How to Get the Most from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Dan MillerJuly 13, 2020

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the top rated credit cards out there. It’s especially beneficial for people who already have good credit and finances but are just starting to focus on credit card rewards. The Sapphire Preferred checks almost all of the boxes. It has a great welcome offer, its points are easy to use and it has above-average benefits.

Here’s a look at some of the top benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to help you get the most out of this popular card.

Earn points by charging purchases

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card currently has a great welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You’ll earn 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points on Lyft purchases (through March 2022), 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1 point on all other purchases. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with an annual fee of $95.

Get 25% more value when you redeem points for travel

If you have the Chase Freedom Flex℠ or the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are worth 1 cent each when you redeem them for travel, and you can’t transfer your points to Chase’s hotel or airline partners. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, points can be used to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal for a value of 1.25 cents per point.

That makes a 60,000-point welcome offer worth at least $750. Or you can transfer your points to one of Chase’s 13 hotel and airline travel partners. This flexibility is one of the features that makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card such a great option. The 25% boost when you book in the travel portal, combined with the option of transferring points to airline, hotel and other partner programs, is one of the best benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Enjoy the card’s other valuable perks

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you’ll also get:

  • No foreign transaction fees.

  • One year of DashPass, which gives a $0 delivery fee and lower service fees on DoorDash orders over $12.

  • Purchase protection of up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account if your new purchases are stolen or damaged.

  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance of up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip.

  • Baggage delay insurance covering the purchase of toiletries and clothing, up to $100 a day, if your bags are lost or delayed more than six hours.

  • Trip delay insurance, which covers you for things like meals and hotel stays, up to $500 per ticket, if your trip is delayed more than 12 hours (or overnight).

  • Rental car insurance (more below).

Use the rental car insurance

The car insurance that comes with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of its best benefits. If you pay for your rental car with your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or with Chase Ultimate Rewards® points earned with your card, you’ll be covered for theft and collision damage up to the cash value of the car. This coverage is for most rental cars in the U.S. and most countries abroad. The coverage is primary, and you’ll need to decline the rental company's collision insurance. This can mean big savings if a rental car is part of your trip.

Compare: Preferred vs. Reserve

In addition to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase also offers the Chase Sapphire Reserve® — its ultra-premium card. There are some important differences:

  • Annual fee: $95 for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and $550 for the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

  • Earnings rate: 2x points on travel and dining for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card compared to 3x on the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

  • Redemption rate: 1.25 cents per point on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and 1.5 cents per point on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® when redeemed through the travel portal (ongoing benefit) or redeemed for a statement credit (through Sept. 30, 2020, as part of the COVID-19 response).

  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with a $300 annual travel credit, along with Priority Pass airport lounge access and a $100 TSA Precheck or Global Entry credit.

  • Both cards have primary rental car coverage: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card covers the actual value of the car while the limit on the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is $75,000.

Is the Preferred card’s annual fee worth it?

The $95 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is not waived the first year. However, the Chase Ultimate Rewards® points that you’ll get as a welcome bonus more than offset it, at least for the first year.

After that you’ll have to decide how valuable the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is for your spending and travel patterns. If you have other Chase cards like the Chase Freedom® or the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, it’s valuable to also have a premium card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. That way your Chase points are worth more in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal and you have the ability to transfer to hotel and airline partners.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:

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