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Are the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card benefits worth the annual fee?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is widely considered one of the best travel rewards credit cards out there, so I often get emails from readers asking if the benefits are worth the $95 annual fee. Sounds like a good Q&A question.

Before we get into the Sapphire Preferred benefits, it’s worth mentioning that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. This is the largest public bonus ever offered on the Sapphire Preferred, and at its base redemption level, it’s worth $750 in travel. This is a great sign up bonus and is just another perk to supplement the Sapphire Preferred’s benefits.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits Details:

Q: Is the Sapphire Preferred Benefits Worth Keeping and Paying the $95 Annual Fee?

A: Yes. Simply put, the benefits on the Chase Sapphire Preferred are worth the $95 annual fee.

Here’s why:

Ultimate Rewards Points Transfer Partners 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns extremely valuable and flexible Ultimate Rewards points. Ultimate Rewards points can be used for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal (20% discount), or for merchandise or gift cards. But the real value of Ultimate Rewards points is being able to transfer them out to 13 top travel partners.

Only the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus business cards give you the ability to transfer points out to travel partners. The no annual fee Chase Freedom® & Ink Cash® Business Credit Card also earn Ultimate Rewards points, but they can’t be transferred out to the travel partners. That said, if you hold the Ink cards or Sapphire Preferred, then you can combine your points earned from the Freedom or Ink Cash. Once you combine your points, you can transfer them out to travel partners.

For example, I keep my no annual fee Freedom for its 5x quarterly categories, and then I combine those points on Chase’s Ultimate Rewards website with my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points. Then I can transfer them out the travel partners. Boom.

Some of the Ultimate Rewards travel partners include United, Southwest, British Airways, Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, and IHG. All points are transferred at a 1:1 ratio, and instantly. I like that. I do wish Chase would offer transfer bonuses every now and then.

If you’ve read the blog for a minute, then you know that I like to transfer my UR points out to Hyatt, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, and Southwest. There’s a little something for everybody.

For example, I was actually just looking at flying to Cabo from Austin non-stop on Southwest, and I found a great deal for only 6,500 points & $27 one-way. That’s a bargain. All I would have to do is transfer over some UR points, and then I’m on my way to Cabo. That easy.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Perks

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card makes a good daily card option because it earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points, but also because it has a couple of category bonuses. That’s sweet.

You will earn 2x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on dining and travel with the Sapphire Preferred. That’s a nice benefit.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Travel & Purchase Benefits 

The Sapphire Preferred is packed full of travel perks, which can be quite valuable if you….travel.

For starters, there are no foreign transaction fees, and it has chip & signature technology. This makes using the Sapphire Preferred internationally uber easy. I do it all the time, especially on travel expenses. The Sapphire Preferred also has trip cancellation and trip interruption service, up to $10,000 per trip. Nice.

It also has “primary” collision damage coverage on car rentals. I always decline the car rental company’s coverage and rely on my credit card’s coverage.

I hate to bring it up, but the CSP also offers travel accident insurance. From their website: “When you pay for your air, bus, train or cruise transportation with your card, you are eligible to receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000.”

There’s also a lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger. Hope to never have to go down that road.

Have a delay? Well, at least you can get up to $500 in eligible expenses reimbursed. And if your bags are delayed over 6 hours, you can get $100 a day, up to 5 days, for essentials like toiletries and clothing.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card benefits also protects your purchases. You will get “purchase protection” on new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

You will also get an “extended warranty” of one year of eligible purchases, and a “price protection” rebate of up to $500 if a CSP purchase you made in the U.S. is advertised for less in print or online within 90 days. That’s nifty.

You can also be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year.

You will have to file a claim through a third party service for these benefits. You can see more details here. 

Other Best Travel Credit Cards

There are many miles credit cards to choose from as most airlines and hotels offer their own rewards cards. You might also prefer a flexible travel rewards card that lets you earn and redeem rewards points with multiple loyalty programs.

These travel credit cards require a 740 credit score to have the best approval odds.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

One of my favorite cards to use for travel is the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. This card comes with a few travel perks including a 50,000 miles sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening (equal to $500 in travel). You also earn 10x miles when you book and stay at one of the thousands of hotel options available through hotels.com/venture. All other purchases earn 2x miles per dollar spent.

Learn more: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

One of the reasons this card is so popular is because you can redeem your miles for a travel statement credit. Plus, Capital One has recently added the ability to transfer miles to several travel partners, making your miles even more valuable. There are no blackout dates and your miles won’t expire, as long as you have your account open and active. There’s also no limit on how many miles you can earn.

This flexible rewards card also comes with a $100 credit to apply towards your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. You won’t need to worry about foreign transaction fees with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. However, there is a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year.

Learn more: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Platinum Card from American Express

For premium travel credit cards, the Platinum Card from American Express is the best option for frequent flyers. You get 5x points on flights booked directly from the airline or through AmexTravel.com. Card benefits include a $200 airline fee credit, fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and complimentary airport lounge membership to The Centurion, International American Express, and Priority Pass Select, Delta Sky Club. There are many other travel and retail benefits that exceed the $550 annual fee.

Wrap Up on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best flexible travel rewards cards because of its redemption options. Your points are worth 1 cent each for cash and gift card rewards. Your points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeeming for award travel. You can also transfer them on a 1:1 basis to airline and hotel partners including Southwest, United, JetBlue, and Hyatt.

Chase also recently increased the signup bonus to 60,000 bonus points, worth $750 in travel, after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.

In my opinion, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is worth keeping and paying the $95 annual fee on. You need to keep open a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus so you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points out to travel partners. That’s a big key to traveling the world in style for pennies. I keep both the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Plus open since they have different perks and benefits.

At the end of the day, only you can decide if the $95 annual fee is worth keeping the card open. It really depends on your spending patterns and travel needs.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Application Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Noob Q&A: Are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits Worth It? (2019)
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