The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Review

chase sapphire preferred card
Read why this is our favorite travel credit card.

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Of all the travel credit cards we carry, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is our favorite. There are lots of reasons which we'll enumerate below, but the main ones are that it allows us to accumulate very useful points quickly, it gives you a 25 percent bonus when you book through the Chase travel portal, and you make back most of the $95 annual fee with the included $50 annual hotel credit.

We've mostly used the points we've accumulated on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to book flights when we're not flying on Delta or one of its partners. (We're pretty much locked into Delta SkyMiles® American Express cards for that so we can keep our Platinum status, and because our home airport of MSP is a Delta hub.)

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Almost always, when we are going somewhere Delta or a partner doesn't go, such as Malawi or Kyrgyzstan, we've been very pleased at how easy it was to book flights on South African Airways or Turkish Airlines with points on the Chase Travel Portal.

The other key time it makes sense to use this card's benefits is to book a hotel at least once for cash through the Chase Travel Portal. You'll get an immediate $50 credit on your booking (and 5x points on the remaining balance.)

Earning points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Let's enumerate the many ways to rack up points using of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card:

  • Earn 60,000 welcome points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening your account. That's worth $750 when you redeem through the Chase Travel Portal.
  • 2x points on travel purchases.
  • 3x points on restaurants, eligible delivery services and takeout, certain online grocery purchases, and select streaming services.
  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Travel Portal.
  • 5x points on Lyft.
  • 10 percent anniversary points boost (earn bonus points equal to 10 percent of your total purchases made the previous year. This bonus is calculated on the dollars you spent rather than the points you earned. You won't receive additional bonus points by leveraging the card's bonus categories.)
  • 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Redeeming points with Chase Sapphire Preferred®

When you're ready to redeem the points you've earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you'll understand why we love this card.

You can use your points to purchase airfare, reserve hotel rooms and rent a car through Chase Travel Portal — all at a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point. In Chase Travel, points are just like cash. That means you won't see blackout dates or limited award space; you'll always be able to book travel using your points. As long as a seat for sale on the flight you want or a hotel room is available to reserve with cash, you can pay for it with your points.

The only downside is that hotel reservations booked through third-party sites (including Chase Travel) typically won't earn points or count toward elite status qualification.

Other Chase Sapphire Preferred® benefits

  • As we said above, you'll get 25 percent bonus value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises through Chase Travel Portal.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Obviously that's a big one for us. (Read here about how to always get the best foreign exchange rates.)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Portal hotel credit, as noted above.
  • Points transfers to airline and hotel partner programs (see below.)
  • Free DoorDash DashPass subscription for one year.
  • Free Instacart+ membership for six months.

Trip protection

Finally, when you use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® for booking car rentals, cruises, plane tickets and hotels it comes with comprehensive travel and purchase protections. Among them are:

  • Primary rental car coverage
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

Chase transfer partners

Chase points are also extremely valuable because you can directly transfer them to some airlines and hotel programs, and then use that program's points to book your airfare or hotels. Transfer airline partners include: Aer Lingus, Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates, Flying Blue (Air France/KLM), JetBlue, Iberia, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, United, and Virgin Atlantic. Hotel partners include IHG, Hyatt, and Marriott.

All of these benefits add up to one of the best travel credit cards out there, and make it worth many times the $95 annual fee.

Please note: When you've decided to get a travel credit card take the time to find the card that makes the most sense for you and your spending habits. First, though, the most important part in maximizing any credit card rewards is treating your cards like cash. You must pay off your credit card balance every month or the interest rates will negate any benefit of your points.

Up Your Travel Skills

Looking to book your next trip? Use these resources that are tried and tested by us.

First, to get our best travel tips, sign up for our email newsletter.

Then, be sure to start your reading with our Resources Page where we highlight all the great travel companies and products that we trust.

Travel Accessories: Check out our list of all the accessories we carry to make getting there and being there a lot easier.

Credit Cards: See our detailed post on how to choose the right travel rewards credit card for you.

Flights: Start finding the very best flight deals by subscribing to Thrifty Traveler.

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with Booking.com.

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. We recommend Allianz Travel Insurance.

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