Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: Is It Worth It?

by | May 18, 2020

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On average, people in the U.S. have four credit cards. How many of those credit cards have a rewards program? Do any of them have hotel partners? No matter how many credit cards you decide is right for you, it’s important to make each one of them count. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits have made a lot of people interested in a Chase Sapphire Preferred card. However, there’s often more to credit card benefits than simple perks like cash-back. Before you choose your next credit card, you’ll want to know all the pros, cons, and variables to keep in mind. 

In this Chase Sapphire Preferred review, we’ll answer your burning questions about this card so you can make the best choice for your credit needs. Read onto learn more about Chase Sapphire card!

Is A Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Worth It?

Let’s start with an overview: is this card worth opening?

If you’re a frequent traveler (or want to be one), the answer is likely yes. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the top travel rewards cards out there. The card contains ultimate rewards points for those who travel and frequently makes dining purchases.

However, there is a caveat. If you rarely purchase airfare or dine out, the Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits mostly won’t apply to you. So, this card is only worth it for serious travelers who spend a lot of time away from home. 

What Are The Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits?

Now, let’s delve into some specifics. Here are the loyalty programs these cardholders can get from this card. 

Travel Discounts

You can redeem the points you rack up with this card for 20% off through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site. These discounts apply to hotels, airport lounges, rental cars, airfare, dining purchases and more. 

Accepted Worldwide

Not all credit cards are accepted everywhere in the world. However, the Chase Sapphire card is accepted worldwide, so you’ll never have to worry about not being able to use your cash back card. 

Major Signup Bonus

One of the biggest Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits is the signup bonus. 

If you spend $4,000 with the card within three months of opening your card, you’ll get 60,000 bonus points, which has a $750 travel value through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This is much bigger than first-year bonuses from other cards like Chase Freedom. 

Easy Points Transfer

Chase also has several travel partners that you can transfer your points to with no fees. These hotel and airline partners give you even more ways to use all of your points. 

Double Reward Points

You’ll rack up those points even faster with double points on travel and dining purchases. On other purchases, you still get one point for each dollar you spend. 

What Are The Cons?

While these pros are impressive, every credit card also has some drawbacks. Here are the potential negatives about the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. 

Requires Great Credit

Qualifying for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card is more difficult than qualifying for most credit cards. Unless you have an excellent credit score, there’s a good chance your application will get rejected. 

No APR Breaks

Many credit cards offer a period of low or no intro APR when you sign up. However, Chase Sapphire Preferred has the same intro APR from the moment you sign up. If you don’t pay your balance off each month, this can add a lot to your credit card bill. 

High Annual Fee

Each year, you’ll need to pay a $95 annual fee for this card. If you don’t use the card often, the service fee may not be worth it. 

Do Chase Sapphire Preferred Points Expire?

As long as you keep your account open, your points will never expire. This means no pressure to use your points within a certain amount of time. You can also transfer unused points to a travel partner account if you want to close your card or do a balance transfer but keep your points. 

Does Chase Sapphire Preferred Cover Global Entry?

Global Entry lets you get through customs and into the U.S. faster. While the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a reimbursement of up to $100 for application fees to either Global Entry or TSA Precheck, the Preferred card doesn’t have that benefit. You’ll still need to pay for Global Entry applications yourself with a Preferred card. 

Does Chase Sapphire Preferred Have Foreign Transaction Fees?

Many credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee of about one to three percent. That may not sound like much, but if you’re often outside of the country, it can quickly add up. The Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits include no foreign transaction fees, saving you money while you travel abroad. 

Does Chase Sapphire Preferred Have Travel Insurance?

With this card, you can get full or partial reimbursement for eligible trips that got delayed or canceled. This can save you lots of money. You won’t need to pay for separate trip insurance or trip cancellation coverage, and you can get some of your money back if your trip is delayed, disrupted, or canceled for a covered reason. 

What Counts As Travel For Chase Sapphire Preferred?

With double reward points on travel, food purchases, dining purchases, and bonus categories, you might find yourself wondering exactly which purchases qualify. Luckily, the Chase Sapphire card has a broad definition of what counts as “travel.”

Things like hotel rooms, car rentals, train fare, and airfare count as travel expenses. However, you’ll also get double points on Lyft and Uber rides, Airbnb purchases, airport parking, campground fees, ferries, and even highway tolls. That said, gas doesn’t count as a travel purchase.

When it comes to dining, you won’t just get double points on traditional restaurants: fast food also counts. As another foodie perk, this card also provides free DashPass benefits to DoorDash members. 

How To Get Approved

In addition to a good credit score, there are also a few other things you’ll need to get approved for this cash back card.

First, you won’t get approved if you’ve applied for five or more credit cards in the last 24 months. If you have lots of open credit cards already, it’s also possible that your application can get denied. If you often open cards just to get bonus points and then close them after a year, your application won’t likely get approved. 

That said, if you have few or no credit cards, you may also get denied due to limited credit history. Finally, a high credit utilization rate may also harm your chances of getting approved. 

Can You Upgrade Chase Sapphire Preferred To Reserve?

If you do get approved for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you may soon find yourself wanting to upgrade to the Reserve card instead. The Reserve has a higher annual fee, but it offers enticing benefits. 

You can easily request to upgrade to the Reserve online or by phone. You can typically get your approval decision very quickly. Plus, requesting an upgrade won’t result in a hard credit inquiry. That said, you do need to have the Preferred card for at least 13 months before you can upgrade. 

How To Downgrade Chase Sapphire Preferred

It’s easy to upgrade — but what should you do if you want to downgrade? Luckily, this is also easy: just contact customer service by phone or online to request a downgrade. 

Can I Get Chase Sapphire Preferred And Reserve?

How about if you want both cards at once? Unfortunately, that’s something you can’t do. Chase recently implemented a rule that restricts you to one Sapphire card per person. 

Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Metal?

Something about a metal credit card can feel especially chic. You’ll be glad to know that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a metal credit card. 

How to Use Chase Sapphire Preferred

Want to get the most out of your Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits? 

First, make sure to use this card for all your travel expenses and dining out. You’ll need to spend close to $4,000 on the card every year to make up for the annual fee. Luckily, spending $4,000 on your card in the first three months unlocks your 60,000 bonus point offer. 

Also, remember to redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, or to transfer them where you can use them. Getting the most from this rewards credit card is easy — just use it often and use the points as you collect them. 

How To Earn Points On Chase Sapphire Preferred

Still not clear on how you earn points? Let’s make it simple: all you need to do to earn points is to use your card after your account opening. While you do get double points on travel and dining, you still get a point for every dollar spent on other expenses, too. 

Of course, you also get your bonus points just for signing up, as long as you reach the purchase minimum. This means you can get lots of points soon after getting your card, letting you reap the rewards faster.

Bottom Line

Every person has different credit card needs. While the Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits are attractive, are they right for your needs?

If you travel more than a couple of times a year, the answer is probably yes. Even better if you often stay or fly with Chase travel partners like Hyatt that you can transfer your points to. 

However, even if you decide not to go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, there are lots of other travel cards out there that may work for you. Check out more travel credit card recommendations here!

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