Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card review | finder.com

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review – December 2018

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An excellent travel card that offers top-notch points redemption through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

finder.com’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

30-second take

  • Get this card if you travel and dine out often — and you want flexible travel points.
  • Pick something else if you don’t want to pay an annual fee starting the second year or you don’t spend much on travel or dining.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Product NameChase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Card TypeVisa
Annual Fee$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases17.99% to 24.99% variable
Balance Transfer APR17.99% to 24.99% variable
Balance Transfer Fee$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate26.99% variable
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Interest Free PeriodUp to 21 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $38
Returned Payment FeeUp to $38
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Rates & FeesRates & Fees
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome OfferEarn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Reward Value per Dollar1x points
Rewards Points ExpiryNever
Apply now

The basics

Peel back the layers of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and you’ll likely arrive at a conclusion shared by countless fellow travelers: It’s simply among the best travel cards you’ll find anywhere.

First, look at the card’s introductory bonus. You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

It’s what you can do with those points, however, that highlights the value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. When you redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they’re worth 25% more — that means 80,000 points are worth not $800 but $1,000 in travel rewards. This is a win for any traveler, and the percentage bonus means your points can go farther for as long as you hold the card.

It gets better: Not only can you redeem points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, but you can also transfer your points to airline programs like Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards and hotel programs like Hyatt Gold Passport. Luckily, you’re allowed to transfer points at a minimum ratio of 1:1 — meaning that every Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card point you transfer is equal to one point of the reward program it’s transferred to.

Some programs offer even higher ratios. It’s this flexibility that elevates the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card from an already stellar card to what many travelers rightly see as a game-changing travel card.

One thing is clear: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s reputation as a must-have travel credit card is well deserved.

The perks

  • ANNUAL FEE: Waived for the first year.

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a $95 annual fee. However, the fee is waived for the first year, so you can focus on earning the generous signup bonus.

  • REWARDS: 2x points on travel and dining.

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an especially good choice if you’re a frequent traveler, as you’ll earn 2x points per dollar you spend on travel and dining at restaurants. Earn 1 point per dollar you spend on everything else.

  • SIGNUP BONUS: Earn up to 50,000 bonus points.

    When you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, you’ll earn 50,000 points. That’s worth $625 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

  • Points are worth more when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

    If you redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they’re worth 25% more. This is a big perk that elevates the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card above the rest.

    For example, you can redeem 50,000 points for $625 worth of travel purchases, rather than the industry-standard $500 — 1 point equals 1 cent.

You’ll also like…

  • Point transfers at a 1:1 ratio to airline programs.

    Transfer points to airline programs that include British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue Air France KLM, Korean Air SkyPass, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

  • Point transfers at a 1:1 ratio to hotel programs.

    Transfer points to hotel programs that include Hyatt Gold Passport, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards.

  • 0% foreign transaction fees.

    You wouldn’t expect anything less from a travel card. Many credit cards come with a 3% foreign transaction fee, making the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an excellent choice when you’re shopping abroad.

  • Travel services.

    Travel coverage includes trip cancellation and interruption insurance, auto rental collision coverage, baggage delay insurance and trip delay insurance.

  • Purchase coverage.

    Purchase coverage includes purchase protection that insures your purchases against theft or damage and provides price protection, return protection and extended warranties.

Compare Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

What to watch out for

  • Annual fee.

    Your annual fee is waived for the first year, but you’ll pay $95 a year thereafter.

  • Potentially high APR.

    Depending on your credit, you could be approved for a purchase and balance transfer APR as high as 24.99% variable. The average credit card APR is around 16%.

  • Higher cash advance APR.

    Cash advances come with a 26.99% variable APR.

  • No grace period on balance transfers or cash advances.

    Purchases come with a grace period — that is, you’ll have at least 21 days after the close of the billing cycle to pay off your balance before accruing interest. This isn’t the case with balance transfers or cash advances: You’ll start accruing interest on them immediately.

Consider other cards if …

  • You don’t want to pay an annual fee.

    For a no-annual-fee travel card, consider the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. It offers 1.5x points on everything you buy, redeemable for statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, rental cars and more.

  • You don’t spend much on travel or dining.

    Given its points structure, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is better suited for those who eat out and travel often. If you don’t do much of either, you might be better off with a card like the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®. It offers 2x miles on every purchase.

  • You want top-tier benefits like travel credits and airport lounge access.

    For the best travel perks, you may want a premium travel card. Look for products like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, The Platinum Card® from American Express and Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™, all of which come with travel credits and complimentary airport lounge access.

  • You want premium travel perks without a steep price.

    The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card — which also has a $95 annual fee — may be a great alternative to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It offers 2x points on travel and dining and 1.5x points on all other purchases. It also offers up to $200 in travel statement credit.

Compare travel credit cards

Name Product Welcome Offer Reward Value per Dollar APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
1x points
17.99% to 24.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening - that's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
1x points
17.99% to 24.99% variable
$450
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
30,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within your first 3 months.
1x miles
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
30,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
3x points
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
50,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new card within the first 3 months
1x points
See Rates & Fees
$250
50,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months Rates & Fees
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
2x miles
17.99%, 21.99% or 24.99% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
1x points
None (Charge Card)
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & Fees
125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card after you use your new card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
3x points
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
1x miles
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0
Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & Fees
75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
2x points
17.74% to 26.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 annual fee on the first year and earn up to 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases. Rates & Fees
1x points
16.99% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
1x points
16.99% variable
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
2x points
16.99% variable
$995
Earn points every time you spend. Luxury Card enhances your purchasing power by providing you with one (1) point for every one dollar ($1) you spend. Every purchase gets you closer to the rewards you want.

Compare up to 4 providers

Survey Data on Secured Card® from Capital One®

survey question 2
Answer choicesResponses
740-85064.10%
670-73928.21%
580-6695.13%
300-5792.56%

Based on a survey of 39 people

survey question 3
Answer choicesResponses
Rewards33.57%
Signup bonus16.08%
Features and benefits47.55%
APR2.80%

Based on a survey of 143 people

Apply now

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you must be at least 18 years old in most places. The minimum age requirement bumps up to 19 for residents of Alabama and Nebraska and 21 in Puerto Rico.

Required documents and information

  • Your name, residential status and address
  • Your Social Security number and date of birth
  • Your email address and phone number
  • Financial information, like your annual salary and wages

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of approval for this card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 to 850.

What do customers say about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?

Cardholders generally have great things to say about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points and travel benefits — even if they’re not thrilled with the annual fee. They say the card is slightly easier to apply for as a Chase customer: Because the bank already has your personal details, you may not have to complete the entire credit card application.

Chase earns a Trustpilot score of 5.5 out of 10 at the time of this writing. Most negative reviews cite slow responses to fraud complaints and less-than-helpful customer service. Positive reviews cite the bank’s great mobile app and quick resolutions to their issues. Overall, your mileage may vary with Chase customer support.

The JPMorgan Chase Credit Card division earns an overall A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

How to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  1. Go to the Chase website and click Apply Now.
  2. Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income and Social Security number.
  3. Review and submit your application.

Chase website screenshot of its online application

How long will it take to be approved?

Because approval is automated on the Chase website, you’re likely to get a decision within minutes. If there are issues with your application, it could take up to a few weeks to hear back.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments. Pay your card bill online at the Chase website, where you can enroll in autopay.
  • Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of at least 21 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. Late and returned payments come with fees of up to $38. The balance transfer fee is $5 of the amount of each transfer, and the cash advance fee is $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater .
  • Contact customer service. If you have questions, contact Chase Credit Cards support at 1-800-432-3117.

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is among the best travel cards you’ll find. With its 2x points on travel and dining, it’s a solid credit card for globetrotters and foodies.

Those points go far too, with a 25% boost if you redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards. And the 1:1 point transfers to airline and hotel programs means your points are extremely flexible.

Frequently asked questions

Travel card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.

We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

Kevin Joey Chen

Kevin Chen is a world-travelin', copy-writin', Game of Thrones-watchin' credit cards writer for finder.com. When he's not crunching the numbers on bonus points and comparing APRs, you can find him flying around the world in search of the perfect beer.

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