Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Benefits & Review
With a reasonable $95 annual fee, a 100,000 point new account bonus, 5x points on Lyft rides, and a variety of other travel-related benefits, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is perfect for those new to points and miles. It provides access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal where you can pool and maximize points from other Chase credit cards.
The Vacationer Recommendation
Cardholders earn 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining. Points can be redeemed at 1.25 cents per point when booking travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Cardholders also have the option to transfer points to a variety of airlines and hotels for potentially more value.
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a solid beginner travel-focused credit card, some frequent travelers may demand more benefits. Here is what you need to know about the Chase Sapphire Preferred and if you should sign up.
Who is the Chase Sapphire Preferred For?
The ideal Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder is someone who wants premium travel benefits without having to pay a steep annual fee. Unlike the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which has a $550 annual fee, the Sapphire Preferred’s annual fee is only $95. While the Sapphire Preferred does not include most of the Sapphire Reserve’s statement credits, the $95 annual fee is easy to justify for frequent travelers and those who eat out often.
The Sapphire Preferred does have a new $60 Peloton statement credit, however. Using this credit brings down the net annual fee to only $35 for the year you use it. The 100,000 point new account bonus is also worth a minimum of $1,000, which covers the annual fee for 10 years.
|Benefits at a Glance|
|– Annual Fee: $95 (not waived first year)|
– Current Bonus: 100,000 Points after spending $4,000 in the first three months from account opening
– 2x Points per dollar spent on Travel and Dining
– Up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases in first year from account opening
– 5x Points on Lyft (ends 3/31/2022)
– 5x Points on Peloton Bike, Tread, and Accessory Purchases over $1,800 (ends 3/2022)
– Complimentary DashPass Membership (activate by 12/31/2021)
– Primary Rental Car Insurance
– Variety of Travel Insurance Options
– APR: 15.99%–22.99% Variable
– Authorized User Fee: $0
– Good to Great Credit Score Required (680+)
Featured Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits
The Chase Sapphire Preferred features numerous benefits, but here are our top picks.
100,000 Point New Account Bonus
Sapphire Preferred Cardholders who spend $4,000 in the first three months will receive a 100,000 point new account bonus. Compared to the Sapphire Reserve’s 60,000 bonus, you get an additional 40,000 points opting for the Sapphire Preferred.
Here is how much the 100,000 point bonus is worth depending on the various redemption options.
- Cash – $1,000
- Pay Your Self Back Program – $1,250
- Travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal – $1,250
- Chase Dining – $1,250
- Transfer to a Chase Partner Hotel or Airline – Up to $2,000
You can keep track of how close you are to reaching the bonus within your Chase Ultimate Rewards account. Even if you decide to opt for cash, you receive $1,000, which covers the $95 annual fee for 10 years. Better ways to redeem your bonus points are by using the Pay Yourself Back Program, booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Chase Dining. Points are worth 1.25 cents per point (25% more) when using any of those three options.
The best way to redeem points is by transferring to one of Chase’s partner airlines or hotels. Depending on the partner, it is possible to get a value of 2 cents per point.
To be eligible for the bonus, you must not currently have a Sapphire card. If you have received a Sapphire bonus in the past 48 months, you are ineligible. You are also ineligible for the bonus if you have another Sapphire card and request a product change.
Primary Rental Car Insurance
One of the most important Sapphire Preferred benefits is the included primary rental car insurance. Also known as Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), this coverage is extremely valuable if you are renting a car. With primary coverage, you file with Chase before filing with your insurance company. Coverage is available for rentals lasting no longer than 31 days.
It provides up to $75,000 in coverage for theft and collision for your rental car. While expensive and exotic cars are excluded, it covers most cars (motorcycles are excluded) you would rent in a normal situation. Buying similar coverage from a rental car company can cost upwards of $40 per day, so this benefit can provide huge savings depending on how often you rent. Additionally, it covers loss of use and reasonable towing charges.
To activate coverage, simply decline the rental car company’s CDW and LDW. You must also charge the entire rental to your Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card.
The Vacationer Tip
Please note, this coverage only provides reimbursement for theft and damage to your rental car. You must carry your own liability insurance for injuries and damage to other motorists and their vehicle.
5X Points on Lyft Rides
Through March 2022, Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn 5x points per dollar spent (2x points for travel plus an additional 3x) on Lyft rides. Uber rides and other rideshare services continue to earn 2x points, so Lyft is the clear choice for maximizing points. If you are a frequent Lyft rider, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve instead. It provides a free Lyft Pink membership as well as 10x points on rides.
Pay Yourself Back Program (Points Are Worth 25% More)
With many people still reluctant to travel because of COVID-19, Chase recently introduced the Pay Yourself Back Program. Sapphire Preferred cardholders can redeem points at 1.25 cents per point for purchases made at grocery stores, home improvement stores, and restaurants through September 30, 2021. The 1.25 cents per point redemption equals the amount you get through Chase Dining and booking travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Eligible purchases made in the previous 90 days qualify for a statement credit worth 1.25 cents per point. For example, a $100 restaurant charge would only require 8,000 points as opposed to 10,000 points. A $500 home improvement store charge would only require 40,000 points as opposed to 50,000 points.
Peloton $60 Statement Credit
Through December 31, 2021, Sapphire Preferred cardholders are eligible for $60 in Peloton statement credits. The credits are available for Peloton Digital ($12.99 per month) and All-Access Memberships ($39 per month) only. Bikes and equipment are not eligible for the credit.
A Peloton Digital membership does not require equipment, while an All-Access membership does. New and existing Sapphire Preferred cardholders can get started at the Peloton website.
This essentially cuts your net annual fee of $95 down to $35 for the year you use the credit. Cardholders also earn 5x points for Peloton bike, tread, and accessory purchases over $1,800. This benefit is available through March 2022, and it has a max earn of 25,000 points.
The Vacationer Tip
Those interested in the Chase Sapphire Preferred should take note of Chase’s unofficial 5/24 rule. This means if you have opened five credit cards or more in the past 24 months, you will most likely get declined for a Chase credit card. If this applies to you, we recommend waiting to apply for the Sapphire Preferred until you are out of the window.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Travel Benefits
At its heart, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a travel credit card. Here are the many benefits you will get when planning your next trip.
2X Points on Travel Purchases
Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar spent on travel. For comparison, the Sapphire Reserve ($550 annual fee) earns 3x points on travel. Chase has a very broad definition of travel compared to other credit card companies, so it is very easy to earn 2x points.
Here is what you can expect to code as travel.
- Hotels & Motels
- Airlines (tickets, seat upgrades, bags)
- Car Rental Agencies
- Travel Agencies & Discount Travel Sites
- Parking Lots & Parking Garages
- Toll Bridges, Highways, & Tunnels
- Car Services (including Buses, Taxis, Lyft (earns 5x points), and Uber)
Despite Chase’s generous definition of travel, some transactions you may expect to code as travel do not. Vrbo rentals usually do not code as travel despite being vacation rentals. In cases like that, you will only earn 1x points. Airbnb does code as travel, so keep that in mind if everything else is equal and you wish to maximize your points.
Depending on your redemption choice, the 2x points earned on travel can be worth anywhere from 2 cents to 4 cents. For example, a statement credit or cash nets 2 cents for two points (or 1 cent per point). Transferring to Hyatt could net as much as 4 cents for two points (or two cents per point).
The Vacationer Tip
Keep an eye on your transactions after booking travel. If something should logically code as travel but does not, you should contact Chase and ask for the bonus points. Chase may not always say yes, but it is worth a shot.
Points Are Worth 25% More (or 1.25 cents per point) When Redeeming Through Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal
Chase wants you to book travel through its Ultimate Rewards portal, which is why points are worth 25% more when redeeming this way. This includes flights, hotels, cruises, and car rentals. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 (or 62,500 points) when booking travel through the Chase portal. To figure out the 25% redemption, simply multiply your points by 1.25 and divide by 100 (50,000 x 1.25 = 62,500/100 = $625).
The 2x points per dollar spent cardholders earn on travel and dining purchases are worth 2.5 cents (or 1.25 cents per point) when booking travel through Chase (2 x 1.25 = 2.5). While this is decent value, the higher annual fee Sapphire Reserve provides better value. It earns 3x points on travel and dining and points are worth 50% more when booking travel through Chase. So 50,000 points are worth $750 (or 75,000 points). The 3x points earned on travel and dining are worth 4.5 cents, or 1.5 cents per point.
1:1 Point Transfer to 13 Partner Airlines and Hotels
The best way to redeem Sapphire Preferred points is more often than not transferring to one of Chase’s partner airlines and hotels. Currently, Chase is partnered with 10 airlines and 3 hotel chains. It is a 1:1 point transfer, and you must have at least 1,000 points to transfer. Depending on which partner you transfer your points to, you may get more for your points than booking travel through Chase.
Here are the current partner airlines and hotels.
Chase Airline & Hotel Transfer Partners
|AerClub (Aer Lingus)||IHG® Rewards Club|
|British Airways Executive Club||Marriott Bonvoy™|
|Emirates Skywards®||World of Hyatt®|
|Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
Most transfers are instant, but it can take 1-2 days. All transfers are final, so we recommend figuring out what flight or hotel you want to book before transferring. Hyatt is viewed as the best hotel transfer partner (points can be worth as much as 2 cents per point), but you should check rates before transferring. In some cases, it may be better to book through the Chase travel portal. For airlines, United MileagePlus is a great transfer partner.
Before transferring, you must sign up with the hotel or airline’s loyalty or rewards program.
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
Cardholders and immediate family members are entitled to reimbursement for up to $10,000 per person (up to $20,000 per trip) in non-refundable, pre-paid travel expenses due to cancellation or interruption. Examples of covered expenses include hotels, airfare, and tours. Covered reasons include illness, natural disasters, and jury duty.
Trip cancellation insurance begins on the day you book the covered expense and ends at the time of departure for the trip. Trip interruption insurance begins on the way to departure and ends on the last day of the trip.
For example, if your hotel goes out of business, Chase will refund you the cost. Ditto for airfare if an airline goes out of business. You must charge your non-refundable, pre-paid travel expense to your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to be eligible for reimbursement.
The Vacationer Tip
Before embarking on your trip, we recommend reading the complete Guide to Benefits for your Chase Sapphire Preferred card. It includes detailed information for trip cancellation/delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement. While we have provided an overview for each type of insurance, you should still read the Guide to Benefits for restrictions and instructions on filing a claim.
Trip Delay Reimbursement
Cardholders and family members are eligible for up to a $500 reimbursement per person when travel is delayed for at least 12 hours or requires an overnight stay. Covered expenses include meals, clothing, lodging, toiletries, and medicine. Covered reasons for delay include poor weather, equipment failure, and terrorism. Hazards or delays known before embarking on the trip are not covered.
Baggage Delay Insurance
Cardholders and immediate family members are eligible for up to $100 in reimbursement for up to five days for essential purchases due to baggage being delayed for longer than six hours. Essential purchases include clothing, toiletries, and cell phone charging cables. Your transportation ticket must be purchased with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to be eligible for reimbursement.
Excluded items include hearing aids, jewelry, artificial teeth, and cameras. We recommend reading the Guide to Benefits for a complete list of excluded items.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Cardholders and immediate family members are eligible for up to $3,000 per passenger in lost luggage reimbursement. The carrier must lose or damage your luggage. Carry on luggage and checked bags are both eligible for reimbursement. Jewelry, watches, cameras, and other electronic equipment have a sub-limit of up to $500.
Travel and Emergency Assistance Referrals
The cardholder, cardholder’s spouse or domestic partner, and dependent children under age 22 are eligible for travel and emergency assistance services from Chase. This service simply provides referrals for various professionals such as doctors and lawyers. You still have to pay the doctor, lawyer, or emergency transportation company in question.
Travel Accident Insurance
Cardholders and immediate family members are eligible for up to $500,000 in travel accident insurance. At least a portion of the trip must have been paid for with a Chase Sapphire Preferred card to receive benefits. Here are the two types of travel accident insurance available. Please note, only one of these insurances can be used for a single incident.
- Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance – Provides up to $500,000 for loss of life, dismemberment, or loss of hearing, sight, or speech. This insurance kicks in when entering, exiting or riding on a bus, train, airplane, or cruise ship.
- 24 Hour Travel Accident Insurance – Provides up to $100,000 for dismemberment or loss of hearing, sight, or speech. This insurance kicks in on the departure date and ends on the return date.
Exclusions include declarations of war, sporting activity in which money can be earned, illegal acts, and various physical and mental traumas.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Dining Benefits
In addition to offering premium travel benefits, the Sapphire Preferred also features a multitude of dining benefits.
2X Points on Dining Purchases
Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn 2x Chase Ultimate Reward points per dollar spent on dining purchases. This includes restaurants, fast food establishments, fine dining, and delivery services, including DoorDash. Liquor stores generally do not count, but we have seen some code as Food and Drink.
We recommend checking your statement after making a dining purchase. In the past, we have seen restaurants that should logically count as Food and Drink code as Catering and Bakery. In cases like that, you will only earn 1x points. If that happens, we recommend contacting Chase since they may bonus you the additional 1x point if a clear restaurant codes incorrectly.
The 2x points earned on dining can be worth as much as 4 cents depending on how you redeem them.
Complimentary One-Year DashPass Subscription from DoorDash
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders are eligible for at least a year of free DashPass. This is food delivery service DoorDash’s premium membership. It usually costs $9.99 per month, so you are saving $120 by activating. DashPass provides free delivery and reduced service fees for orders of $12 or more.
To activate, simply add your Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card information to your DoorDash account. You will be prompted to begin your complimentary DashPass membership. Cardholders have until December 31, 2021, to activate.
In addition to the free DashPass membership, Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn 2x points on all DoorDash orders.
Points Are Worth 25% More (or 1.25 cents per point) When Redeeming Through Chase Dining
Chase Dining allows Sapphire Preferred cardholders the opportunity to redeem points at 1.25 cents per point through September 30, 2021. Recently launched and powered by Tock, Chase Dining has over 4,000 restaurants in over 200 cities. In addition to takeout, Chase Dining has a ton of virtual cooking experiences where viewers can connect with professional chefs.
The 1.25 cents per point redemption is equal to what you get redeeming travel through Chase and the Pay Yourself Back program. As always, Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn 2x points when making purchases through Chase dining.
Other Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits
Here are a few other benefits Sapphire Preferred cardholders can advantage of.
Cardholders and recipients of gifts purchased by the cardholder are eligible for up to $50,000 ($500 per claim) in purchase protection. Items must be purchased with a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, and the cardholder must notify the benefits administrator within 90 days of the incident. Valid reasons for a claim include theft, damage, and accidental parting with the property in question. The event must happen within 120 days of the purchase.
Exclusions include used items, antiques, automobiles, boats, and missing items with no evidence of theft.
Extended Warranty Protection
Cardholders and recipients of gifts purchased by the cardholder are eligible for up to $50,000 ($10,000 per claim) in extended warranty protection. This protection extends the manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year when the warranty is three years or less. To be eligible for this protection, the item in question must have been purchased with a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. Additionally, you must notify the benefits administrator within 90 days of the product failure.
Exclusions include used items, computer software, automobiles, and boats.
Cardholders are eligible for emergency roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown. A flat fee covers towing, fuel delivery, jump-starting, and tire changing. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week. There is no membership fee for this service, and pre-enrollment is not required. Towing is limited to five miles for the flat fee, so keep that in mind before calling.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Compared to Other Similar Cards
As a beginner travel-focused credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred holds up well against the competition. Its main competitor is the $95 annual fee Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, but it also competes against the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Chase Sapphire Reserve – With a $550 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is $455 more expensive per year than the Chase Sapphire Preferred. While the difference may seem big, the fee is offset by numerous statement credits and other elite travel benefits. After considering the credits, the Sapphire Reserve has a net annual fee of only $70 ($550 – $300 – $60 – $120). This includes the $300 yearly travel credit, the $60 per year DoorDash Credit, and the $120 Peloton credit. The $60 Sapphire Preferred Peloton credit drops its annual fee down to only $35 for a year.
The Sapphire Reserve also includes a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement, lounge access, 3x points on dining and travel, and 1.5 cents per point when redeeming travel via Chase. Additionally, Sapphire Reserve cardholders can redeem points at 1.5 cents per point via Chase Dining and the Pay Yourself Back Program, compared to only 1.25 cents for the Sapphire Preferred.
For elite travel benefits, the Sapphire Reserve is the better card. For the modest traveler who may not eat out too often, the Sapphire Preferred is our pick.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – With a $95 annual fee, the Capital One Venture Rewards Card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s direct competitor. Its current 100,000-mile bonus equals the Sapphire Preferred’s current bonus of 100,000 points. To earn the 100,000 point bonus, you must spend at least $20,000 in the first year. The value of each bonus depends on how you redeem, however.
The Capital One Venture Card offers 2x miles on all purchases and 5x on car rentals and hotels booked through Capital One Travel. It wins on everyday spending since the Sapphire Preferred offers 1x miles outside of travel and dining.
The Venture Card offers a $100 Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application fee credit, which the Sapphire Preferred card does not. To even things out, the Sapphire Preferred card offers primary rental car insurance, while the Venture Card only offers secondary coverage. Both cards offer travel protection, but the Sapphire Preferred provides better and more comprehensive coverage.
Frequent travelers and diners can cover the Sapphire Preferred’s $95 annual fee fairly easily. When redeeming points for cash, cardholders need to spend a combined $4,750 per year on travel (2x) and dining (2x) to net $95.
When redeeming for travel via Chase (points are worth 25% more), cardholders need to spend a combined $3,800 per year on travel and dining ($3,800 x 2 x 1.25). Finally, when maximizing transfers to travel partners (for a 2 cent per point value), cardholders need to spend a combined $2,375 ($2,375 x 2 x 2) on travel and dining.
Ideally, you need at least a credit score of 700 for Sapphire Preferred approval. If your credit score is over 725 and you are not breaking the unofficial 5/24 rule, you should get approved.
Cardholders earn 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent for purchases that code as travel.
Cardholders earn 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent for purchases that code as food & drink.
$0. For comparison purposes, the Sapphire Reserve has a $75 authorized user fee.
No, the $300 travel credit is exclusive to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
No, the $100 application fee reimbursement is exclusive to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
No, lounge access, via Priority Pass, is exclusive to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The current bonus is 100,000 points, and you can earn it by spending $4,000 in the first three months. Its value depends on how you redeem it. Here are a few examples.
– Cash – $1,000
– Pay Your Self Back Program (25% extra) – $1,250
– Travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal (25% extra) – $1,250
– Chase Dining (25% extra) – $1,250
– Transfer to a Chase Partner Hotel or Airline – Up to $2,000
No, Sapphire Preferred points do not expire.
The Sapphire Preferred earns 1x points on all purchases other than travel and dining.
No, you can only have one of the two Chase Sapphire credit cards.
Yes, the 5/24 rule will affect your odds. If you have been approved for five or more cards in the last 24 months, you will likely get denied.
One point is worth 1 cent ($0.01) when redeeming for cash or a statement credit.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those who want solid travel benefits with an annual fee under $100. While it does not include the Sapphire Reserve’s elite travel perks, it does provide access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, where points can be pooled with other Chase cards. The 2x points earned on travel and dining are worth much more when redeemed for travel via chase or when transferred to a partner hotel or airline.
Those still worried about the $95 annual fee can breathe a sigh of relief. The 100,000 point new account bonus covers the annual fee for 10 years when redeemed for cash. When transferred to one of Chase’s partners, the 100,000 point bonus is worth as much as $2,000 and covers the annual fee for 21 years.
Don’t have a travel-focused credit card yet? Check out The Vacationer’s Recommended Travel Card Picks for the best offers from Chase, Capital One, American Express, and other top issuers. You can also check out the CardMatch tool to see what cards and offers you may already be prequalified for.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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