If you’re only going to get one travel credit card, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent choice.
It’s one of our favorite travel credit cards here at Extra Pack of Peanuts, and it was my go-to card for years (until Chase introduced the Sapphire Reserve).
Below, I’ll break down what makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred such an excellent card, but here are a few fast facts:
- Earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in 3 months.
- Get 2x points on all dining and travel purchases.
- Low annual fee of just $95.
Sound like a great offer? Keep reading to find out why it gets even better.
5 Impressive Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits
What makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred such an excellent travel credit card? Here are five of our favorite benefits:
1. Earn 60,000 Bonus Points
Without a doubt, the most impressive benefit of the Chase Sapphire Preferred is its sign-up bonus. When you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening this card, you’ll earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
If you’re not familiar with Chase Ultimate Rewards points, they’re some of the most valuable credit card points out there. You can redeem them for up to $750 worth of airfare, hotel stays, cruises, or car rentals.
What would you be able to do with $750 in free travel?
2. Earn 2x Points on Dining and Travel Purchases
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a credit card built for people who like to get out and see the world. When you use your card for restaurant and travel purchases, you’ll get double the points.
Plus, Chase is very generous in what they define as “travel purchases.” So whether you’re getting a hotel, renting a car, booking a flight, or even booking an Airbnb, you’ll earn double points.
For all other purchases you make with your Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn 1 point per dollar you spend.
3. 1:1 Point Transfer to Top Hotel and Loyalty Programs
Chase Ultimate Rewards points already get you access to great deals on airfare, hotel stays, and other travel necessities.
But what if you want to use your points to book travel with an airline, hotel, or other company that isn’t part of Chase Ultimate Rewards?
Don’t worry. One of the great benefits of Chase Ultimate Rewards points is that you can transfer them to pretty much any airline or hotel rewards program you can think of.
For instance, if you want to use your points to book a Southwest flight, you can transfer them to your Rapid Rewards account with just a few clicks. The points will then be instantly available for booking flights, hotels, or rental cars.
And with a 1:1 transfer rate, you don’t have to worry about your points losing value. Your 60,000 points are worth the same at Southwest, Aer Lingus, JetBlue, Marriott, and plenty of other great travel partners.
4. Low Annual Fee
For many premium travel credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum, you’ll pay hundreds of dollars in annual fees.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you pay a low annual fee of just $95. This makes it a great way to get access to one of the most valuable rewards programs out there without breaking the bank.
5. No Foreign Transaction Fees
No matter where in the world you’re traveling, you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees for using your Chase Sapphire Preferred.
While this is a common feature of most travel credit cards, it’s still a nice perk to be aware of.
What Credit Score Do You Need for Chase Sapphire Preferred?
One of the most common questions that people have about the Chase Sapphire Preferred is what credit score they need to qualify for the card.
To be clear, your credit score isn’t the only factor that Chase will evaluate when you apply for this credit card. They’ll also look at your income, available lines of credit, and the number of Chase credit cards you’ve applied for.
Having said that, we don’t recommend applying for this credit card unless you have a Good – Excellent credit score. This means a score of at least 700, and ideally higher than 800.
It’s still possible that Chase will approve you with a lower score, but having a higher score will improve your chances.
Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Worth It?
We think that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for anyone who travels. Even if you only travel a couple of times per year, the sign-up bonus could easily cover the bulk of your travel expenses.
Still, this card isn’t right for everyone. To decide if it’s best for you, you need to answer the following questions:
- Can you responsibly meet the minimum spend?
- How many times per year do you travel?
1. Can You Responsibly Meet the Minimum Spend?
To get the 60,000 point bonus, you’ll need to spend $4,000 on your Chase Sapphire Preferred within 3 months of opening your account.
You should only get the Chase Sapphire Preferred if you can responsibly spend that amount. You should never spend more than you can afford to pay back just to qualify for credit card reward bonuses.
In order to make meeting the minimum spend easier, we recommend signing up for the card when you’re about to make a big purchase. And if you’re looking for other ways to (responsibly) meet the minimum spend, we’ve come up with 25 creative methods.
If you want a travel rewards card with a lower minimum spend, we recommend looking into the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority ($2,000 minimum spend) or the IHG Rewards Club Premier ($2,000 minimum spend). Learn more about these cards here.
2. How Many Times Per Year Do You Travel?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is best for infrequent travelers. We define this as someone who travels 3x per year or less.
If you travel more than 3x per year, we highly recommend looking into the Chase Sapphire Reserve instead. It has a higher annual fee than the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but it also offers way more value to the frequent traveler:
- $300 annual travel credit.
- Free access to airport lounges across the world.
- Free TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.
- Plus, all the same benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Check out our full Chase Sapphire Reserve Review to learn more.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best travel credit cards on the market:
- The 60,000 point sign-up bonus will earn you $750 in travel when you redeem through Chase.
- You’ll earn 2x points on all dining and travel purchases around the world.
- You can transfer your points 1:1 to a variety of travel partners such as Southwest and Marriott.
- The $95 annual fee is manageable for most people.
If you travel 3x per year or less, I absolutely recommend you check out the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Learn more about the card here.