Chase Sapphire Preferred® Review: A Clear Travel Rewards Credit Card Leader

Lyle Daly is a personal finance writer specializing in credit cards, travel rewards programs, and banking. His work has also appeared on MSN Money, USA Today, and Yahoo! Finance.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a legion of travel fans for a reason. Everyday cardholders can expect a large new sign-up bonus, premium rewards for travel and dining, and perhaps most importantly, one of the most versatile travel rewards program we’ve come across. Check out our in-depth Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review and see if this card is a fit for your needs.

Ratings Methodology
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Our Bottom Line

One of the most popular travel cards for many reasons. This offer is practically a must-have for travelers seeking a big sign-up bonus and one of the best points programs available on the market.

What we Like:
  • 60,000 points sign-up bonus
  • 2 points per $1 for travel & dining
  • Flexible points transfer program
Key Scores:
4.5 5 Perks
5.0 5 Fees
1.5 5 APR
Perks 4.5/5
Fees 5.0/5
APR 1.5/5
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 17.49% - 24.49% Variable
  • Intro APR: Purchases: N/A Balance Transfers: N/A
Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® benefits

60,000 points sign-up bonus -- Cardholders earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. That's worth $750 for travel redeemed through Chase’s travel portal.

Unlimited 2x points for travel and dining -- Not only do travel and dining earn at 2 points per $1 but also rewards earning potential is unlimited. Many credit cards throttle down the rewards after hitting quarterly spending caps.

25% bonus points -- Travel redeemed through Chase's portal are worth 25% more for a value of $0.0125 a piece, or an effective rewards yield of 2.5% for travel and dining and 1.25% on all else. But you can maximize the value of Ultimate Rewards® points to upwards of $0.05

No foreign transaction fee -- Foreign transaction fees can quickly add up when whipping out credit cards for purchases abroad. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card's foreign transaction fee is 0% -- that's a savings of $60 on $2,000 worth of international spending that would otherwise incur a typical 3% fee on other cards.

Ultimate Rewards® points transfer partners -- Chase has the deepest bench of points of airline and hotel transfer partners that we’ve come across. Here’s a current list of participating programs:

  • Airline partners -- Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
  • Hotel partners -- IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, World of Hyatt.

Travel insurances -- Chase's travel insurances are robust when compared to other credit card issuers. When placing your purchase on the card, the following insurances are included:

  • Primary car rental insurance -- Primary car rental insurance ups the ante to cover damage or theft without you having to file a claim with your existing insurance. Cards not including primary insurance require you to file a claim first with your insurance. Just decline the car rental company’s collision damage waiver to qualify.
  • Trip cancellation insurance -- $10,000 worth of coverage in the case where a trip is canceled due to a covered reason, including sickness and weather.
  • Baggage delay insurance -- If your baggage is delayed over six hours, you are covered for $100 for up to five days for essentials like clothes and toiletries.
  • Trip delay reimbursement -- A 12-hour delay or instance that requires an overnight stay can be reimbursed up to $500 for meals and lodging.
  • Lost luggage insurance -- Damaged and lost baggage is covered up to $3,000 per passenger.

High cash-back conversion rate -- Some travel cards penalize cash-back redemptions with a rock-bottom conversion, but Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cash redemptions are worth $0.01 per point, equating to 2% cash back on restaurants and travel, and 1% on all other purchases. Note, we’d suggest applying for a cash-back credit card if cash rewards are preferred since the earning potential is higher than with a travel credit card.

What could be improved

Annual fee -- While the annual fee is modest and made up for with a long list of valuable benefits, it is a fee nonetheless.

Is the annual fee worth it?

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card's annual fee is worth it for many travelers, given some competing cards charge a similar fee, but don’t offer as big of a sign-up bonus. The bonus alone is enough to cover the annual fee for more than seven years. Other travel rewards credit cards may make more sense for those who don’t spend enough on credit to justify the out-of-pocket cost.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit score

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is intended for people with good to excellent credit. A credit score of 670 or higher gives you the best chance for approval. It is possible to be approved with a lower score and even not be approved with a higher score. Many factors are considered during the underwriting process and these can sway an approval decision beyond just your credit score.

Other travel cards to consider

Travelers may also want to compare the feature set of Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. The card earns unlimited 2 miles per dollar for all purchases and 10 points per dollar for Hotels.com purchases through January 2020, all with a $0 annual fee in the first year ($95 thereafter).

These perks may make Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card a better pick, especially for cardholders who don't want to pay the upfront cost of an annual fee and people who can make the most of the premium Hotels.com rewards.

As of Nov. 18, 2019
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
4.5 stars
ToolTip Icon for Star Rating. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor.
Rating image, 4.0 out of 5 stars.
4.0 stars
ToolTip Icon for Star Rating. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor.
Apply Now
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On Chase's Secure Website.

Apply Now
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On Capital One's Secure Website.

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Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent Clickable tooltip icon for credit rating info.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent Clickable tooltip icon for credit rating info.

Bonus: 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Worth $750 redeemed for travel through Chase's portal. Bonus: 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months, equal to $500 in travel
Rewards Program: 2x points on travel and dining, 1x points on all other purchases. 25% more points for travel booked through Chase's portal. Rewards Program: Unlimited 2x miles on all purchases, 10x miles on Hotels.com purchases through January 2020
Intro APR: Purchases: N/A Balance Transfers: N/A Intro APR: Purchases: N/A Balance Transfers: N/A
Regular APR: 17.49% - 24.49% Variable Regular APR: 17.49% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee: $95 Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Highlights:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

Highlights:

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

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Apply Now
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On Chase's Secure Website.

Show More Arrow graphic to expand and collapse content
Apply Now
Secure lock icon.

On Capital One's Secure Website.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve® is Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card's more expensive annual fee cousin. Cardholders traveling at least two times each year should give Chase Sapphire Reserve® a closer look.

The combination of 3 points per dollar for travel and dining, 50% bonus points for Ultimate Rewards® travel, big sign-up bonus, and hundreds of dollars in travel credits may bring you more value, even with the higher annual fee. Check out our in-depth comparison of Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® to learn more.

Why carrying two Chase cards makes sense

Ultimate Rewards® points can not only be transferred easily to airline and hotel loyalty programs, but also among other Chase credit cards. There may be benefits to carrying two Chase-branded credit cards.

Chase Freedom® and Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Chase Freedom® earns 5% cash back (on up to $1,500 of spending each quarter) in rotating quarterly categories you activate. The essentials are covered in Chase’s cash back calendar, such as groceries, gas, restaurants, and online shopping. Many cardholders carry both cards to earn premium rewards in the category with the highest payout.

For example, purchases you'd otherwise earn at an equivalent 1% rate on Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card could be placed on Chase Freedom® for 5% cash back. Points can then be transferred instantaneously to a Chase Sapphire Preferred® card to stretch the value even further for travel.

A word of caution is warranted. Carrying multiple credit cards introduces complexity to your budget, which increases the possibility of racking up costly credit card debt. Simply put, there’s no sense earning rewards at low rates only to watch as higher rate interest charges balloon along with your debt balances.

This card is right for you if:

Simply put, it deserves a spot as one of the top travel credit cards we've come across.

The big sign-up bonus is a leading perk for and it justifies the annual fee. If you're typical monthly credit budget is too low to qualify for the bonus, then a no annual fee travel credit card is likely best.

Otherwise, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a must-have for many travelers, particularly ones who can make the most of the industry-leading points transfer program and unlimited rewards for travel and dining.

Is it worth the annual fee?

Yes, the large 60,000 points sign-up bonus is worth many times the $95 annual fee in travel value. The unlimited 2x points for dining and travel, vast array of travel insurances, and flexible points transfer program make the card’s small annual fee even more justifiable.

Who are the Chase travel transfer partners?

Chase has the deepest bench of points of airline and hotel transfer partners that we’ve come across. Here’s a current list of participating programs:

Airline partners -- Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Hotel partners -- IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, World of Hyatt.

What is the suggested credit score?

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is intended for people with good to excellent credit. A credit score of 670 or higher gives you the best chance for approval. It is possible to be approved with a lower score and even not be approved with a higher score. Many factors are considered during the underwriting process and these can sway an approval decision beyond just your credit score.

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