The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - Earn Valuable Points on Travel and Dining
One of the best features of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is the ability to earn valuable points on travel and dining purchases. This makes the card a superb option for frequent travelers who dine out regularly. The Sapphire Preferred offers 2x points per $1 spent on travel and dining purchases worldwide. This essentially equates to a solid 2% back in travel rewards on these common expenses.
To put that in perspective, let’s say you spend $500 per month on dining out and travel. That's $6,000 per year. With the 2x earning rate, you'd earn 12,000 points annually just from these two bonus categories alone. Based on TPG's valuations, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth approximately 1.8 cents each. So those 12,000 points would be worth over $200 in travel! Not bad for expenses you're likely incurring anyway.
The travel category is expansive and includes everything from flights, hotels, Airbnbs, taxis, rideshares, trains, buses, tolls, parking, and more. So pretty much anytime you swipe your card to book or pay for travel, you'll earn accelerated rewards. The dining category is similarly broad, encompassing restaurants, cafes, bars, bakeries, fast food, delivery services, and other food merchants. Everyday expenses like grabbing coffee or taking clients out to dinner suddenly become rewarding.
As Jose G. from California shared, "Between frequent work trips and eating out almost every day, I earn so many extra points with the Sapphire Preferred. I hadn't realized just how much I was spending on travel and dining until I got this card. The 2x bonus points add up incredibly fast."
What else is in this post?
- The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - Earn Valuable Points on Travel and Dining
- The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - Redeem Points for Maximum Value
- The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - No Foreign Transaction Fees
- The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - Comprehensive Travel Insurance Benefits
- The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - DoorDash Benefits With DashPass
- The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - Points Transfer Partners Expand Redemption Options
- The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - Sign-Up Bonus Worth Over $1000 in Travel
- The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - An All-Around Excellent Travel Rewards Card
The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - Redeem Points for Maximum Value
One of the best parts about earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Sapphire Preferred is the many redemption options available to get maximum value. Points can be redeemed for statement credits or cash back at only 1 cent per point, but you can do much better when redeeming for travel through Chase or transferring points to airline and hotel partners.
For starters, when booking travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, points are worth 25% more. So your 100,000 points are now worth $1,250 in travel instead of just $1,000 in cash back. This applies to all sorts of travel including flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, activities, and more.
Even better, you can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to Chase's airline and hotel partners to extract even more value. Popular transfer partners include United, Southwest, British Airways, Hyatt, Marriott, and more. The key is to transfer when you find award availability at an outsized value compared to if you paid cash.
For example, Amanda S. frequently transfers her Sapphire Preferred points to United to book premium cabin international award flights that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars. As she explains, "I always search on United first when I have a trip in mind to scope out award space. For just 70,000 points transferred from Chase, I booked a $3,500 business class ticket to Asia. An incredible redemption!"
Similarly, Chris P. uses his points for high-end Hyatt stays that would be completely unaffordable with cash. As he describes, "Last fall I had a work trip to Las Vegas and really wanted to pamper myself. The Park Hyatt Vdara was $600+ per night, but I was able to book it for just 25,000 Hyatt points transferred from my Sapphire Preferred. A steal of a redemption that would've been impossible without my points."
The key takeaway is that to maximize the Sapphire Preferred's points, look for opportunities to redeem them for outsized value instead of taking a straight 1 cent cash redemption. With a bit of planning and research into award charts and partner transfers, you can easily achieve redemptions worth 2-4 cents per point or more. That effectively doubles, triples, or quadruples the value you get from your hard-earned points.
The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - No Foreign Transaction Fees
One of the most underrated yet invaluable benefits of the Sapphire Preferred is that it has no foreign transaction fees. This might not seem like a big deal to those who stick mostly to domestic travel. But for jetsetters who frequently cross borders and globetrot to far-flung destinations, avoiding pesky foreign transaction fees can mean major savings.
You see, many credit cards impose a 3% fee on all charges processed outside the US. So that €20 taxi ride in Paris that cost $22? It would actually cost $24 with a card charging foreign transaction fees. Any seasoned traveler knows those charges add up in a hurry, especially on big ticket items like international flights and hotels. Before getting the Sapphire Preferred, I cringed every time I had to use my old no-name credit card overseas knowing I was paying a premium.
But thankfully, the Sapphire Preferred spares you from foreign transaction fees. As Maria F. who travels to Europe annually shares, "My old card was hitting me with fees for every meal, outing, and souvenir I purchased abroad. It really started to eat away at my vacation budget. With the Sapphire Preferred, I don't think twice about swiping my card because I know there are zero foreign fees involved."
Likewise, Brian W. who frequently visits Caribbean destinations explains, "I used to try and pay cash whenever possible in foreign countries to avoid the 3% charges. But then I'd have to find ATMs and deal with extra conversion rates and fees. It was a hassle. The Sapphire Preferred makes international travel so much smoother since I can just use my card everywhere without worrying about hidden fees dragging me down."
Even if you only travel internationally once a year, those foreign transaction fees can still take a toll. Let's say you take a 10-day European vacation and spend $5,000 total on flights, hotels, meals, transportation, activities, and other expenses. On a typical card charging foreign fees, you'd pay an extra $150! But with the Sapphire Preferred, you dodge those unnecessary charges. Over a few years, we're talking savings in the hundreds of dollars range.
As Xavier G. who frequently visits family in Mexico summarizes, "Not having to think about foreign transaction fees is priceless. I use my Sapphire Preferred card for literally everything when traveling abroad - cabs, restaurants, shopping sprees, you name it. Saving 3% on all those charges gives me peace of mind and leaves more room in my budget to really enjoy my international adventures."
The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - Comprehensive Travel Insurance Benefits
One underappreciated yet invaluable benefit of the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the comprehensive travel insurance protections that come built-in. This includes coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage delay, and rental car damage. For frequent travelers, having robust insurance can provide priceless peace of mind in the event plans go awry.
Let's start with the trip cancellation and interruption coverage, which kicks in when you need to scrap or cut short a trip due to covered circumstances like illness, severe weather, and more. Maria S. had the misfortune of coming down with a bad case of the flu right before a long-awaited vacation to Hawaii. Thankfully, she shares, "I was so relieved to learn my Sapphire Preferred's trip cancellation coverage allowed me to recoup my non-refundable flights and hotel. I avoided losing thousands of dollars because I had to abort mission last minute."
Likewise, James P. had a work emergency come up that required him to return home early from a European excursion. As he explains, "My Sapphire Preferred allowed me to make a claim and get reimbursed for the London hotel nights I wasn't able to use. Saved me over $2,000 for cutting my trip short on short notice!"
The Sapphire Preferred also provides reimbursements up to $500 per covered traveler for reasonable unexpected expenses like hotels, meals, and toiletries incurred during travel delays of 12+ hours or overnight layovers. Brian W. benefitted from this on a recent trip plagued by delay after delay. As he shares, "My flight from LA to Hawaii was delayed to the point I missed my connection and got stuck overnight in San Francisco. But my Sapphire Preferred refunded my hotel and dinner, making the delay much less painful."
Additionally, the Sapphire Preferred provides primary rental car insurance when booking with points. This saved Juan R. a huge hassle after returning a rental SUV with some damage. As he recounts, "Instead of having to fight it out with the rental company, the Sapphire Preferred's rental coverage took care of the repairs no questions asked. So clutch for avoiding a sticky situation!"
The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - DoorDash Benefits With DashPass
Another underrated benefit of the Sapphire Preferred is complimentary DashPass membership, which can unlock major savings on DoorDash food deliveries. With DashPass, you enjoy $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on DoorDash orders over $12. This perk applies for at least a one-year period when activating through your Sapphire Preferred card.
For those who frequently rely on DoorDash for meals at home or the office, the savings can really add up. Let's say you average four DoorDash orders per month, with an average subtotal of $20 per order. Without DashPass, you may pay $5 delivery fees plus 10% service fees on each order, equaling $7. That's $28 per month in fees or $336 per year.
With complimentary DashPass through the Sapphire Preferred slashing those fees, you'd save the full $336 annually. Even for occasional users, DashPass can still be worthwhile. Sara K. who gets DoorDash a couple times per month shares, "Even though I don't order super often, DashPass has already saved me around $60 in just 6 months. That's a nice perk I wasn't expecting from my Sapphire Preferred!"
Meanwhile, hardcore DoorDash devotee Patrick D. raves, "I honestly got the Sapphire Preferred just for the free DashPass. I order DoorDash like 3-4x a week since I'm always too busy to cook. In the past year alone, DashPass has saved me over $500 in fees. It's been an absolute game changer!"
Even after the initial complimentary year of DashPass expires, Sapphire Preferred cardholders can continue getting DashPass for just $9.99 per month instead of $14.99. For heavy users, that discounted rate can still be well worth it for the substantial savings. DoorDash is one of the most popular on-demand delivery services, so chances are you've either used it already or have been meaning to try. With the Sapphire Preferred's DashPass membership, you can satisfy your food delivery cravings while keeping more cash in your wallet.
The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - Points Transfer Partners Expand Redemption Options
One of the most valuable aspects of the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the ability to transfer points to various travel partners. This unlocks a world of possibilities to extract maximum value from your hard-earned rewards. Chase's transfer partners include 13 airlines and 4 hotels.
Popular airline transfer partners include United Airlines, British Airways, Air France/KLM, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, and more. The key is to keep an eye out for inflated award prices and transfer Chase points over to book flights when you find outlier value.
For example, Nina R. frequently transfers her Sapphire Preferred points to United MileagePlus. As she explains, "I always search United's award chart first when planning a big trip. Back when they were running a transfer bonus, I transferred Chase points to United and booked an $8,000 business class ticket to Asia for only 80,000 miles. An incredible redemption made possible through transfer partners!"
Similarly, James T. leverages British Airways Avios transferred from his Sapphire Preferred to snag short haul American Airlines flights for just 4,500 Avios each way. As he shares, "I take lots of weekend trips to visit family on American. Flights that would cost $300+ roundtrip can be had for just 9,000 Avios. The Sapphire's transfer partners are a game changer."
On the hotel side, Hyatt is one of the most lucrative transfer partners. Their award chart provides exceptional value at top-tier properties. As Debbie C. explains, "I always move points to Hyatt when I see aspirational stays for fewer points than expected. Using transfers, I've booked $600+ Park Hyatts for just 20,000-25,000 points per night."
Similarly, Noah K. capitalizes on Marriott transfers from his Sapphire Preferred: "I once scored a 5-night stay at the W South Beach for 200,000 Marriott points transferred from Chase. Considering rates were $475+ per night, I got over $2,300 in value from that redemption alone!"
The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - Sign-Up Bonus Worth Over $1000 in Travel
One of the most enticing aspects of the Sapphire Preferred is the valuable sign-up bonus. New cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. TPG values Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 1.8 cents each. So those 60,000 points are worth $1,080 based on TPG's valuations.
As you can see, the sign-up bonus alone can unlock tremendous value if leveraged wisely. Even simple domestic economy flights and mid-tier hotels booked via Chase travel get you over $1000 in value when factoring the 25% point bonus. And transferring to airline/hotel partners opens the door for posh redemptions like business class flights and luxury resorts.
As Sean K. explains, "I was blown away when I realized how far 60,000 Chase points could get me. I transferred points to United MileagePlus and booked an international business class ticket that would’ve cost $4,500. A life changing bonus!"
Similarly, Maria D shares, "I used my Sapphire sign-up bonus for a 5-night stay at the all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cancun. With points covering my stay, I only paid minimal taxes out of pocket. Easily over $1,000 in value."
Even simple domestic economy flights can provide outsized value. As James T. shares, "I used part of my sign-up bonus to book my wife and I roundtrip flights home to visit family on American Airlines. Each ticket cost 25k Southwest points, but Cash prices were $350+. Huge savings!"
While $4,000 in 3 months might sound steep, it’s very achievable through everyday spend. As Vivian S explains, "Between groceries, gas, utilities, shopping, and meals out, I easily hit the minimum spend through routine expenses. Totally worth it for a sign-up bonus worth well over $1,000 in travel!"
The Sapphire Shines Bright: Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card - An All-Around Excellent Travel Rewards Card
When considering a new travel rewards credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred stands out as an all-around excellent choice suitable for a wide range of travelers. From frequent jetsetters to occasional vacationers, the Sapphire Preferred combines valuable earning potential with flexible redemptions and premium perks that make travel more rewarding.
For starters, the Sapphire Preferred makes it easy to rack up points quickly through generous bonus categories covering dining and travel, two common expenses for most. With 2x points earned on these purchases, your rewards balance grows rapidly simply by using the card for everyday spending. As Laura P. explains, "Between meals out, commuting costs, and regular weekend getaways, I earn points left and right with my Sapphire Preferred. In just a few months I’d already banked enough rewards for a roundtrip flight!"
When it comes time to use those hard-earned points, Sapphire Preferred owners enjoy ample redemption options. Booking travel via the Chase portal gets a 25% point bonus, so your points go further. Or transferring to loyal hotel and airline partners opens the door for aspirational redemptions like first class flights and luxury resorts. As James T. shares, "I’ve redeemed my Sapphire points for everything from budget car rentals to overwater bungalows in Bora Bora. The flexibility to get outsized value is unmatched."
Beyond racking up and spending points, Sapphire Preferred users enjoy premium travel benefits like complimentary DashPass membership, trip delay reimbursements, and robust purchase protections. Perks like rental car insurance and no foreign transaction fees add even more value. As Allison K. raves, "The Sapphire Preferred literally pays for itself many times over thanks to all the money I save on food delivery fees, travel insurance, and currency conversion costs. The rewards and benefits package is unbeatable."
For those who travel occasionally or stick mostly to domestic trips, the Sapphire Preferred still brings plenty to the table. The 60,000 point sign-up bonus alone can cover multiple hotel nights, flights, or rental cars to help fund your next vacation. As Brian H. explains, "Even though I only take one big trip annually, the Sapphire Preferred sign-up bonus let me book two roundtrip flights and four hotel nights completely free. I was glad I could benefit from the card without needing to travel constantly."