I love rewards cards, but none of them make me swoon quite like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Seriously, this card has everything that a rewards junkie could ever need. We think it’s the best travel credit card for beginners and one of our top recommendations for cards across all categories.

When it comes to big incentives, this card is hard to beat. The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns you 2X points on travel and restaurants with 1X points on everything else. But, the biggest draw is its ginormous signup bonus.

After spending $4,000 in 3 months, you’ll earn 60,000 bonus points. Those are worth $750 in travel when booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Plus, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to 13 of the world’s top airline and hotel chains. Personally, I can’t get enough of these rewards, and that’s just one reason I love this card!

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Highlights

Chase Sapphire Preferred CardThinking about getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card but need more info? Here you go:

  • Signup Bonus: 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. Those points transfer to 13 different travel partners and are worth $750 in travel when booking through the Chase portal.
  • Earn Points on Spending: Earns unlimited 2X points per dollar on travel and restaurants; 1X points on all other spending.
  • Awesome Travel Partners: Points transfer to 13 different partners at 1:1 ratio. Partners include brands like United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Air France (Flying Blue), Hyatt, Marriott, IHG, and Ritz-Carlton.
  • Travel Protections: Offers trip cancellation/interruption coverage, primary auto coverage on rental cars, and no foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual Fee: Annual fee of $95 (no longer waived).

Seriously, what’s not to like? I’ve had this card for several years, and it continues to be my favorite “top of wallet” card.

Learn how to apply here

Where It Shines

If you love to travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card should occupy a permanent spot in your wallet.

One of the biggest perks is earning Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. Again, those points transfer to a host of awesome hotel and airline loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. Additionally, your points go 25% further when you use them to book side trips and other travel experiences through the Chase Rewards portal.

The card also offers no foreign transaction fees and several different travel insurance and reimbursement options. I’ve personally used the trip delay reimbursement before, and it worked splendidly. I’ve also used it to book several rental cars due to its primary auto collision coverage.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the signup bonus again.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers one of the most generous sign up bonus offers around, which is great if you love reduced or free travel!

You’ll be awarded 60,000 bonus points (equal to $750 in travel costs through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal) after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Additionally, you’ll earn 2X points on travel and restaurants plus 1X points on everything else.

As a travel rewards enthusiast, it’s not just my favorite deal around; it’s the first card I recommend to anybody wanting to save on travel.

Don’t want to use it for travel? This card is still great!

You can redeem your 60,000 points for gift cards. Cash those puppies in at Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, Kohl’s, Macy’s, and more. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, it’s hard to go wrong.

Follow the link to read more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits.

Tips for Getting the Most from Your Card

If you think the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is for you, there are plenty of ways to maximize its benefits.

First, be sure to use the card when you travel. Book hotels, airline tickets, and rental cars to take advantage of the 2X points you’ll receive per dollar spent. You’ll also enjoy the various travel protections provided by the card whenever you use it to book. Or, use the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn for discounts and free stuff. And don’t forget, you get 25% more value on a plethora of travel-related activities and excursions just by shopping through the Chase portal.

Southwest rapid rewards premier credit cardOne of our favorite ways to use the card is to pair it with a Chase Southwest Visa credit card like the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card. Right now, you’ll earn 40,000 points when you spend just $1,000 in the first three months on the card. If you spend $5,000 in the first six months, you’ll grab another 35,000 points! Since Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio, having both cards is a smart way to build both stashes of points.

Even if you don’t like to fly Southwest, it’s still a great deal since you can redeem 50,000 Southwest miles for $500 in gift cards through Southwest as well.

What You May Not Like

Of course, no credit card is perfect. Here are a couple of things about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card that might turn you off:

  • Annual Fee: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card does have an annual fee of $95. Unfortunately, under the new offer, it is no longer waived for the first year.
  • High Minimum Spending Requirement: Because the card comes with one of the most valuable signup bonuses around, it also comes with one of the largest spending requirements. The $4,000 you’ll have to spend in the first 3 months can be a bit steep. There are ways to do it though. In addition to using it for all of your household expenses, you may be able to use your card to pay your mortgage and other big-ticket items.
  • Balance Transfers: If you’re looking to consolidate credit card balances, look elsewhere. While many balance transfer cards offer an introductory APR of 0%, you won’t find it here. Try picking up a good balance transfer card instead.

Alternatives to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

If you like the idea of a flexible rewards card but are nervous about the minimum spending requirement or annual fee, you have other options. Some cards allow you to earn points and miles toward statement credits, still saving you money on travel.

image of capital one venture rewards cardFor instance, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is an excellent alternative. Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Venture Rewards card provides a 50,000 point welcome offer. These points are good for $500 in travel, but you need to spend $3,000 in the first 3 months to earn the bonus. Rather than transferring points to a loyalty program, you simply apply your points as a statement credit toward travel expenses (like a hotel stay or airfare). That means you’ll never have to deal with blackout dates. You can also choose any brand you like.

Learn how to apply here

Wrapping Up

For me, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is still the best rewards card around – at least for beginners. The points are flexible, the benefits are great, and the signup bonus is fantastic.

If you love to travel, you need to check it out today!

Learn how to apply here