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Chase Sapphire Preferred review: How to get $1,000+ worth of travel

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Chase Sapphire Preferred review: How to get $1,000+ worth of travel

Joseph HostetlerChase Sapphire Preferred review: How to get $1,000+ worth of travelMillion Mile Secrets Team

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I’ve had the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for over six years. I’ve used it all over the U.S., Caribbean, South America and Europe. It was actually the first rewards credit card I ever opened, mainly because I heeded the advice of prominent points blogs. And boy were they CORRECT. Chase has so many useful airline and hotel transfer partners. You can stay in luxury Hyatt hotels or fly business class on Star Alliance airlines thanks to United and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred here.

In this Chase Sapphire Preferred review, I’ll reveal the secrets to getting $1,000+ worth of travel from the sign-up bonus – and show you how to take advantage of the myriad travel credit card benefits Chase somehow managed to jam inside this .03 inch thick piece of metal.

You’ll earn 2x points on travel and dining with your Chase Sapphire Preferred – and that’ll add up quickly if you eat nearly as often as I do. (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/Million Mile Secrets)

Current bonus

You earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening the account. A Chase point’s value fluctuates depending on how it is used, but as stated before, you can quite easily receive $1,000+ worth of travel from those 60,000 points.

Though instead, you can get $750 worth of travel with no brain-work whatsoever (when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel site). You could also turn the 60,000 points into $600 if you prefer cash. We’ll cover all this in just a minute.

Is it worth the annual fee?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred annual fee is worth paying. I’ve paid this fee four times because I always get much more than my money’s worth thanks to the points I earn and the perks I take advantage of. The amount of money this card has saved me so far are worth – literally – 35+ years of paying the annual fee. The money I’ve received from the card’s build-in coverages for canceled flights, delayed baggage and scraped rental cars have put me WAY ahead.

We frequently incessantly spew that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for anyone just beginning their journey into the miles and points world. If your credit score is 700+ and you want to see the world for free, this is a good card for you. The Chase Ultimate Rewards points are both:

  • Incredibly valuable if you research how to redeem them
  • Easy to use if you’re not ready for the complexities of this hobby

While it absolutely is the best card for newbies, it’s by no means a “beginner” card in the sense that a veteran hobbyist has graduated from the card. I still use it all the time and I’m freaking great at using points. This is one of the best credit cards for travel, no matter how experienced you are. However, the longer you play the points game, the harder this card becomes to obtain. Here’s why.

Chase has a certain rule when it comes to approving people for their cards. If you’ve opened five or more cards in the past 24 months (not counting certain small business cards), they won’t approve you for the Chase Sapphire Preferred. In other words, if you’re no stranger to opening credit cards, this might already be out of your reach. Read our full explanation of the Chase “5/24 rule.”

Also, if you already have a Sapphire Preferred or a Chase Sapphire Reserve® (the more expensive but more benefits-packed version of the Sapphire Preferred), you are not eligible to open a new Chase Sapphire Preferred. And if you’ve earned a sign-up bonus from any Sapphire card in the past 48 months you aren’t eligible for this card.

Benefits & perks

This card’s got a lot to offer, the best of which are included below. You can check out our more comprehensive guide to the Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits and perks if you like what you see.

Primary car rental insurance

This covers damage due to theft or collision to your rental car when you pay for the rental with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Real-life experience: I rented a car for nearly a month in Ireland. I turned down the rip-off car insurance at the desk because it would’ve cost me $300 in total and instead relied on the primary rental car insurance from my Chase Sapphire Preferred. As Satan would have it, I scraped and dinged the car. Avis billed me $2,300 for this minor damage, but thank goodness Chase completely took care of it and I was in the clear.

Trip delay reimbursement

Get up to $500 back per ticket when your trip is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay for expenses such as meals and lodging.

Chase Sapphire Preferred trip delay reimbursement really works. My Thanksgiving flight was delayed causing me to miss my connection. I booked a room at the Grand Hyatt, ate breakfast in their restaurant and received a check for $275 from Chase to cover all the expenses. (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/Million Mile Secrets)

Baggage delay insurance

This Chase Sapphire Preferred benefit will reimburse you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over six hours for up to $100 a day for five days.

No foreign transaction fees

The Chase Sapphire Preferred does not have a foreign transaction fee. I hate cards that hit you with a junk fee when you use them outside the U.S. That’s why I take my Chase Sapphire Preferred on all my international trips. Plus it’s a Visa credit card so it’s accepted nearly everywhere.

Earn 2x points on restaurant and travel purchases

Remember, Chase points are often worth more than points you earn on other airline or hotel cards. I’ve also had great success earning two points per dollar at bars and nightclubs because those establishments are often classified as a restaurant with the credit card processor. And, through March 2022, you’ll earn 5x points on Lyft rides.

Use your Chase Sapphire Preferred to book your flight and again at the airport restaurant – all eligible for 2x points. (Photo by Joseph Hostetler/Million Mile Secrets)

Extended warranty protection

Paying with your Chase Sapphire Preferred extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.

Insider tip

If you don’t think you’ll earn a lot of points with this card, consider how unbelievably broad the bonus categories are. You’ll earn 2x points on travel and dining. Travel includes airlines, hotels, Airbnb, campgrounds, car rentals, cruises, travel agencies, trains, taxis, ferries, toll bridges, parking lots and more. Dining includes restaurants, bars, nightclubs and fast food places both in the U.S. and overseas.

Other travel cards to consider

If you want an upgraded travel experience, then take a look at our Chase Sapphire Reserve review. This Chase credit card is the “premium” version of the Sapphire Preferred and while it does have a $550 annual fee, it also has the benefits to make it worth it. Right off the bat you’ll get $300 in travel credits every year. The way it works is simple, the first $300 in you spend in eligible travel categories are refunded. That knocks your out-of-pocket cost down to $250.

Check out our full coverage of the Sapphire Reserve’s benefits to see for yourself if the rest of the card’s perks will be worth more than $250 to you. The other benefits include improved travel coverages, Priority Pass airport lounge access, $60 in DoorDash credits in 2020 and 2021, one year of free Lyft Pink membership, 10x points on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and 3x points on travel and dining purchases.

But paying an annual fee doesn’t appeal to everyone, so you could open a credit card with no annual fee. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has no annual fee and earns 1.5% back on all purchases and 5% back on Lyft rides (through March 2022). That’s a solid cash-back rate for everyday purchases and the Freedom Unlimited can actually have a greater rate of return. If you have a card that earns transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points (Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card) you can pool the points you earn with the Freedom Unlimited onto that card. At that point you can then transfer those points to any of the Chase transfer partners, which can greatly increases the value of your rewards.

Bottom line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the one of the best credit cards for beginners. I’ve kept my Sapphire Preferred in my wallet for years because I love it and its fun having a metal credit card.

Right now the sign-up bonus is 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points in your account after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your card. It’s got a strong benefits package that includes bonus points, trip delay insurance and primary car rental insurance for a very reasonable annual fee.

What’s your Chase Sapphire Preferred review? Would you recommend it to a friend who’s just starting out with using points for travel?

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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My wife currently is an authorized user on my Chase Sapphire Preferred card has been for 8 years. Would that prevent her from getting approved for her own Sapphire Preferred card and 50K bonus? Would she need to cancel her current authorized user card and wait a certain amount of time( say a month) before applying?

Did you ever get an answer to this? My husband and I have the same situation and I’m wondering if I can apply and get the sign up benefits. Also, if he refers me, he’d get a bonus as well.

Not too familiar with Lyft Pink. Do I have to apply for that?

My husband and I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and would sign up for the Chase Sapphire Reserve but in addition to the larger annual fee, there is a fee for an additional user so it is actually more than $250 annually.

I Just called Chase Sapphire and the additional card fee will remain at $75. I did not ask about Lyft Pink.

You review these cards often – and most of them I have now. There are few cards, if any, I am interested in getting. Is there a way to cash in on these points if I have had a card (such as Sapphire) for a long time?

Is there anyway you know of to sign up for the sapphire reserved and receive the sign up bonus benefits if you are an existing preferred user?

Can i downgrade my current sapphire preferred card to freedom unlimited and then reapply for the sapphire preferred to get the bonus? I am outside of the 48 month limitation (my wife already has the reserve)

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