There is an ocean of travel rewards cards to choose from. One credit card that you should definitely consider is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You will especially like this card if want flexibility in redeeming and earning travel rewards. Here are five reasons why you should have the Sapphire Preferred as your next credit card.
1. Flexible Redemption Options
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns rewards points called Ultimate Rewards. If you are unfamiliar with this program, it’s arguably the best travel rewards program. Not only do you earn two points for every dollar spent on travel and dining and one point per dollar for all other purchases, you can redeem them for just about anything.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are most valuable when you redeem them for award travel. If you use the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, they are worth 1.25 cents each (10,000 points are worth $125). Most travel rewards programs are doing good to make your points worth 1 cent each (10,000 points are worth $100). And, if you don’t have enough points to pay for an entire reward travel purchase, you can pay with points and cash.
Another reason many people carry the Chase Sapphire Preferred is that you can transfer the points on a 1:1 basis to many of your favorite airline and hotel rewards programs. Here’s the list of current travel partners:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Flying Blue Air France-KLM
- Korean Air Skypass
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- World of Hyatt
All transfers are 1,000 point increments and occur almost instantaneously. If you need to quickly boost your balance, transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to the loyalty program is quick and easy. And, you might even be able to make them more valuable than going through the Chase travel portal.
You can also redeem your points for non-travel rewards such as gift cards and statement credits. But, they will only be worth 1-cent each (10,000 points=$100). While this isn’t the best redemption option, the redemption rate is still pretty good for travel rewards cards.
2. $625 Sign-Up Bonus
The sign-up bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred is awesome as well. By spending $4,000 in the first three months, you will receive 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Those 50,000 points are worth $625 in award travel when you book it directly through Chase.
Or, you can also transfer the points to one of the 1:1 travel partners where 50,000 Chase points become 50,000 Southwest points or 50,000 Marriott points for example.
You will also automatically get an extra 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the first 3 months of card membership. This alone can give you a free night at the Hyatt House Colorado Springs when you need a base camp to visit the Rockies and one of the most scenic regions of the United States.
As an added bonus, the $95 annual fee is also waived for the first year and you will never pay a foreign transaction fee. Check out this post if you’re interested in knowing what credit score you will need for the Sapphire Preferred.
3. Travel Benefits for the Chase Sapphire Preferred
In addition to the flexible redemption options, you can also travel with confidence if your travel plans get unexpectedly delayed or canceled. With each travel purchase charged to your Chase Sapphire Preferred, you will receive complimentary trip delay and cancellation insurance. This benefit will reimburse you prepaid, non-refundable travel purchases of up to $10,000 per trip.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is also one of the very few rewards credit cards to offer a primary auto rental collision damage waiver. If your rental car is involved in an accident or damaged by theft, Chase will cover the cost up to the cash value of the rental car. All you need to do is decline the policy offered by the rental agency and you are covered.
If you need additional travel or emergency assistance, you can also call Chase and they will also do what it takes to help you out. Depending on the circumstances, you might be responsible for some of these costs. But, this benefit can be extremely helpful when you really need it. You can see the full travel benefits here for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
4. Purchase Rewards
Because the Sapphire Preferred is a flexible travel rewards credit card, it earns points on every purchase. You will earn 2 points per $1 on all travel and dining. It doesn’t matter what country you visit, the name of the carrier or restaurant, or whether you are buying a plane ticket or cruise ticket, you will earn two points for every $1 you spend.
This means you will earn 1,000 points on a $500 ticket from American Airlines and 1,000 points if you fly Delta for next time.
If you are not loyal to a particular airline or hotel, using the Chase Sapphire Preferred as your primary payment method will rack up the points every time your travel. And you can redeem the points for reward flights, nights, cruises, rental cars, and excursions even if you are a first-time customer for that particular travel provider.
You might also consider having the Chase Sapphire Preferred for the times you don’t fly your preferred airline or stay at a different hotel brand. Then, you can transfer those points to your favorite travel program on a 1:1 basis for future use.
5. Reasonable Annual Fee
At $95 per year (waived for the first year), the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a valuable card. It is more expensive than some of the other flexible travel rewards cards, although they make up for the added expense by having some of the most valuable travel rewards points in the industry. If you travel periodically during the year, you will be able to offset the annual fee the first time you redeem your rewards points for travel each year.
Having the annual fee waived for the first year is also a big help. You will be able to travel for “free” each time you redeem or transfer points during the first year.
Summary on the Chase Sapphire Preferred
With its flexible redemption options, complimentary travel insurance, and ability to earn purchase rewards on every swipe, you will have a hard time saying no to the Chase Sapphire Preferred. There is a reason it has been a favorite card among award travelers for several years. With the ability to transfer your points on a 1:1 basis to many of the leading travel rewards program and a robust redemption value of 1.25 cents, you can start maximizing your travel today with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.