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Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred review: A low-cost card with a generous welcome bonus perfect for travelers

CNBC Select breaks down the rewards, benefits and fees of the Chase Sapphire Preferred to help you decide if it's the right card for you.

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the top travel credit cards available, ranking as CNBC Select's best travel credit card with an annual fee under $100 and the top travel rewards credit card for beginners.

Cardholders can take advantage of numerous travel benefits and a unique rewards program on top of the generous welcome bonus, which all make the $95 annual fee worthwhile. The Ultimate Rewards® points you earn with this card are some of the most lucrative credit card rewards due to their flexibility, including the ability to transfer points to various airline and hotel partners.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, and $50 annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    21.49% - 28.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • Terms apply.

Pros

  • Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel via Chase Travel℠
  • Transfer points to leading frequent travel programs at a 1:1 rate, including: IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy™ and World of Hyatt®
  • Travel protections include: auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance and trip delay reimbursement
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No introductory 0% APR

Welcome bonus

New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can benefit from 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a unique perk for points redemptions: 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Travel℠. For example, 75,000 points are worth over $900 toward travel. That means the welcome bonus can be worth $937.50 when you book hotels, airfare, cruises and more directly through the travel portal.

Benefits and perks

Cardholders can benefit from various travel and purchase protections that increase the value of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Shopping

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers high spending limits and purchases made with the card are eligible for purchase protection and extended warranty protection.

Chase Offers provides exclusive shopping discounts at select retailers. These offers typically give you a set dollar amount of cash back as a statement credit, applied to your account within 14 business days.

Chase also offers an online shopping portal that provides extra rewards on purchases made through a special link. You can receive extra points by using the link provided through the portal and paying with your qualifying Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Travel

There are a variety of perks offered that can add peace of mind to travelers, including an up to $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, primary rental car insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement and travel and emergency assistance services.

Plus, cardholders benefit from no foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S., which saves you the typical 3% fee other cards may charge.

Other benefits

Through Dec. 31, 2024, cardholders can enroll for a complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership, valid for a minimum of one year.

If you like to get your groceries delivered, you can also get up to $15 back each quarter in statement credits for using Instacart, as well as six free months of complimentary delivery through Instacart+.

How to earn and redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Earning

This Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is geared toward travelers and foodies with the ability to earn 5X on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3X on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2X on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.

On top of that, the Chase Sapphire Preferred provides cardholders an anniversary bonus equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year. That means if you spend $25,000 on purchases, you'll get 2,500 bonus points at the end of the anniversary year.

Redeeming

There are many ways to redeem Ultimate Rewards® points. To start, you can redeem points for straight cash back or gift cards at a rate of 1 cent per point.

If it's simplicity you're after, the card also offers a unique redemption option that increases the value of your points to 1.25 cents apiece:

  • Chase Travel℠: Use your points to book hotels, airfare, cruises and more directly through the travel portal.

If you use this redemption option, the 75,000-point welcome bonus is worth over $900.

The most valuable option is generally to transfer your points to one of Chase's hotel and airline partners. Transferring your points to partners typically yields much higher value, especially if you want to redeem for luxury travel.

Chase's 14 transfer partners include:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Flying Blue (KLM and Air France)
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG One Rewards
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt

To give you an idea of the redemption possibilities, you could transfer as little as 60,000 points to United to fly one-way from the U.S. to Europe in business class — a flight that normally costs thousands of dollars if you're paying with cash. Alternatively, you can transfer your points to World of Hyatt and book hotels for as little as 3,500 points per night.

Check out our guide to the best ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to learn more about this valuable travel hack.

Don't miss: What are Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth?

Rates and fees

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a $95 annual fee. This fee isn't as high as other travel credit cards, such as the luxury Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which has a $550 annual fee. It can be easily offset if you take full advantage of the rewards program.

You could recoup the Chase Sapphire Preferred's $95 annual fee by spending as little as $3,800 on travel and/or dining each year and redeeming points through Chase Travel℠. If you don't redeem points through the portal, you'd need to spend a total of $4,750 annually on combined travel and dining.

The APR is fairly typical at 21.49% - 28.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers. We recommend always paying on time and in full to avoid interest charges.

Don't miss: Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card worth the $95 annual fee?

Card comparison

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card are two comparable cards that both have $95 annual fees and an array of travel perks. For the same $95 annual fee, the Venture Rewards Card offers 5X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2X miles on all other purchases. Standout benefits include a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit up to $100 every four years.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • Rewards

    5 Miles per dollar on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 2X miles per dollar on every other purchase

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $95

  • Intro APR

    N/A for purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    19.99% - 29.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    $0 at the Transfer APR, 4% of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer to you

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card vs. American Express® Gold Card

If you spend a lot of money on food — whether it be at grocery stores or restaurants — consider the American Express® Gold Card. The card has a slightly higher annual fee of $250 (see rates and fees) but also comes with more statement credits to make up for it.

Cardmembers earn 4X Membership Rewards points at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 annually, then 1X points afterward), 3X points on flights directly through the airline or via amextravel.com and 1X points on other eligible purchases. Benefits include up to $120 Uber Cash annual credit ($10 per month) for rides in the U.S. and dining via Uber Eats (you must add your Amex Gold Card as a payment method in the Uber app in order to enroll) and up to $120 in annual dining credit ($10 per month) to use with certain delivery services like Seamless and Grubhub, as well as restaurants including The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations (enrollment required). Terms Apply.

American Express® Gold Card

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Annual fee

    $250

  • Intro APR

    Not applicable

  • Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great choice for travelers looking to enjoy added value on travel-related point redemptions, travel protections and discounts. The $95 annual fee is modest compared to some competing travel credit cards and can easily be recouped if you maximize using the card.

If you want a luxury travel card with more benefits and don't mind paying a higher fee, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve. (Check out the five best perks provided by the Chase Sapphire Reserve.)

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Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every airline credit card review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of credit card productsWhile CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best credit cards.

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For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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