Reasons to apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – The Points Guy
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
You probably already know that the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is widely considered one of the best travel credit cards on the market — even winning the award as the best travel rewards card for the fifth straight year at the 2022 TPG Awards.
If you don’t already carry this prized card, now is a great time to add it to your wallet since it’s currently offering a sign-up bonus of 80,000 points — worth $1,600 by TPG’s valuations.
Here are the top six reasons the Chase Sapphire Preferred should be your first — or next — rewards credit card.
$1,600 in sign-up bonus value
The Chase Sapphire Preferred currently sports a sign-up bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
When redeeming for travel at a fixed value (1.25 cents each), those 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $1,000 through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, where you can find flights, hotels and rental cards.
However, TPG values these points at $1,600 — or even greater — if you redeem your points via Chase’s 11 airline and three hotel partners that allow you to transfer the points to their respective loyalty programs on a 1:1 basis.
Related: A top travel card contender: Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card review
Terrific rewards rates
Since its launch in 2009, the Chase Sapphire Preferred has offered bonus rewards on travel and dining purchases, covering everything from Uber rides and parking fees to food delivery services.
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In 2021, Chase added even more bonus categories and benefits that make the Sapphire Preferred more competitive than ever before:
At your account anniversary, you’ll also accrue 10% of your total card spending in the form of points. Each point represents $1 spent on the card, so if you spent $10,000 on the Sapphire Preferred in one year, you’d receive 1,000 points back.
The categories and bonus benefit allow cardholders to earn bonus points on all travel-related purchases and everyday purchases beyond just the welcome offer.
Related: Chase adds bonus categories, new perks to Sapphire card lineup
Redeem your points for maximum value
There are ways to use your Ultimate Rewards points no matter what type of card user you are, from Amazon purchases to Apple products to gift cards. While these redemption options will yield 1 cent per point in value, there are much better ways to stretch your points when using them for travel.
Your easiest option is to book travel directly through the Chase travel portal, with points worth a flat 1.25 cents each. For example, a $200 flight equates to 16,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
If you want to take it to the next level, transfer your points to one of Chase’s 11 airline and three hotel partners. Typically, you’ll get the most out of your points when you transfer them to partners like Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt. In some cases, you can exceed TPG’s valuation of 2 cents per point.
Related: From international business class to domestic hops: 6 of the best Chase Ultimate Rewards sweet spots
Unmatched travel benefits and protections
The value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t stop at earning and redeeming points. When you pay for your trip expenses with your card, you’ll be armed with complimentary travel protections and benefits that could save you hundreds (or thousands) of dollars.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll get:
- Annual $50 hotel statement credit: When booking a hotel reservation through the Ultimate Rewards portal, you’ll get a $50 statement credit once per year.
- Primary car rental insurance: This covers the entire loss, damage or theft of your car rental without going through your insurance company, a benefit that can save you big-time in the long term.
- No foreign transaction fees: The Sapphire Preferred waives foreign transaction fees, typically saving you 2.7%-3% on every purchase abroad.
- Trip delay reimbursement: If your flight, train or other common carrier trip is delayed more than 12 hours or you require an overnight stay as a result of a delay, you’re covered for unreimbursed expenses such as meals and lodging up to $500 per ticket. (And yes, we’ve tested this perk out and it really works.)
- Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance: If your trip is cut short or interrupted by sickness, severe weather or other covered situations, you can recoup up to $10,000 per person (up to a maximum of $20,000 per trip) for prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses such as plane tickets, hotels and tours.
- Baggage delay insurance: Up to $100 per day for essentials for up to five days when your checked baggage is delayed by more than six hours.
Related: Your guide to Chase’s trip insurance coverage
Chase has several unique partnerships that go beyond the travel realm.
First, Sapphire Preferred cardholders have complimentary access to at least one year of DoorDash DashPass, which normally costs $9.99 per month. You’ll get lower service fees and free delivery on orders over $12. In fact, if you get the card today and activate your DashPass benefit, it’ll be valid through Dec. 31, 2024 — getting you over a year of perks.
Chase has also partnered with Lyft, offering 5 points per dollar on Lyft rides charged to the Sapphire Preferred until March 2025.
Finally, though March 2025, Sapphire Preferred cardholders also earn 5 points per dollar on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases of $250 or more — with a limit of 25,000 points.
Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits you may not know about
You may not qualify for the Sapphire Preferred later
If you’re not convinced yet, here’s another big reason you may want to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred: the infamous Chase 5/24 rule.
If you’ve opened five or more new personal credit cards in the past 24 months across all banks — not just with Chase — it’s a near certainty that you won’t be approved for the Sapphire Preferred. As a result, if you want to take advantage of the sign-up bonus and the other perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, it’s a good idea to add it to your wallet before moving on to other cards.
Similarly, if you’ve received a sign-up bonus from the Chase Sapphire Reserve® in the last 48 months or still have a Sapphire Reserve open, you will not be eligible for the Sapphire Preferred’s sign-up bonus.
However, if you’re a Sapphire Reserve cardholder and earned your bonus more than 48 months ago, you could still get in on the Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus. Simply downgrade your Sapphire Reserve to a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and then apply for the Sapphire Preferred. You may want to wait a couple of days between downgrading and applying, though — and bear in mind that downgrading the Sapphire Reserve would mean immediately losing the travel perks and protections it offers.
Related: TPG beginners guide: Everything you need to know about points, miles, airlines and credit cards
The Chase Sapphire Preferred blows most other cards out of the water for its combination of value and affordability. With a $95 annual fee, there are many ways to justify this cost, whether it’s the lucrative sign-up bonus, ongoing rewards or complimentary trip protections that ensure peace of mind on your travels.
Official application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card with a 80,000-point bonus.
Additional reporting by Emily Thompson, Ryan Wilcox, Stella Shon and Benét J. Wilson.