2010 Credit Card Guide
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Chase Sapphire

Launched in August 2009, the Chase Sapphire card is another card looking to crack the elusive and exclusive elite credit card market.

Unlike other elite cards, the Chase Sapphire card doesn't charge an annual fee. But its card membership is a whole lot less exclusive. The card is aimed at the top 15 percent of U.S. households.

The card's benefits include a rich rewards program with no annual spending caps, no travel restrictions and no blackout dates. And you receive 10,000 rewards points with your first purchase with the card.

With the Chase Sapphire card, you earn one point for every dollar that you spend on the card, double points on airfares purchased through a travel booking tool and up to 10 bonus points per dollar when you shop online at more than 300 merchants.

With just 2,500 points, card members can redeem gift cards from retailers such as Home Depot and Macy's, redeem discount certificates good for airlines, cruise lines, hotels and car rental companies, or receive $25 cash back.

As with so many elite cards, the Chase Sapphire card provides complimentary concierge services and promises its members access to extraordinary travel opportunities and once-in-a-lifetime events.

With the Chase Sapphire card, members have access to VIP passes for everything from "American Idol" to fashion week to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colo.

The Chase Sapphire card comes with a variable interest rate of 12.24 percent. With a late fee as high as $39 and a penalty interest rate of 29.99 percent, you'll pay an awfully heavy price if you should pay your Chase Sapphire card late even a single time.

A similarly strict penalty policy is in place for the Chase Sapphire preferred card.

The Chase Sapphire preferred card provides cardholders with enhanced identity theft protection, a spending bonus of 10,000 rewards points for customers spending $50,000 annually, a one-to-one rewards point transfer to leading hotel and airline programs and rewards points worth 25 percent more when redeemed for travel online.

The Chase Sapphire preferred card charges a $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first year. The preferred card comes with a variable interest rate of 12.24 percent, a penalty interest rate as high as 29.99 percent and late fees as high as $39.

If you've got absolute tip-top credit and like to charge big with your credit cards, you may qualify for the very best elite card offers available.

Choose the card with benefits and rewards that most appeal to your travel, leisure and entertainment needs.

And don't forget to factor in the cost of the annual fee. Are you willing to pay more for a card that delivers ultra-exclusive benefits and services?

And will you and your family use those ultra-exclusive benefits and services each and every year?

"It all comes down to your purchase patterns and your lifestyle and your need for prestige," says Bill Hardekopf, chief executive officer of LowCards.com.





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