This post references products from one or more of our partners. We may receive compensation when you apply through Experian's CreditMatch™ marketplace. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the most popular travel rewards credit cards around—and with good reason. If you're looking for a "starter" travel rewards card, or you just want a card that offers lucrative benefits and travel redemption options, the Sapphire Preferred should be at the top of your list.
Read on for five reasons it's a solid travel rewards credit card:
1. The Sign-Up Bonus Alone Is Worth $625 in Travel
You earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within three months of opening a new account. Each point is worth 1 cent each if you redeem them for cash back, so 50,000 points equal $500 in cash. However, the points are worth 1.25 cents each if you redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. That means you can book $625 in travel purchases through the rewards portal.
2. You Earn Extra Points on Dining and Travel
You earn two points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases worldwide, not just in the United States. That makes it a truly valuable card to have on hand if you're a jet-setter or like to eat out a lot. What's more, Chase defines these categories fairly broadly.
For example, if you order food through Seamless, it's covered in the restaurant category. Travel purchases are defined widely, as well. If you pay for services like parking, Lyft, or even in some cases tourist activities, they are usually classified as travel and earn 2 points per $1 spent.
Find more information on Chase rewards categories here. All other purchases that are not classified as dining or travel earn 1 point per $1 spent.
3. The Annual Fee Is Affordable—and It's Waived the First Year
New cardholders don't have to pay the $95 annual fee in the first year of opening the account. You can also add authorized users to your account for free.
4. You Get Excellent Travel Benefits
The Sapphire Preferred card does not charge foreign transaction fees, so you can use it anywhere in the world with ease. But it also comes with other excellent travel benefits that can save you money if you book your travel with the card:
- When you pay for a car rental with the card, you get primary car rental insurance that fully covers collision and theft for most rental vehicles in the U.S. (Most credit cards only offer secondary insurance, which means you have to go through your own auto insurance first.)
- You get trip cancellation/interruption insurance that covers up to $10,000 if a covered loss prevents you from traveling or delays your trip.
- If you make it to your destination but your luggage is delayed for more than six hours, you can take advantage of Chase's baggage delay insurance which offers reimbursement for the purchase of essential items like toiletries and clothing. You're covered for up to $100 for up to five days.
5. You Have a Lot of Flexibility in Redeeming Your Points
Not only can you get a 25% boost on the value of your points by redeeming them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, you can also transfer your points on a 1:1 basis to nine airline partners (British Airways, Flying Blue, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United, Virgin Atlantic, Aer Lingus and Iberia) and four hotel partners (Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton).
This is an excellent way to get even more value for your points if you transfer and redeem them smartly. You can often book flights in business or first class for fewer points than it would cost you to book them through Chase's rewards portal.
Should I Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?
If you spend a lot of money on dining and travel, have good to exceptional credit, and want a travel rewards card with a reasonable annual fee, this is a good card to have in your wallet.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.
This article was originally published on November 1, 2018, and has been updated.