It’s tough to find a credit card that offers as big an up-front cash bonus as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I’ve written about credit cards for a long time and have carried just about all of them. Sapphire Preferred is one of the elite offers.
Chase Sapphire Review
Sign up bonus
According to CompareCards.com, new cardholders will earn 50,000 bonus points (up from 40,000) when spending at least $4,000 within the first three months. Those points can be redeemed for a $500 statement credit OR a plane ticket worth up to $625. If you choose to book a flight valued at more than $625, you can simply pay the difference.
Spending $4,000 on a credit card in only three months may be difficult for some. If you’re considering taking a vacation or making a large purchase in the near future and have the excellent credit required to obtain this credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a must own credit card.
You can also earn another 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a simple and lucrative rewards structure.
- Earn 2X points on dining at restaurants from fast food to fine dining
- Earn 2X points on all travel from airfare and hotels
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cardholders will also earn bonus points on their points. An annual 7% dividend is provided to all members, so using the same 10,000 point scenario, a bonus of 700 points would be added at the end of the year.
NOTE: 2015 is the last year for the 7% dividend. After 12/31/2015, Chase will no longer pay the 7% dividend reward.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase Ultimate Rewards is an online portal that enables card holders to book travel and save money. The Chase Ultimate Rewards is an easy way to redeem points online for just about anything, including travel. So when you book your travel through Ultimate you get 20% off airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises.
Here are the details:
- Get 20% off travel when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, a $625 flight requires just 50,000 points
- No travel restrictions or blackout dates on airline tickets booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Perhaps the coolest feature of this card is the 24/7 dedicated service you can receive with a live agent. Cardmembers are provided a telephone number that connects directly to a live agent, so no more spending 10 minutes pressing buttons just to talk with someone.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card does come with a $95 annual fee, waived during the first year. All international purchases can be made without being charged a foreign transaction fee. Many credit cards charge up to 3% when used somewhere other than US soil (which includes international companies online) but this card is foreign transaction fee free.
Transfer Points to Other Rewards Programs
One of the unheralded perks of this card is the ability to transfer points to several mileage and hotel programs. This means the points have significant value beyond Chase’s own ecosystem. And the transfers are on a 1 to 1 basis. One thousand points equates to 1,000 miles on any of the following frequent flyer or hotel rewards programs:
- 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®.
While the travel rewards are by far the most important feature, there are several other features of the card worth noting. Earning points is just half the battle. Once you’ve earned your free travel, you want a credit card to take on your trip that offers enhanced travel benefits. As a Visa Signature card, the card offers several of them.
- Trip Cancellation Insurance: The card offers reimbursement for travel due to covered cancellations, losses and emergencies when you purchase tickets with the card.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Receive coverage for covered damage due to collision or theft up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles. Remember to charge your entire rental transaction to your card and decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver.
- Travel Accident Insurance: Receive coverage for covered common carrier accidental death or dismemberment when you charge your travel fare on your card.
- Trip Delay: When a covered trip is delayed more than 12 hours due to a covered event, expenses incurred as a result of the delay, such as meals and lodging, are reimbursed.
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement: Carry-on or checked luggage may be covered if lost or stolen when you purchase your common carrier ticket with your card.
- Baggage Delay: If your checked bags are delayed for a period of 18 hours or more by a common carrier, you will be reimbursed for the emergency purchase of covered essential items.
- Travel and Emergency Services: Get help coordinating medical, legal and travel services while you’re away from home.
- Roadside Dispatch: Referral service for convenient towing and locksmith services in the U.S. and Canada are available 24/7.
- Dedicated Customer Service: Every call you place to Chase will always be answered by a live customer service representative. No exceptions.
- $0 Introductory Annual Fee the first year, then $95.