Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is considered one of the best travel cards for beginners, but it can add a lot of value to your wallet even if you’re an expert at the points and miles game. It even came in first place at the inaugural TPG Awards this past December in the Best Mid-Tier Card of the Year category.
Here are the details
The Chase Sapphire Preferred awards 50,000 points to new cardholders after spending $4,000 within the first three months, which is one of the most competitive sign-up bonuses available. The card also awards an unlimited 2x points on restaurant and travel purchases and 1x points for all other purchases.
While the card doesn’t offer some of the more premium travel perks that come with top-tier cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or The Platinum Card® from American Express, it still boasts an impressive portfolio of benefits for cardholders, including trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection and extended warranty protection. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is also one of the only cards that offer primary rental car insurance, which can save you from having to file a claim with your personal insurance for damages to a rental car.
Worthy addition to your wallet?
Whether you’re a novice traveler looking for your first credit card or an experienced points and miles collector, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a lot of value to offer. The low annual fee ($95, waived the first year) makes it a solid choice if you’re just jumping into the points and miles game, but the rewards and travel perks can really round out any frequent flyer’s wallet.
The sign-up bonus alone is a strong incentive for adding this card to your rotation. With 50,000 bonus points (plus the points you rack up while hitting the $4,000 minimum spend in the first three months), you can easily fund most if not all of your next vacation.
Now, for those who can afford a higher annual fee, the CSP does have an older brother: the Chase Sapphire Reserve. In exchange for a $450 annual fee, the CSR offers 3x points on travel (excluding the $300 annual credit) and dining, 50% more value when you redeem points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, up to $300 in travel credits, Global Entry application fee rebate and much more. For frequent flyers who will utilize those luxury perks, the annual fee pretty much pays for itself – making the CSR a better option.
However, anyone who is unsure of that hefty annual fee will still enjoy wonderful perks and a strong rewards system with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. If after a year or so you decide that the Reserve is a better option for your travel needs, you can always apply to upgrade your CSP.
How much are rewards worth?
You can start off 2019 with a bang by earning 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. The CSP’s sign up bonus is worth $625 when you redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. If you’re willing to do a little research and have flexible travel dates, you can make that reward stretch to be worth almost $1,000 by transferring points to one of Chase’s travel partners.
The true “superpower” of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, however, is its flexibility, from the way you earn rewards to how you can redeem points.
The earning potential with the CSP is limitless – literally, there is no cap on how many points you can earn with the card. While 2x points on travel and dining might sound underwhelming for such a highly-coveted card, Chase defines those categories broadly. In addition to standard travel purchases from airlines and hotels, you can earn 2x points without ever leaving your hometown by using the card to pay for passenger trains, bus fare, taxis, ferries, toll bridges, parking lots and garages, ride-sharing services and even limo rentals. Dining includes high-end restaurants, fast food drive-thrus, hole-in-the-wall diners, your favorite Chinese takeout joint and even some delivery services.
When it comes time to redeem points, you’ll find the same flexibility. Through the Chase travel portal, you can book travel for 1.25 cents per point without worrying about blackout dates or limited availability. Those looking to really maximize points can take advantage of Chase’s 13 airline and hotel partners. With a little extra research, you can redeem rewards for far more than 1.25 cents per points with partners like Singapore Airlines, British Airways and United.
Fees & APR
- $95 annual fee, waived the first year.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- 17.99% to 24.99% variable APR, based on creditworthiness.
- Balance transfer fee of $5 or 5%, whichever is greater.
- Late and return payment fees of up to $38
- See all Rates & Fees.
How this card compares
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Probably the most comparable card to the CSP is the Capital One Venture Rewards Card. The card boasts a 50,000-mile sign-up bonus (after spending $3,000 the first three months), 2x miles on all purchases (plus 10x miles on all hotel bookings purchased through Hotels.com/Venture) and unique travel perks for a mid-tier card (such as Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit).
While Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth more than Venture Miles, the fact that you earn a flat 2x miles on all purchases might sway some beginners to choose the Venture. Those who are looking to pair multiple cards, however, can find more potential with the CSP.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is considered one of the best credit cards on the market. You can earn 3x points on dining and travel purchases while utilizing amazing perks, such as:
- 50% more redemption value (1.5 cents per point) when you use the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
- Up to $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- $300 annual travel credit
- Priority Pass Lounge Access
- Visa Infinite Perks
- And more.
While the annual fee is a hefty $450, those who utilize the $300 annual travel credit really only pay $150 for the card each year. If you can qualify for the card and know you’ll use the perks that come with it, the CSR is the better choice for frequent travelers.
How to get the most value from this card
In order to get the most out of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you need to utilize Chase’s 13 transfer partners and travel perks.
Make sure you have loyalty accounts with all of the hotel chains and airlines you use frequently, especially if they are a Chase transfer partner. Most loyalty programs are free to use, so all you need to do is register for an account. Then, make sure to use your Chase Sapphire Preferred when you make any travel-related purchases.
You should also add your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to your rental car profile, Uber and Lyft accounts and any qualifying delivery food services such as Seamless or Postmates. These all qualify under one of their 2x bonus categories. Plus, if you use your CSP for car rental purchases, you’ll also get primary rental car coverage.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is also a great card to pair for maximizing earning potential. Some experts refer to the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited and CSP as the “Chase Trifecta.” If you utilize all three appropriately you can exponentially increase your earning potential.
The Ink Business Preferred offers great bonus categories for business owners (or freelancers) and Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5% cash back is awarded in Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you use the Ink Business Preferred for all business-related expenses, the CSP on all travel and dining purchases and the Freedom Unlimited on everything else, you can make sure you’re getting the most rewards out of every swipe.