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|Big sign-up bonus||No travel credit|
|Modest annual fee||No access to airport lounges|
|Good rewards rates for travel and dining at restaurants||No credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees|
|Nice travel redemption bonus|
|Great travel insurance|
|No foreign transaction fees|
4 things to know about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
1. A sign-up bonus worth $750 toward travel
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card features a 60,000-point sign-up bonus when you spend $4,000 on purchases during the first 3 months after opening the account. Those points are worth $750 toward travel when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
You’ll have to spend an average of about $1,333 over each of those first 3 months to earn the sign-up bonus.
This offer might sound like a good way to pay for your next vacation, but keep in mind that it’s a bad idea to spend more than you normally would just to earn a sign-up bonus.
If you don’t spend this much on a regular basis, consider using your card to pay for an upcoming vacation or big purchase you’ve already been planning to make.
2. Good ongoing rewards for travel and dining
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers two points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining at restaurants. You’ll also get one point per $1 for all other purchases.
To put this into context, you’d need to spend $3,800 each year on travel and restaurant dining and redeem your points toward travel (through Chase Ultimate Rewards) to break even on the $95 annual fee. That’s about $316.67 per month. The monthly spending needed would go up if you were to make other kinds of purchases, but it might fit your spending habits anyway.
It’s worth noting that the card’s flashier sibling, the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which has an annual fee of $450, earns you three points per $1 for the same categories (travel and dining). You also get one point per $1 on other purchases.
3. A modest annual fee
One of the biggest draws of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is its reasonable annual fee ($95).
If you’re intrigued by the higher rewards rate of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® but you just can’t bring yourself to pay the steep $450 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card still offers quality benefits for less of an upfront cost.
4. Other perks worth mentioning
It’s worth noting that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and offers several forms of travel insurance when you pay for a trip with the card, including trip cancellation, trip delay and baggage delay.
Though these benefits may be less exciting than other features of the card, they have the potential to save you a lot of money if something goes wrong on your trip — or if you get stranded at the airport like I did.
We can’t find anything wrong with what the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has to offer. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s flawless.
When identifying issues with the card, you have to focus on what the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card doesn’t offer rather than anything negative that you’d have to put up with.
No travel credit
Unlike certain premium rewards credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card doesn’t offer a travel credit.
But if you’re deciding between the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, forgoing the latter’s $300 travel credit in exchange for a much lower annual fee is not a bad trade-off to make.
No airport lounge access
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also doesn’t offer free access to airport lounges — a perk that’s typically offered only by premium rewards cards.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, after a one-time enrollment, which can get you into more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world.
No TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit
Many travelers sometimes get stuck in long airport security lines. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card won’t give you any options for speeding up what can be a frustrating experience.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card doesn’t offer a statement credit for the cost of a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application, unlike other rewards cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
Understanding your points and redemption options
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers some of the most-valuable points you can find using a travel card.
Your points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You can also transfer your points to more than a dozen airline and hotel partners, where you might be able to earn an even better value in certain cases.
And as travel rewards offer you the most value with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, we recommend you avoid cashing out with a statement credit or gift card — you just won’t get as much bang for your buck.
Who this card is good for
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a perfectly good introductory travel card for people who take trips every once in a while.
If you’re trying to save money, you might be willing to sacrifice the travel credits, airport lounge access, and Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit offered by premium rewards cards with higher annual fees.
But keep in mind that you might still be able to cash in on some of these benefits with cards like the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, which charge more affordable annual fees in line with that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Not sure this card is right for you? Consider these alternatives.
Several years ago, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card was one of the best travel credit cards on the market. Since then, several other issuers have launched competitive cards and offers you might want to check out.
- Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card: This card can be a good option for frequent travelers who have an account with Bank of America. Our review of the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card has more information on its benefits.
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: This card is a nice option for people who want more flexibility when using their card for purchases. Check out our review of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card to learn more.