Updated March 14, 2018
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card has a legion of fans for a reason. Everyday cardholders can expect a large new cardholder bonus and premium rewards for travel and dining. These are a few reasons why many travel cardholders consider it a must-have and why we included it on our shortlist of the best travel credit card sign-up bonuses. Here’s some additional information to help figure out whether Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a good fit for you.
- 50,000 points sign-up bonus
- 2x points per $1 on travel and dining
- Points transfer partners
- No foreign transaction fees
- Annual fee
- No 0% intro APR
|Bonus Offer||50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.|
|Annual Fee||$95, waived first year|
Reg: 17.49% - 24.49%, variable
|Balance Transfer APR||
Reg: 17.49% - 24.49%, variable
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
What we like about Chase Sapphire Preferred®
- 50,000 points sign-up bonus - Cardholders earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. That's worth $625 for travel redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and one of the largest bonuses on the market for consumer travel cards with a low annual fee.
- Unlimited 2x points per dollar – Tally it up, and the travel rewards yield for restaurant and travel bonus category purchases comes in at 2.5%. The math is as follows: Restaurant and travel purchases earn 2x points per $1, which can be redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® at a premium rate of $0.0125 per point, thus dishing out a nice 2.5% overall rewards yield. Many travel card points are worth a lower $0.01 per point for travel redemptions.
- High cash-back conversion rate – Some travel cards penalize cash-back redemptions with a rock-bottom conversion well below $0.01 per point, but Chase Sapphire Preferred® cash redemptions are worth $0.01 per point, equating to 2% cash back on restaurants, dining, and travel, and 1% on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fee – Pesky foreign transaction fees can quickly add up when whipping out credit cards for purchases abroad. And let’s be honest: We’re all a bit looser with our wallets while on vacation. Fortunately, Chase Sapphire Preferred® has nixed the typical 3% foreign transaction fee many card issuers charge. That’s a savings of $60 on $2,000 worth of international spending!
- Points transfer partners – Chase has secured one of the longest lists of points transfer partners we’ve seen, making Chase Sapphire Preferred® a no-brainer for cardholders stretching their points. Here’s a current list of participating programs: British Airways Executive Club,Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Korean Air SKYPASS, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Hyatt Gold Passport®, IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards® , The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®.
What could be improved for Chase Sapphire Preferred®
- Annual fee – Chase Sapphire Preferred® carries a $95 annual fee. While the fee is modest compared with that of many premier credit cards and waived for the first year, it’s a fee nonetheless.
- 0% intro APR – A 0% intro APR offer would amp up the value of this card, especially when including this perk for new purchases.
How to best use Chase Sapphire Preferred®
- Travel rewards cardholders will generally be better off paying balances by the due date each month to avoid interest charges. It’s a losing strategy to rack up debt for the sake of earning rewards at single-digit rates only to watch as they get eaten up by far higher double-digit interest charges.
- Spend more than $4,000 on purchases during the first three months to qualify for the new cardholder bonus of 50,000 points. No doubt this bonus can secure some cheap travel and is a huge value, especially knowing a roundtrip flight to parts of Europe are dirt cheap. For example, a roundtrip flight to Reykjavik, Iceland from D.C. costs just $199.
- Use the card for restaurant and travel purchases and redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® to maximize rewards value. It’s worth considering a separate, higher flat-rate cash-back card for all other purchases to stretch rewards. See our picks of the best cash-back credit cards for a few suggestions.
- Consider adding an authorized user to potentially qualify for 5,000 bonus points. Keep in mind that authorized users can legally charge purchases to your card, but only you have the legal obligation to pay the balance. Don’t add an untrustworthy authorized user just for the sake of 5,000 bonus points.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Cardholders considering Chase Sapphire Preferred® may want to also consider Chase Sapphire Reserve® instead, mostly due to its luxury travel benefits and premium travel rewards. Sapphire Reserve® earns a higher 3x point per $1 on travel and dining, plus points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® are worth 50% more. That makes the sign-up bonus (50,000 points when spending at least $4,000 within three months of account opening) worth up to $750! Plus, cardholders earn a total of $400 in statement credits, $300 each year for travel purchases and $100 for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. The price of these premium perks is a $450 annual fee. Many travelers will find the annual fee is justified for the perks, but it’s best to run your budget numbers to uncover which card will net more rewards. Read our full Chase Sapphire Reserve® review
For cardholders preferring flexible rewards
There are two camps of travel cardholders, those who prefer the ability to transfer points between partners to stretch the value and then those who want the flexibility to just redeem rewards for statement credits. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is for the latter. The card offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening which is worth $500 for travel-related statement credits. All purchases earn a flat 2x miles per dollar and the card includes the flexibility of redeeming miles for partial statement credits -- that's uncommon among competing cards and a convenient perk. Read our full Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review to learn more.