Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the most popular reward credit cards in the current market. This is a great card for anyone starting out in the world of travel credit cards thanks to the incredible value and versatility of Chase Ultimate Rewards.
However, the card comes with a $95 annual fee, which can be a concern for those used to credit cards with no annual fees. Although this is not as high as the fees charged on cards such as Platinum Card® by American Express (now $695/year) or sister Chase Sapphire Preferred premium card – Chase Sapphire Reserve® ($550/year) – It’s still important to consider if you’re worth the annual Preferred fee.
When Should You Use the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?
When are you planning your next vacation?
Starting with Chase Sapphire Preferred, you get a 60,000 points welcome bonus if you spend $4,000 within the first three months. (Sapphire Preferred previously offered a whopping 100,000 points for the same spending requirements.)
However, the current bonus is still solid, at $750 in travel rewards booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and could be more if you transfer points to one of Chase’s partner airlines or hotels. This bonus alone allows the card to more than pay for itself in the first year. And when you use your points to travel through the portal, the card increases the value of your points by 25 percent, making each point equal to 1.25 cents.
Not to mention the card’s other travel-related benefits and rewards that will come in handy while you’re planning your vacation. Even if your 60,000 points are not credited in time for your trip, you can use Sapphire Preferred to book a ride on the Chase portal and earn 5x more points for doing so. If you find a good deal and want to book flights or stay on a third party site, you will still get double points for regular travel.
When you want to earn rewards without traveling
Even if you don’t travel very often (often a few times a year), the card offers many rewards in non-travel categories such as 5x points increase on Lyft rides (until March 2025), 3x points increase per restaurant, some streaming services. and grocery shopping online (excluding Target and Walmart) and 1X points for everything else. If you enjoy shopping online, you can also go through the Chase Portal and use your points for Amazon purchases, Apple products, or gift cards.
In particular, 3x points for restaurants (including eligible delivery services) and streaming sites will earn the most rewards. Thankfully, Chase accepts quite a few sellers in the streaming service category like Apple Music, ESPN+, Netflix, Pandora, Spotify, and more. And given the latest West Monroe report published by ZDNet, the average consumer spends $273 a month on subscription sites. With that kind of monthly spending, and the fact that the card doesn’t cap spending on the streaming site category, you can earn 9,828 points just for streaming.
When you need extra travel confidence
What to do if you become infected with COVID-19 the day before departure? What if your house caught fire while you were sitting on the beach in Sicily? What if – a lot. Many emergencies can happen that prevent you from going on vacation or interrupt your trip completely. Good news: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes with cancellation and trip interruption insurance that covers a variety of scenarios and up to $40,000 every 12 months. This type of travel insurance is not only useful, but rare among mid-tier travel cards like Sapphire Preferred.
The card also offers rental car collision damage relief, basic coverage that will reimburse you for repairs if your rental car is damaged or stolen. Other perks to help you while you travel include no foreign transaction fees, baggage delay insurance, and delivery on the road.
When pairing a Chase Sapphire Preferred card with another Chase card
If you already have a Chase credit card, it’s worth linking it to your preferred card, especially if your current card also earns Ultimate Rewards points. One example isPursuit of Unlimited Freedom®which is a secure cashback credit card that gives you 1.5% cash back on regular purchases, 3% on meals, 5% on Lyft purchases (until March 2025), 5% on trips purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards , and 3 percent back on pharmacy purchases.
You can also combine Preferred with Chase Freedom Flex℠, which offers 5 percent cashback on changing categories, from gas stations to streaming services to eBay, on combined purchases up to $1,500 each quarter after activation, and 1 percent thereafter. Freedom Flex also offers a 5% refund on Lyft purchases (until March 2025), a 5% refund on rides booked through Chase, a 3% refund on restaurant and pharmacy purchases, and a 1% refund on all other purchases.
Both cards have no annual fees, and either works great when paired with Chase Sapphire Preferred. While Freedom Cards are sold as cashback cards, cashback rewards can be redeemed for Ultimate Rewards points, which you can transfer to other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. You can use your Freedom Card to spend on bonus tiers and combine points into Chase Sapphire Preferred and then use them with a 25% boost.
When is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card not worth it?
When you don’t travel often or at all
If you plan on staying close to home for the foreseeable future, then the Sapphire Preferred card is not for you. Much of the card’s benefits are for recreation, whether it’s the absence of foreign transaction fees or the ability to transfer points to Chase’s travel partners. However, if you prefer to exchange your points for cash or a credit statement, then the card won’t be worth it. Instead, we would recommend a cashback card that can be very lucrative, such asAmerican Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card.
When you don’t have time for delays
Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, no one likes to stand in line. If it’s important to get through security or customs, attend an important meeting, or join an interesting tour of Buckingham Palace, then the Sapphire Preferred Card is not for you.
Despite all its great benefits and perks, the Sapphire Preferred program unfortunately does not offer a credit statement for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application. If you are already determined to join one or both programs, you should look for a card that provides loans for them. Some options for you: Chase Sapphire Reserve, Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card as well as Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
Should you get Chase Sapphire Preferred?
Chase Sapphire Preferred is a solid mid-range premium travel card that’s best for people who travel and eat out, as well as those who like to cash out rewards to cover flights and other travel expenses. This brings not only high rewards, but also many additional perks that make life easier. These include various travel insurances, as well as a free DashPass from DoorDash for one year (be sure to activate before December 31, 2024).
It’s also a great first travel card thanks to a signup bonus, valuable rewards and flexible redemption options – all without a three-figure annual fee.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is worth it for most cardholders if you’re using the card for travel, dinner, or watching The Office for the tenth time. The annual fee is low enough that you can offset it with rewards earned throughout the year, and there are plenty of non-travel benefits like a free DashPass subscription to take advantage of this card.