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By: Caroline Lupini
Here are some of the reasons we still love the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
1. 50,000 Point Welcome Bonus
When you sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and spend $4,000 in the first three months, you’ll earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points – that’s worth at least $625 in travel through the Chase travel portal.
The welcome bonus could be worth much more if you transfer those points to airline or hotel partners (more on that in a moment!).
2. No Foreign Transaction Fee
Many credit cards charge a 3% foreign transaction fee when making purchases outside the United States. The Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t charge this fee, which can save you a significant amount of money when you travel abroad.
3. Earn 2X Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining
Even if you aren’t a frequent traveler, dining and travel expenses are often some of our most significant budget categories, so it’s great to have a credit card that offers bonus points. The Chase Sapphire Preferred isn’t the only credit card that offers a bonus in these areas, but Chase has perhaps the most generous definition of travel:
“Merchants in the travel category include 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.”
Between travel and restaurants, you can easily find yourself earning double points on almost all of your purchases when you’re exploring the world, and plenty of purchases at home.
4. Transfer Ultimate Rewards To Travel Partners
Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most useful credit card rewards due to the number of options Chase provides for travel redemptions.
You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to nine airline mileage programs:
And three hotel rewards programs:
Unlike some other rewards programs, Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to all of its travel partners.
These airlines have their own partners for award redemptions, so you can use your Ultimate Rewards points to travel on most major airlines. For example, you can:
- Use British Airways Avios or Singapore KrisFlyer miles to fly Alaska Airlines
- Use Air France-KLM Flying Blue or Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles to fly Delta
- Use United MileagePlus or Singapore KrisFlyer miles to fly EVA Air
5. Points are worth 1.25 cents each in the travel portal
If transferring points to an airline or hotel partner don’t meet your needs – no award space, partners can’t book what you need, etc. – don’t lose hope. The Chase Sapphire Preferred allows you to use your Ultimate Rewards points like cash to book flights and hotels directly – as well as rental cars, activities, and cruises.
When used this way, one Ultimate Rewards point is worth 1.25 cents ($0.0125) – so, 10,000 points are worth $125. Booking through the Ultimate Rewards portal means no blackout dates – if it’s available with cash, you can book it with your points – and for airline tickets, you’ll even earn miles with your preferred airline program!
6. Travel and Purchase Protection Benefits
The Chase Sapphire Reserve isn’t just a great card to use for travel because of the 2X bonus categories, it also comes with a host of insurance policies that can help you in case travel doesn’t go as expected.
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Primary Car Rental Insurance means you can decline overpriced insurance policies at the car rental counter and still be protected in case of loss, theft, or damage – without having to worry about your own car insurance rates going up (or not having insurance, if you don’t have a car).
- Trip Interruption & Cancellation Protection will reimburse you for non-refundable travel costs if your plans change due to covered reasons like sickness or severe weather.
- Trip Delay Protection provides up to $500 in coverage for expenses like meals and lodging if your travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an unexpected overnight stay.
- Baggage Delay Insurance & Lost Luggage Reimbursement will help you cover necessary expenses if your bags are delayed more than six hours ($100/day up to $500), or replace your belongings (up to $3000) if your luggage never makes its way back to you.
- Purchase Protection will reimburse you for new items damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase.
- Extended Warranty Protection adds an extra year to your manufacturer’s warranty coverage for new purchases with warranties of 3 years or less.
Just make sure you read the terms and conditions of these perks in your benefits guide so you aren’t surprised by any exclusions.
7. Pair with other Chase cards to earn more points
The Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Ink Business Cash, and Chase Ink Business Unlimited are all cards with no annual fees that Chase advertises as cashback cards. However, when paired with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the points you earn can be fully functioning Ultimate Rewards points.
Why would you want to do this?
Well, the Freedom and Ink Business Cash earn 5X points per dollar in specific categories, while the Freedom Unlimited and Ink Business Unlimited earn 1.5X points per dollar on all purchases.
If you hold one of these cards, you can move the points over to your Chase Sapphire Preferred and then use them just like the points you earn with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card: transfer them to an airline or hotel partner or redeem them for travel through the Chase travel portal at 1.25 cents per point.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for people who travel a few times a year and/or have significant commuting and dining expenses at home, or who use another Ultimate Rewards card for everyday or business expenses and want to get more value out of their points.
It’s not a wonder many consider this THE starter card for those getting into points and miles. Just make sure you understand the Chase 5/24 rule and the other rules for Chase applications and bonuses before applying.
Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.