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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Review: Should You Apply?

This credit card offers a hefty sign-up bonus and 2X points on travel.
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Picking out a travel credit card can be overwhelming. That's why we're taking a detailed look at one of the most popular travel cards: the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Learn what rewards you can expect, how it stacks up against competitors, and whether or not it belongs in your wallet.

Chase Sapphire Preferred: The Basics

Card Name: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Fees: $95 annual fee (waived the first year); no foreign transaction fee

APR: 17.74% to 24.74% (Variable) for purchases and balance transfers

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months; earn 5,000 bonus points after adding the first authorized user and making a purchase in the first three months

Credit Needed: Excellent Credit

Benefits and Rewards:

  • 2X points on travel and dining
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • 1:1 point transfer to airline and hotel loyalty programs

What Do You Get With Chase Sapphire Preferred?

Like many other travel cards, this Chase credit card comes with a variety of rewards and benefits. Here's a rundown of some of the best perks.

Valuable Sign-up Bonus

As noted above, you can get 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months — plus 5,000 points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first three months of opening the account. You can redeem your points for cash, gift cards, or travel, but if you redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they're worth 25% more. So that 50,000 bonus becomes even more valuable and worth approximately $625 toward travel.

SEE ALSO: The 6 Best Travel Credit Cards for Small Businesses

Double Points on Travel

With this Chase points rewards card, you can earn 2 points for each dollar you spend on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Point Transfers

One rewards program perk that you won't get with many other travel cards is the ability to transfer your points to other airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio.

Extra Benefits

You also get 24/7 access to a customer service specialist, as well as other benefits that can come in handy whether you use your card at home or while abroad. These other perks include an auto rental collision damage waiver, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, extended warranty protection, and purchase protection.


Chase Sapphire Preferred

Alternatives to Chase Sapphire Preferred

There are a few different travel credit cards you might consider instead of Chase Sapphire Preferred. Here's how the Chase card stacks up against them.

Citi ThankYou Premier Card

This card is very similar to Chase Sapphire Preferred. First, the sign-up bonus is almost the same value. If you spend $4,000 within the first three months, you can earn 50,000 points, worth $625 if you redeem them for airfare at thankyou.com.

However, instead of awarding just 2X points for travel and dining, this Citi card awards 3 points per dollar spent on travel (including gas stations), 2X points on dining out and entertainment, and 1 point on all other purchases. The annual fee of $95 — another thing the cards have in common — is also waived the first 12 months.

If you want to earn double miles on all your spending without worrying about purchase categories, you might want to consider this Barclays card.

Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard

There's no sign-up bonus with this Barclays card, which is a big difference between it and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Otherwise, the two are fairly similar. And if you want to earn double miles on all your spending without worrying about purchase categories, you might want to consider Barclays.

The Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard awards a flat rate of 2X miles on every purchase — not just travel and dining. And although there's no sign-up bonus, you can earn up to 25,000 loyalty bonus miles each year. Also, the annual fee of $150 is a little higher than the Sapphire Preferred card's fee (though it's waived the first year).

Premier Rewards Gold Card From American Express

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a comparable bonus for a much lower annual fee — Premier Rewards Gold is $0 the first year, then $195. But this American Express card comes with its own competitive benefits and rewards.

SEE ALSO: Your Hotel Rewards Program Is (Probably) Changing Soon

The Premier Rewards Gold card offers new cardholders 50,000 Membership Rewards points after they use the card to spend $2,000 in the first three months. This bonus can be worth approximately $500. The card also awards 3 points for each dollar spent on flights booked with airlines; 2X points at U.S. gas stations, supermarkets, and restaurants; and 1X points on other purchases.

You can also earn 2X points — plus a $75 hotel credit — for booking prepaid hotel stays on americanexpress.com/hc. As with Chase Sapphire Preferred, your points can be transferred to hotel and airline loyalty programs, often at a 1:1 ratio. This card includes an airline fee credit of up to $100 for each calendar year, too. (Note: This is a charge card and not a credit card.)

Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Right for You?

For people who frequently travel, this credit card offers one of the most valuable sign-up bonuses on the market. If you can meet the spending requirements, add an authorized user, and redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you're looking at more than $600 in travel just for getting the card.

The relatively low annual fee makes it easier to get your money's worth out of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Plus, this card has a relatively low annual fee (waived the first year), so it's easier to get your money's worth out of it. Further, the rewards program can become even more valuable if you transfer your points to other airline and hotel loyalty programs. And there are no foreign transaction fees! For people who frequently travel abroad, this alone is going to save as much as 3% in additional fees.

On the other hand, if you only travel or dine out a couple times a year, you won't be able to earn enough points to cover your annual fee after the first year. You can still earn travel rewards with other cards, but you may get more value out of credit cards that award bonuses for the spending categories you'll actually make use of.

Readers, what are your thoughts on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card? Is there another travel rewards card you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!


Contributing Writer

Christina Majaski is a freelance writer and mom of daughter Chloe and dog Monty in Central Minnesota. She has covered social media, personal finance, law, business, and travel for various online and print publications since 2003. You can read her work online at Wise Bread, Digital Trends, PayScale, and many others.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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