- Initial bonus: 100,000 points
- Up to 2.5% back when redeeming for travel
- No foreign transaction fees
- Annual fee
- 1 point per $1 base earn rate
Chase Sapphire Preferred Review Summary
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best rewards credit cards on the market and is easily worth the cost for people with a good or excellent credit score who like to travel. With Sapphire Preferred, the average person would earn roughly $2,100 in net rewards value over the course of two year’s use. And that’s with the card’s $95 annual fee factored in, too. The core of this offer is a $1,000 to $1,250 initial rewards bonus, which can cover the cost of the card’s membership fees for over ten years.
Sapphire Preferred continues to pay for itself by providing two points per dollar spent on travel and dining as well as one point per dollar spent on everything else. When redeemed for cash back, these points are worth a penny each but jump to 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Highlights
Lucrative Initial Rewards Bonus
Spending at least $4,000 during the first 3 months your account is open scores you 100,000 bonus points, redeemable for $1,250 in travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards or $1,000 statement credit. If you’re going to spend that much anyway, that’s a pretty sweet deal, especially given Chase’s equitable redemption options.
$0 Foreign Transaction Fee
This is a key feature for travel rewards cards, enabling consumers to visit other countries without giving a second thought to their credit card or coming home to a bill affixed with a 2% to 4% international usage charge. Even if you don’t plan on leaving the country, this could come in handy if you ever buy something whose purchase price is expressed in a foreign currency or from an internationally based merchant.
Up To 2.5% Cash Back On Travel
Sapphire Preferred offers 2 points per $1 spent on travel (see below for specifics) and dining at restaurants. When you factor in the 25% point bonus that you get when redeeming your earnings for Ultimate Rewards travel reservations, that equates to as much as 2.5% cash back. Chase considers transactions made with the following types of providers to be travel-related:
|Airlines||Taxis and limousines|
|Hotels and motels||Bridge and highway tolls|
|Car rental agencies||Cruise lines|
|Discount travel sites||Ferries|
|Parking lots and garages||Timeshares|
Extra Rewards on Lyft Rides
Normally, Lyft rides would yield 2 points per $1 spent, like other travel purchases. But now through March 2022, Sapphire Preferred cardholders get 3 extra points per $1 spent through Lyft. That’s a total of 5 points per $1, or as much as 6.25% cash back, if you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
12+ months of DashPass
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders who activate this benefit before the end of 2021 are eligible for a complimentary subscription from the food delivery service DoorDash. This subscription, called DashPass, provides free delivery options and discounts for 12 months or more.
Rewards Redemption Variety
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card enables you to choose your preferred redemption method without having to worry about your points losing much value in the process. In addition to the 1.25 cents per point that you get when redeeming for travel through Chase, Ultimate Rewards points are worth a bit more than one cent each, on average, when redeemed for merchandise using “Shop Through Chase.” You’ll also get a penny per point when you use your earnings to buy gift cards or pay your bill via statement credit. When redeemed for Amazon.com purchases, each point is worth just $0.008. Such consistent redemption value helps Sapphire Preferred make up for the fact that its maximum earning rate – two points per $1 spent – only applies to travel and dining at restaurants.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Lowlights
$95 Annual Fee
Many of the best rewards credit cards charge annual fees. The problem is, some of Sapphire Preferred’s chief competitors charge less.
Up To 1.25% Rewards On Most Purchases
Even if you manage to redeem your points for travel, giving your earnings a 25% bump in value, you will still end up pulling in only one point per dollar spent on most purchases. Sapphire Preferred’s double-points offer only applies to travel spending and restaurant bills.
Other Things To Consider About Chase Sapphire Preferred
13 Rewards Transfer Partners
If you can’t find the travel accommodations that you want through Chase, you can transfer your points to one of its 13 rewards partners at a 1:1 ratio. For instance, one Sapphire Preferred point can be converted to one United Airlines mile. While doing so would mean sacrificing your 25% rewards bonus for travel redeemed directly through Ultimate Rewards, having the option does provide a measure of flexibility – especially if you have rewards in another loyalty account that you’d like to make useful as well.Just make sure you get your money’s worth from whichever travel provider you transfer your points to. For a point of reference, 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points end up being worth around $9 on average when transferred to and redeemed with Chase’s hotel partners.
15.99% - 22.99% (V) APR
This certainly isn’t the highest regular APR among credit cards for people with excellent credit, but it’s still above-average. So, while not paying your bill in full a given month won’t cost you too much, you shouldn’t be lulled into the comfort of consistently carrying a revolving balance. There are better cards for that.
This is purely a flourish. Having a metal credit card instead of a standard plastic one provides no real benefit other than it being harder to damage. It certainly doesn’t hurt – Sapphire Preferred is a cool-looking card – but a credit card’s material or design should never be a prominent factor in your credit card choice.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. the Competition
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
|Rewards Bonus||100,000 points||60,000 points||60,000 miles|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 2 points / $1||1 - 3 points / $1||2 miles / $1|
|Purchase Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Transfer Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Regular APR||15.99% - 22.99% (V)||16.99% - 23.99% (V)||17.24% - 24.49% (V)|
|Editors' Rating||4.8 / 5||4.4 / 5||5.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
The upper echelon of the rewards credit card market is extremely competitive. And while you can’t really go wrong with any of these top-tier offers, it makes sense to understand the differences between them in order to make the best choice for your personal spending habits.
For more information, you can also check out these in-depth comparisons:
Ask the Experts
To gain more insight about Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Review, WalletHub posed the following questions to a panel of experts. Click on the experts below to view their bios and answers.
1. Do you expect initial rewards bonuses on travel rewards credit cards to get better or worse in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?
2. How much do people need to travel for a travel rewards credit card that charges an annual fee to be worthwhile?
3. What should consumers watch out for when booking airfare, hotel reservations and other travel accommodations through a credit card company’s rewards portal?