Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Review – The Ultimate Starter Card?

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Review

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Review

The Chase Sapphire Preferred used to be the gold standard in the travel rewards realm.  It has a decent earning structure that earns some of the most versatile points out there, Ultimate Rewards points.  It has always had one of the better sign up bonuses on the market.

With the release of the Chase Sapphire Reserve this card has lost some of it’s luster but it still offers value.

Current Sign Up Bonus Vs The Historical High

The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after $4,000 in spend within the first 3 months from account opening.  The historical high for the card was a 60,000 point sign up bonus years ago.  50,000 points has been the standard offer for a while now.

The full details of the sign up bonus are as follows:

  • 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points
  • 5,000 points when you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • The $95 annual fee is waived the first year

    CLICK HERE to compare this card with other travel rewards cards


Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Review

Bonus Restrictions

Chase recently instilled the one per family rule to coincide with their dreadful 5/24 rule.  Here are the details on the bonus restrictions for the CSR:

  • This product is available to you if you do not currently have any Sapphire card.
  • This product is available to you if you have not received a new cardmember bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 24 months.
  • If you have been approved for 5, or more, new lines of credit in the last 24 months then you will be automatically denied for this card. This includes new credit cards from any bank, as well as, personal loans etc.

Earning Structure

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a pretty straight forward earning structure:

  • Earn 2X Points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Cardmember Perks

The card comes with a couple of nice perks, they are as follows:

  • Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points in the Chase portal at 1.25 cents a piece
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Points transfer 1 to 1 to many valuable airline and hotel partners including Hyatt Hotels, United Airlines, British Airways and Southwest Airlines.
Travel Perks
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
    • If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
    • Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage for rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
    • If you or an immediate family member check or carry-on luggage that is damaged or lost by the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
  • Baggage delay insurance
    • Reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over 6 hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for 5 days.
  • Trip delay reimbursement
    • If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.

CLICK HERE to compare this card with other travel rewards cards


Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Review

Andaz Mayakoba Beach.

Fees

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has an annual fee of $95 per year which is waived the first year of card membership.

Sign Up Bonus Value – $825

Ultimate Rewards points are conservatively valued at 1.5 cents a piece.  The 55,000 points from the Chase Sapphire Reserve sign up bonus (after adding an authorized user) would have a value of $825.  Since the annual fee is waived the first year you get to keep the full amount.

Summary

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a solid product with a very valuable sign up bonus.  The earning structure is decent for people who spend a lot on travel and dining out.

The best part of the Chase Sapphire Preferred is that it earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points and it allows you to transfer those points.  It is the entry level card for being able to transfer your UR points to travel partners.  Transfer partners are how you really maximize your value with Ultimate Rewards points.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a lot of the same travel perks that the Chase Sapphire Reserve has.  The trip delay, rental coverage, baggage delay insurance etc. is all the same as the more expensive Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The downfall of the card is Chase’s 5/24 and Sapphire rules which make it difficult to get for some.  And people need to decide whether the Preferred or Sapphire version is a better fit for them.


CLICK HERE to compare this card with other travel rewards cards


Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Review

Long Term Keep or Cancel?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred’s $95 annual is very reasonable for what the card brings to the table.  The travel insurance and car rental insurance will more than cover that cost for some, if you don’t have another premium Chase card.  Being able to refuse car rental place’s insurance can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.

The earning structure is decent but not great.  But it does open up transfer partners for the card member.  And unless you have a Chase Ink Preferred this would be the only card that would allow you to do that since you can not longer carry two Sapphire products are the same time.

This card is a long term keeper if you have no other avenue to make Ultimate Rewards transferable.  But if you have a Chase Ink Preferred as well then our recommendation would be to stick with the Ink card and downgrade this to a Freedom at the end of the first year.

Conclusion

While the Chase Sapphire Preferred has been over shadowed by the flashier Chase Sapphire Reserve it actually has the slightly better sign up bonus.  It is also the more profitable card to carry the first year.

It has a decent earning structure for people who travel a lot and eat out often. And the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the cheapest way to gain access to Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.  The card also comes with a lot of great secondary travel perks that can save you a lot of money down the road.

But your spending pattern and travel habits will determine whether you should get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Reserve.  One size does not fit all here!

 


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