The Ultimate Travel Companion: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Explained


Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Guide

Maybe you’re just starting out with this whole traveling with points thing. Or maybe you already have this card and you want to better utilize it’s features and benefits. Either way, you’re in the right place. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is my go to recommendation for anyone looking to get started in this hobby. With its long list of travel benefits, flexible redemption options, and a super valuable welcome bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers value to pretty much everyone. In this guide, we’ll dive deep into what makes this card a must-have for anyone looking to elevate their travel experience.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Best travel card for beginners: Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Since offers change so frequently, visit my Best Offers page for the current welcome offer!
  • $50 hotel credit
  • 5X on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel, 3X on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target and wholesale clubs) and 3X points on dining
  • $95 annual fee

Travel Benefits

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is packed with travel benefits that help you get more value out of your points and that take away some of the things I worry about when traveling (like if my bag never shows up and I have nothing to wear for a week!). From trip cancellation/interruption insurance and baggage delay coverage to rental car insurance and travel accident insurance, this card offers so much more than just points. Here are some of my favorite benefits.

  • Hotel credit: $50 annual hotel credit when booking in the Chase travel portal
  • More valuable points: 25% more value when booking in the Chase travel portal
  • Transfer partners: Allows you to transfer any Chase Ultimate Rewards points in your household to a long list of valuable transfer partners
  • Purchase protection. Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: If your trip is cancelled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per person and $20,0000 per trip for our pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: Benefits kick in if your flight is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, and then you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.
  • Primary rental car insurance: Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to the actual cash value of the vehicle for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Baggage delay insurance: Reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over six hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for five days.


Despite all that it offers, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes with a really reasonable annual fee of $95. And if you make a point to use the $50 annual hotel credit that drops the cost to just $45!


You will need to have a good to excellent credit score to be approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. So a score over 670 is best.

You’ll also need to be under 5/24 in order to be approved. Not sure what that means? Check out my beginner’s guide to nearly free travel where I go over this concept more in depth!

If you have received a welcome bonus on either the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve in the last 48 months, you will not be eligible to open this card again, quite yet. But don’t worry! After 48 months has past from the time you last received a Sapphire bonus, you’ll be able to downgrade your card to a no annual fee Chase card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or the Chase Freedom Flex and then reapply for a second welcome bonus (as long as you meet the previous requirements).

Transfer Partners

Probably the most valuable feature of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is its extensive list of transfer partners. Just by having this card you open up the ability to transfer your points to airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. If you have followed me for any length of time, you have probably heard me talk about transferring our Chase points to Hyatt. THIS is the primary reason we keep at least one of these cards open at all times.

Since Chase is the only major bank program that transfers to Hyatt, and Hyatt is one of the BEST points and miles sweet spots for getting huge value for your points, I suggest always keeping one of these cards around.

Here is a complete list of Chase transfer partners:

How to Redeem Points

Redeeming points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is easy and flexible. Whether you’re booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, transferring points to travel partners, or redeeming for cash back or gift cards, you’ll have no shortage of options for putting your points to good use.

Here’s a quick look at the kind of value you would get for 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards:

  • Cash Back: $600
  • Booking travel in the Chase Travel Portal: $750
  • Transferring points to travel partners: $1200-$1800 (this will vary by redemption)

I will always say use your points in the way that works the best for you! But if you’re asking my opinion, you will get the MOST value 95% of the time by transferring your points. This is something I didn’t learn until after we had taken our first fully funded points and miles trip (which was still amazing btw). But now that I know the value that’s out there, I almost always transfer our points.

Category Earning Rates

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll earn points on every purchase you make, with bonus points available in select categories.

  • 5x points on travel booked in the Chase travel portal
  • 3X points on restaurants, select streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs). Note this also excludes in-store grocery purchases.
  • 2X points on all other travel purchases outside of the Chase Travel℠ and 1X Ultimate Rewards points on all other spending
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Anniversary Bonus

As an added bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers an anniversary bonus each year, giving you a 10% point bonus annually based on your card spending, earned after you renew and pay your annual fee.

Referral Bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers a generous referral bonus for cardholders who refer friends and family members. As of the time this post was published, the referral bonus is 10,000 points per referral.

This means, that if you are working on earning points with a Player 2 (a spouse, partner, friend) you can refer that person to open their own Chase Sapphire Preferred card, even if they are an authorized user on your card.

You can create a referral link for any Chase credit card here.

Final thoughts…

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is just one of those no brainer credit cards for anyone who loves to travel and wants to make the most of their spending. I recommend everyone open this card right off the bat because of the way that increases the value of your points and because the points are so user friendly and easy to redeem!

If you decide to open this card, I would be so grateful if you used my affiliate link to apply! When you use my link, the bank pays me a commission instead of keeping that money to themselves. Plus, it’s what gives me the ability to continue provided FREE points and miles tips for you here on my blog and on social media. I appreciate the support so much!

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More on our families free travels!

Family vacations were a near impossibility for us not that long ago. But about 5 years ago we discovered credit card points and miles and now traveling several times a year is the norm for us! If you want to learn more about how our family travels for next to nothing, I would love for you to check out my Quick Start Guide to Traveling with Points and Miles. It is a hobby that has forever changed our lives and given us the opportunity to see the world!

The Ultimate Travel Companion: Chase Sapphire Preferred Explained


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Kimberly Shearer Vacation Pointers blog writer

Hi! My name is Kim. I’m the mom of 3 boys, the wife to 1 husband, and the driver of a 2013 Toyota Sienna. I love Jesus and my family, I have an obsession with getting a good deal, and if I had it my way I’d spend every weekend at Disney World trying a new food shaped like a Disney character…

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