Quick Facts

  • $750 travel credit bonus when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of the account opening
  • 2x points awarded for travel and dining purchases
  • 1x points for all other purchases
  • 1:1 points transfer for several airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • No blackout dates for travel
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee
  • 17.99% – 24.99% Variable APR

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Generous sign-up bonus
  • High rewards rate in certain categories
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel protection benefits

Cons:

  • Annual fee after first year
  • No introductory APR
  • Excellent credit score needed for approval
  • Other cards offer more flexibile rewards

Full Review

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is low-maintenance travel card that just about anyone can reap high rewards from.

The card has a great sign-up bonus, along with impressive miles multipliers on travel and dining and a flat rate of 1 mile earned for every $1 spent on all other purchases. Once you’ve earned points, they can be redeemed for an incredible value exclusively through Chase’s travel portal. Points retain a 1:1 value for other airline and hotel loyalty programs, as well. Transfer partners include airlines such as Southwest, United, British Airways, and more. Chase also partners with hotels like the Hyatt, Marriott, InterContinential Hotels Group, and Ritz-Carlton.

Along with excellent rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card charges no foreign transaction fees and has unique travel protection benefits. 

However, there are a few things you should be aware of before applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. First, keep in mind that you’ll need to be a big spender to cash in on the generous sign-up bonus. You’ll also need to make sure you’re earning as many rewards as possible throughout the year to make it worth the annual fee; although Chase charges a $0 annual fee for the first year, the card has a $95 fee for each year after.

Chase Sapphire Preferred: Basics and Benefits 

To qualify for the Chase Sapphire Preffered Card, applicants usually need a good to excellent credit score. The average cardholder score is 720, but Chase has been known to accept scores below 700 for this card.

After being approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, new members have the opportunity to earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of the account being open. Those points translate to $750 in travel credit if they’re redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card also gives users 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining at restaurants, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Cardholders can also earn points by shopping through the Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus mall, which offers extra points for shopping with specific retailers. In addition, your points won’t expire as long as you keep the account open. Rewards can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, and travel credit through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. If points are redeemed for cash back or gift cards, they’re worth about 1 cent per point. Your best return on investment will be redeeming points through the portal, as these points are worth an extra 25% for 1.25 cents per point.

Redeeming points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal is pretty flexible. If you have a specific trip in mind, all you need to do is enter the portal and provide your departure location, destination, and preferred travel dates. Then, the portal will bring up several flight options for you to compare. When you’ve chosen a flight, you book with your points. It’s that easy.

If you don’t see a flight you like, you can also choose to transfer your points to other travel loyalty rewards programs. The exchange rate is 1:1 for the following airline and hotel partners: Air France/KLM, Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore KrisFlyer, Southwest, United, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriot, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Ritz-Carlton. The opportunity to transfer your points to a variety of different rewards programs gives you the freedom to choose whether you want to spend your points on domestic or international travel, unlike some binding frequent flyer programs.

Along with great rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card boasts no foreign transaction fees, making it the perfect companion for spending abroad. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a $0 annual fee for the first year of the account and $95 for the following years. The card does not offer an introductory APR period, and users can anticipate a 17.99% – 24.99% Variable APR based on creditworthiness. 

All in all, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is an incredible opportunity to earn unmatched travel rewards with a relatively low annual fee. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred: Pitfalls and Other Possibilities

While the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes with loads of rewards and benefits, it isn’t the best option for every traveler. Here are a few reasons why you may want to seek another travel card.

At the end of the day, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a high rewards rate. But it doesn’t have the highest rewards rate compared to other cards out there. Take, for instance, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. This is another travel card that has more flexible reward redemption options. Cardholders earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on all purchases.

New cardholders may take advantage of a $500 travel credit if they spend $3,000 in the first three months of the account being open. In addition, miles may be redeemed for 1 cent per mile on almost any travel expense out there. This is a much broader opportunity, as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card only allows users to access travel credits from their specific partners.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Card has the same annual fee as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and no foreign transaction fees, as well. The Capital One Venture Rewards Card is nice enough that it will basically come down to what kind of travel rewards rate you want to reap when debating between these two cards.

Another reason why you may want to seek a different card is your spending habits. If you’re a big spender, paying a $95 annual fee will easily be made up in rewards credits. If you aren’t a big spender you could be wasting $95 annually on a card that isn’t measuring up to the competition. 

The Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card is an alternative travel option without an annual fee. That’s right, a $0 annual fee. On top of this, the card offers 1.5 points for every $1 spent. New cardholders can take advantage of a $250 travel credit if they spend at least $1,000 on purchases within three months of the account being open. This is a far more manageable sign-up bonus and annual fee than the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card right for you? 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great opportunity for travelers to rake in high rewards in exchange for travel. The card offers an unparalleled reward rate for points used through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. However, this card definitely isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t a big spender or don’t plan to spend a lot with this specific card, the annual fee of $95 after the first year just isn’t worth it. There are other cards that offer travel rewards with lower annual fees.

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