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Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards writer at finder.com. He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order and travel the world like a pro. He's taken an extended trip around Europe as a digital nomad, gaining firsthand experience with exchange rates, ideal (and not-so-ideal) credit and debit cards, foreign transactions and budgeting strategies. He earned his BA from UC Davis and has written across many niches at Finder, including cryptocurrency, personal loans, car insurance, real estate and money transfers.
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 60,000 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.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rewards can be attractive 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 60,000 bonus points.
When you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, you’ll earn 60,000 points. That’s worth $750 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 60,000 points for $750 worth of travel purchases, rather than the industry-standard $600 — 1 point equals 1 cent.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a $95 annual fee. That’s comparable to fees of other mid-tier travel cards, but is it worth paying?
First, look at the card’s rewards
According to Chase, the card’s points are worth 25% more when redeemed for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This gives you a 1.25% redemption rate, which is better than that of most other travel cards.
At that rate, you’d need 7,600 points to break even on the annual fee with rewards alone.
That’s $3,800 spent on travel or dining.
Or, $7,600 spent on all other purchases.
You may need even fewer points to break even if you transfer them to Chase’s travel partners. For example, our January 2019 valuation pegs Southwest Airlines points at 1.6 cents each — a better rate than you’d find through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Purchase protection and travel insurance are often the unsung heroes of travel cards. It can be difficult to calculate their value. But if they lead to a successful claim, your card could immediately pay for itself.
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.
No Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card foreign transaction fee.
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 an excellent choice when you’re shopping abroad.
Purchase coverage includes purchase protection that insures your purchases against theft or damage and provides price protection, return protection and extended warranties.
Secondary Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card benefits for travel.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has rental car insurance as well — specifically, collision damage waivers. If you charge your rental car to your card and decline the insurance at the counter, your eligible vehicle receives coverage against theft and collision.
Survey data on Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
What credit score did you have when you were approved for this credit card?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a $95 annual fee.
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.
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.
Case study: Megan’s experience
Megan Horner Credit Cards Publisher
After earning the signup bonus on this card, I redeemed it for two round trip flights from San Diego to Salt Lake and one round trip flight from San Diego to Sacramento. Buying these flights with my points saved me around $750.
Purchasing them was easy through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. It looks like a normal flight search engine, with flight options much like Kayak.
Next time I redeem points, I’ll likely transfer points to a different airline and buy the flights directly from the airline. This option offers more value from my points, but involves doing the math on point values to make sure I’m getting the best deal.
Now that I have this card, I’ll likely upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. As long as I use the $300 in travel credit and premium travel perks, I can make the annual fee worth it.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card was a great starting point to see if I would take advantage of a higher-level, premium travel card before I opened a card with a high annual fee.
How to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Learn more about how to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income and Social Security number.
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.
Is there a Chase Sapphire Preferred® authorized user fee?
There’s no fee to add an authorized user. Unfortunately, you won’t earn the 5,000-point authorized user bonus offered previously, but individuals on your card account will earn points for you whenever they spend.
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 $39. 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.
How do I redeem points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?
You can redeem rewards by logging in to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
There are several redemption options, including:
Apple Ultimate Rewards Store.
Travel (airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc.).
Travel is often the best use of your points. According to Chase, they’re worth 25% more when redeemed for eligible travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. And you can often get an even higher value by transferring points to travel partners.
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.Back to top
Frequently asked questions
Unfortunately, no. It’s not possible to know what APR you’ll receive until your application is approved. Of course, the higher your credit score, the better your chances of receiving a favorable interest rate.
Each month, you’ll receive a summary of the transactions you’ve made with your card. You’ll see purchases you’ve made and whether you’ve accrued rewards or points with your card. By default, you’ll get your statements by mail, but you can sign up for paperless online statements.
If you have issues with your card, contact Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card customer service at 1-800-432-3117.
As with all credit cards, it’s a good idea to pay off your balance in full each month to avoid accruing interest. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you aren’t charged interest on purchases if you pay off your balance within 21 days after the close of the billing cycle.
Many Chase cards come with generous rewards, and rewards cards typically require higher credit scores. For this particular card, we recommend a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher to qualify.
Yes. Use Chase’s free mobile app to access your account, track your spending, see your current balance and pay your bills.
You’ll receive the points six to eight weeks after you qualify.
No. As long as your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card account remains open and in good standing, your points don’t expire.
Travel purchases are payments made through these types of merchants:
Car rental agencies
Discount travel sites
Operators of passenger trains
Toll bridges and highways
Parking lots and garages
Real estate agents
Educational merchants arranging travel
In-flight goods and services
Onboard cruise line goods and services
Merchants within hotels and airports
Merchants that rent vehicles for the purpose of hauling
Call Chase’s customer support if you’re unsure what qualifies as a travel purchase.
Your spending is classified as dining when you use your card at restaurants and eateries that are primarily sit-down or eat-in establishments.
According to Chase, excluded categories are:
Merchants that sell food and drinks within larger merchants, like theme parks, sports stadiums, hotels and casinos and grocery and department stores.
Gift card and delivery service merchants.
Ask a Chase customer service rep if you’re not sure what qualifies as a dining purchase.
Yes. Its sibling card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, has metal construction too.
Yes. When you refer a friend who is approved for the card, you’ll receive 10,000 bonus points. The maximum points you can earn each year is 50,000 points.
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.
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