Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
With all the options available, finding the right credit card can be quite confusing. Unless you have a ton of time on your hands to do research, you need to narrow the field before you begin. To save time and a lot of aggravation, start your search knowing how you plan to use the card. Will it be your primary card or one exclusively for business? Knowing what purchases you regularly make can also help you find a card that offers other benefits such as points. Starting your search with these questions answered can help you weed-out credit cards that don’t fit your needs. With that said, if you need a card for travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is worth a look.
Chase bank has been around since 1955 and has a solid reputation as a national bank. Likewise, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has been in existence for over ten years. This 10-year lifespan is both impressive and reassuring.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers 1x the points back on purchases and 2x the points back on purchases made for travel and dining at restaurants. As a bonus, Chase is offering new cardholders 60,000 points if they make $4,000 in purchases in the first three months of owning the card. Owners can redeem points for gift cards or cash; however, using them for travel is a better way to receive maximum benefits. Cardholder’s points are worth 25% more when booking travel plans through Chase Ultimate Rewards. To receive a 1:1 ratio for your points, transfer them directly to the point-program of one of the partnering hotels or airlines listed here from the Chase website.
Hotels: Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, IHG Rewards Club
Airlines: British Airways Executive Club, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United Airlines Mileage Plus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Aer Lingus, AerClub, Emirates Skywards, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Iberia Plus, JetBlue TrueBlue
Now that’s a lot of information, so let me break it down for you:
60,000 points = $600 in cash or gift cards $750 in travel when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards $1,200 in travel when transferring points to partnering hotels or airlines.
It’s not hard to see why the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is considered one of the best travel cards available. But there’s even more. Chase offers comprehensive travel protection. So, if you have to cancel or leave early due to sickness or if your trip is cut short by severe weather, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip. This reimbursement covers pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses such as hotels, passenger fares, and tours.
Additionally, Chase offers trip delay reimbursement. If you are delayed by your common carrier for more than 12 hours or you require an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for expenses such as meals and lodging up to $500 per ticket. As a cardholder, you also receive baggage delay insurance. If your baggage delay is over six hours, you can receive up to $100 per day for five days for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing.
Need a rental car while on your trip? Being a Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder gives you primary coverage with collision damage and theft covered up to the cash value of the vehicle. New purchases made with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card are also covered up to $120 against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. Visit the Chase website for more information regarding all insurance coverage benefits. Certain conditions and restrictions may apply.
Additional benefits for cardholders include no blackout dates and no travel restrictions for using your points when booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Travelers will also benefit from Chase’s global access to a 24/7 customer service representative and no foreign transaction fees.
Some might think the annual fee is a little steep at $95. Still, avid travelers and those who eat at restaurants regularly can absorb that cost easily with points earned.
The 15.99% - 22.99% APR for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is considered good on the low end of its range. Balance transfer costs are also reasonable at either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Who Needs This Card?
• People who are confident they can hit the $4,000 in purchases in the first three months should see the 60,000 bonus points as an attractive feature. 60,000 points translates to $600 cash value, $750 when used on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, or a whopping $1,200 when transferred to a partnering hotel or airline. If you spend the $4,000 anyway, this bonus feature is hard to ignore.
• People who frequently spend money on transportation can earn 2x the points on rental cars, taxis, busses, passenger trains, limos, ferries, tolls, bridges, highways, and parking lots or garages. Due to a special partnership, card owners can earn 5x the points when using Lyft until March of 2022.
• If you are a frequent traveler, Chase Sapphire Preferred owners will enjoy no blackout dates and no restrictions on using points when booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Chase Sapphire Preferred owners will also benefit from trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, auto rental insurance, no foreign transaction fees, and 24/7 global access to a Chase customer service representative.
Who Qualifies for This Card?
• Chase reserves the Sapphire Preferred card for customers with excellent credit scores. An applicant’s credit score should be 750+; however, some slightly lower scores might be accepted, depending on other factors.
• Chase has a 5/24 Rule that states you cannot have opened more than 4 (5) credit cards across all banks in the last 24 months. According to customer reviews, Chase stands firm on this policy in every case.
Cool Things About This Card
• Chase has partnered with Door Dash and offers free delivery and reduced service fees for qualifying purchases over $12 when using the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
• A partnership with Lyft makes purchases worth 5x the points through March 2022.
• This card is metal, not plastic. I know, not a huge deal, but still pretty cool.
• You can add a family member as a card user free of charge
• Chase offers a Refer a Friend program. Card owners can earn 15,000 points per approved friend, up to 75,000 points per year. Chase makes this process easy with a Refer a Friend button on their website.
• If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you have access to some cool perks such as private dinners and tastings at restaurants and VIP access to a variety of sporting events and concerts.
Specifics You Should Know
• You are not eligible for the 60,000 bonus points if you own another Sapphire card (Chase Sapphire Reserve) and/or if you have received another card bonus in the past 48 months.
• To receive maximum benefits for transferred points, you must choose a partnering airline or hotel. The list of hotels is quite short, so you might need to do a little extra planning to find these specific accommodations.
• Some customer reviews voice complaints when filing insurance claims. Be aware of the specific details of the insurance policies so you won’t be frustrated should you need to use these benefits.
• Customers have reported Chase will not prorate the annual fee when canceling this card.
So, there you have it. Choosing a credit card is a personal decision. Knowing your needs--and what you don’t need-- will not only make your search for the perfect card easier but also make it less stressful. If traveling is part of your life, you cannot ignore what the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has to offer.