Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is a premium travel rewards credit card from Chase. This credit card offers a laundry list of rewards and benefits, most notably a 50,000-point signup bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening a new account, 2x points per dollar spent on travel and dining, and a 25% boost in value when you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

This is a powerhouse credit card, and among the best rewards cards available today. For cards with an annual fee around $100 or lower, this may even be the best travel rewards card available today. If you love travel and want your credit card to help you pay for it, continue on with this Chase Sapphire Preferred® card review to learn more.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® review: Features

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card brings users a wide range of valuable travel rewards. New cardholders start out with a huge 50,000-point signup bonus, worth $625 (and possibly even more) toward travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are very flexible and can be transferred to a range of airlines and hotels at a 1:1 value. That means you can book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or transfer the points to airlines for award bookings there. That can stretch the value of an Ultimate Rewards point far past the 1.25 cents you get when redeeming through Ultimate Rewards.

Chase partners with nine airlines and four hotels, including United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Marriott, Hyatt, and IHG hotels.

The card also offers travel and purchase protection benefits particularly valuable to frequent travelers. The card has a $95 annual fee, waived the first year, but that fee may be worthwhile when you look at how much you earn back in rewards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® benefits and rewards

The premier Chase Sapphire Preferred® benefit is its ability to earn Ultimate Rewards points, Chase Bank’s rewards currency. The card earns 2x points per dollar on travel and dining purchases and 1x point per dollar everywhere else.

In addition to travel, you can redeem rewards for cash back, shopping, gift cards, shopping at Amazon, and events/experiences, but be careful how you redeem because all options are not equal. You typically get the best value per point when redeeming for travel rewards or transferring to an airline partner for an award booking.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® review: Perks

This card’s benefits don’t stop at rewards points. Cardholders also get valuable travel and purchase benefits when you use this card for purchases.

For shopping, this card includes purchase protection and a manufacturer warranty extension. If something breaks or is stolen right after buying it, you’ll have some recourse for a replacement.

For travel, this card includes auto rental collision insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, and travel assistance if you run into problems on the road.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® review: Rates and pricing

This card charges a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year. At 1x points per dollar and a value of 1.25 cents per point, you would need to spend $7,600 on the card per year to break even, not including the incredibly valuable signup bonus.

The card charges variable rate interest of 17.24% to 24.24% APR, based on your credit history and market rates. Remember that you can avoid paying interest by paying the balance in full each month. If you don’t pay the balance in full, interest costs generally outweigh the reward benefits.

Balance transfers cost the same 17.24% to 24.24% APR as purchases. Cash advances charge 26.24% APR. Balance transfers also charge a 5% fee ($5 minimum). Cash advances cost 5% ($10 minimum).

There is no foreign transaction fee for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card. This is one of the best Chase Sapphire Preferred® benefits for regular globetrotters.

Late payments cost up to $37 per occurrence and returned payments cost up to $37 per occurrence.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® review: Does it make sense for you?

If you are looking to get started in the world of travel rewards credit cards, this card may be a great place to begin. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® benefits easily outweigh the cost of the annual fee for many families. Just make sure you don’t get stuck paying expensive credit card interest or spend more than you normally would just to get more rewards points.

If you have good credit card and personal finance habits, Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great card. For the truly elite, you may want to consider the ultra-high-end Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which offers even more benefits (but with a higher annual fee).

Overall, this card is a winner. As long as you use it responsibly and avoid paying monthly interest charges, Chase Sapphire Preferred® benefits make it a great addition to your wallet.

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