We’ve partnered with UpgradedPoints.com to help make recommendations on our favorite travel credit cards. See our full Advertiser Disclosure here.

Our Verdict

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is easily one of the most popular credit cards on the market due to its versatility and great benefits, and is one of the best options for those looking to get started in the world of travel rewards.

From great bonus categories, to flexible point redemption options, and a low annual fee, there is a lot to love about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Pros

  • Earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Earn 3x points on dining
  • Earn 2x points on all other travel purchases
  • Earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on Lyft purchases (expires March 2022)
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards travel transfer partners
  • Ultimate Rewards points are worth 25% more when redeemed through the Chase Travel Portal or Pay Yourself Back
  • Travel and rental car insurance
  • Purchase and extended warranty protection
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • The card does not offer top travel benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status

Current Sign-Up Bonus

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Details

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Art

Chase

It’s likely that you’ve seen plenty of advertisements about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card — perhaps some of your friends and family members even have it. So what is it about the card that makes it such a popular choice for those who are getting their first travel credit card?

For starters, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card really helps you rack up points quickly, as you’ll earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining and 2x points on all other travel purchases.

The travel category doesn’t just include flights either, but rather a wide range of travel purchases that can really help you earn points quickly, like hotels, car rentals, cruises, trains, buses, taxis, ferries, toll roads, and even parking garages.

But the Chase Sapphire Preferred card isn’t just great for earning points, it also comes packed with great benefits that give cardholders even more value. These benefits include a DoorDash DashPass subscription that gives you $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on orders, baggage delay insurance, trip delay and cancellation insurance, purchase protection, and rental car coverage.

So if you love traveling to new cities and dining at new restaurants, the Chase Sapphire Preferred will not only make those purchases more rewarding but will help keep you covered in case anything goes wrong, too!

Great Card If

  • You love to travel
  • You spend a lot on travel, dining, and Lyft rides
  • You want a card that offers flexible rewards
  • You’re starting out in the world of travel rewards

Don’t Get If

  • You don’t travel often or do not enjoy traveling
  • You don’t dine out or order delivery often
  • You prefer a no annual fee card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Protections

So what sort of protections are offered with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, and how can they help keep you covered in the event that things go wrong?

  • Trip Delay Insurance: If your flight is delayed by more than 12 hours, or requires an overnight stay, you are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.
  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance: If your trip is canceled or cut short by a covered situation like sickness or severe weather, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for non-refundable travel expenses.
  • Baggage Insurance: If your baggage is delayed by more than 6 hours, you’ll be reimbursed for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing, for up to $100 a day for 5 days.
  • Rental Car Insurance: Primary rental coverage keeps your rental vehicle insured for theft and collision damage in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Extended Warranty Protection: If the manufacturer’s warranty is 3years or less, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card extends it by an additional year.
  • Purchase Protection: New purchases made with your card are covered for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Put simply, frequent travelers will love the security of knowing that they’ll be covered if their trip is delayed, canceled, or even if the airline loses their bags.

Best Ways to Use Ultimate Rewards Points

Thanks to the flexibility of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, there are many ways you can redeem them depending on what suits you best, though each option can vary quite a bit in value.

Chase Travel Portal and Chase Pay Yourself Back

The most straightforward way is redeeming points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, or as statement credit via Pay Yourself Back. When you redeem points this way, they’re worth 25% more than usual, or 1.25 cents per point.

So for example, 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points would be worth $750 in travel through the Chase travel portal or in statement credits with Pay Yourself Back. Pay Yourself Back statement credits can be applied to purchases made at grocery stores, home improvement stores, and dining establishments — including take-out and delivery services.

Airline and Hotel Transfer Partners

If you’re wanting to get even more value out of your points, then you will love having access to Chase airline and hotel partners. While this method might seem more complicated than just redeeming your points through the Chase travel portal, the extra work you put in can certainly be worth it in the end. Using transfer partners allow you to redeem your hard-earned points for business-class flights and luxurious hotel stays that could otherwise cost thousands of dollars for just pennies on the dollar!

All Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 rate, you must transfer in 1,000-point increments, and all transfers are final — you cannot move them back to Chase after the fact. So why do this?

One great redemption option is transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to Iberia, where you can then book a round-trip business class ticket for just 68,000 points between the U.S. and Europe — a ticket that would usually cost $2,500 to $3,000. If you were to redeem points for a similar flight through the Chase travel portal you would have to redeem 200,000 to 240,000 points!

Or perhaps you’d rather redeem your points for a top-notch hotel stay. In that case, you could transfer 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points to the World of Hyatt program and redeem them for 2 free nights at a property like the Park Hyatt New York, or 4 free nights at The Confidante Miami Beach.

Park Hyatt Hotel Unveils the Highest Suite Overlooking Central Park – Robb Report

Photo: Hyatt

Curious which transfer partners are offered to you? Here is the full list, along with which programs we recommend for getting the maximum value out of your Ultimate Rewards points.

Chase Transfer Partners
Our Top Choices British Airways Executive Club United Airlines MileagePlus
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer World of Hyatt
Solid Options Air France/KLM Flying Blue Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Emirates Skywards Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
Iberia Plus
Not Recommended Aer Lingus Aer Club JetBlue TrueBlue
IHG Rewards Marriott Bonvoy

While there is no right or wrong program to use, let this serve as a guide to let you know the likelihood of getting outsized value for your hard-earned Ultimate Rewards points. For programs in our Top Choices tier, that is where you’ll usually find the most value. For example, World of Hyatt award nights can be as low as 5,000 points per night, and British Airways award flights can be 9,000 Avios one-way on flight distances under 1,151 flown miles within North America.

Programs in the Solid Options tier are still solid options that provide great value but aren’t likely to blow you away outside of a few sweet spots within each program. A great example is Iberia Business class flight tickets between the U.S. and Spain, or Air France/KLM Flying Blue monthly promo awards where you can get select award flights for up to 50% off.

Lastly, the programs in the Not Recommended category are generally not advisable to use unless you have a very specific need for those points. You might be wondering why a program like World of Hyatt is in the top tier, while Marriott Bonvoy is in the bottom tier. This is because the Marriott award chart requires significantly more points for a free night than Hyatt.

With Hyatt, its very best Category 7 hotels cost just 30,000 Hyatt (or Ultimate Rewards) points per night. Whereas the very best Category 8 Marriott hotels cost 70,000 to 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy (or Ultimate Rewards) points per night — so there is significantly more value to be had from the World of Hyatt program!  These are just examples of course, and ultimately, the best program to use is whatever makes the most sense for you and your unique travel goals.

Other Ways to Use Points

Additionally, you can also redeem your points for things like gift cards, statement credits, Apple and Amazon purchases, or through the Chase Experiences portal. But these options usually offer less value from a cents per point perspective than redeeming with transfer partners or through the Chase travel portal.

Alternative Cards to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

American Express® Gold Card

While the Amex Gold card is significantly more expensive than the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, at $250, it is definitely not worth writing off (see rates and fees). The Amex Gold card is a powerful point-earner in its own right, offering cardholders 4x Membership Rewards points per $1 on dining at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year, 1x thereafter), plus 3x Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amex Travel. You’ll also receive up to $120 in annual dining credits, along with access to Amex Offers and The Hotel Collection. Terms apply and enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers.

Similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Amex Membership Rewards points can be redeemed in a variety of ways, including towards travel, as a statement credit, gift cards, or through one of the American Express transfer partners.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

If you’re someone who prefers a no annual fee credit card that focuses on cash-back rewards, then the Blue Cash Everyday card is highly worth considering (see rates and fees). The card earns 3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases (1% thereafter), plus 2% cash-back at select U.S. department stores and U.S. gas stations, then 1% on everything else (terms apply). So if you’re someone who has a large grocery store budget, shops at department stores, and commutes often, this card gives you the chance to earn a large amount of cash-back.


For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, click here.

Advertiser Disclosure: We’ve partnered with UpgradedPoints.com to help make recommendations on our favorite travel credit cards. We may receive a commission from card issuers if you choose to apply for cards through these links. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.