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Here’s my expert Chase Sapphire Preferred review and why it’s head & shoulders above the competition. For the last few years, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been at the top of personal rewards credit cards, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) is still the first travel credit card that I recommend to new readers, friends, & family.
Edit: the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card now comes with a bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. This is an increase of 10,000 points and makes the offer worth $750 in travel through the Chase portal. But you can get even more value by transferring your points out to an Ultimate Rewards travel partner.
Link to apply and see more details on Chase’s secure site: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Also, you can see the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Reserve here.
Editor’s Note: The Chase Sapphire Preferred review offers mentioned in the video below are expired. The current sign-up bonus is the ability to earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus is worth $750 in travel through the Chase portal. Additionally, the annual fee is no longer waived.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Review – 60,000 Point Bonus
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card currently has an offer of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. Ultimate Rewards points are my personal favorite rewards points, mostly for their flexibility.
The Ultimate Rewards program is what makes the Sapphire Preferred a top card. You can see my review of the best travel credit cards here. Of course, you can redeem UR points for merchandise, gift cards, cash back, or for statement credits.
After spending $4,000 in the first 3 months with your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you would have 64,000 Ultimate Rewards points, or $640 cash back! Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed at a 1:10 ratio for cash back.
For travel, you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points through their online portal, and you will get a 20% discount. So, 60,000 points are worth $750 in travel when you redeem your UR points through their website. Not bad. This can be a good use of your UR points if you want to book a cruise or domestic flight (when there’s no availability on a transfer partner, or you want to fly an airline that isn’t a transfer partner).
Should the Chase Sapphire Preferred be the First Rewards Card You Apply for Today?
It is harder to get approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred than it was a couple of years ago. Many people are reporting being denied if they have had more than 5 other credit card applications in the last 24 months. This means that it’s more important than ever to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card before other cards if you’re new to travel rewards credit cards. Simply because if you were to apply for some other cards before the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you wouldn’t be eligible, and no one wants that.
If you’ve had the Chase Sapphire Preferred card before, you can apply again as long as it’s been 24 months since you last received the bonus (and you’re within the rules above).
Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners
Now, to my favorite part. The Ultimate Rewards transfer partners are a huge reason why the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the first card I recommend to new users. You can just do so many things with your points. Whether your travel goal is an international trip to Europe, or you just want to go to Orlando, Florida, Ultimate Rewards points can make it happen.
Domestic airline transfer options include Southwest and United. I just flew Southwest from Austin to Newark for just over 7,000 points one-way. And United domestic awards start at 10,000 miles one-way. But the great thing about being able to transfer your UR points out to travel partners is that once you have a mile in a certain airline’s loyalty program, you can fly ANY airline that’s a partner or in the same alliance as that airline.
Let me explain –> You can fly American Airlines by transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to British Airways Avios because they are in the same OneWorld Alliance. And British Airways has a distance-based award chart that starts at only 4,000 miles one-way internationally, and 7,500 Avios domestically. Whaaaaat.
You can also use your UR miles to transfer out to Singapore Airlines and fly United domestically since they are both in the Star Alliance. Why do that? Because you can actually use less Singapore miles for United flights domestically (40k round-trip in business) and to Hawaii (35k round-trip in economy class) than through redeeming with United miles. Go figure.
Don’t care about domestic flights? Let’s talk about how to use your Ultimate Rewards points for international travel. I love transferring my UR points out to Singapore Air for travel in one of their premium cabins.
You can fly Singapore Suites for as cheap as 57,375 Krisflyer miles from JFK-FRA. United Airlines is also a great option for international flights since they have a lot of flights to & from a lot of cities. For example, award flights to Europe start at only 60,000 miles one-way in economy class. United is in the Star Alliance, where a favorite airline of mine, Lufthansa, is also a partner. There was even a sale this year on Lufthansa business class awards through United. 57,500 United miles for a Lufthansa business class seat is a good deal.
I’ve also used my Ultimate Rewards points from my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card many times for hotel redemptions. Usually, I’m transferring my UR points out to Hyatt for an award stay or cash & points stay. We recently stayed at 2 Hyatt properties in Australia and loved both of them. Hard not to like a Park Hyatt, though.
The full list of Ultimate Rewards partners is Aer Lingus, British Airways, Air France KLM, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United, Virgin Atlantic, Iberia, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton.
Other Perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Review:
The value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points is what really sets the Chase Sapphire Preferred apart from competitors, but it still has a lot of daily spending and travel perks.
You will earn 2x UR points on dining and travel purchases. Nifty. It’s also great for traveling since there are no foreign transaction fees, and it’s enabled with chip technology.
I’m also a big fan of their dedicated customer support that you have by calling the number on the back of your card. Other travel benefits include trip cancellation/insurance, baggage or trip delay reimbursements, primary CDW car rental insurance, and travel accident insurance. Plus, you get the benefits of purchase protection and extended warranty on eligible purchases.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is also a Visa Signature card, so it comes with additional sweet benefits.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Award Travel Benefits
Besides the introductory offer, the rest of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card benefits remain the same. Below are two ways you can find the most value from your 60,000 bonus points.
25% Travel Redemption Bonus
When redeeming your Ultimate Rewards points for any award travel on the Chase travel portal, you get a 25% award travel redemption bonus. This is how your 60,000 bonus points are worth $750 instead of the standard $600 value of cash or gift cards.
1:1 Ultimate Rewards Point Transfers
You will still be able to transfer your points to the various Chase Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel transfer partners. If you play your points right, you can squeeze more value from each point than the 25% travel bonus.
Some of the partners to consider include Southwest Airlines (who are now !), United Airlines, and World of Hyatt.
Recent Changes to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Review
If you have your eye on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, there two new changes you must know about. First, the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus is increasing from a $625 value to $750. But, you will now pay the $95 annual fee during the first year.
The old signup bonus was getting 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus was only worth $625 in award travel booked on Chase.
When booking non-travel rewards with your bonus points, the new 60,000-point bonus is worth $600 in cash and gift card rewards.
The tradeoff for the larger signup bonus is that Chase is no longer waiving the $95 annual fee for the first year. In the past, the annual fee was $0 the first year then $95 each subsequent year.
Other top travel rewards credit cards charge an annual fee for the first year. This change isn’t earth-shattering like airlines introducing basic economy seats, but it’s never news you want to hear from any rewards credit card.
Do You Qualify For the Chase Sapphire Preferred Sign-up Bonus?
Before you apply for this larger sign-up bonus, it’s key that you review the and the bonus offer qualifications.
Hint: There’s more to the fine print than spending $4,000 in the first 3 months to earn the bonus.
Returning Sapphire Members Must Wait Months
For starters, you qualify for the Sapphire Preferred bonus when you haven’t received a new cardmember bonus from any Sapphire card in the past 48 months. You also cannot currently own another Sapphire product.
For example, if you currently own the Sapphire Reserve, you would have to cancel your card and wait 48 months to apply for the Sapphire Preferred to earn the new signup bonus. Are the extra points worth waiting 4 years?
Track Your Recent Card Applications
Every person needs to remember the “Chase 5/24 rule.” This is an unpublished policy that disqualifies you from owning most Chase travel rewards credit cards when you open at least 5 new credit card accounts in the most recent 24 months.
If you are in this situation, play it safe and wait to apply once you only have four new accounts opened in the last 24 months.
Other Travel Credit Cards to Consider
If after reading the Chase Sapphire Preferred review and it is no longer at the top of your wish list, you might try one of these travel rewards cards instead.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
You might also consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve when you still want to earn Ultimate Rewards points, access 1:1 transfer partners, and you want .
The Sapphire Reserve also earns a signup bonus worth $750 in award travel. One difference is that you only earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, but you have a 50% travel redemption bonus (instead of the Sapphire Preferred’s 25% bonus) that makes up the difference.
The annual fee of $450 is more than the $95 annual fee you will pay with the Sapphire Preferred. But a $300 annual travel credit whittles the annual fee down to $150. Free Priority Pass Select lounge membership and the Global Entry application fee credit can also be enticing for frequent flyers.
Capital One Venture
The earns 2 miles for every $1 spent. Plus, they still waive the $95 annual fee for the first year. You also earn a signup bonus of 50,000 points worth $500 after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
You can redeem your points as travel statement credits, future award flights, and even transferring them to . The Capital One transfer ratios aren’t as valuable as Chase but you still have plenty of valuable point redemption options.
There are two other exciting benefits the Sapphire Preferred doesn’t offer. The first is free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. The second benefit is getting 10x miles on every Hotels.com purchase through January 2020.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus
The is another flat rate travel rewards card with a similar annual fee as the Chase Sapphire Preferred. However, it’s only $89 a year and it’s waived for the first year.
You can also earn 70,000 bonus miles worth $700 in travel statement credits after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days. This is the highest-ever bonus offer for the Arrival Plus.
After redeeming your miles for travel statement credits, Barclays gives you 5% of the redeemed miles back for a second redemption. Redeeming your full 70,000-point bonus means you get 3,500 miles back worth $35.
On every purchase, you earn 2x miles per $1 spent. You don’t have access to any airline or hotel transfer partners, but they have a very flexible travel redemption credit that covers nearly every travel purchase type.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus is now 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. The previous bonus offer was 50,000 points with the same spending requirements. One downside of the larger bonus is that Chase now charges the $95 annual for your first year of ownership.
Conclusion on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Review
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is still the first rewards card I recommend to friends, family, and readers. And it’s more important than ever for it to be the first travel card for someone new to miles & points to apply for. Ultimate Rewards rock. They give you the ability and flexibility to travel all over the world, in the style you prefer. Or you can just receive cash back. That’s flexibility!
Link to apply and see more details on Chase’s secure site: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Are the Sapphire Preferred’s Benefits Worth the Annual Fee?
- Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture
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