Chase Sapphire Preferred Review – It is Worth Getting But is it Worth Keeping?

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

Updated: 8/23/2016

Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

Overview

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a card that you have no doubt heard of. Many bloggers call it the best card for beginners and they may be right. The card generally requires good to excellent credit with scores ranging at or above 700.

In this review I will look at every aspect of the card including: sign-up bonus, points earnings & transfers, fees & key features.

Product Features

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards points. These points can be transferred to a variety of partners, used to book travel at 1.25 cents each or cashed in for 1 cent each. The card earns points in the following ways:

  • 1 point per dollar on all purchases every day.
  • 2 points per dollar on travel & dining.

Other important card features include:

  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Chip & signature.
  • Purchase protection.
  • Ability to transfer points to travel partners.

Best Offer/Sign-Up Bonus

Currently the best offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred gives the following:

  • 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
  • 5,000 Bonus Points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $0 first year annual fee, $95 thereafter.

5/24 Rule

In order to impede people from signing up for credit cards just to get the bonus, Chase has implemented the 5/24 Rule or guideline. This rule means that in most cases an applicant will be denied if they have opened up 5 or more new revolving credit accounts within the past 24 months. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is subject to the 5/24 rule. If you are pre-approved in-branch or are a Chase Private Client, you may be able to get around this restriction.

Annual & Other Fees

As mentioned above, the annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Preferred is $95 which is waived the first year. It does not have a foreign transaction fee and the balance transfer fee is $5 or 3%, whichever is greater. You can find a full list of the APRs and fees here.

Points Transfers

Chase Sapphire Preferred Review
Hyatt Zilara Cancun. Transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt.

The most valuable part of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is being able to transfer points to travel partners. It generally is not a good value to cash in your points for 1 cent or book travel for 1.25 cents since you can often get a much higher value by transferring points.

You can transfer points to the following partners at a 1:1 ratio:

Airlines Partners

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Singapore Airlines Krisflyer
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • United Mileage Plus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Air France KLM Flying Blue
  • Korean Air SkyPass

Hotel

  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards

A Premium Card

Transfer points to United to fly in business class!
Transfer points to United to fly in business class!

Along with the Chase Ink Plus, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is considered a premium product. This means you can transfer points from other cards such as the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Ink Cash to the Sapphire Preferred and then to travel partners.

Without a premium card, points earned with the non-premium cards are stuck and only worth $.01 each, so the ability to transfer them to a premium product can add significant value.

Our Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

Since the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with such a generous sign-up bonus, it definitely is a card to consider. With its 2X earnings on dining & travel and the ability to transfer points to partners, it may be a card to keep, although I would argue the Citi ThankYou Premier with its 3X travel bonus is a worthy contender. Unfortunately that card doesn’t currently have a sign-up bonus.

About 18 months ago I signed up for my second Sapphire Preferred. The first time I had the card, I ended up downgrading it to a Chase Freedom after one year. This time around I downgraded my Sapphire Preferred to a Chase Freedom Unlimited.  The Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5X Ultimate Rewards everywhere and since I also have a Chase Ink Plus & Sapphire Reserve, I continue to have the ability to transfer points to partners.

In my opinion having a premium Ultimate Rewards card is essential because of the transfer ability.  I personally have a lot of 5X spending on the Ink Plus, so that card has much more long term value for me. In the end, I really like the Sapphire Preferred, but its value proposition after one year is really going to depend on your spending habits. Chase also recently launched the premium Sapphire Reserve card (with a 100K bonus) which bests the Sapphire Preferred in almost every way.

Conclusion

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best overall products for beginners, but it has competition in the travel rewards category including from the Sapphire Reserve. With that said, the points you earn with the Sapphire Preferred are valuable and the sign-up bonus is lucrative. Whether or not you decide to keep the card or downgrade it is a personal decision and one that there is no right or wrong answer to. I personally like the Freedom Unlimited as a better long term option, but that won’t be the perfect solution for everyone.


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17 COMMENTS

  1. In my opinion if there is one credit card worth paying an annual fee on it is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for the 2% on dining and travel. I would rather pay an annual fee for the Sapphire Preferred rather than the Ink Plus since I can also earn the 5% using the Ink Cash card.

    That being I am considering cancelling my Sapphire Preferred so I can reapply again and get another bonus.

    • I would not do that if I were you. They have updated their terms and if find you only keep a card long enough for the rewards and bonuses, they will revoke your point and close your accounts.

  2. I’m close to pulling the trigger on my first sign up with the CSP. It’s worth noting that Chase has made it clear that you can earn one bonus per 24 months. I’d be churning this card for the bonus, which would take less than two months utilizing $1.5k (soft)serve online maximum load on two accounts and eventually downgrading to a Freedom.

    I’m not in a position to do much travelling for another year, so in my situation I prefer to take the cash, throw it into a high yield savings account dedicated to vacation funds, and revisit the point conversion option for travel the next time I pick up this bonus. I’m happy with $490 return for what will be less than two hours of time invested via underwear MS’ing when it’s all said and done.

  3. I’m coming up on the end of my second year after lazily keeping it after the first. I plan to downgrade to freedom and apply again in a few months. I’ve wanted freedom anyway, and I have a Hyatt card for dining. Other travel is mostly covered by my slew of airline cards. Parking, taxis, and trains are inconsequential amounts of spending for me so the choice is easy.

  4. Be aware that although Chase says they will give the bonus again after 24 months, they are very aware of card churning and are reluctant to keep giving cards if you haven’t shown regular use of your current/past cards. YMMV, but now that I have 3 cards they do directly ask when I call recon whether I am getting the new card just for miles. Moving credit lines around does help.

  5. I’d like to know has anyone been denied when they reapply for CSP 2 years after they cancelled or downgraded? I use the card heavily for dining & travel, but would like to churn to get the bonus miles. My husband already cancelled his CSP less than a year ago, so it is too soon for him to reapply and see for ourselves whether he’ll get it or not.

  6. I just received my Chase Sapphire Preferred card and I am unable to use the refer-a-friend link. I’m assuming the eligibility is targeted so not everyone that received the card is able to refer people for more bonus point opportunities.

  7. @Shawn – I am getting ready to apply for The Chase Sapphire Preferred next week. I need a refer-a-friend link. Do you have one ? I super enjoy your blog and all the knowledge you are sharing! Thank You!

  8. I have a question. I have a CSP. After I get the reserve. Can I just transfer my CSP to a freedom unlimited, keep in mind I already have a freedom. I would like both and not want to hurt my credit by closing the CSP. Also, if I can, is there a way to get the sign up bonus for the freedom unlimited?

    Thanks

    • Yes you should be able to get the Reserve and then downgrade the CSP to a Freedom Unlimited. At that point you will be a Freedom Unlimited cardmember and won’t be eligible for the bonus, but I think that is a worthwhile strategy and one that many people are following. Plus, the 100K bonus on the Reserve makes up for missing out on the 15K bonus on the Freedom Unlimited in my opinion, especially considering new Chase cards are harder to get given 5/24.

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