Noob Q&A: Is the Sapphire Preferred Worth the $95 Annual Fee?

Are the benefits on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card worth the annual fee?

The Sapphire Preferred is widely considered one of the best travel rewards cards out there, so I often get emails from readers asking if the benefits are worth the $95 annual fee. Sounds like a good Noob Q&A question.

Before we get into it, it’s worth mentioning that the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year, and that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. Plus, an additional 5,000 UR points when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the same time period.

You’re eligible for the bonus if you don’t currently hold the Sapphire Preferred and it’s been 24 months since you last received the bonus on the card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Details:

Q: Is the Sapphire Preferred Worth Keeping and Paying the $95 Annual Fee?

A: Yes, I Pay the Annual Fee on My Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Simply put- yes, the benefits on the Sapphire Preferred are worth the $95 annual fee. Here’s why:

Ultimate Rewards Points Transfer Partners 

The Sapphire Preferred earns extremely valuable and flexible Ultimate Rewards points. Ultimate Rewards points can be used for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal (20% discount), or for merchandise or gift cards. But the real value with Ultimate Rewards points is being able to transfer them out to 11 top travel partners.

Only the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus business cards give you the ability to transfer points out to travel partners. The no annual fee Chase Freedom® (limited time offer) & Ink Cash® Business Credit Card also earn Ultimate Rewards points, but they can’t be transferred out to the travel partners. That said, if you hold the Ink cards or Sapphire Preferred, then you can combine your points earned from the Freedom or Ink Cash. Once you combine your points, you can transfer them out to travel partners.

For example, I keep my no annual fee Freedom for its 5x quarterly categories, and then I combine those points on Chase’s Ultimate Rewards website with my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points. Then I can transfer them out the travel partners. Boom.

The Ultimate Rewards travel partners are: United, Southwest, British Airways, Korean, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, Ritz-Carlton, and Amtrak. All points are transferred at a 1:1 ratio, and instantly. I like that. I do wish Chase would offer transfer bonuses every now and then.

If you’ve read the blog for a minute, then you know that I like to transfer my UR points out to Hyatt, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, and Southwest. There’s a little something for everybody.

For example, I was actually just looking at flying to Cabo from Austin non-stop on Southwest, and I found a great deal for only 6,500 points & $27 one-way. That’s a bargain. All I would have to do is transfer over some UR points, and then I’m on my way to Cabo. That easy.

Card Earning Perks

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card makes a good daily card option because it earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points, but also because it has a couple of category bonuses. That’s sweet.

You will earn 2x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on dining (3x on the first Friday of the month) and travel with the Sapphire Preferred. That’s a nice benefit.

 

Travel & Purchase Benefits 

The Sapphire Preferred is packed full of travel perks, which can be quite valuable if you….travel.

For starters, there’s no foreign transaction fees, and it has chip & signature technology. This makes using the Sapphire Preferred internationally uber easy. I do it all the time, especially on travel expenses.

The Sapphire Preferred also has trip cancellation and trip interruption service, up to $10,000 per trip. Nice.

It also has “primary” collision damage coverage on car rentals. I always decline the car rental company’s coverage and relay on my credit card’s coverage.

I hate to bring it up, but the CSP also offers travel accident insurance. From their website: “When you pay for your air, bus, train or cruise transportation with your card, you are eligible to receive accidental death or dismemberment coverage of up to $500,000.”

There’s also a lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger. Hope to never have to go down that road.

Have a delay? Well, at least you can get up to $500 in eligible expenses reimbursed. And if your bags are delayed over 6 hours, you can get $100 a day, up to 5 days, for essentials like toiletries and clothing.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also protects your purchases. You will get “purchase protection” on new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

You will also get an “extended warranty” of one year of eligible purchases, and a “price protection” rebate of up to $500 if a CSP purchase you made in the U.S. is advertised for less in print or online within 90 days. That’s nifty.

You can also be reimbursed for eligible items that the store won’t take back within 90 days of purchase, up to $500 per item, $1,000 per year.

You will have to file a claim through a third party service for these benefits. You can see more details here. 

Wrap Up

In my opinion, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is worth keeping and paying the $95 annual fee on. You need to keep open a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus so you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points out to travel partners. That’s a big key to traveling the world in style for pennies. I keep both the Sapphire Preferred and Ink Plus open since they have different perks and benefits.

At the end of the day, only you can decide if the $95 annual fee is worth keeping the card open. It really depends on your spending patterns and travel needs.

Sapphire Preferred Application Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Geoff Whitmore

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Noob Q&A: Is the Sapphire Preferred Worth the $95 Annual Fee?
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