Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest credit card information.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card overview
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the best-known travel rewards credit cards, featuring 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal and Lyft purchases, 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs), 2 points per dollar on all other travel purchases and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
These valuable points can be transferred to airline and hotel partners or redeemed directly for travel at a rate of 1.25 cents per point through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½
*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
At TPG, we always get asked an important question from beginner travelers looking to plan trips: Which travel credit card should you start with?
We almost universally recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. It earns one of our favorite rewards currencies. It offers lucrative perks. It features a low annual fee. In fact, many of us started our journey into points and miles with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
The card is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Here’s what you need to know about the Chase Sapphire Preferred and why it’s one of the best cards out there.
Ready to get the card? Apply here for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Who is the Chase Sapphire Preferred for?
I also recommend starting your journey into the world of loyalty points with Chase cards, because you need to strategically plan around Chase’s 5/24 rule regarding applications. The Sapphire Preferred is definitely worth considering for one of your coveted five slots for opening new cards within two years.
Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, enough to take you just about anywhere in the world you want to go.
This haul of points is worth a minimum of $750 when redeemed for travel through the Chase portal, but if you maximize Chase’s transfer partners, TPG’s valuations peg the full value of the bonus at a whopping $1,200.
Main benefits and perks
In addition to the sign-up bonus, there are many appealing perks on the Sapphire Preferred.
$50 annual hotel credit
In Aug. 2021, Chase revealed a slew of exciting changes to its Sapphire cards, including the Sapphire Preferred. One of these new perks was a $50 statement credit on hotel stays purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal upon opening the card, as well as each following cardmember anniversary. It’s automatically applied to your account each year when you make an eligible charge. Note that the $50 credit does not earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
10% annual points bonus
Another change Chase added to the card is a 10% anniversary points bonus. Cardholders will receive a 10% bonus based on their total spending during the account anniversary year at a rate of 1 point for each $10 spent. For example, if you spent $100,000 on your Sapphire Preferred during your cardmember year, you’ll receive 10,000 bonus points at the end of the year.
Note that this 10% is calculated on the dollars you spent rather than the points you earned. You thus don’t receive additional points by leveraging the card’s bonus categories.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred also includes at least one year of complimentary DashPass membership with DoorDash, which gives you free delivery and reduced service fees on eligible purchases. There is a cost associated with using food delivery services such as DoorDash, but this can be a valuable benefit if you already use the service.
This card is an ideal choice to pay for travel bookings such as car rentals, cruises, plane tickets and hotels because of the comprehensive travel and purchase protections it affords. Among them, cardholders can expect the following:
- Primary rental car coverage.
- Trip delay insurance.
- Trip cancellation insurance.
- Baggage delay insurance.
- Lost luggage reimbursement.
- Purchase protection.
- Extended warranty protection.
You can read more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred shopping and travel benefits here.
How to earn points
The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a simple earning structure that is easy to maximize. Here’s how you earn points on the Sapphire Preferred:
- 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal.
- 5 points per dollar on Lyft purchases (through March 2025).
- 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases (excludes Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).
- 2 points per dollar on all travel not booked through the Chase travel portal.
- 1 point per dollar on everything else.
How to redeem points
When you’re ready to redeem the points you’ve earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll understand why the card shines. Here are some ways you can use your Ultimate Rewards.
Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
You can use your points to purchase airfare, reserve hotel rooms and even rent a car through Chase Travel — all at a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point. That means you don’t need to worry about blackout dates or finding award space; you’ll always have the option to book travel using your points. As long as there’s a seat for sale on the flight you want, or a hotel room available to reserve with cash, you’ll be able to pay for it with your points.
Just note that hotel reservations booked through third-party sites (including Chase Travel) typically won’t earn points and won’t count toward elite status qualification.
Transfer to Chase travel partners
It’s possible to receive much more than 1.25 cents per point in value by transferring rewards to Chase airline and hotel partners.
Pay Yourself Back
If you want to use the points from your Sapphire Preferred at a fixed value for something other than travel, consider Chase’s Pay Yourself Back option. Cardholders can use points for a value of 1.25 cents apiece to cover donations to select charities (through Dec. 31, 2023) or a value of 1 cent per point for gas station and grocery purchases (through March 31, 2023).
Which cards compete with the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
There are many worthwhile mid-tier travel credit cards, but the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is the one that goes toe-to-toe with the Sapphire Preferred. The card currently offers the following:
- 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
- 2 miles per dollar on all purchases.
- Ability to redeem miles at a flat rate of 1 cent each toward travel purchases.
- Ability to transfer miles to valuable airline and hotel partners.
- Up-to-$100 statement credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
- Travel accident insurance.*
- Extended warranty protection.*
- No foreign transaction fees.
- $95 annual fee.
*Benefits only available to accounts approved for the Visa Signature card. Terms apply.
If trying to decide between these two cards, think about which one’s earning formula suits your spending habit, and which one’s transfer partners you’re more likely to maximize.
Another alternative option would be a cobranded card with a specific airline or hotel program. These aren’t nearly as flexible as the Sapphire Preferred, but if you’re flying predominantly with one airline or staying frequently at properties under a specific hotel umbrella, those perks may come in handy.
Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred worth the annual fee?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is worth opening if:
- You can achieve the 60,000-point sign-up bonus.
- You’re looking for valuable travel protections.
- You currently hold the Chase Freedom Unlimited and/or Chase Freedom Flex card.
When you carry the Sapphire Preferred along with one of these cards, you can freely move points from one account to another, effectively augmenting the value of your Freedom earnings by translating them from cash-back rewards into fully transferable Ultimate Rewards points.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to represent a solid value proposition for a wide swath of the public. So long as you’re using the card frequently enough to get more than $95 in value from the rewards earned and benefits utilized, this card is definitely worth the annual cost.
After its debut a decade ago, it’s still regarded as one of the best rewards credit cards. It earns some of the most valuable points around, and it’s flexible enough to meet the travel rewards needs of practically every points and miles skill level. It also comes with a low enough price tag for many to be able to give it a try.
Apply here for the Chase Sapphire Preferred with a 60,000-point bonus.
Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox, Chris Dong, Stella Shon, Jennifer Yellin, Joseph Hostetler and Eric Rosen.