Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Review

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers an unusual amount of value for the price. A good pick for both frequent flyers and occasional travelers, the card not only has a solid rewards program and a mammoth sign-up bonus, but it also includes some of the most generous travel insurance benefits you’ll find for a card with an annual fee of less than $100.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

overall rating
4.5
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Foreign transaction fee 0%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.9
for Fees
3.0
for Rewards
4.5
for Credit
4.0

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Top Rated For

  • Best Rewards Cards
  • Best Chase Credit Cards
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  • Best Hotel Credit Cards
  • Best Sign-up Bonus Credit Cards
  • Best Visa Credit Cards

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Jet Setter Persona
    Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free
    Jet Setter
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play
    Road Warrior
  • Avatar for Adventure Seeker Persona
    Loves to explore places and experience new things
    Adventure Seeker
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker

You’ll get the most value out of the Chase Sapphire Preferred if you’re a frequent flyer or avid miles collector with good to excellent credit. You’ll get bonus points on travel and dining, which you can transfer on a one-to-one basis to a variety of partner airlines and hotel chains. But even occasional travelers can significantly benefit from the card’s generous perks—especially when they make use of the sign-up bonus in the first year. 

Consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred particularly if you don’t already have a card with premium travel benefits, such as primary rental car insurance and baggage delay insurance. Commuters will also earn extra value since the card awards double points for bus and train fares, tolls, and parking.

Pros

  • Stellar sign-up bonus

  • Lots of travel redemption options

  • Higher-than-average points valuation

Cons

  • Bonus rewards in few categories

  • No travel credits

Pros Explained

  • Stellar sign-up bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred currently offers one of the best sign-up bonuses you’ll find among similarly priced travel cards: It’s worth up to $750 when redeemed for travel on Chase’s online portal. 
  • Lots of travel redemption options: If you use your points to book travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site, you’ll be rewarded with a 25% redemption bonus. If you think you can get more value from an airline’s rewards program, you can also transfer your points to it on a one-to-one basis. Some competitors, by contrast, don’t let you transfer points at all. 
  • Higher-than-average points valuation: If you redeem your points for travel, you’ll get significantly more value out of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points than you would with the typical credit card rewards point. Many competitors, for example, have points or miles valued at just a penny each, while Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth as much as 1.25 to 1.57 cents each if you redeem them for airfare or other travel purchases. 

Cons Explained

  • Bonus rewards in few categories: The Chase Sapphire Preferred only awards bonus points on travel and dining, so if you don’t regularly spend hundreds of dollars a month in those categories, you may not earn that many points. For example, you’d have to spend at least $3,800 a year (or around $317 a month) on travel and dining, then redeem your points for travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal, just to cover the $95 annual fee. 
  • No travel credits: Some competitor cards that charge similar annual fees have additional perks, such as statement credits to cover certain airline fees or application credits for signing up for TSA Precheck or Global Entry. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred Sign-up Bonus

If you spend $4,000 within three months of opening your new Chase card, you’ll get 60,000 bonus points, which is a lot for a card that only charges a $95 annual fee. If you redeem your points for airfare, hotel bookings, car rentals, or cruises using Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel site, you could walk away with up to $750 worth of free travel—from one sign-up bonus.

Earning Points & Rewards

Chase makes it easier than many travel cards to amass a large number of bonus points relatively quickly. You’ll get 2 points for every $1 you spend on a variety of travel purchases, including bus and taxi fare, train tickets, bridge and highway tolls, parking fees, ferry passes, and campground fees. That makes it a strong choice for cardholders who fly only a handful of times a year, but who spend a lot on everyday transportation.

Chase is also less restrictive about what qualifies as a restaurant purchase. For example, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent at fast food chains as well as high-end sit-down restaurants. You won’t earn a bonus if you order food through a delivery service that directly charges your card, such as UberEats, or at bakeries.

All other purchases automatically earn 1 point for every $1 you spend—and points don’t expire as long as your account is open. 

Redeeming Rewards 

Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards is relatively simple. But the value of your points will vary depending on how you use them. 

One of the most valuable ways to use your points from this card is to book travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site—which is powered by Expedia and works similarly to any other travel search engine. Each point will be worth 1.25 cents when used that way. 

Booking airfare, cruise, hotel, and rental car purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards provides an automatic 25% bonus for every $1 you redeem. For example, if you book a $150 hotel stay, you’ll only need 12,000 Ultimate Rewards points to book it, rather than 15,000 points.

You can redeem your points for cash and get 1 cent back for every point you’ve earned. You can also redeem your points for gift cards, event tickets, or Apple products, typically for 1 cent each. If you use points to shop at Amazon.com, they’ll be worth 0.8 cents each.

Transferring Points

You may get even more value out of your points if you transfer them to one of Chase’s 13 airline and hotel partners, which include United Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and Hyatt—particularly as you’ll transfer them at an impressive 1:1 ratio. Many travel rewards cards allow cardholders to transfer points to program partners, but often at less (much less!) than 1:1.

According to our analysis of scores of credit card and airline and hotel rewards values, Ultimate Rewards points are worth most when transferred to United’s MileagePlus program. When those points are used to book flights on United or its StarAlliance airline partners, they’ll be worth 1.57 cents each.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Use your Ultimate Rewards points on travel purchases that you can purchase through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site or from an airline or hotel partner. You don’t have to stick to airfare and hotels; you’ll also receive a redemption bonus if you use the Ultimate Rewards site to book car rentals or cruises. 

To maximize your rewards earnings, consider pairing the Chase Sapphire Preferred with the Chase Freedom card, which earns points on everyday purchases that can then be pooled with your Chase Sapphire Preferred points. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred’s Excellent Perks

The Balance editors have determined that some credit card perks are especially valuable. These are the ones available through the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

  • Primary rental car collision insurance: If your rental car is stolen or you get into an accident, Chase may cover the car’s damages—without making you max out your personal car insurance first. This is a rare perk—most issuers who offer rental car insurance offer secondary insurance, which means you have to use your own car insurance policy first if you have one. 
  • Trip delay protection: If your flight, cruise, or train trip is delayed by more than 12 hours—or if a delay or cancellation forces you to stay overnight in a hotel—you may be reimbursed up to $500 per ticket to cover meals, hotel stays, and other expenses.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: If you have to cancel or shorten a trip due to an unforeseen event like sickness or severe weather, Chase may reimburse up to $20,000 of prepaid, nonrefundable expenses.
  • Baggage delay insurance: If your luggage is delayed for more than six hours, Chase may reimburse up to $100 per day, for up to five days to cover the cost of daily essentials, like clothing and toiletries.

Chase Sapphire Preferred’s Other Features

  • Travel and emergency assistance hotline
  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Extended warranty

Customer Experience

Chase has a fairly good reputation for customer service. It ranked fourth of 11 issuers in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study. However, unlike some competitors, it doesn’t offer a chat service on its website, making it somewhat harder to get quick answers to common questions. You can call a customer service specialist 24/7. 

Security Features

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers standard credit card security features. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card’s Fees

Like most travel cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. It’s also notable that it doesn’t charge a penalty APR, meaning your APR won’t automatically increase if you fall behind on payments.

For Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Compare This Card

See how this card stacks up to the competition
CURRENT CARD
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
overall rating
4.5
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.99% - 24.99% variable
Annual Fee $95
Rewards Earning Rate 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide

Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.