The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is part of the Chase Trilogy of credit cards. The card is designed to appeal to frequent travelers who also want to maximize their opportunity to get points on everyday purchases. The card has a $95 annual fee. However, most consumers will be able to more than cover the fee based on their regular purchases. And, if they qualify for the initial sign-up bonus, cardholders will have already have earned points that can be redeemed for a $1,600 value.
How Do Users Earn Points?
Like many travel cards, Chase offers new applicants an attractive sign-up bonus. In this case, cardholders who spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months will receive 80,000 bonus points. If those members choose to redeem those points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, they will get 1.25 cents per point.
In addition to this bonus, cardholders earn 2x the points on all travel purchases. One thing that users will enjoy about this card is that Chase counts a lot of “everyday” expenses as travel expenses. This includes taxis, buses, limos, toll costs, parking fees (such as parking garages at events) and even Uber. The card also offers 2x the points on dining purchases – and this includes (in some cases) purchases from bars that don’t serve food and some delivery services (e.g. Seamless and DoorDash).
And through March 2021, Sapphire Preferred cardholders also get 5 points per dollar spent on Lyft purchases.
What Other Member Benefits Are Included?
One way cardholders can maximize the value of their points is to transfer points to one of several Chase airline and hotel partners. In some cases, users can receive value beyond the 1.25 cent per point value they would get through the Ultimate Rewards program. This allows users to capitalize on promotions from those providers. In some cases, specific airline partners allow card members a higher point value on transfers.
Cardholders will also get a complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash. Currently this benefit is only available for accounts that are activated by 12/31/21. Cardholders will also receive a $60 credit for DoorDash in 2020 and 2021.
Users will also receive primary or secondary car insurance on any rental car damage. Travelers also get trip delay insurance valued at $500 per ticket and $10,000 in trip cancellation insurance. It also features $100 per day of baggage delay insurance (for up to five days) and a benefit worth up to $3,000 per person in lost luggage reimbursement.
And on everyday purchases, the Sapphire Preferred card offers purchase protection with a value of $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. Additional features include extended warranty protection that gives cardholders an extra year of coverage on eligible purchases that carry a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less.
Additional benefits include no foreign transaction fees. And for customers who find such things appealing the card is a metal card, giving it a premium look and feel to go along with the benefits.
What is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?
The card comes with a current APR between 15.99%-22.99%. This is competitive with other cards in this category. This is a variable rate that fluctuates with the prime rate that is based on the federal funds rate set by the Federal Reserve.
Do You Qualify?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card requires individuals to have a good to excellent credit. In this case, the recommended credit score is between 690 and 850. This is consistent with virtually any card in this category. Most applicants for this card will spend a considerable amount on travel and entertaining. This means they are likely to have a credit score that will be in the recommended range.
Aside from their credit score, applicants should be mindful of Chase’s 5/24 rule. This simply means that Chase will be likely to deny an application if the applicant has applied for more than five cards in the prior 24 months. In addition to the 5/24 rule, Chase has a one Sapphire card rule. This means that cardholders cannot have both the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
What Cards Are Similar to The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a direct competitor of the American Express Gold card. The benefits of the card are very similar. However the Sapphire Preferred card has a significantly lower annual fee of $95 compared to the Gold card’s $250 fee.
The Sapphire Preferred card stacks up well against a similar offering from American Express. However it’s a different story when its compared to the Capital One Venture Rewards card. That’s because the Capital One card gives users 5x the points on hotel stays and car rentals (booked through the company’s travel portal) and 2x on all other purchases.
The Sapphire Preferred card is also part of the Chase family of cards and is a step below the Sapphire Reserve card. Both of these cards offer exceptional travel benefits. However the Sapphire Preferred card may be a better option for individuals looking for a card that lets them get maximum points for every purchase.
Does the Card Have Limitations?
The Sapphire Preferred card has what some may say are disadvantages more than limitations. For example, extensive travelers may look for a card that provides complimentary airport lounge access. The Sapphire Preferred card also does not provide a credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck applications.
Also, if cardholders fly on a specific airline that is not part of Chase’s partner network, it will take away some of the advantages of transferring points. Another potential limitation is if a member lives in an area not serviced by DoorDash which would make that benefit worthless.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is an exceptional rewards card that offers the users the ability to earn points on traveling and dining out as well as on everyday purchases. Savvy cardholders have the ability to maximize the points they earn for free travel and other benefits. The Sapphire Preferred card is the mid-level card in the Chase credit card trilogy that includes the Chase Freedom Flex card as well as the Chase Sapphire Reserved card.
The primary reason someone will choose this card over a card like the Sapphire Reserved is to get more points on everyday purchases while still receiving some premium travel benefits. The Sapphire Reserved card is ideal for individuals that travel extensively.