Courtesy of Alila Napa Valley
You only need 30,000 points for an award night at luxury resort Alila Napa Valley.
From 80,000 bonus points to excellent redemption options and travel protections, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best rewards credit cards.
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Since it first appeared in 2009, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has become one of the most popular travel rewards credit cards. Not only does it rack up bonus points on travel and dining, but those points also can be redeemed various ways, including for trips booked through the Chase travel portal or by transferring to the Ultimate Rewards program’s airline and hotel partners, such as Southwest, United, Hyatt, and Marriott.
Right now, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is offering its best bonus ever, with the chance to earn up to 100,000 points. Besides all those points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred also includes an array of other perks that make it worthwhile. Here are nine reasons why you should apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred right now and all the ways you can maximize this card’s many benefits.
First and foremost is the card’s current, historically high sign-up bonus. You can earn up to 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
That’s 40,000 more points than this card normally proffers, and since points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred are worth 1.25 cents apiece toward travel, 100,000 points are worth $1,250.
This is the best bonus the Chase Sapphire Preferred has ever extended, so if you don’t already have this card, it’s reason enough to apply.
Like many other travel rewards cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred does charge an annual fee, but it’s only $95. Compare that to more premium products like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which charges $550 per year. While the Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t confer nearly as many perks as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, if you don’t care about things like airport lounge access or a Global Entry application fee statement credit, you’re not missing out on much.
One feature that makes this card so compelling is that while it earns one point per dollar on most purchases, it accrues a solid two per dollar on travel and dining. And that’s not just sitting in a café or buying an airplane ticket.
Dining includes in-restaurant charges, of course, but also takeout and even many delivery services including DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats. Most of us are probably ready for a few big meals out after mainly cooking at home for over a year during lockdowns and working from home. So depending on how much you spend on dining, you could really rack up the points.
As for travel, Chase covers a wide variety of purchases in this category, too. They include the usual suspects like airfare and hotel stays, plus train tickets, cruises, timeshares, campgrounds, and even buses, taxis, rideshares, parking lots, and toll roads and bridges. That means even more opportunities to stock up on points no matter what mode of transportation you’re taking.
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You may not have used a lot of these services in the past year, but now that states and regions are opening up, you might want to get a few trips in where you can supercharge your earning.
It doesn’t matter how many points you have if there aren’t good ways to use them. Luckily, Chase Ultimate Rewards are among the most versatile rewards points.
With this card, you can redeem points for travel reservations purchased through the Chase portal at a rate of 1.25 cents apiece. Among the bookings you can make are flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, vacation rentals, and activities.
However, what truly sets Ultimate Rewards points apart is that they transfer on a 1:1 basis (and nearly instantaneously in most cases) to the following airlines and hotels:
Chase airline partners
Chase hotel partners
That opens up many potential travel options. For instance, you could convert Chase points to British Airways Avios and redeem them at great rates for tickets on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines from the West Coast to Hawaii (just 13,000 each way in economy) among other possibilities.
You could transfer them to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points and redeem them for cheap flights on Delta like 50,000 each way in business class between the U.S. and Europe (excluding the U.K.). Or by converting Ultimate Rewards into Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, you can redeem them for that airline’s fabulous business- and first-class seats between the U.S. and Asia.
If you’re strapped for cash, you can also redeem Chase points at one cent apiece for statement credits toward your purchases in a pinch. However, thanks to the issuer’s “Pay Yourself Back” feature, Ultimate Rewards points earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred can be redeemed at the better 1.25-cent rate for statement credits toward certain purchases now through December 31, 2021, including charges at grocery and home improvement stores, as well as on dining.
Those redemption partners alone make the Chase Sapphire Preferred a great choice for international travelers. However, the card also waives pesky foreign transaction fees, which tend to run between 1 and 3 percent on purchases made abroad with other cards. It can also come in handy when things go wrong on the road.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has very thorough travel and purchase protections, which are practically unmatched among cards with annual fees under $100.
Its trip interruption and cancellation insurance covers up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip (if more than one person is traveling) for covered reasons, such as severe weather that prevents your trip from beginning or continuing, or if you become ill suddenly prior to or during travel. Its travel accident coverage maxes out at $500,000.
If your common carrier, like an airline or train, is delayed more than six hours, you can claim up to $500 in reimbursement for things like meals and lodging. It will also cover lost bags up to $3,000 per person, and those who are delayed by six hours or more up to $100 per day to pay for replacement toiletries and clothes.
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It is also one of the few cards that provides primary auto rental insurance against theft or damage to the vehicle up to its actual value. So you don’t have to purchase an expensive plan from your rental agency, and if you get dinged or dented on a trip, you won’t have to make a claim through your personal car insurance and risk a policy price hike.
Whip this card out for souvenirs, too, since its purchase protection against theft or damage lasts for 120 days after purchase and will cover up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
One underutilized perk of the Chase Sapphire Preferred is that you can use it to score value-added benefits on hotel stays via the Visa Signature Hotels portal. When you book a stay through there, you are entitled to the following perks at over 900 luxury hotels that participate:
It’s basically like having hotel elite status without having to spend dozens of nights each year with a particular chain.
In the past year or so, Chase has also introduced a number of nontravel benefits for the Chase Sapphire Preferred among others of its cards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders, specifically, can register for a year or more of complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership, which normally costs $9.99 per month and entitles you to waived delivery fees and reduced service fees on eligible orders of $12 or more on both DoorDash and Caviar. You just need to activate by December 31, 2021.
If you’ve adjusted to an at-home fitness routine during the pandemic, your Chase Sapphire Preferred might earn you up to $60 back in statement credits on Peloton Digital ($12.99 per month) and All-Access Membership ($39 per month) through December 31, 2021, when you enroll through a dedicated landing page.
Carrying a Chase Sapphire Preferred also gets you invited to exclusive cardholder events such as intimate one-off dinners with celebrity chefs like Thomas Keller (some of which have transitioned to at-home occasions for those who still feel more comfortable eating in).
The issuer scores cardholders discounts, expanded ticket sales, preferred seating, and behind-the-scenes access at various concerts and sporting events as well as some festivals like Sundance. These have been mostly paused during the pandemic, but are starting to return now that health restrictions are easing.
Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred is primarily a travel rewards credit card, its benefits go well beyond simply earning and redeeming points for trips. Not only does it include some of the best travel and purchase protections of any credit card, but it also entitles you to discounts and exclusives with services like DoorDash, Peloton, Visa Signature Hotels, and Lyft.
Plus, when you are ready to travel again, the stash of bonus points you can earn with the card’s current best-ever welcome offer can come in handy in myriad ways, from award tickets and hotel stays booked via the Ultimate Rewards program’s transfer partners to other experiences you can reserve directly through Chase. If you missed out on the card’s last 100,000-point offer, don’t hesitate this time; there’s no telling if the Chase Sapphire Preferred will have another offer as generous in the future.
While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available. This article was published May 18, 2021, and updated on June 4, 2021.
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