The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is an excellent rewards card option for beginners. If you're new to earning points and miles, it's the first credit card you should consider. Here are 9 reasons to make the Chase Sapphire Preferred the first rewards credit card in your wallet.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits: 12+ Perks You’ll Love

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card continues to be one of the top travel rewards cards on the market. With a massive signup bonus, access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, and a host of additional benefits, it’s not hard to see why.

If you’re a beginner to travel rewards credit cards, we believe the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the first card you should get. The card’s exceptional benefits are hard to beat, especially when it comes to some important travel protections and perks.

This isn’t just a great travel rewards credit card, though. Whether you covet lucrative travel rewards or enjoy the simplicity of cash back, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is flexible enough to meet almost every need.

Want to know more? Check out these 12 Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits we’re sure you’ll love!


Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits

Now that you’ve seen some of the highlights, let’s take a closer look at our favorite Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits!

1) Massive Signup Bonus ($1,250+ Value)

The biggest benefit of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the gigantic signup bonus it offers. Here’s a quick summary of the current offer:

  • Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months
  • Bonus points are worth $1,250 in travel when redeemed through Chase travel portal
  • Points can also transfer to 13 travel partners, possibly for more value

Here’s why these points are so valuable: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card provides access to our favorite rewards program – Chase Ultimate Rewards. By spending on the card, you earn valuable points that can be redeemed in a variety of ways. Seriously, these points are like gold!

Again, you’ll earn a whopping 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points by spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months. That translates into $1,250 in travel redemptions through the Chase portal, or you can redeem them for slightly less in gift cards. Boom!

Transferring points to one of Chase’s travel partners typically provides even more valuable redemptions. And, thankfully, these points never expire as long as your account stays open.

>>MORE: Chase Sapphire Preferred Complete Review

2) Superb Travel Redemptions

We believe Chase points are the most valuable rewards points you can earn. They are super flexible and worth their weight in travel gold.

There are a variety of ways to redeem your points, but the most lucrative option is to use them on travel. Although Chase points are worth just 1 penny per point on their own, redeeming them for travel means you can get 1.25 to 2+ cents per point!

There are two ways to make this happen:

  1. Redeem points through the travel portal – You can book travel experiences directly through the Chase travel portal using Chase points. Here, your points stretch 25% further (1.25 cents/point) than their cash value! You can redeem them for things like airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises.
  2. Transfer points to partner loyalty programs – Chase points transfer to 13 popular travel partners at a 1:1 ratio. Some partner programs include Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, and more.

Transferring points to partner programs usually nets the most value per point, and it’s typically our favorite way to redeem our own points. For example, the 100,000 point signup bonus is usually more than enough to cover round-trip flights to Europe.

So yeah, these points are super valuable!

>>CHASE SAPPHIRE PREFERRED – LEARN HOW TO APPLY

3) Points Transfer to 13 Travel Partners

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is an excellent rewards card option for beginners. If you're new to earning points and miles, it's the first credit card you should consider. Here are 9 reasons to make the Chase Sapphire Preferred the first rewards credit card in your wallet.

If you’re new to rewards cards, you may not realize the commitment you’re making. It takes time, energy, and spending to earn points, so you need to make sure you’re earning the right points and miles.

That’s why a flexible rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the perfect option for getting started.

With co-branded hotel or airline cards, you’re stuck with the points you earn. For instance, earning 80,000 American miles or Hilton points means you can only redeem your points through those brands. But, what happens if you find a better deal from another airline or hotel? You’re still stuck with those points.

Thankfully, Chase points are transferable to 13 different partner programs. They can also be used to purchase travel experiences through the portal, making them a lot more flexible than points and miles offered by individual brands.

>> MORE: How to Earn and Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards

4) Pay Yourself Back

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is still a great option even if you don’t have travel plans.

One of the biggest Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits is that you can redeem points for a statement credit. In fact, your points currently go 25% further when you redeem them for a statement credit in certain rotating categories!

5) Redeem Points for Gift Cards

Would you rather redeem your points for gift cards instead? You can do that too!

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can redeem your points for gift cards at your favorite stores. Retail partners include Lowe’s, Macy’s, Amazon.com, Best Buy, and many more.

Although gift cards aren’t the most valuable way to redeem Chase points, it’s nice to know that you won’t get stuck with a boatload of points and nowhere to use them.

6) Earn Bonus Points on Travel & Dining

photo of adults eating a meal

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you’ll earn a nifty 5x points on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and 2x points on other travel purchases.

Additionally, the card offers a $50 in statement credit toward hotel stays purchased through the Chase portal.

When it comes to dining, you’ll earn 3x points on dining purchases. This even applies to ordering online for pickup or delivery from eligible stores.

Spending in these categories can add up quickly, making this a valuable card to have for these occasions.

7) Earn 5x Points on Lyft Rides

If you like to travel, chances are good you end up using a rideshare app once you reach your destination. From getting to your hotel to making it to a restaurant, apps like Lyft are a great way to get around town for less. We use them all the time and love it.

Well, wouldn’t it be nice to earn extra Chase points every time you hitch a ride? Now you can!

New for 2020, you’ll now earn 5x points every time you grab a ride with Lyft. It’s my favorite new Chase Sapphire Preferred benefit, and I plan to use it often. Of course, you’ll need to use your CSP to pay for the ride, but chances are good you’re already doing that anyway! 

8) Free DoorDash Deliveries

Also new for 2020 is a complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership. So, if you like to order-in, this is your card.

If you’ve ever used DoorDash, you know how convenient it can be. Simply order food from your favorite restaurants and have it delivered right to your door. However, you’re likely not thrilled with the delivery fees they tack on to your order, which can get spendy if you’re ordering-in a lot.

In our opinion, the most important thing you get with the DashPass membership is free delivery on orders over $12. That is a pretty hefty savings for those of us who love DoorDash!

9) Travel Insurance and Protections

Points aren’t the only benefit of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. It also provides important travel protections for those who need them. Here’s a quick look at some of them:

  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance – Get reimbursed for up to $10,000 per trip in prepaid, non-refundable travel costs if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to covered and unforeseen events. (Think illness, injury, severe weather, etc.) Of course, you must use your card or use points through the portal for the purchase.
  • Primary Auto Rental Insurance – The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers primary auto rental coverage (up to the cash value of the car) when you use your card to pay for the rental.
  • Trip Delay Insurance – Unreimbursed expenses incurred due to a flight, train, or other common carrier delay are also eligible for a reimbursement of up to $500 per ticket. The delay must be at least 12 hours, and you must have used your card when booking.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance – If your bag is delayed by more than 6 hours, a reimbursement claim for purchases on items like toiletries and clothing may be filed. Reimbursements are limited to $100 a day for up to 5 days, and your card must have been used to book.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees – Like all good travel cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card does not charge fees on foreign transactions.

10) Purchase Protection

toddler looking out window at airplanes

In addition to the travel protections, another important benefit of the Sapphire Preferred Card is that it offers additional purchase protections that anybody will love.

  • Purchase Protection Coverage – Items purchased with this card are covered for up to $500 per claim in theft or damages within the first 120 days after purchase. You are limited to a lifetime cap of $50,000.
  • Extended Warranty Coverage – The Chase Sapphire Preferred extends an additional year of warranty coverage on items purchased with your card. Items must made by U.S. manufacturers, and the original manufacturer’s warranty must cover three years or less.

11) Combine Points with Other Chase Cards

You can transfer points between many Chase cards for free, helping you to maximize your spending and increase your point haul.

Simply use cards like the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Flex, or the Chase Freedom Unlimited to earn the most points possible in a specific spending category. When you’re ready to redeem your points, simply transfer them to your CSP account to stretch them even further.

Chase Freedom Flex card

For example, the Chase Freedom Flex Card offers 5% cash back on your first $1,500 of combined spending in rotating categories each quarter. It also earns 3% cash back at restaurants and 1% cash back on everything else.

Whenever possible, it makes sense to take advantage of the 5% cash back. Then, use your Sapphire Preferred on other purchases.

The Chase Freedom Flex also offers a signup bonus of its own. You’ll earn an easy $200 cash back bonus after making just $500 in purchases the first three months. That’s practically free money! It’s also a great way to earn even more points that you can redeem for travel.

Read the review | Learn how to apply

12) Reasonable Annual Fee

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes with an annual fee of $95, but don’t let that scare you off. The sign up bonus alone more than makes up for it!

Remember also that most of the top rewards cards come with an annual fee. Many premium rewards cards also have fees which are significantly higher.

For instance, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card also offers some very valuable travel benefits. However, it comes with a hefty annual fee of $550. Although the benefits essentially cancel out the fee (and possibly more), that big number can be a hard pill to swallow.

Starting with the Sapphire Preferred Card is a great way to get your feet wet without shelling out an arm and a leg on annual fees. Unless you’re a (very) frequent traveler, we recommend starting with the CSP card first. You can always upgrade to the Reserve Card later!

>>MORE: Chase Sapphire Reserve vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Why You Should Get This Card First

To make the most of your points and miles, you’ll eventually need more than one rewards card. Since Chase Ultimate Rewards are our favorite rewards currency, it’s important to remember that Chase can sometimes be stingy with granting approvals.

Because of Chase’s 5/24 rule, applying for more than 5 cards over a 24-month period means you will not be approved for many of their best rewards cards. This includes the Chase Sapphire Preferred. While that may seem like a lot of applications, once you get deeper into the points and miles game, you’ll realize it’s not that many.

So, grab the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card while you still can. It’s arguably the best “all-around” card available, and we’d hate for you to miss out on the gigantic signup bonus because you’ve applied for too many other cards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits: Final Thoughts

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best travel rewards cards available, especially if you’re new to points and miles.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is an excellent rewards card option for beginners. If you're new to earning points and miles, it's the first credit card you should consider. Here are 9 reasons to make the Chase Sapphire Preferred the first rewards credit card in your wallet.

Flexible enough to meet all needs, the 100,000 point signup bonus is worth $1,250 in travel when booked through the Chase portal. Additionally, points can be transferred to over a dozen travel partners for even more valuable redemptions. That’s in addition to all the other Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits that the card provides (like trip cancellation/interruption insurance)!

Since the annual fee is just $95, the signup bonus easily makes the card worth it. The ongoing benefits make the card a keeper for years to come.

Pairing the card with other options helps make the most of your spending. But, if you’re new to the points and miles game, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is definitely where you should start.

Chase Sapphire Preferred: 100,000 Point Bonus – Want to earn free travel? The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 100,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 during the first three months. That’s worth $1,250 in free travel through the Chase portal, or transfer your points to over a dozen loyalty partners for even more value. Learn how to apply here.

What rewards card did you start with? Let us know in the comments below!

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the top benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred?


Currently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a 100,000 point signup bonus after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. This is equal to $1,250 in free travel when redeemed through the Chase portal.

You can also transfer points points to Chase’s travel partners for even more value.


Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred have an annual fee?


Yes. The annual fee on this card is $95.


Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred worth it?


Yes. Chase points are super flexible, and the signup bonus alone more than covers the $95 annual fee. Points can be redeemed for travel, cash back, gift cards, and more.

Additional Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits include trip cancellation/interruption coverage, primary auto rental insurance, and no foreign transaction fees.


Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred include airport lounge access?


No, the Chase Sapphire Preferred does not include access to airport lounges.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits
  • Signup Bonus
  • Point Value
  • Rewards Flexibility
  • Transfer Partners
  • Additional Benefits
  • Annual Fee
Overall
4.2

Summary

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a host of excellent benefits, including a 100,000 point signup bonus when you spend $4,000 in the first three months. That is worth $1,250 when redeemed through the Chase travel portal.

Additionally, the card offers important travel coverages like trip cancellation/interruption protection, primary auto rental insurance, no foreign transaction fees, and more. Although it doesn’t offer certain perks you’ll find on some super premium cards (like airport lounge access), we still think this is the best travel rewards card for beginners.

Learn how to apply >>

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6 Comments

  1. I typically like to compare and find flights on Orbitz, and the flights are often cheaper than if you booked directly through the airline’s website. Have you guys ever compared Orbtiz’s prices to what you get through the Chase Rewards portal? I’m wondering whether Orbitz is still the better value, particularly if you then “erase” the Orbitz payment using the Capital One Venture card. Also, if you only do one big trip a year, is the Sapphire Preferred still worthwhile?

    1. Usually, the most valuable redemption is to transfer your points directly to a partner airline. Then, book the flight using points directly with the airline (or hotel) you are using. IMO, booking through the portal is better for things like excursions, tours, etc.

      As far as whether it is worth it, signing up for the first year and getting the signup bonus is definitely worth it. The annual fee is waived for the first year, so you can “try before you buy” so to speak – except you get a huge bonus for doing it as well. After that, it’s really a matter of how much you spend on the card and how you plan to redeem your points. Since the points are so flexible and you can earn a lot on regular spending, I think it’s usually a better card than any co-branded card that requires you to spend points with a certain brand – if that makes sense.

      I hope that helps!

      1. Yes, that helps. Thank you!

  2. j. Dinsmoor says:

    I appreciate this article Greg, (thanks)

    This sounds really good, especially the signup bonus. But after that buzz wears off, I’m also looking at it this way: for redeeming points for cash, their website says, “Each point is worth $.01 (one cent), which means that 100 points equals $1 in redemption value.” Hence, the 50,000 bonus points translating to $500 if you want to redeem for cash.

    The flip-side of earning points looks like they give you 1:1 points for each dollar you spend aside from the 2x for dining, etc. if you just want to redeem for points. But if at some point I want to redeem earned points for cash, say to cover the $95 annual fee for example, does that mean I’d have to spend $9500 /year on the card which translates to the $95 cash redemption value required just to cover the cost of the card??

    Am I right?

    All other great benefits aside (ie: purchase protection and travel benefits, etc.), it seems like to exceed this card merely paying for itself and really start racking up serious points actually worth real air travel, the cardholder would need to make this a high-volume purchasing tool far beyond $9500 annually.

    Or, am I missing something?

    Knowing that I guess my next question would be how many earned points are they requiring for an earned airfare?

    Trying to figure out how these really work… Thanks for listening, sorry I feel like I’m in a counseling session. 😛

    JD

    1. Thanks for reading JD!

      As far as points go, redeeming points for cash and/or gift cards almost always provides the worst value. I’d highly recommend you avoid doing that.

      Instead, you’re likely to get far greater value by transferring your points to one of Chase’s loyalty partners. For example, 50,000 points is usually more than enough to get two round-trip flights to the Caribbean on Southwest. With that said, point values vary by loyalty program, travel dates, etc. Here’s a piece that walks you through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, including the best and worst ways to redeem your points.

      If you’re only interested in earning cash back, you can still still try the CSP for a year without a fee. However, over the long-term, you’d be better off using a cash back card with no annual fee. You can find plenty of those here: https://clubthrifty.com/go/cash-back-cards/

      I hope that helps and please feel free to reach out with any more questions.

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