Looking for a travel card that has killer perks without a killer annual fee?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might be just the ticket.
Not only does it earn Ultimate Rewards points, which are some of the most valuable in the biz; it also offers a wealth of travel benefits and protections, all for the relatively low annual fee of $95.
Here’s a breakdown of 17 Chase Sapphire Preferred card benefits you need to know about.
What Benefits Come With the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
With the Sapphire Preferred, you can expect perks like:
- 2X points on travel and dining
- 13 point transfer partners
- A strong welcome bonus
- 25% bonus on travel redemptions with Chase Ultimate Rewards
- No foreign transaction fee
- One-year DoorDash membership
- Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
- Chase Experiences (including occasional unique options for Preferred cardholders)
- Shopping protections, like purchase protection and extended warranty protection
- Travel protections, including primary car rental insurance, trip delay reimbursement, and more
1. Great Introductory Bonus
Getting straight to the good stuff, let’s talk about the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s travel rewards.
You can start off with a ton of points: 100,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
When redeemed through Chase’s portal that’s worth hundreds in free travel, and when redeemed directly with a transfer partner, it could potentially be worth much more.
Several years ago, when I first got the Sapphire Preferred, I received a 50,000-point introductory bonus. After a year of putting all my spending on the card, I’d earned an additional 30,000 points. I used my total of 80,000 points to take an insane trip on United from Syracuse > Auckland > Singapore > London > Washington D.C. All it cost me was $95 in taxes!
Chase has cracked down lately on the ultra-popular Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® — and you can now only have one at a time (unless you were grandfathered in). As its website states, you can only get either card if “you do not have any Sapphire card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 48 months.”
2. 2X Points on Travel & Dining
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great introductory travel card because it earns 2X points per dollar on travel and dining purchases (the categories where I spend the most money anyway). You’ll also earn 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides.
Chase’s definition of travel is broad, too; it includes “airlines, hotels, motels, timeshares, car rental agencies, cruise lines, travel agencies, discount travel sites, campgrounds and operators of passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, toll bridges and highways, and parking lots and garages.”
Say, on average, you spend $500/month on travel (Uber, Airbnb, buses, plane tickets, parking) and $500/month on dining. Over the course of the year, that would add up to 24,000 UR points.
Redeemed through the Chase travel portal at 1.25 cents per point (more on that later), you’d get a return of $300 — more than three times the cost of the annual fee.
Besides travel and dining, you’ll earn 1X UR point per dollar on everything else. You’ll also earn 20,000 UR points for every friend you refer to the card, for a maximum of 100,000 bonus points per year.
3. 13 Travel Partners
The main reason everyone loves the Ultimate Rewards program is its abundance of travel partners. Once you earn UR points, you can transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to 13 different airlines and hotels.
|Airline Travel Partners|
|Aer Lingus AerClub||British Airways Executive Club||Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM||Iberia Plus||JetBlue TrueBlue|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards||United MileagePlus||Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||Emirates Skywards|
|Hotel Travel Partners|
|IHG Rewards Club||Marriott Bonvoy||World of Hyatt|
In other words, 100,000 UR points could become 100,000 United miles. Or 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Or 50,000 British Airways Avios and 50,000 JetBlue points. You choose. And as long as your card is active, your UR points won’t expire.
The transfer process is quick and easy; you just log in to your Ultimate Rewards account and select the amount you want to move. In most cases, it happens instantly.
4. 25% Bonus on Redemptions
Although you’ll usually get the most bang for your UR buck when you transfer points directly to a travel partner, it’s sometimes easier to book through Chase’s travel portal.
That’s especially true when there’s no award availability on the flight you need, you’re booking a hotel that’s not part of a rewards program, you don’t have enough points to get your desired airfare, or you want to earn miles for a particular flight.
In this case, being a Sapphire Preferred cardholder will get you a sweet boost. Normally, 100 UR points are worth $1. But when you have a Preferred card, you’ll get a 25% bonus — so 100 points will be worth $1.25.
When you hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred, this elevated redemption rate can apply to rewards earned with your other cards, as well. If, for example, you have the Chase Freedom® or Chase Freedom Unlimited®, both of which earn UR points, you can transfer those points to your Sapphire Preferred account, increasing their value by 25% or more (when redeemed for travel). Learn all about maximizing your point values in our ultimate guide to Ultimate Rewards.
5. DoorDash Membership
Sapphire Preferred cardholders can get a free DoorDash membership for at least a year (a DashPass). A DashPass provides free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12, potentially saving you a tidy sum if you like to order out.
6. No Foreign Transaction Fees
If you’re interested in the Chase Sapphire Preferred, chances are you like to travel.
Translation: Whereas many cards charge a 3% fee just for buying something in a different currency, the Preferred does not. If you spend $3,000 on your next trip overseas, that could save you $90.
7. Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection
When you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to book a hotel through the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection website, you’ll be eligible for some elite perks, including:
- One “special benefit” per stay (often a food and beverage or spa credit valued at $100)
- Daily breakfast for two
- Complimentary WiFi
- Room upgrades, when available
- Early check-in and late check-out, when available
Just one stay at one of these deluxe properties, and you’ll have paid for your annual fee!
8. Visa Signature Concierge
Here’s one benefit I haven’t taken advantage of enough. Though the Visa concierge isn’t as famous as Amex’s, it can reportedly still assist you with obtaining hard-to-get restaurant bookings or tickets.
“[T]here have been three or four times over the years when I wanted a restaurant reservation at a trendy (out of town) spot I couldn’t get myself,” noted one Reddit user, “and the Visa concierge delivered each time.”
9. Chase Experiences
Chase regularly offers “experiences” to its cardholders; some are open to all, some are meant for Preferred customers, and some are for those with the Reserve card.
Typical experiences include a meet and greet with an athlete or a musician, or a private dinner with a famous chef. I’m too addicted to traveling to use my points this way, but if it were a meet and greet with T-Swift herself, I might change my mind…
10. Direct Line to Customer Service
You don’t know what you’ve been missing until you contact a credit card company and immediately get connected to a representative. No need to endlessly repeat “agent” into the phone; when you call the number on the back of your Chase credit card, a human picks up 24/7.
11. Primary Car Rental Insurance
Try to find another non-co-branded personal card with a sub-$100 annual fee that offers primary car rental insurance, and I’m guessing you’ll come up empty handed.
Although many other credit cards offer car rental insurance, the coverage is secondary — which means it only kicks in after you file a claim with your regular car insurer (which could, of course, raise your rates).
With the Sapphire Preferred, you can confidently decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver on eligible cars, knowing Chase will have your back if anything happens.
12. Delayed & Lost Luggage Insurance
When you travel, baggage delays are just a part of the fun.
Luckily, if you booked your ticket with your Preferred card, baggage delay insurance will reimburse for essentials like toiletries and clothing: up to $100 per day for five days. Note that you must first file a claim with your airline.
Or, if the airline screws up and completely loses your bags, Chase will reimburse you for up to $3,000 per person, of which $500 can be for jewelry, watches, cameras, video recorders, and other electronic equipment.
To qualify for this benefit and those that follow, you must have paid for your reservation with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card (even if it’s just the taxes and fees on a rewards ticket). The good news is your immediate family — including your in-laws, aunts and uncles, siblings, grandparents, stepparents, nieces and nephews — qualifies for these benefits, too, even if you’re not flying with them (as long as you booked the ticket with your Chase card).
13. Trip Delay Reimbursement
Another inevitable feature of travel? Delays.
If your trip is delayed by more than 12 hours, or if it requires an overnight stay, Chase will give you and your family up to $500 per ticket to cover expenses such as meals or lodging.
Want to dive deep into the deets behind one or more of these perks? Check out this benefits guide on Chase’s site.
14. Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance
Monsoon? Broken leg?
If your trip is canceled completely, either before or during your trip, the Preferred may also reimburse you for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses like tickets, tours, and hotels.
The coverage mostly applies in cases of sickness or severe weather, and has a maximum of $10,000 per person, $20,000 per trip, and $40,000 per year.
15. Travel Accident Insurance
If the unthinkable were to happen — and you or your family member experienced loss of life or limb while traveling — this insurance would pay up to $500,000 to the survivor or beneficiary.
16. Purchase Protection
A little-known, but pretty stellar benefit, Chase’s purchase protection covers you for 120 days after you buy something shiny and new with your card.
If an eligible item gets damaged or stolen within that period, you can ask Chase to reimburse you for up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
17. Extended Warranty Protection
When you purchase something big (and breakable!) that has an eligible U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less, Chase will extend it by one additional year.
In other words, if that laptop stops working as soon as its two-year warranty runs out (funny how that happens, right?), Chase may reimburse you for its original cost — up to a maximum of $10,000 per item and $50,000 per account.
Are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits Worth Its Annual Fee?
So is the Chase Sapphire Preferred worth its $95 annual fee? In our opinion, definitely.
The introductory bonus is worth hundreds in travel through Ultimate Rewards. So that takes care of the first few years, at least.
Kidding aside, you’d need to spend just $225 per month on travel and dining ($225 x 2X x 12 = 5,400 points) and $200 per month on everything else ($200 x 1X x 12 = 2,400 points ) to earn enough points to make up for the $95 annual fee each year (7,800 points = $97.50 worth of travel).
And that’s without taking into account the benefits, especially primary rental car insurance and travel insurance, that could end up saving you a lot of money in the end.
What Are the Best Alternatives to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?
Not sold on the Sapphire Preferred? While we think it’s an awesome rewards card, it’s always a good idea to shop around. Here are some recommended alternatives.
- If you only travel once a year: Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (Review)
- If you’re getting your first credit card: Journey Student Rewards from Capital One (Review)
- If you’re rebuilding your credit scores: Discover it® Secured (Review)
- If you travel a lot and want a card with supercharged perks and earning power: Chase Sapphire Reserve or American Express Platinum
And, if you want to see allll your options, here are our favorite credit cards for anyone, anywhere.