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If you’ve spent any time researching how to travel with points and miles, you may already be familiar with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. With 3x Ultimate Rewards® points on dining and 2x Ultimate Rewards® points on travel, this card can help travelers get to their next destination for a low price quickly.
The ability to transfer points to more than a dozen travel partners or redeem them at a rate of 1.25 cents per point through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® site are great benefits, but there are a lot of overlooked reasons to add this metal card to your wallet. From the many ways to multiply points earnings to strong travel insurance benefits just for using the card, there’s a lot to like. Here are five reasons you may want to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
1. You can pair it with other Chase cards through Ultimate Rewards®
Many people starting in the points and miles game go for a credit card that has no annual fee and offers good cash-back rewards. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a favorite beginner card because of its unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter when they’re activated by cardholders, in addition to other category bonuses. For those who would prefer regular rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers an ongoing 1.5% cash back on every purchase without categories to activate, plus 5% cash back on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores and 5% back on groceries up to $12,000 in the first calendar year.
» Learn more: Chase 5/24 rule explained
But both cards become more powerful when paired with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The cash back earned on either of the Freedom cards is convertible to Ultimate Rewards® points at a rate of 100 Ultimate Rewards® points per $1 in earned cash back. From there, points can be transferred to other partners or used through Ultimate Rewards® travel at the rate of 1.25 cents per point. If you were to max out the quarterly 5% cash-back categories on the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you could earn up to an additional 30,000 Ultimate Rewards® points per year.
» Learn More: Cash back or points — which rewards strategy is right for you?
If you decide to take cash back after conversion, you can still claim it through Ultimate Rewards®. When using points to pay for card charges, Ultimate Rewards® are worth 1 cent each; a $150 redemption would cost 15,000 points.
2. You can stack bonuses with Shop Through Chase
In addition to getting more points by using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card with Shop Through Chase®, you can earn rewards from some store loyalty programs. As a result, not only will you earn a sizeable amount of Ultimate Rewards® points for your normal spending, but you can also get extra rewards.
» Learn more: Before you shop, drop into your credit card bonus mall.
3. You can earn up to 50,000 points every year by referring friends
Many credit card issuers offer referral bonuses when you recommend their card to friends and family. When you refer the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and someone uses your link to get approved for a card, you could receive a generous reward.
For each person referred, you can earn 10,000 Ultimate Rewards® points. The maximum amount of points you can earn each year is 50,000, for five approved referrals. If you can refer five new cardholders every year, you could earn the equivalent of $625 in benefits.
4. You can enjoy strong travel insurance benefits
While earning extra points and using them toward free travel is a compelling reason to hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the card pays for its $95 annual fee when the unforeseen happens abroad. In the event of an emergency, the card’s benefits can help cardholders get treatment or even get home faster.
When travelers pay for their airfare and hotel using either their Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ultimate Rewards® points, they automatically qualify for several travel insurance benefits. The benefits include:
Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance: If an injury, illness, severe weather or other qualified loss forces a cancelled trip or an urgent return home, travelers may be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip to cover prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses.
Trip delay reimbursement: If a common carrier (airline, train, bus line, etc.) is delayed for over 12 hours, travelers may get reimbursed up to $500 for emergency expenses. Qualifying expenses include meals and hotel rooms.
Baggage delay insurance: If the airline loses your luggage for over six hours, the card may provide reimbursement for essential purchases, such as toiletries, clothing and one phone charger per passenger. A maximum of $100 per day for up to five days applies.
» Learn more: Do you need travel insurance? Ask these questions before you buy.
As with any travel insurance plan, there are some limitations. The itinerary must be paid for by either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ultimate Rewards® points earned through the card. Trips bought using Ultimate Rewards® points transferred to partner programs, such as United Airlines MileagePlus or Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, don’t count.
5. You can take advantage of primary auto rental collision damage waiver
One of the best benefits offered by credit cards is the collision damage waiver for rental cars. If accidental damage happens to a rented vehicle, your credit card insurance may provide coverage. However, there are two common downsides to the benefit: The insurance is secondary to any other coverage and it is limited to accidental damage.
This is another area where the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card shines. When you decline a rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to this card, it provides primary coverage up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
Again, certain limitations apply. This coverage may not apply to personal items stolen from the car or losses reported after 60 days. In addition, if the rental car driver is drunk and causes an accident, the damage waiver is considered null and void.
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 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card