentive to upgrade their cards.
Like other loyalty programs, Chase does allow you to pay for all or part of your travel purchase with points. Even better, Chase doesn’t require you to use an even or rounded number of points toward that purchase, so you can decide exactly how many you want to redeem.
For example, let’s say you want to purchase a $200 flight. Through the UR travel website, you would only need 16,000 points to cover the entire purchase. But if you only wanted to redeem 10,000 points (worth $125 towards travel), you could do so and pay the balance of $75 with your card. Moreover, you’d earn double points on that purchase, so you’ll earn an extra 150 points toward your new trip.
Airlines: Air France KLM, British Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic
Hotels: Hyatt, Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), Marriott Rewards (which can be converted to Starwood Preferred Guest points) and Ritz-Carlton Rewards
Compare Ultimate Rewards® Cards
Other Ultimate Rewards® cards
Looking to maximize your Ultimate Rewards earning potential? Chase offers three additional personal credit cards in the UR family: Freedom, Freedom Unlimited and Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The standard Freedom card earns 1 point per dollar on every purchase along with quarterly bonus categories where you can earn an extra 4 points per dollar (up to $1,500 each quarter). Freedom Unlimited earns a flat 1.5 points on every dollar spent. Neither has an annual fee. For maximum earnings potential, the Sapphire Reserve is Chase’s high-end premium card, earning 1 point per dollar on travel and dining along with many other benefits, but the annual fee is much higher at $450 per year.
|Chase Sapphire Reserve℠||Chase Freedom® Card||Chase Freedom Unlimited℠|
|Sign-up bonus||50,000 points||50,000 points||15,000 points||15,000 points|
|Annual Fee||$450||$0 Intro fee for the first year. After that, $95||$0||$0|
|APR On Purchases||16.99% to 23.99% Variable±||16.99% to 23.99% Variable±||15.99% to 24.74% Variable±||15.99% to 24.74% Variable±|
|Second Year Value||$432||$432||$240||$360|
The Freedom Unlimited earns a flat 1.5 points for every dollar spent, and those points can be used for cash back. Like the Unlimited, the standard Freedom card earns Ultimate Rewards for cash back, but the quarterly bonus categories offer the ability to accelerate the points you can earn. But to truly maximize your points, you’ll need at least one premium annual fee card from Chase’s lineup.
Whether you have the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, you can combine these Ultimate Rewards points with the points you earn with the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards to maximize their value towards travel. Both premium cards allow you to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to one of Chase’s travel partners. If you have the Sapphire Preferred, points are worth 1.25 cents each toward travel booked through Chase. But if you have the Sapphire Reserve, your points are now worth 1.5 cents each toward travel booked on UltimateRewards.com.
Which card is best? It depends on the type of spending you do, as well as how you plan to use your points. Because both Freedom cards offer no annual fee, it makes sense to get these at some point. While the Sapphire Reserve is the top-of- the-line card, it’s hefty $450 annual fee may be too high for some consumers. That’s why we recommend the Sapphire Preferred as a great alternative.
Compare the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to Other Cards
Other cards similar to the Sapphire Preferred offer great rewards on all types of spending and are great cards for people looking to get into travel rewards. Out of the cards below, the Sapphire Preferred competes evenly with the sign-up bonus of two of its competitors. And like the Arrival Plus card and Venture card, you can earn 2X points on certain categories, making it easy to earn rewards quickly.
However, there are many differences amongst these cards. First, the Sapphire Preferred is the only card that allows you to transfer points to airline and hotel programs. This is a major benefit related to the value of your points in the event one of Chase’s travel partners devalues their loyalty program.
Additionally, the points offered by these competitors have a fixed earning rate, while the Sapphire Preferred allows you to earn more points on travel and dining. Moreover, the competition’s points are worth a maximum of 1 cent each for redemptions, while the Sapphire Preferred offers multiple ways to stretch the value of your points. All the cards listed above earn and redeem points at a fixed rate except for the Sapphire Preferred.
In addition to the points earned, the other cards in the chart don’t offer all the travel benefits that the Sapphire Preferred does. This is worth remembering when booking a trip that might include several components such as flights, hotels and car rentals. Plus, the Sapphire Preferred is the only card of the bunch that offers a primary auto rental collision damage waiver.
Whenever you apply for a credit card make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card and the rewards program to find out about minimum spend requirements and any restrictions to ensure you can successfully obtain the card and earn the rewards it offers.
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with the Visa card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 16.99% to 23.99% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 21 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- On eligible purchases, this card extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer's warranty by an additional year on warranties of three years or less.
- Purchase Protection:
- The card covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
- Price Protection:
- If a purchase you made in the U.S. is advertised for less in print or online within 90 days, you can be reimbursed the difference
- Return Protection:
- You can be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won't take back within 90 days of purchase. Covers up to $500 per item and $1,000 per year.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 25.99% Variable ±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Security and Protections
Chase is focused on providing keeping your account safe with the following security features:
- Account alerts:
- Through Chase’s website or mobile app, you can set up account alerts to be notified of large transactions, unauthorized withdrawals or when your payment is due.
- Monitoring Your Account on the Go:
- You can keep up with your account and transactions with the Chase mobile website and app available through Apple and Android.
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Like more and more credit cards, this card comes with chip technology that can be used at merchants in the U.S. and abroad that use chip-enabled terminals.
Chase offers a mobile banking version of their website as well as a mobile app for Apple and Android so you can always monitor your account on the go. You can check your account balance, transaction activity and even pay your bill straight from your smartphone.
Mobile Wallet: This card can be set up on your smartphone to use with Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
All consumers who are approved for the Sapphire Preferred are issued a Visa Signature card. Through this enhanced program from Visa, the travel benefits below are available through Chase’s third-party providers. These benefits are similar to those offered by American Express and World Elite Mastercard.
Visa Signature Travel Benefits
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:
- Coverage for theft and collision for most rentals in the U.S. and abroad. Coverage is primary before your personal insurance.
- Baggage Delay Insurance:
- Reimbursement for essentials, such as toiletries and clothing, if bags are delayed over 6 hours. Get up to $100 a day for 5 days.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement:
- Get up to $3,000 per passenger for damaged or lost bags. Coverage includes the cardholder and immediate family members on the same travel itinerary.
- Roadside Dispatch:
- You can call 1-800- 847-2869 for roadside assistance, including lockout service, towing, jumpstart and gas delivery. Service charges apply.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- When you pay for your air, bus, train, or cruise transportation with your card, you are eligible to receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services:
- If you run into a problem while away, you can call the benefit administrator for legal referrals, medical referrals, and other emergency assistance. Service charges apply.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement:
- If your common air carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for expenses not reimbursed by the airline, such as meals and lodging. This benefit is up to $500 per ticket.