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The Chase Sapphire Preferred’s bonus is currently the highest it’s ever been publicly, but are Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card benefits worth the annual fee? For a limited time, Chase has raised the sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred to 60,000 points worth at least $750 in travel.

Apply here on Chase’s website: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is widely considered one of the best travel credit cards out there, so I often get emails from readers asking if the benefits are worth the $95 annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Preferred perks definitely are beneficial so this sounds like a good Q&A question.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus – 60,000 Points

Before we get into the Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits, it’s worth mentioning that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card sign-up bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in 3 months is a very solid offering. This is the largest public bonus ever offered on the Sapphire Preferred, and at its base redemption level, it’s worth $750 in travel. This is a great sign up bonus and is just another perk to supplement the Sapphire Preferred’s benefits.

Apply Now: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

chase sapphire preferred wine
All the Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits

Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits Details:

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

A: Yes. Simply put, the benefits on the Chase Sapphire Preferred are worth the $95 annual fee.

Here’s why:

Ultimate Rewards Points Transfer Partners 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 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 of Ultimate Rewards points is being able to transfer them out to 13 top travel partners.

Only the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus business cards give you the ability to transfer points out to travel partners. The no annual fee Chase Freedom® & 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.

Some of the Ultimate Rewards travel partners include United, Southwest, British Airways, Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, and IHG. 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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred 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 and travel with the Sapphire Preferred. That’s a nice benefit.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Travel & Purchase Benefits 

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

For starters, there are 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 rely 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 benefits 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. 

The Chase Sapphire bonus is one of the most valuable and sought-after credit card offers. With either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve, the new cardmember bonus offer is worth $750. Before you apply for either of these Chase cards, you should verify you qualify for the bonus.

Chase Sapphire bonus
Photo by Vincent Rivaud from Pexels

Another reason this bonus offer is so exciting is you have plenty of ways to redeem your bonus for award travel.

What is the Chase Sapphire Bonus?

Both the Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred bonus value their signup bonus at $750 in award travel. For either card, you must spend $4,000 in the first 90 days to earn the bonus points. However, you earn 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and 50,000 bonus points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus.

So how can one card award 10,000 more points yet have the same bonus value?

Travel Redemption Bonus

The Sapphire bonus for each card is worth $750 when redeeming every bonus point for award travel through the Chase travel portal. Doing so, means your points get a travel redemption bonus.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred perks offset the annual fee and it ($95 a year) has a 25% travel redemption bonus that makes each point worth 1.25 cents each. You must redeem 60,000 points in order to book $750 in award travel.

The Sapphire Reserve ($450 a year) has a 50% travel redemption bonus. As each point is worth 1.5 cents each, you only need 50,000 points to book $750 in award travel.

This difference in the travel redemption bonus is why both cards have different point amounts but have the same cash value.

However, redeeming your points for cash rewards, gift cards, and Amazon.com credit means your points are only worth 1 cent each. In this case, the Sapphire Preferred bonus is more valuable because the 60,000 points are worth $600. Meanwhile, the Sapphire Reserve’s 50,000 bonus points are worth $500.

Do You Qualify for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus?

First-time Sapphire cardmembers shouldn’t have a problem earning the bonus. You should only have to spend $4,000 within the first 3 months to get the full bonus amount.

If you are a current or returning Sapphire cardmember it is more difficult to qualify for a second Chase Sapphire bonus. In the past, you could get a second bonus 24 months after earning your first Sapphire bonus.

Now you must wait at least 48 months since earning your most recent Sapphire bonus and must also have closed your original Sapphire account during this period. Is earning the bonus worth a potential 4-year wait and closing an existing credit account worth it? If not, you might consider upgrading to the Chase Sapphire Reserve instead.

Credit Score Needed for the Chase Sapphire Bonus

You will have the best approval odds if you have a 740 credit score which is the start of excellent credit. Already owning a credit card to show positive payment history also boosts your odds.

Even if you have near-perfect credit and have never owned a Sapphire product, you should only apply when if you have less than 5 new credit card account in the most recent 24 months. Chase has an internal policy called the 5/24 rule that automatically declines online applications for most Chase-issued travel credit cards if you have opened or been listed as an authorized user on 5 or more new credit cards in the last 24 months.

Redeeming Chase Sapphire Preferred Sign Up Bonus Points

You can redeem your bonus points for travel or cash rewards. What’s awesome about Ultimate Rewards points is they are worth at least 1 cent each when redeemed through Chase for cash, gift card, and Amazon.com shopping credit.

But with the Sapphire cards, you get a travel redemption bonus if booking travel directly through Chase. A second option is the 1:1 point transfers to airline and hotel loyalty programs.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred also has these two redemption boosts. And it offers signup bonus worth $1000 in award travel but that’s a discussion for another day.

Below is a quick overview of how to redeem your Chase Sapphire bonus for award travel to get the most value from each point.

Travel Redemption Bonus

The easiest way to redeem your points is for a travel redemption bonus through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

Chase immediately applies the bonus so you get an instant discount. Here is a quick example of the cash value of redeeming 20,000 points through the credit card travel portal:

  • Capital One Venture (1 point=1 cent): $200
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred (1 point= 1.25 cents): $250
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve (1 point=1.5 cents): $300

The Chase travel portal is powered by Expedia. The travel redemption bonus applies to any travel offer found on Expedia. This includes flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and guided tours.

1:1 Point Transfers

There are currently 12 travel partners you can transfer your points to on a 1:1 basis in 1,000-point increments. It’s possible to make the Chase Sapphire bonus worth more than $750 when booking award travel.

You will have the most success by transferring points to the airline partners. Air miles are almost always worth more than hotel points. Having flexible travel dates and being able to fly

Southwest Airlines to Hawaii

You can find one-way flights from Oakland to Hawaii with a redemption value of 1.44 cents each. The cash value of this ticket is $219 or you can redeem 15,204 points.

Southwest doesn’t offer flights in the Chase travel portal so you will need to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to your Rapid Rewards account to use Chase points to book an award flight.

Singapore Airlines to Frankfurt

Saving your points for first class and business class seats is another way to get the most value from each point. Singapore Airlines is a popular option for booking flights on Singapore Airlines. You can also book partner flights on United Airlines for fewer points than transferring your points directly to United.

Flying Singapore Airlines from New York to Frankfurt in a luxurious First Class Suites class can only cost 86,000 points. This flight can cost $6,628 making each point worth 7.7 cents each.

Aer Lingus to Dublin

Aer Lingus is one of the few international carriers that doesn’t charge fuel surcharges on long haul flights. They are one of the cheapest ways to fly from the eastern United States to Ireland. One-way flights in the off-peak season cost 13,000 Avios from Zone 5 airports including Boston, New York, Washington, and Toronto. This can make each point worth 4.9 cents each when you avoid the $645 cash value price.

World of Hyatt Hotel Nights

Redeeming points for hotel nights means you don’t pay cash, but it can be difficult to get more than 1 cent value from each point. Most hotel points are worth between 0.5 and 0.7 cents. One exception is World of Hyatt whose top-end hotels only require 40,000 points nightly.

One of the most exotic destinations is the Park Hyatt Maldives for 30,000 points. Without points means you could pay $595 per night instead. This makes each point worth 1.9 cents each which is impressive for award hotel nights.

Summary on Chase Sapphire Preferred Perks

The Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus is worth $750 if you book every point for award travel through Chase. Although you might be able to get more value if you transfer them to the Ultimate Rewards transfer partners. This is one of the most exciting signup bonus and travel credit cards for a reason.

Apply Now: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Other Best Travel Credit Cards

There are many miles credit cards to choose from as most airlines and hotels offer their own rewards cards. You might also prefer a flexible travel rewards card that lets you earn and redeem rewards points with multiple loyalty programs.

These travel credit cards require a 740 credit score to have the best approval odds.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

One of my favorite cards to use for travel is the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. This card comes with a few travel perks including a 50,000 miles sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening (equal to $500 in travel). You also earn 10x miles when you book and stay at one of the thousands of hotel options available through hotels.com/venture. All other purchases earn 2x miles per dollar spent.

Learn more: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

One of the reasons this card is so popular is because you can redeem your miles for a travel statement credit. Plus, Capital One has recently added the ability to transfer miles to several travel partners, making your miles even more valuable. There are no blackout dates and your miles won’t expire, as long as you have your account open and active. There’s also no limit on how many miles you can earn.

This flexible rewards card also comes with a $100 credit to apply towards your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®. You won’t need to worry about foreign transaction fees with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. However, there is a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year.

Learn more: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Platinum Card from American Express

For premium travel credit cards, the Platinum Card from American Express is the best option for frequent flyers. You get 5x points on flights booked directly from the airline or through AmexTravel.com. Card benefits include a $200 airline fee credit, fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and complimentary airport lounge membership to The Centurion, International American Express, and Priority Pass Select, Delta Sky Club. There are many other travel and retail benefits that exceed the $550 annual fee.

Wrap Up on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best flexible travel rewards cards because of its redemption options. Your points are worth 1 cent each for cash and gift card rewards. Your points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeeming for award travel. You can also transfer them on a 1:1 basis to airline and hotel partners including Southwest, United, JetBlue, and Hyatt.

Chase also recently increased the signup bonus to 60,000 bonus points, worth $750 in travel, after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Application Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Q&A: Are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus, Benefits, and Perks Worth It? (2019)
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