Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Flies regularly and likes finding ways to score even more travel—for free See more cards
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
Loves to explore places and experience new things See more cards
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.
Stellar new-cardholder bonus
Lots of travel redemption options
Higher-than-average points valuation
Bonus rewards in few categories
No travel credits
- Stellar new-cardholder bonus: This card has one of the bigger sign-up bonuses you’ll find among travel cards with a similar annual fee. If you spend $4,000 in the first three months, you’ll get 80,000 bonus points worth about $1,168, based on The Balance’s calculations of their average value. (And at least $1,000 if you use them to book travel through Chase’s rewards site.)
- Lots of travel redemption options: If you use your points to book travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site, you’ll get 25% more value from them. Or, if you can get more value from a specific airline or hotel rewards program, you can transfer your points at a one-to-one ratio. Some competitors, by contrast, don’t let you transfer points at all.
- Higher-than-average points valuation: Many competitors offer rewards points or miles worth just a penny each, but our research values Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 1.46 cents apiece, on average.
- Bonus rewards in few categories: This card only awards bonus points on travel and dining out, so if you don’t regularly spend that much in those categories, your opportunity to earn rewards is limited.
- 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 Bonus for New Cardholders
For a card that only charges a $95 annual fee, 80,000 bonus points is a ton for a welcome bonus, and their relatively high value makes it even more compelling and the best offer from a general travel card on the market right now.
You must spend $4,000 within three months of opening your card to qualify, but if you can do that, you’ll get a bonus worth $1,000 when redeemed for travel directly through Chase’s rewards site. If you transfer your points to an eligible airline or hotel travel partner, they may be worth a whopping $1,752, based on our estimates of average values.
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.
Starting Nov. 1, 2020, you'll also automatically earn 2 points per $1 spent on groceries (on up to $1,000 in purchases each month) thanks to a limited-time offer that runs through April 30, 2021. Grocery pickup and eligible delivery service orders will also count.
Cardholders also earn 5 points per $1 spent on Lyft rides through March 2022. Overall, these travel earning rates make this card a strong choice for cardholders who fly only a handful of times a year, but 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.
You’ll have a lot of flexibility when redeeming your rewards, but you’ll get the best value if you use them for travel. We estimate points used for travel are worth an average of 1.46 cents each, with values depending on whether you use them to book trips directly through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site or transfer them to an eligible airline or hotel loyalty program.
Chase has 13 partners, including United Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and Hyatt, and the points transfer at an impressive 1-to-1 ratio. Many travel rewards cards allow cardholders to transfer points to program partners, but often at less (much less!) than 1-to-1.
Transferring your points to United or Hyatt may provide some of the best values, according to our analysis of their point values.
It’s not easy for many people to travel right now, so this card is offering extra redemption options that might be more interesting: groceries, restaurants (including takeout and delivery), home improvement store purchases, and eligible charity donations. See “Credit Card Deals Help You Earn and Use Travel Benefits During COVID-19” for more information about this limited-time offer.
As a general rule of thumb, rewards chasers want each point or mile to be worth at least 1 cent, preferably more. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can also redeem your points for cash, gift cards or event tickets at a value of 1 cent per point. Or, if you use points to shop at Amazon.com or buy Apple products, they’ll be worth 0.8 cents each.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Don't let the amazing welcome offer slip by. Focus on meeting the $4,000 spending requirement within three months of opening your account to boost your earnings.
Those rewards are best used to book travel purchases, 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. If you're a rideshare fan, make sure you use this card on each Lyft ride you take through March 2022 to earn a few extra points.
To maximize your rewards earnings, consider pairing the Chase Sapphire Preferred with the Chase Freedom Flex card, which earns points on everyday purchases that can then be pooled with your Chase Sapphire Preferred points.
For tips about maximizing rewards with this card, see "Chase Ultimate Rewards Program: Your Complete Guide."
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.
- Complimentary DoorDash DashPass Membership: This subscription waives delivery fees on all DoorDash food orders of $12 or more for at least 12 months if you activate membership by Dec. 31, 2021. A DashPass membership typically costs $9.99 per month, so this perk is worth more than $100.
Chase Sapphire Preferred’s Other Features
- Travel and emergency assistance hotline
- Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
- Extended warranty
Chase has a fairly good reputation for customer service. It ranked fourth of 11 issuers in J.D. Power’s 2020 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.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers standard credit card security features, such as transaction alerts and $0 fraud liability. You can also lock and unlock your card from your online account in the event you temporarily misplace it. If your card is lost or stolen, you can request a replacement card through the Chase mobile app.
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.