Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card review - August 2018 | finder.com

Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card review – August 2018

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

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 720 or higher.
Product NameChase Sapphire Preferred® credit card
Card TypeVisa
Annual Fee$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases17.74% to 24.74% variable
Balance Transfer Fee5% or $5 of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash Advance Rate26.74% variable
Cash Advance Fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Interest Free PeriodUp to 21 days
Minimum Interest$0
Late Payment Fee$37
Returned Payment Fee$37
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age
Welcome BonusEarn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Reward Value per Dollar1 points
Rewards Points ExpiryNever

The basics

Peel back the layers of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit 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. And you can earn an additional 30,000 points when you spend a total of $30,000 on purchases within your first card year. Assuming you meet the requirements, that’s a generous haul of 80,000 points.

It’s what you can do with those points, however, that highlights the value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit 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® credit 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® credit 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® credit 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® credit card comes with a $95 annual fee. However, the fee is waived for the first year, so you can take the card for a test drive and decide later whether you want to keep it.

  • REWARDS: 2x points on travel and dining.

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit 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. Earn 1 point per dollar you spend on everything else.

  • SIGNUP BONUS: Earn up to 80,000 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.

    When you spend a total of $30,000 on purchases in the first year your account is open, you’ll earn an additional 30,000 points.

  • 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® credit 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® credit 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® credit 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.

  • No intro APR.

    Some cards come with an intro APR — for example, 0% APR for 12 months after signup. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card doesn’t. You’ll see a variable purchase and balance transfer APR of 17.74% to 24.74% variable right away.

  • Potentially high APR.

    Depending on your credit, you could be approved for a purchase and balance transfer APR as high as 24.74% variable. The average credit card APR is around 16%.

  • Higher cash advance APR.

    Cash advances come with a 26.74% 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® credit 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®, 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® credit 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 Bonus Reward Value per Dollar APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee
1 points
16.74% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
1 points
16.74% variable
$495
Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
2 points
16.74% 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.
Earn 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
1 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.
Earn 50,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
1 points
$0 annual fee for the first year ($195 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Earn 25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
1.5 points
16.74% to 24.74% variable
$0
20,000 online bonus points offer. Ditch the restrictions of typical airline rewards cards. Any airline, any hotel, anytime. No blackout dates.
Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
1 points
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of your account opening, and an additional 30,000 points when you spend a total of $30,000 on purchases within the first year of your account opening.
Earn 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
1.5 points
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$95
Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
1 points
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$450
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®.
Earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
2 miles
14.74%, 21.24% or 24.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
Earn 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
2 miles
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.* Plus a $100 statement credit after your first purchase.
Earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1 points
17.74% to 24.74% variable
$99
40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open

Compare up to 4 providers

What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit 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® credit card?

Cardholders generally have great things to say about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit 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® credit 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.

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 $37. 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® credit 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

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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