UncategorizedThe Chase Sapphire Preferred Review (Updated 2024)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Review (Updated 2024)


The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card held up before a leafy plant with buildings seen through the window in the background
Posted: 1/24/24 | January 24th, 2024

Nomadic Matt has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Nomadic Matt and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Since its launch in 2009, the card_name has been winning awards for being one of the best travel rewards card.

And for good reason – you can’t really go wrong with this card. It always has a solid welcome offer, great ongoing rewards rates, valuable transferrable points, and a host of perks, such as comprehensive travel insurance.

Unlike a lot of travel cards, which continue to roll back benefits and increase annual fees, the Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to get better with age. Over the years, Chase has increased some of its earning categories and added perks to the card, all without upping the annual fee.

Because of all this, the Chase Sapphire Preferred remains one of my favorite travel cards, especially if you’re looking for your first travel rewards card. I use it often.

Today, I want to share a bit more about it so you can determine whether it’s the right card for you!

 

What is the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

Chase Sapphire Preferred card

The card_name (often referred to as CSP) is a travel rewards card issued by Chase. The card comes with a $95 USD annual fee and a host of benefits.

When you sign for this card, you’ll get:

  • 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months
  • 2x points on travel purchases
  • 3x points on restaurants, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • 5x points on travel purchased through the Chase travel portal
  • 5x points on Lyft
  • 10% anniversary points boost (earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year)
  • Free DoorDash DashPass subscription for one year
  • Free Instacart+ membership for six months
  • $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

 

Using Your Chase Ultimate Rewards® Points

With this card, you’ll earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. You can use those points like you would any other rewards program: to get cash back, book travel directly, or transfer them to travel partners. (You can also redeem them for Amazon or Apple purchases, but these are bad redemption values and I would not recommend using points this way.)

The easiest option is to redeem your points for travel in the Chase Travel portal, which works like booking through Expedia or any other online travel agency. When you do this, you’re basically using your points as cash, at a value of 1.25 cents per point. That means that if you have 20,000 points, they’ll be worth 25,000 points when redeemed through the portal (which is a better value than if you simply redeem your points directly as cash, as you’ll only get a value of 1 cent per point that way). Just know that there are pros and cons to using the travel portal.

On the plus side, using your points in the Chase Travel portal is very straightforward, making it an attractive option for points and miles newbies. If this is the only way that you’ll use your points, then using them is better than letting them sit around!

However, you can usually get more for your points when you transfer them to Chase’s 14 transfer partners.
 

Taking Advantage of Chase’s Travel Partners

The ability to transfer to travel partners is what makes Chase Ultimate Rewards® points truly valuable. You can usually find airline and hotel redemptions where you can get much more than 1.25 cents per point. While the actual value you can get varies greatly based on flight or hotel, a good benchmark is The Points Guy’s monthly valuation chart, which values Chase Ultimate Rewards® points at over 2 cents per point when used as transferable points. That’s almost double what you’ll get in the portal!

To give a real-life example, the 25,000 points from the example above could be an off-peak economy fare from New York to Paris when redeemed through the portal. But if you transfer points to one of Chase’s partner airlines, you can take advantage of flash deals and saver space, potentially finding the same fare for up to 50% less points. Unless it’s a super cheap flight or room (less than $150 USD), I always transfer points to their travel partners, especially when booking business class flights or fancy hotel rooms. You just get more bang for your buck.

Transferring to travel partners is indeed a bit more work than using the portal, but there are more tools than ever to help you maximize your points (use point.me for finding flights with points and Awayz for finding award hotel stays).

Chase’s current transfer partners are:

Airline Travel Partners

  • Aer Lingus, AerClub
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • 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

Hotel Travel Partners

  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy®
  • World of Hyatt®

 

Other Perks and Benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

While earning valuable transferable points is the biggest reason to get this card, there are quite a few other great perks and benefits.

A big one is travel insurance (it’s one of the best credit cards for travel insurance). While I always recommend purchasing a separate travel insurance policy, having coverage through your credit card is an added benefit that you get at no additional cost. Some of its benefits include trip cancellation and interruption protection, trip and baggage delay coverage, and travel accident coverage (be sure to read the fine print for specifics).

Additionally, this card comes with a variety of statement credits, including a complimentary one-year DashPass membership, a complimentary Instacart+ membership for 6 months, and an annual $50 USD hotel credit when booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
 

Pros of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Great rewards-earning rates
  • Large welcome offer
  • Low annual fee ($95 USD)
  • 14 fantastic transfer partners
  • Solid travel insurance
  • Statement credits and complimentary memberships
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • Must use Chase’s Travel Portal to take advantage of some benefits ($50 USD hotel credit, 5x points on travel booked through Chase)

 

Who Is This Card For?

This card is best for points and miles beginners as well as infrequent travelers, both of whom may not want to shell out for a high annual fee. The $95 USD annual fee is easy to recoup with the card’s great earning rates, anniversary points boost, and other benefits.

That being said, this card is especially geared toward travelers and restaurant-goers since it offers 2x points spent on travel, 3x points on dining (including takeout and delivery), and 5x points on Lyft rides.

And while more frequent travelers may prefer more premium credit cards (like the Preferred’s big sibling, the card_name), you can also pursue a more advanced points and miles strategy with this card by pairing it with two other Chase cards to create the powerful “Chase Trifecta.” By using three Chase cards in tandem (usually a Sapphire card, the Chase Freedom Flex, and the Chase Freedom Unlimited, although you could do this with business cards too), you maximize earning categories. This ensures that you’re always earning the most points per dollar possible, which is key to any good points and miles strategy. (While this may be too much for beginners to juggle, it’s a good way to grow while still keeping this card.)
 

Who Is This Card Not For?

As with any credit card, you should not get this card if you’re already carrying a balance or plan to carry a balance. Interest rates for travel credit cards are notoriously high, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred is no different. The points just aren’t worth it if you’re paying interest each month.

This card is also not for anyone with poor credit, as you need good or excellent credit to qualify. (If that’s you, check out the best credit cards for bad credit so you can start improving your score today.)

Lastly, this card does count toward Chase’s 5/24 rule (you can’t open more than five cards within 24 months). So if you’ve already opened five cards within the past two years (or want to open more soon), you might want to skip this one for now.

***

Whenever someone asks me which card to open as their first travel credit card, the card_name is always at the top of my list. It’s an excellent and easy-to-use card, with a lot of perks that greatly outweigh the annual fee. If you’re looking for the perfect introduction to the world of points and miles, look no further. Grab this card so you can start earning points today towards free travel tomorrow!
 

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Want to Travel for Free?
Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation — all without any extra spending. Check out my guide to picking the right card and my current favorites to get started and see the latest best deals.

Need Help Finding Activities for Your Trip?
Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace where you can find cool walking tours, fun excursions, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more.

Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.

Nomadic Matt has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Nomadic Matt and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.



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