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Chase Sapphire Preferred: Top 5 Reader Questions

Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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chase sapphire preferred questions

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the Nerds’ top travel credit cards. Its redemption flexibility, travel perks and massive sign-up bonus make it a reader favorite. But because plenty of great travel cards compete with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, many consumers may still have questions about whether this is the best card for them. The Nerds have compiled the top questions we get about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to help you make the right decision.

Q: Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card accepted everywhere when you travel?

Purchases made with your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are processed through Visa. Because Visa is more widely accepted than American Express and Discover, you probably won’t run into many problems trying to use your Visa card either domestically or internationally. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also charges no foreign transaction fees and has an EMV chip for more security and wider acceptance overseas.

Q: Do the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card bonus travel awards apply when I book through any vendor? For example, do I get 2X points if I book travel on Orbitz?

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Cardholders earn 2 points per dollar spent on travel when using the card to pay for airfare, hotels, cruises, rental cars, train tickets, taxis, tolls and more. A Chase representative told the Nerds that travel discount sites like Orbitz are included in that definition.

Q: Can you apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card if you don’t live in the U.S.?

According to Chase’s site, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is available only for people living in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

Q: Should I get the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card?

When you’re deciding between two credit cards, it’s important to review each card’s features and how they fit your needs. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rewards cardholders early with a big sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card offers a lower bonus: 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also offers great redemption options, including a 20% bonus for booking travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards site and several transfer partners. If you spend a lot on travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2X bonus points on travel purchases and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card, however, offers a flat 1.5 points for every dollar you spend, making it a better choice if the bulk of your spending is non-travel-related.

The BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card may appeal more to the frugal crowd with its $0 annual fee, compared with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s $0 for the first year, then $95.

The biggest reason you might choose the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card is if you’re a Bank of America® Preferred Rewards client. Depending on how much you have in Bank of America® banking accounts and/or Merrill Lynch® and Merrill Edge® investment accounts, you can earn up to 75% more points on your everyday purchases.

Check out our full review of the BankAmericard Travel Rewards® credit card to learn more and to apply.

Q: Is the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card better than the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card?

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card’s biggest advantage is offering 2X miles on every purchase, regardless of the category, giving it great long-term value. You can also earn a nice sign-up bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $400 in travel. You can use your miles and/or cash to book travel on Capital One’s travel platform, which is powered by Orbitz. Its annual fee is quite low for a top-tier travel card: $0 for the first year, then $59.

One thing to consider: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card doesn’t have any transfer partners, in case you want to move your rewards points to another rewards program. The Chase Ultimate Rewards program, on the other hand, offers 11 transfer partners.

Both credit cards offer similar sign-up bonuses in terms of points, but the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s bonus is more valuable because its points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeeming for travel, versus 1 cent per mile with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also offers a 5,000 point bonus when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first three months. That and the sign-up bonus combine for great short-term value if you have a trip coming up.

Check out our full review of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card to learn more and to apply.

The takeaway: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best travel credit card by most standards, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. Before applying for this or any other card, be sure to ask the right questions to make sure it fits your needs and lifestyle.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Twitter: @benluthi.

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