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If you're planning future travel, it's a good idea to pay with a card that provides rewards and protections on flights, hotels and car rentals. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a popular choice for consumers who want to open a travel card without paying hundreds of dollars a year. With a $95 annual fee, it ranks as one of the best credit cards with annual fees under $100.
Now is a great time to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred since you can take advantage of earning 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. This bonus is the highest-ever for the Sapphire Preferred Card and worth up to $1,250 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® or Pay Yourself Back since points are worth 25% more.
However you shouldn't apply for a card just to earn the bonus. There are other factors to consider like the rewards rates and annual fee.
Since the Sapphire Preferred card no longer waives its $95 annual fee, you should decide whether it makes sense for you to open this card or opt for a no-annual-fee alternative. Also keep in mind that this card requires good to excellent credit, so not everyone will qualify.
Select breaks down the value of the card so you can decide if the $95 annual fee is worthwhile.
In order to offset the card’s $95 annual fee through rewards, spend on dining and/or travel each year. You'll earn 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases.
Sign up for complimentary DashPass
Another way to offset the fee for a year is to take advantage of the complimentary DashPass membership Sapphire cardholders receive. When you activate by December 31, 2021, you’ll get a minimum of one year for free, valued at roughly $120. This is more than enough to cover the $95 annual fee once.
Earn the welcome bonus
And if you like to look at the big picture, you can offset the annual fee for 10 years by earning the welcome bonus. The 100,000 points are worth $1,000 in statement credits that can go toward the annual fee.
All in all, the $95 annual fee can easily be offset just by using the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to pay for your everyday purchases. You can also recoup the fee by taking advantage of DashPass, the card's $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit and its welcome bonus.
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great low-cost travel card, you may want to consider another option that offers more perks.
If you want premium perks and don’t mind a more expensive card
Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases plus, 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
16.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer fee
5%, minimum $5
Foreign transaction fee
If you like what the Sapphire Preferred offers, but want more premium perks like lounge access, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. You’ll receive an annual $300 travel credit that can offset airfare, hotels, tolls and more. Plus you’ll get a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership with access to over 1,000 VIP airport lounges worldwide (valued at $429) and a $120 DoorDash credit ($60 in 2020 and $60 in 2021).
The Reserve also doubles the added value points receive when redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards or Pay Yourself Back from 25% to 50%. And you can benefit from earning 5X points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on travel worldwide (immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit), 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide and 1X points on all other purchases.
Cardholders who take full advantage of the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s perks can make the $550 annual fee worth the cost.
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