Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review
Why you can trust Bankrate
At Bankrate, we have a mission to demystify the credit cards industry — regardless or where you are in your journey — and make it one you can navigate with confidence. Our team is full of a diverse range of experts from credit card pros to data analysts and, most importantly, people who shop for credit cards just like you. With this combination of expertise and perspectives, we keep close tabs on the credit card industry year-round to:
- Meet you wherever you are in your credit card journey to guide your information search and help you understand your options.
- Consistently provide up-to-date, reliable market information so you\'re well-equipped to make confident decisions.
- Reduce industry jargon so you get the clearest form of information possible, so you can make the right decision for you.
At Bankrate, we focus on the points consumers care about most: rewards, welcome offers and bonuses, APR, and overall customer experience. Any issuers discussed on our site are vetted based on the value they provide to consumers at each of these levels. At each step of the way, we fact-check ourselves to prioritize accuracy so we can continue to be here for your every next.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that we’re putting your interests first. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions.
We value your trust. Our mission is to provide readers with accurate and unbiased information, and we have editorial standards in place to ensure that happens. Our editors and reporters thoroughly fact-check editorial content to ensure the information you’re reading is accurate. We maintain a firewall between our advertisers and our editorial team. Our editorial team does not receive direct compensation from our advertisers.
Bankrate’s editorial team writes on behalf of YOU – the reader. Our goal is to give you the best advice to help you make smart personal finance decisions. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy. So, whether you’re reading an article or a review, you can trust that you’re getting credible and dependable information.
How We Make Money
You have money questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey.
Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions. The content created by our editorial staff is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers.
We’re transparent about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you by explaining how we make money.
Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.
Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Overview
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the best beginner travel credit cards on the market, thanks to its low annual fee, generous rewards structure and various travel protections. Boasting new and improved bonus categories, a $50 annual hotel stay credit through Chase and a 10 percent point match-style anniversary bonus, the Sapphire Preferred should offer excellent value to everyday spenders and rewards experts alike.
And though it lacks some of the robust perks found in more premium travel cards, such as priority boarding, lounge access and free checked bags, the card should be a good fit for novice travelers looking to earn rewards on their flights and hotel stays without a hefty annual fee.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- No 0 percent introductory APR offer on purchases or balance transfers
- Lacking some premium travel perks, such as free checked bags and airport lounge access
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards Rate: 3X points on dining (including eligible delivery services), select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs); 5X points on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and Lyft Rides (Lyft offer through March 31st, 2025); 2X points on other travel; 1X points on other purchases.
- Welcome Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
- Annual Fee: $95
- Purchase Intro APR: None
- Balance Transfer Intro APR: None
- Regular APR: 18.99 percent to 25.99 percent variable
Current welcome offer
The current welcome offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred weighs in at 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s equivalent to $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The Sapphire Preferred’s bonus is equal to that of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, although the Reserve is considered a higher-end travel card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve’s current welcome offer is: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
In order to receive the Sapphire Preferred’s welcome bonus points, you need to spend just over $1,333 a month for the first three months, which may not be feasible for some cardholders, especially if you’re still wary of traveling.
This is a good sign-up bonus for a card with only a $95 annual fee, but it’s a far cry from the card’s all-time high bonus of 100,000 points — which weighed in at $1,250 toward Ultimate Rewards travel. Depending on how eager you are to start saving up rewards for your next trip, it may be worth waiting to see if the card’s bonus increases later this year.
Until recently, the Sapphire Preferred was a solid travel card with only 2X points per dollar on travel and dining, plus a few limited-time offer categories like its current 5X rewards rate on Lyft purchases through March 2025. However, Chase’s new Sapphire card upgrade tacked on a selection of other bonus categories and features that made the Preferred card a powerhouse for its price point. This boosted its dining rewards to 3X points, travel booked through Chase to 5X and grocery shopping to 3X points. This evolves into a well-rounded tiered bonus category card. Now, the Sapphire Preferred has the potential to be a supercharged engine for Chase Ultimate Rewards points and fills in the gaps other Chase cards may need support with.
How you earn
Travel made outside the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal will earn you 2X points per dollar and dining purchases will earn you 3X points per dollar, but booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards will net you a better 5X points rate. You’ll also collect 3X points on purchases from select streaming services and online grocery shopping, but the grocery category excludes wholesale clubs and superstores like Walmart and Target.
Cardholders earn 1X points on any purchases that fall outside of these categories. There’s no cap on the number of points you can receive in all of these categories, so the Sapphire Preferred has solid potential to be your primary credit card.
Luckily, there are a few other ways enterprising cardholders can earn extra Ultimate Rewards points. If you have any friends considering the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you may be able to take advantage of the 15,000-point referral bonus if they’re approved. This method could be an easy way to earn up to 75,000 more points, through up to five referrals, per year. The Chase Offers card-linked program is another solid way to earn an extra helping of rewards in exchange for a little bit more elbow grease while you’re online shopping — which complements the new online grocery shopping category quite well.
How you redeem
You can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned with the Sapphire Preferred for travel, 1:1 airline and hotel transfer partners, cash back, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise (including Apple product purchases) and Chase Experience events.
If you’re looking to book the getaway you’ve had your eye on for a while, Chase is offering a 25 percent boost on points redeemed toward statement credits for select merchants made within the past 90 days, thanks to the Pay Yourself Back feature.
You can also use your points at the checkout screen on Amazon.com and PayPal for a lower value (0.8 cents apiece), but we’d recommend sticking to Pay Yourself Back or cash back if you’re not putting points toward travel through Chase.
How much are the rewards worth?
Chase Ultimate Rewards points redeemed for cash back are worth 1 cent apiece, whereas points redeemed toward travel via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal are worth 25 percent more (1.25 cents apiece). Until Sept. 30, 2022, you’ll also get 25 percent more value through Chase Pay Yourself back if you redeem for statement credits toward select merchants (see terms).
According to our most recent valuation, Chase Ultimate Rewards points carry as much as 2 cents per piece market value when used toward transfer-partner travel via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Either way, Chase guarantees a 1:1 value currency-to-currency when you transfer your points to a partner airline or hotel loyalty program, including:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- British Airways Executive Club
- Emirates Skywards
- Flying Blue/Air France-KLM
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
Other cardholder perks
The Sapphire Preferred offers less in the way of travel-specific perks than its sibling, the Sapphire Reserve — but that doesn’t mean what perks the card does offer should be ignored. In fact, Chase’s 2021 update bestowed the Preferred card with a few valuable, recurring features that you won’t get with the Sapphire Reserve.
Here’s what you need to know about Sapphire Preferred’s benefits, including travel coverage, boosted points value for travel redemptions, partner perks and its new annual bonuses.
Travel coverage and protections
The Sapphire Preferred includes a wealth of travel-specific coverage and protections, including these:
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance of up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. This covers non-refundable travel costs like flights, hotels or site-seeing tours.
- Baggage delay insurance of up to $100 per day for five days, which covers any essential purchases needed (such as clothing, toothpaste, shampoo) for baggage delays of six hours or more.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver for rentals purchased with your Sapphire Preferred card. This covers theft and collision damage for up to the cash value of the car being rented.
- Trip delay reimbursement of up to $500 per ticket for travel held back more than 12 hours (or that which subsequently needs an overnight stay).
- 24/7 travel and emergency assistance services for the Sapphire Preferred cardholder, their spouse and any children under 22. Here you can read our Chase Sapphire benefits guide.
25 percent points-value boost for travel redemption
One of the top perks of the Sapphire preferred is the extra value you can wring from the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
By redeeming your points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal — including plane tickets, hotels, car rentals and cruise vacations — your points are worth 25 percent more. For example, if you took your 60,000-point welcome bonus (earned after spending $4,000 in your first three months) and redeemed it for airfare via Chase Ultimate Rewards, your points would be worth $750, rather than just $600 if they held a standard 1-cent-per-point value.
When you factor in the additional option to transfer points to partner airlines and hotels, your points’ potential value only increases.
Annual account anniversary bonus points and credits
Two of the most valuable perks in the Preferred card’s new batch of features are its recurring bonuses. New cardmembers will get up to $50 back each year in statement credits for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, but note that existing cardmembers will have to wait until their next account anniversary to receive this annual credit.
The $50 annual hotel stay credit is certainly appealing, but you’ll be able to squeeze much more value out of the new 10 percent anniversary point bonus: 10 percent points on your total combined spending in points from the previous year will automatically be added to your rewards balance on each account anniversary.
Reward matching-style bonuses are rare, and Discover’s first-year cash back match is the most popular (and only) offer we’ve seen in recent memory. The bounty from these types of bonuses can be pretty significant for big spenders, but even average budgets can earn a decent chunk of change from this annual offer. Bureau of Labor Statistics spending data suggests that the average annual yearly spend is $15,900, which would net 1,590 Ultimate Rewards points worth up to a savory $318 (based on our 2 cent point valuation) in travel each year.
Free year of DoorDash DashPass
Chase’s partnership with DoorDash allows you to get a full free year of DoorDash DashPass, a subscription service that provides unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee and reduced service fees for $12 or more orders. Food delivery perks this generous in addition to the broad roster of benefits the Sapphire Preferred already carries aren’t especially common for cards with an annual fee below $100, so make sure you take advantage of this offer by its December 31, 2024, deadline.
Added points on Lyft rides
Through March 31, 2025, Sapphire Preferred cardholders can earn an additional 3X points on Lyft rides (on top of the 2X already earned in the general travel category) for a total of 5X points per qualifying Lyft purchase.
This unlimited category can bring you immense value if you do a lot of commuting via rideshare services. In fact, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best cards for Lyft. While the pandemic may have reduced your reliance on rideshare services like Lyft, bear in mind Lyft bikes and scooters also count toward this category.
Rates and fees
The Sapphire Preferred has a fairly low $95 annual fee, making the card much more accessible than the Sapphire Reserve, which carries a $550 annual fee. The Preferred card’s fee is easy to recoup through your normal rewards spending. You can offset the $95 fee by only spending $132 per month across your 3X categories.
The card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees for purchases made outside of the U.S., unlike some other cards that charge 3 percent per foreign transaction. This means if you take any trips overseas or shop with an international merchant, you won’t rack up additional charges each time you use your Sapphire Preferred card.
However, you won’t receive an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases or balance transfers, but that’s to be expected with travel-focused credit cards. If you happen to carry a balance, the ongoing APR is now 18.99 percent to 25.99 percent variable, slightly higher than the average current credit card interest rate.
How the Chase Sapphire Preferred compares to other rewards cards
It’s hard for many cards to strike a balance between rewards and benefits like the Sapphire Preferred does — not to mention the quality sign-up bonus for the card’s price tag — but a few cards hold their own against the Sapphire Preferred when it comes to annual fees, rewards structures, welcome bonuses and introductory APR offers. Here are a few of our favorites.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Capital One Venture card
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers terrific flexibility and versatility, it could still leave plenty of rewards on the table. For example, miscellaneous expenses like your insurance bill or a new laptop will only earn you 1 point per dollar. If you aren’t sure whether your spending habits line up with those of the Sapphire Preferred, you may have more luck maximizing your rewards with a simple, flat-rate rewards card like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
The Venture card’s unlimited 2X rewards rate on all spending makes stockpiling rewards a no-brainer. You’ll earn at the same rate on all eligible purchases, with no need to juggle cards or book travel through the issuer portal. The card also gives you the flexibility to redeem miles through Capital One or for outside travel purchases without sacrificing value. As with the Sapphire Preferred, however, the Venture card features a $95 annual fee. You’ll need to spend at least $4,750 per year to offset the Venture card’s annual fee with rewards (assuming you redeem for travel).
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Citi Premier Card
The Citi Premier® Card not only shares a number of rewards categories with the Sapphire Preferred, but it also offers some extra options that could prove highly lucrative for the right cardholder. You’ll get a 3X rewards rate on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, hotel and air travel purchases, and unlike the Sapphire Preferred, the Premier card doesn’t require you to book travel through an issuer portal or purchase groceries online to earn bonus rewards.
Along with its enticing rewards categories, the card stands out for its annual $100 hotel savings benefit on stays of $500 or more, which makes up for its otherwise thin set of travel perks. On the downside, your points won’t be worth more if you redeem through the Citi travel portal and depending on your travel preferences Citi’s list of transfer partners may fall short of Chase’s.
Best cards to pair with the Chase Sapphire Preferred
There are a few directions you could go when it comes to pairing the Sapphire Preferred with another rewards credit card to achieve optimal value. Given that the Sapphire Preferred is a travel card, consider pairing it with a flat-rate travel card or a cash back credit card that rewards your biggest non-travel categories — such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a solid no annual fee credit card that earns at least 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase you make, 3 percent back on dining and drugstore purchases, plus 5 percent back on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel and Lyft purchases (Lyft offer through March 2025).
By pairing the Freedom Unlimited with the Sapphire Preferred, you (at minimum) can earn 50 percent more rewards on purchases falling outside the Sapphire Preferred’s travel and restaurant dining category. Better yet, you won’t be charged a yearly fee for carrying the Freedom Unlimited.
The Freedom Unlimited also offers a solid welcome bonus worth up to $200 cash back plus a 15-month 0 percent introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers (17.99 percent to 26.74 percent variable APR thereafter), should you need extra time to pay off a large transaction. Be mindful that the balance transfer does have a fee of 3 percent or $5, whichever is higher, in the first 60 days of account opening.
Other Chase credit cards are your best option because of how well their categories and benefits pair together, but working it out so that you can have both a Sapphire Preferred and Reserve is a slightly more rewarding combination considering their new features. The Reserve would get you access to better reward rates for Ultimate Rewards travel and more premium perks, like lounge access and credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, but having these credit cards at the same time could still be cost-prohibitive and there are a few bonus category and benefit redundancies you’d have to justify.
Additionally, keep Chase’s 5/24 rule in mind as you search for cards to pair with the Sapphire Preferred: You may not be eligible to open a Chase credit card if you’ve already opened five or more credit cards (no matter the issuer) in the past 24 months.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred worth it?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card’s recently upgraded dining rewards, extra bonus categories and new annual bonuses make it one of the best — if not the best — travel cards with a $95 annual fee. Indeed, the Sapphire Preferred should be rewarding for both infrequent travelers and rewards experts, thanks to its flexible rewards program and terrific card pairing options. Just be aware of the number of cards you have if you want to pair with a Chase card and if your monthly budget will benefit from the rewards categories.