Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Benefits For 2015

Chase Sapphire PreferredThe Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the the most valuable and popular travel rewards credit cards on the market, and it has one of the most consistently lucrative signup bonus offers available.

My only issue with their past advertisements is that I wish they did a better job highlighting the card benefits. Yes, I can understand that it’s challenging to do in a 30 or 60 second video clip, which is why I’ll walk you through the 10 most important benefits.

1. The signup bonus is among the best you can get

Chase has kept the initial bonus consistent for the past few years, which is good news, but it’s unclear how long that will persist. So, if you’re in the market for a prestigious and best-in-class rewards card then you shouldn’t hesitate to apply given what it offers:

  • 40,000 bonus points awarded after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. Considering that’s an average of $1,000 per month, it should not be too difficult to accomplish.
  • 5,000 additional bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95. This is a nice feature, allowing you to test drive the card for a full year before having to pay a membership fee. If you don’t derive sufficient value from your earned rewards to offset the pending fee you’re free to cancel anytime before your anniversary date and not pay a dime.

2. Convert points to REAL frequent flyer miles

There are a number of cards in the market that offer generic reward “miles” but they’re not true airline-specific frequent flyer miles. Instead, each “mile” is typically worth a credit of exactly one cent that can be spent towards airfare on any airline. Don’t get me wrong- there are benefits to going with those types of cards.

But the big advantage of frequent flyer miles is that often times, they can be worth a lot more than a penny each. For example, if you redeemed 25,000 miles for a flight which has a cash price of $500, then you’re basically getting two cents of value per mile (obviously the conversion will vary depending on the airline and flight).

converting points to airline miles

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s list of airline partners, you can convert your points to actual frequent flyer miles or hotel points usually on a 1:1 basis. The participating airlines and hotel frequent traveler programs are:

  • United Airlines MileagePlus
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Korean Air Skypass
  • Amtrak Guest Rewards
  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • British Airways Avios
  • InterContinental Hotels Priority Club

3. Or get 20% off travel when you redeem through Ultimate Rewards

If you don’t want to convert points to frequent flyer miles, you have another option for travel, which is to redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel website and you will get travel rewards for 20% fewer points..

1 point = 1.25 cents value towards airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Ultimate Rewards

And don’t worry, the prices you see on Chase’s Ultimate Rewards booking tool are the same or comparable to what you would see on other major travel websites (in fact, I suspect one of them provides the results for Chase’s website). So rest assured this is not a racket where they show you inflated prices.

4. It will make your Chase Freedom card more valuable

I have the Chase Freedom, which as you probably know is a credit card that gives 5% cash back on categories. Even though it gives you Chase Ultimate Rewards points, they aren’t as versatile as what the Sapphire Preferred provides.

Normally with the Freedom card…
…You are not allowed to transfer points to frequent flyer miles
…You are not eligible for 20% off travel rewards via Ultimate Rewards

That means the most value you get out of each Freedom Ultimate Reward point is a single penny.

However, if you have the Sapphire Preferred card, then you can transfer your Freedom UR points to Sapphire UR points:

transfer points

That makes the Freedom + Sapphire Preferred a powerful duo. Because the Freedom will earn you 5x points on categories, and then by transferring them to your Preferred card, you will be able to get more value since you will be able to use them for Ultimate Rewards travel or convert them to frequent flyer miles.

5. No foreign transaction fees + Chip & Signature Technology

OK, this one they sometimes do mention on the commercials so you might already be aware of it.

But what you might not be aware of is that many competing travel cards still charge this foreign transaction fees. For example, the AmEx Premier Rewards Gold Card still charges 2.7%, which is surprising given its significantly higher annual fee of $175.

For 2015 and onward, all Sapphire Preferred accounts now come with the Chip and Signature technology by default.

6. A huge amount of insurance benefits and other protections are included

On eligible purchases, the Sapphire Preferred offers a number of protections:

  • Trip Delay
  • Baggage Delay
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty
  • Price Protection
  • Return Protection

7. Put it on plastic metal

Want to pay with plastic? That might not be possible, because the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is actually made out of metal!

photos of Sapphire Preferred made out of metal

Here’s how one of our CreditCardForum members described the material:

“I got my CSP in May. It has only “Chase Sapphire Preferred” and my name on the front and is not really raised like most cards. The mag strip, Mastercard logo, account number, and my name again are all on the back. The card is made of metal (looks like steel) and it feels pretty heavy. Not everyone thinks so, but I think it’s a darn nice looking card”

Trust me, this card leaves quite the impression when you plop it on the counter. Not that you would get it for that reason, I’m just saying…

8. The rewards aren’t just for travel

Yes, it’s heavily marketed as a card for travel rewards, but you can actually use the rewards for almost anything:

  • Cash Back: 100 points = $1.00. The minimum for redemption is very low; redeem as little as 2,000 points for $20.00 cash back.
  • Merchandise: Thousands of options but rather than going this route, I recommend just opting for cash back and buying stuff with that.
  • Spend on Amazon: Every 100 points = $1.00 to spend on Amazon.
  • Bid on Auctions: Normally I’m not a fan of using points for “experiences” but Chase offers some pretty cool stuff for a good point value:

Ultimate Rewards auctions

9. How you earn points

There’s no limit to how many points you can earn:

  • 2x points on travel purchases
  • 2x points on restaurant purchases
  • 1x points on all other purchases

Between the 2x point categories and higher point value for travel, you can really rack up the travel rewards with this program.

10. Get 24/7 direct access to dedicated advisers

You know what I really dislike about calling credit card companies? Before you talk to a rep, they often FORCE you to listen to info that you’re not calling about, such as your statement balance, date of last payment received, mailing address for payments, etc.

Guess what? With Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you don’t have this predicament. When you call, a live person answers the phone. You don’t even have to press any buttons and you actually get someone who speaks English.

Here is the link to get this offer while its available

This post was written or last updated April 28, 2015

 
Comments

Recently tried to use points to travel on an unplanned last minute trip for a family problem. We need to take our 6 lb dog with us. Unfortunately, Chase travel explained that they no longer book flights with pets. They are ‘…just too complex for us here at Chase Travel.’ Disappointing but not totally unexpected. We took a trip this last fall to Buenos Aires and Chase couldn’t book the flights in south america and when we asked about booking a cruise ‘we don’t book cruises.’ I’m old enough to remember when a travel agency was ‘on your side’ and really wanted your business.

Other than the travel perks, my chase Amazon card gets me better rewards by giving me 2% back on dining, gas, and drugstores. Of which the last is meaningless for me. Until recently, I could use my Chase Amazon card: 50,000 points for up to an $800 international flight. That (was) far better and equates to 37.5% less points needed or 60% more buying power. When I found out they ended this just before I got to take my second international trip, I wasn’t happy. So I went looking for a new card and although it’s still Chase, chose to get this one for the trial year knowing I’ll save on transaction fees and it has the chip. Anyone know if I can transfer points from a chase Amazon over or only chase freedom?

Why do you show a Piper and claim to “fly a Cessna experience”?

If I pay for airline tickets to Europe using my sapphire card and need to cancel the trip, is this covered and will I get a refund?

Is there a website with this credit card to book airling and a trip to France and get better prices?
Thank you

I am planning on renting a car in Italy and would like a detailed list of car rental insurance benefits and limitations that come with the sapphire card.

Thanks

sanford goldberg

I would like a detailed list of the insurance benefits that come come with the sapphire card

Can I use the points to upgrade to a better seat after I purchase a ticket?

Do the points accumulated ever expire?

For point redemption, “get 25% more value for points thru UR travel”, the application shows 20%. Which is correct? If it has been reduced to 20%, when was this change made? Thanks.

I know their marketing is sometimes confusing. On the application they say “20% fewer points needed” which is the same as points having 25% more value.

I don’t get it… how is 25% equal to 20%. are points usually 1.05 percent for travel and then through ultimate rewards its 1.25? what am I missing?

Let’s say for example you are buying a $1,000 flight. 20% fewer points needed is 80,000 points. That’s 20% less. Now, go the other way. Normally for 80,000 points you get 800. When you can buy something that’s $1,000, well, $1,000 is 125% more than $800, this is 25% more value for your points.

“The prices you see on Chase’s Ultimate Rewards booking tool are the same that you would see on other major travel websites (in fact, I suspect one of them manages the website for Chase). So rest assured this is not a gimmick where they give you inflated prices.

I’ve seen customer complaints about the ultimate rewards system being very user unfriendly and overpriced. I’m wondering if your statements are accurate here?

They’re probably referencing the UR points for merchandise, which indeed isn’t the best deal (and the same holds true for merchandise from any CC program). I use the UR program to buy flights all the time and check them concurrently on Expedia, Kayak, etc. to verify the price. The UR program runs off of the same feeds these other sites do.

I’ve used the UR program from international flights and the listings are definitely not the same. When I used expedia or travel.bing.com there were cheaper flights than those that showed up in the UR site. With the 25% discount I got and the additional points earned, I think it was still better to use the UR. There were definitely fewer choices, but then again, this could be because when you use expedia as opposed to orbitz or priceline, etc. they do come up with different listings so it may not be intentional bias on the UR’s part.

This does not seem to be the case at all. I was only looking at hotels, but the prices shown on the UR site seem to be somewhat inflated as compared to what you would find on the hotels’ own sites.