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The card is especially a no-brainer for the first year. You’ll earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after meeting minimum spending requirements. That’s worth at least $750 in travel (though it can be worth a lot more). The card also comes with a $95 annual fee, so you’ll have to decide if it’s a card you want to keep. Most folks do because of its benefits and perks. You can read our full Chase Sapphire Preferred review.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card benefits and perks
Let’s start with the juiciest part of this card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a welcome bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening the account.
- 5 Chase points per dollar on up to $500 in cumulative purchases with DoorDash and Tock (through May 31, 2020)
- 3 Chase points per dollar at grocery stores (from May 1 through June 30, 2020, on up to $1,500 per month)
- 2 Chase points per dollar on travel and dining
- 1 point per dollar for everything else
Travel purchases include things like airfare, hotels, car rentals, Airbnb, Uber, etc.
You can transfer those points to extremely useful airlines and hotels to receive hundreds and hundreds in free travel. It’s the best way to use Chase points. For example, you could transfer 60,000 points to Southwest and receive ~$900 in free flights. Or you could transfer 34,000 points to Iberia and book a one-way business class ticket to Spain in a lie-flat seat.
Because of this card’s combined benefits of earning bonus points on common purchases and the ability to transfer points to airlines, this could be considered one of the best airline credit cards.
Primary rental car insurance
When you pay for your rental car with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll automatically receive coverage for damage due to theft or collision to your rental car (you must waive the rental car agency’s CDW). This means you won’t have to pay $10+ per day for the in-house insurance provided by the rental company. If you rent cars for even a few days each year, this could save you a considerable amount of money.
In the event that you do actually damage your rental car, filing a claim is easy. During a trip to Ireland, I scraped my rental car against a cement pole. The rental agency charged my card $2,300 for the damage. I submitted a claim to Chase, and within weeks I received a check for $2,300. It was almost too good to be true.
The point is, the card will save you money when you decline the rental car insurance — and it’ll save you money when you actually wreck. You can read about how Chase solved my rental car wreck here.
Baggage delay insurance
If your checked bags are delayed for six hours or more, you’ll receive up to $100 per day (for up to five days), so long as you’ve paid for at least part of your fare with your Chase Sapphire Preferred. If you don’t travel often and an airline has never lost your bag, you might not appreciate the value of this benefit, as the situation seems highly unlikely. IT’S COMING FOR YOU. Everyone loses a bag.
During a trip to Europe, my bag was delayed (lost) for forty days. That’s an extreme case, and probably won’t happen to you. But Chase cut me a check for $500 to reimburse me for the clothes, toiletries, etc. that I had to buy for my trip. Huge pain. But hey, free clothes.
Trip delay reimbursement
When you pay for at least a portion of your travel with your Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can receive up to $500 back per ticket when your trip is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay. You’ll be reimbursed for things like:
- Ground transportation
Over Thanksgiving week, my flight was delayed and I missed my connection. I booked a room at the Grand Hyatt, ate breakfast in their fabulous restaurant, and received a check for $275 from Chase which covered every penny. You can read about my trip delay and interaction with Chase here.
No foreign transaction fees
If you’re traveling abroad, you’re throwing money away if you don’t use a card that waives foreign transaction fees.
Some cards will charge you a 3% fee for making purchases outside the country (that sometimes even includes reserving foreign hotels on the internet while inside the U.S.). The Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, so you can contract tennis elbow from furiously swiping and you won’t be charged a penny of dumb fees.
Stool happens. If your vacation is interrupted by things like inclement weather, sickness, death, a call to jury duty, etc., you may be eligible for reimbursement up to $10,000 per person ($20,000 per trip) for things like airfare and hotels. You and your immediate family traveling with you are covered.
There are plenty of conditions that aren’t covered, such as injury due to negligence, sickness due to a preexisting condition, and a declared or undeclared war. You can check out the full terms and conditions here.
Extended warranty protection
I’ve personally never used this benefit, but it’s a cool one to have. When you buy certain products with a US manufacturer’s warranty, you’ll get an additional year of warranty (only eligible for warranties of three years or less).
If something you buy with your Chase Sapphire Preferred is ever victim of theft or damage within 120 days of purchase, you can have it repaired or replaced (up to $500). That’s a great benefit, though there are quite a few exclusions for which Chase won’t reimburse, such as motorized vehicles, pets, and used items.
This feature gives you various services when your vehicle breaks down. Simply call 800-847-2869, and you’ll get the following services for a flat fee:
- Towing – Up to 5 miles included
- Tire Changing – must have good, inflated spare
- Jump Starting – battery boost
- Lockout Service (no key replacement)
- Fuel Delivery – up to 5 gallons (cost of fuel not included)
- Winching (within 100 feet of paved or county maintained road only)
It’s not AAA, but it’s excellent when you’re in a pinch.
Let’s ignore the giant welcome bonus that comes with this card when examining the value of this card. Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fee still worth paying? It’s $95, and it’s not waived the first year.
Nearly all of this card’s benefits are insurance related; you’re covered from every common travel inconvenience if you book your travel with this card.
Because of this, you first need to estimate your travel frequency. If you book flights and rental cars even a few times each year, if you swipe your card overseas, this card is your companion. If you rarely ever travel, there are other credit cards that may better serve your lifestyle while offering similar extended warranty and purchase protection benefits.
After crunching some quick numbers on the amount this card has saved me from these preventative benefits, I estimate I’ve saved an average of $608 per year. My travel is relatively frequent, though. Because of this, I’ll continue to pay the card’s annual fee each year.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best Chase credit card for beginners. But it’s by no means a “beginner” card. I’m no beginner, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred still has my fingerprints all over it. Its benefits alone (not points) have saved me thousands over the years. I have no intention of canceling, because it comes with perks like:
- Trip delay insurance
- Rental car insurance
- Baggage delay insurance
- No foreign transaction fees
- Extended warranty protection