Chase Sapphire Preferred Review: A Gem of a Credit Card

Combining rewards points with the Chase Freedom card is one of the many benefits of this credit card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

If you’re looking for a credit card offering a premium rewards program and plenty of cardholder perks, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card might be the right pick for your wallet. Credit card users who spend the right amount — especially on travel and dining — have an opportunity to get significant rewards with this card. Whether you want to establish credit history or rack up points for travel rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card could be the right credit tool for you.

Related: The Top 9 Most Exclusive Black Cards You Don’t Know About

Take a look at some of the basic info for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to see if it might be right for your needs and spending style:

Chase Sapphire Preferred At a Glance
APR16.24% to 23.24%
Annual Fee$0 the first year, then $95
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Rewards
  • 2 points per $1 on travel and dining
  • 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Redeem points for statement credit, cash, gift cards, travel and merchandise
Sign-Up Bonus50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
ProAdditional 5,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user and a purchase is made in the first 3 months
ConNo special introductory rate on balance transfers or purchases

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Review

Not all credit card programs are built the same, so after comparing different cards and reward programs, you might find that some cards offer more bang for your buck. To help you decide whether applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred is right for you, it’s important to know what to expect from this credit card.

Some of the Chase Sapphire Preferred features include:

  • Annual fee: The Chase Sapphire Preferred has an annual fee of $95, but the bank waives the fee the first year.
  • Reward points: Earn points on all spending, including two points per $1 on travel and restaurants, and one point per $1 for all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fee: Cardholders aren’t charged transaction fees when traveling abroad.
  • Discounts on travel: Get 20 percent off travel when you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Transfer points: The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card allows cardholders to transfer and use their earned points with select hotel and airline reward programs, such as Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
  • 24/7 help: Direct customer service access is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • No caps or expiration: Ultimate Reward points never expire and there’s no limit to the number of points you can earn or use.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Ultimate Reward Points

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card  arguably one of the best Chase credit cards — was named one of the best rewards credit cards by MONEY Magazine. Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you earn points every time you use the card; so whether you use your credit card at a gas station, a grocery store or elsewhere, you’ll earn one point for every $1 spent. Some purchases earn more points; for example, you can earn double points when using the credit card to book travel or pay for meals at restaurants.

The card’s flexibility is a notable feature; cardholders have many options for spending Ultimate Reward Points on gift cards, merchandise or travel. And once you have at least 2,000 points to redeem, you can to request cash in the form of a statement credit or an electronic deposit into a checking or savings account.

If you redeem your points for cash or gift cards, each point is worth $0.01, so you’ll need a minimum of 100 points for every $1 redeemed. For travel redemption, each point is worth $0.0125, so you’ll need at least 100 points for every $1.25 redeemed. Once you’re ready to redeem points for travel, you can book airfare, cruises, hotel stays and car rentals through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Combine Ultimate Reward Points With Those From Other Chase Cards

You can combine points you earn with your Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card with points you earn from other Chase credit cards, such as the Chase Freedom credit card. And if you have these two credit cards you should know that the Chase Freedom card doesn’t let you directly transfer points to travel partners. However, you can transfer points from your Chase Freedom to your Chase Sapphire Preferred and then use these points to book through a travel partner.

When you take advantage of the point-transfer option and use your Ultimate Reward Points with participating frequent travel programs, points transfer at a 1:1 ratio. Using this method, you’re able to transfer the full value of your points, and you won’t lose points due to conversion fees. So whatever program participating program you choose, you’ll get a 1:1 point transfer.

The following frequent traveler programs are compatible with Ultimate Reward Points:

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Related: Best Travel Rewards Credit Card Offers of 2016

Chase Sapphire Card Details

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card charges a $95 annual fee after the first year. The $95 fee is higher than that of some other credit cards, but still well below the fee range of more premium credit cards such as the American Express Platinum Card. Interest rates for the Chase Sapphire Preferred start at 16.24%, which might be slightly higher than rates offered by other credit cards, but you can avoid interest by paying off your balance every month.

The Chase credit card has a sleek metal design and its embedded chip offers better protection and security. As a bonus, you can take advantage of additional card benefits, such as purchase protection, trip cancellation insurance, price protection and auto rental coverage.

Pros of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card: Point Transfers and More

One desirable feature of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the point-transfer option. When you use your Ultimate Reward points with participating frequent travel programs, your points transfer at a 1:1 ratio. So you can transfer the full value of your points without losing any to conversion fees.

Other Chase Sapphire Preferred advantages include:

  • No expiration for reward points
  • Sign-up bonus for spending and adding an authorized user
  • No annual fee for the first year
  • No blackout dates or restrictions
  • Ability to combine points with those from other Chase credit cards

Cons of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card: No Low Intro Rates

Although this card offers bonus points within three months of opening an account, the downside is that you have to be a big spender to benefit from this feature. If you spend less than $4,000 in 90 days, you’ll miss out on extra points.

Other Chase Sapphire Preferred disadvantages include:

  • Processing time of six to eight weeks for bonus points to credit to your account
  • No low introductory rate offer for balance transfers or purchases
  • Ultimate Reward points not available for purchase

Chase Sapphire Preferred: For Travelers and Bigger Spenders

If you’re a big spender or if you use your credit card for most purchases, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card could be the right card for you. It offers several ways to rack up points, including a sign-up bonus and double points on certain purchases. And if you’re a frequent traveler and a member of different frequent travel programs, you can take advantage of the opportunity to transfer points and earn discounts on travel.

On the other hand, if you only use a credit card for emergencies or if you don’t dine out or travel often, you might not earn enough points for redemption. In this case, you might be better off with a no-frills credit card that doesn’t have a rewards program or charge an annual fee.

Read: 13 Ways to Save Money for Vacation 

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.