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The Chase Sapphire Preferred is at the top of our list of starter travel rewards cards.

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Between a digestible $95 annual fee, valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to over a dozen hotel and airline partners, and easy ways to earn points, this is a top card for rewards beginners and experts alike.

For more on our ratings methodology, click here.

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Pros

  • Points are easily transferable to airlines and hotel partners.
  • Accelerated earnings on dining, travel & household purchases.
  • Excellent travel and purchase protections.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Cons

  • Not ideal for the highest spenders.
  • $95 annual fee.

Offer Details

Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 60,000 Points
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-5X Points

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Full Review

There’s no one best travel credit card that’s right for everyone, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred actually works like having over a dozen different rewards credit cards. That’s because this credit card allows you to transfer your rewards points into miles with 11 airlines and points with three hotel programs.

Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred might not be ideal for the most frequent travelers and highest spenders, it’s part of a family of Chase cards that has a built-in upgrade path. So when it comes time to take your travel rewards game to the next level, you won’t have to start from scratch with an entirely different credit card and rewards program.


Bonus Offer

New cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after using their new credit card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. Right off the bat, this bonus is worth $750 when redeeming points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. However, it’s possible to squeeze even more value out of this bonus if you know the best ways to redeem your points.

Our points and miles guide estimates that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth an average of 2.2 cents per dollar when redeemed for travel. That means this bonus could potentially be worth $1,320 (or more) if you can find a way to redeem your points for their maximum value.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus is generally regarded as among the best credit card bonuses available.

Referral Bonus Program

Once you’ve become a Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholder, you can also earn additional points through Chase’s Refer-a-Friend program. Earn up to 75,000 bonus points per year by referring friends for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. That’s 15,000 bonus points for each friend who gets approved.


Rewards

This credit card offers accelerated rewards earning for travel and dining purchases.

Bonus CategoryRewards RateLimit
Travel booked through Chase5x points per dollarNone
Dining3x points per dollarNone
Select Streaming Services3x points per dollarNone
Online Grocery Purchases†3x points per dollarNone
Travel2x points per dollarNone
Other Purchases1x pointNone

†Excludes Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 5x points per dollar spent on all travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), 3x points on select streaming services3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs) and 2x points per dollar spent on travel purchases. In fact, Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred awards 1x point per dollar on all other spending.


Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits

In addition to the limited-time offer of a 60,000 point bonus and accelerated earnings for travel, household and dining purchases, the Chase Sapphire Preferred features some of the best travel and purchase protections available.

  • $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit: A statement credit will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for hotel accommodation purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards program, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $50. It’s important to note that the first $50 in Ultimate Rewards hotel purchases each year will not earn rewards points.
  • 10% Anniversary Point Boost: Receive a 10% point bonus each account anniversary. The bonus is based on the number of points you earned throughout the previous year, excluding the sign-up bonus. So if you earned 20,000 points using your Sapphire Preferred, then you’ll receive an anniversary bonus of 2,000 points.
  • Complimentary DashPass: Cardholders are given access to DoorDash’s DashPass service – which waives delivery fees and reduces service fees at select restaurants – for a minimum of one year. To qualify for DashPass, make sure to activate the offer by December 31, 2024.
  • Chase Dining: Similarly, Ultimate Rewards Points are worth 25% more when redeemed through the new Chase Dining hub in Chase Ultimate Rewards. Cardmembers can explore the new Chase Dining Hub’s secure website.
  • Pay Yourself Back: With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: The credit card issuer does not charge any foreign transaction fees for international purchases.

Travel Protections

The Sapphire Preferred offers valuable travel insurance benefits including trip cancellation, trip interruption and baggage and trip delay protections.

  • Trip Cancellation: This policy covers you for up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip for cancellation of a trip for a covered reason such as injuries or sickness of the traveler or an immediate family member, as well as severe weather, military orders or jury duty.
  • Trip Interruption: This policy also covers you for up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip when your trip is interrupted for a covered reason.
  • Baggage Delay: This benefit can reimburse you for up to $100 per day for up to five days when your luggage is delayed for at least six hours.
  • Rental Car Insurance: This benefit covers your rental car for collision damage or theft, so long as you decline the optional insurance and pay for the rental with your card.

Purchase Protections

When shopping online or in-person, the Chase Sapphire Preferred includes purchase protection for damage or theft up to 120 days and an automatic extended manufacturer’s warranty where applicable.

  • Purchase Protection: Your purchases made with your card are covered for theft and accidental damage for 120 days from the date of purchase. The limit is $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extended Manufacturer’s Warranty: This coverage offers you an additional year on your manufacturer’s warranty, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are travel rewards points from the card issuer Chase. Points are best redeemed for non-refundable travel expenses, either through the Ultimate Rewards website or by transferring them to travel partners.

According to our points and miles valuation guide, Chase points are worth 2.2 cents each. That’s in the top tier of rewards points.

The list of Chase Ultimate Rewards airline partners includes:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Aeroplan/Air Canada
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer)
  • Southwest
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

Chase Ultimate Rewards gives you access to all of the three big airline alliances. For example, you could use British Airways points to book flights on American Airlines.

The list of Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel partners includes:

  • Hyatt
  • IHG
  • Marriott

Marriott has the biggest list of properties of any hotel chain in the world. The Hyatt program has gained popularity since Marriott launched its new Bonvoy program, however.

IHG also offers a large list of popular and luxury brands. In fact, Chase offers a fee-free IHG co-branded card that offers great value and a big signup bonus for a no-annual-fee credit card.

Is the Sapphire Preferred Right for You?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the gold standards for earning travel rewards. It starts you off with a generous sign-up bonus, and then continues to offer strong value by allowing you to earn double points on all travel and dining expenses.

But when it comes time to redeem your rewards for travel, this credit card really shines. You can take advantage of some really strong transfer partners such as United, Southwest, Singapore, Virgin Atlantic and Hyatt. Or, you can very easily just book any reservation you want through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel center. Plus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus is among our best credit card bonuses.

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Read More About Chase:

  • Review of the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program for Travel

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum credit limit for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?

Chase will evaluate your credit report and, if approved, will assign you a limit based on your creditworthiness. The minimum credit limit for the Chase Sapphire Preferred is $5,000, according to Chase’s terms and conditions. The issuer does not publish the maximum credit limit an applicant will receive after approval. However, anecdotal accounts from cardholders online report access to limits between $10,000 to as much as $20,000.

 How do I avoid the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card’s annual fee?

You can avoid the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card’s annual fee by being an active duty servicemember or by simply asking the issuer to waive the fee. For eligible servicemembers, Chase will need to confirm your military status, which is typically done during the initial application process.

Otherwise, if you choose to call Chase customer service, your agent may offer a one-time waiver for the annual fee. In some cases, they may offer you a statement credit equal to the amount of the annual fee. Keep in mind that Chase is under no obligation to grant you an annual fee waiver.

How many Chase Ultimate Rewards Points do you need for a flight?

You’ll likely need between 10,000 and 40,000 points for a free one-way economy flight booked through Ultimate Rewards Travel.

You’ll need even more points if you want to fly mixed class, premium economy, or business class for free. Bear in mind that the amount of points you’ll actually need for a free ticket will depend on an airline’s variable pricing factors, such as the destination, time of day, date of travel, and demand, to name a few.

Also, you can redeem points for outsized value by transferring your Ultimate Rewards to a Chase travel partner, but the average number of points you’ll need varies widely depending on the transfer rate and a specific airline’s rewards schedule.

 What credit score do you need for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card?

While there isn’t an official credit score requirement for the card, most online affiliates estimate that you’ll need “good” to “excellent” credit scores. As a rule of thumb, higher credit scores are more likely to be approved.