Year after year, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns top billing as the best flexible travel credit card out there. Because of its many partners, its flexible rewards program, and how easy it is to actually earn points, it is often suggested alongside top hotel, airline, and cash-back credit cards as well.
But, is the card really worth the hype? The short answer: Yes.
While it’s normal to pick up an airline or hotel credit card for your favorite loyalty program, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a special type of flexibility that brand-specific cards simply cannot.
Here are some pertinent details to consider before you read any further:
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Five Reasons to Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
If you don’t have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card yet, there are a slew of reasons you should seriously consider getting one. Here are the top five:
Flexible Rewards Mean You Can’t Lose
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the perfect card for someone who wants to earn rewards, but isn’t sure how they want to use them. Since the points you earn with this card can be used to book any type of travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, the options are endless. Keep in mind that the Chase travel portal works a lot like Expedia or Travelocity, meaning you can search for any travel you want (hotels, airfare, etc.) and put together the ideal itinerary. The big difference is, you can pay with cash, points, or a combination of the two.
Meanwhile, you can also transfer points to a slew of popular airline and hotel transfer partners! Better yet, you can transfer Chase points to all transfer partners at a rate of 1:1. The available options are some of the biggest favorites in the travel industry, including:
- British Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
- Aer Lingus
- Iberia Airlines
- World of Hyatt
- Marriott Rewards
- Ritz-Carlton Reward
And if none of that works out, you cash them in for a statement credit at one cent per point. At that rate, the 50,000 point sign-up bonus alone is worth $500! Last but not least, you can also redeem your Chase points for merchandise.
The bottom line: With so many ways to redeem your points, you absolutely cannot lose. Even if you wind up being unable to travel, you can cash in your points for a statement credit at a rate of one cent per point. Since everyone can use money, this is a no-brainer.
Score Free Primary Rental Car Coverage and Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
Unlike many other travel cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers primary rental car coverage. What this means is that, when you rent a car, you don’t have to pay for the coverage the rental company offers or even rely on your personal auto policy for coverage. If you use this perk often enough, you can save a ton of money by not having to purchase additional primary coverage from a third party or from the rental car company.
In addition, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also offers free trip cancellation and interruption insurance that can reimburse you if your trip gets cancelled or you get stranded in your destination through no fault of your own. While you can buy this type of coverage via a travel insurance policy, why would you buy it if you can get it for free? At the end of the day, this perk is another reason this card is so valuable. Not only does it help you earn rewards, but it helps you save money, too.
The Signup Bonus Sweetens the Pot
Since the sign-up bonus alone is worth $500, you can’t really lose on this deal. After you sign up for this card, you will earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® – an instant 10% return on your spending. Just remember, you need to pay your balance in full each month in order to avoid paying credit card interest.
Also keep in mind that these points can be worth a lot more if you transfer them to airlines especially. For example, 50,000 points transferred to Air France/Flying Blue can easily get you a round-trip flight to Europe that’s worth $1,500 or more.
You Have So Many Transfer Partners to Choose From
Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program offers the best transfer partners of any of its competitors. When you earn Chase points, you can transfer them to popular hotel and airline programs such as Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG at a 1:1 ratio. If you have a co-branded credit card with any of these programs already, getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can help you boost those point balances.
Remember that your points can go a lot further if you utilize transfer partners in a strategic way. If you transfer to airline partners, you can easily get 2 cents in value for every point you spend.
Earning Points is Easy
If you dine out often or travel frequently, this card is a must-have for your wallet. Why? Because you earn 2x points on all dining and travel purchases. Those points can add up quick!
In addition to this bonus category, you also earn 1 point per $1 spent on all purchases you make with the card. If you use the card for all of your bills and regular purchases, you can easily rack up meaningful rewards over time. And, don’t forget that you get a huge signup bonus to start things off.
- Related: Best Travel Credit Card for 2018
Another Way to Rack Up Rewards
Another big benefit of this rewards card is the fact you can pool your points with other cards in the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. Once you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you may also want to consider getting a Chase Freedom® card, for example. When you have both, you can pool your points for use in the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel program.
Since the Chase Freedom® card offers bonus categories that dole out 5X points each quarter, getting this card is a great way to earn more rewards over time. When you have both, you can maximize bonus categories and get the most bang for your buck. Here are some details to consider:
Another smart option to consider is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. This card doles out a flat 1.5 points for every dollar you spend, making it a smart option for everyday purchases. Last but not least, consider getting the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. This card comes with a huge signup bonus of its own, and it offers some pretty sweet category bonuses that work well for businesses with certain types of spending. It doles out 3x points on shipping and online advertising, for example, which could be a boon for businesses who spend a lot in those categories.
And remember, you can pool all of your Chase points together into the account with the best travel perks. Chase also lets you pool points with a spouse, so you can rack up more signup bonuses and a lot more points if you get your partner involved.
The Bottom Line
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you are earning the most valuable point currency out there. And even if you don’t travel, the sign-up bonus is worth $500 alone. Plus, you’ll receive a slew of free perks just for having the card, including trip cancellation insurance, primary rental car coverage, purchase protection, and more. Even better, the card has a introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, then $95. This makes it possible for you to score all of these perks for free in your first year.
With all of these benefits in mind, it’s easy to see how the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best travel credit cards in existence.
Do you have this card? What’s your favorite travel or rewards credit card?
Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our rankings and recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.