Credit Card Review: Chase Sapphire Preferred

If I had to keep only one credit card (which is a tough decision) it would probably be the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of my favorite credit cards, since it has a huge bonus and allows me to transfer directly to airlines and hotels. This is the second card in the “Chase Trifecta,” which will help you get more mileage from your Ultimate Reward points.

The looks alone of this card make you feel like a VIP. It’s heavier than your normal credit card, because the card is made of metal! I get comments all the time on how great it looks and feels. Looks alone won’t make me keep this card, but it’s a nice perk!

Currently, the sign up bonus for this card is one of the best available! Chase offers 40,000 Ultimate Reward points when you spend $4,000 (recently increased from $3,000) in the first 90 days. When you add an authorized user you will earn an extra 5,000 Ultimate Reward points. Add on the minimum of $4,000 for the spending requirement and you’re looking at a minimum of 49,000 Ultimate Reward points.

What can 49,000 Ultimate Reward points get you?

  • 49,000 Ultimate Reward points is worth $490 cash. You would receive 1 cent per point redeeming this way. Not the best way, but also not the worst.
  • 49,000 Ultimate Reward points, when booked through Ultimate Reward Travel is worth $612.50. When you book through the Ultimate Reward Travel, you receive 1.25 cents per point. Better than cash, but you can still get more value out of those points!
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You can fly from Boston to Honolulu on United for 45,000 using Saver Award or spend over $1100!! You’re redeeming for almost 2.5 cents per point!
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Spend 25,000 points a night (soon will be 30,000), or a lot of money for 2 days in the Maldives! About 8 cents per point!
  • You could also redeem for about $700 worth of flights on Southwest!

Usually, I feel if I can get at least 1.8 cents per point, then it is a good redemption. I value 49,000 Ultimate Reward points around $900!! That’s a lot of money for travel! You can see, these points can be extremely valuable and make your travel more affordable!

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2 Ultimate Reward points per dollar on travel and dining and 1 Ultimate Reward point on all other purchases. The yearly fee of $95 is waived for the first year, so you can try it out, then determine if it’s worth keeping in your rotation. If you are a heavy traveler or eat out frequently, this card would be perfect for you. If you travel internationally, this is a “must have,” because there are NO foreign transaction fees! The Chase Sapphire Preferred currently has “Chip and Signature” for added protection. This is useful when traveling abroad, since vendors in some countries might require it. .

Using the Chase Sapphire Preferred with your Chase Freedom or Chase Ink will help you earn Ultimate Reward points even faster, because they have their own bonus categories! The real power of this card is the ability to transfer points directly to one of the 11 partners.

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Chase’s 11 Transfer Partners

Chase has recently made adjustments to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but even with the changes, this is still one of the top credit cards available.

  • They have removed the 7% dividend on all points earned for the year (excluding the bonus), which is a negative, but not a deal breaker
  • Increased the minimum spending requirement from $3,000 to $4,000
  • No longer able to earn an extra point per dollar when booking travel through the Ultimate Reward portal, starting January of 2016. There are plenty of other portals to earn extra points or cashback though!
  • Added primary auto rental insurance, which is a benefit if you rent a vehicle. I don’t rent cars very often, so this isn’t a big deal for me. It could be for you though!
  • Increased the travel cancellation/ interruption coverage from $5,000 to $10,000. This is a positive change for the Sapphire. I don’t purchase travel insurance because the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers it already!

You need to have this card or the Chase Ink Plus to transfer directly to one of the 11 partners. Remember, you CAN’T transfer your Ultimate Reward points from the Chase Freedom to one of the 11 partners. You CAN transfer the points you earn from your Chase Freedom to your Chase Sapphire Preferred! Making the Chase Sapphire Preferred even more valuable!

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the top travel credit cards. The sign up bonus is one of the best available and no fee the first year, makes this card worth trying. The flexibility to transfer to airlines or hotels makes this card a must have for cheaper travel on your wallet. You’re protected when you travel, because of “Chip and Signature” technology and the increased travel insurance. It’s worth every penny and I’ll keep this as long as the benefits for me outweigh the cost.

What’s your favorite way to redeem your Ultimate Reward Points? What’s your favorite Ultimate Reward Partner?

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